To me, in the first picture anyway, it looks like it could possibly be crab grass. That bottom root, which looks sort of jointed, looks exactly like what I have coming up in my front beds, away from my daylilies. I was told it was crab grass, but I'm really not sure what kind of grass it is.
What zone are you in? The warmer it is there, the better chance you'll have of getting a bloom the first year. Where I'm at, it's taken 2 years for my first 5 or 6 to bloom, and it's going to be at least another year for the rest of them. I grew about 100 seedlings, so I'm hoping that next year will be great! And no, you don't have to wait until September to plant the seeds. You just need to chill them for a certain amount of time. BUT, I'm honestly not sure about this, and hopefully someone else will chime in. If it's an evergreen, you may not need to chill the seeds for as long, or at all? I've got almost all dormants, and chilled my seeds for only 3 weeks, and had almost 100% germination.
I also want to say how sorry I am for your terrible loss, and this is a lovely way of honoring the babies.