Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Friday, June 1, 2012

Thank Goodness For The Daylilies

They love the hot weather and blazing sun and Middle Tennessee has had plenty of both.  

Was it just a few years ago when I wrote that it was time for me to break up with them?  What was I thinking? Everyone knows it's nearly impossible to get over a first love and daylilies are mine. 
 many of them were variations on an orange/peach/pink/melon/apricot theme.  
They came into my life when I was a fairly new gardener...That was long before the  Internet made it easy to find the best plants for a garden like mine. I bought them from Gilbert Wild after thoroughly considering their color, size and bloom time from the catalog descriptions. They were a nice mixture of early, mid and late season blooming plants in what I thought would be a pleasant mix of colors.

I discovered three things about daylilies...
  • I loved them, especially the simplest ones.  I appreciate the diamond dusted,  haloed, doubled, ruffled plants,  but, for my garden and taste, the graceful shapes of older varieties are best. I wouldn't have known this if I hadn't ordered a few of the busier flowered ones!
  • Bloom time is relative...After 26 years of gardening in the Middle South I now understand that bloom time is relative... It's totally related to where you garden in North America (anywhere actually).  Late here means end of June and if you're lucky maybe into July for some of the heirloom hemerocallis. 
  • Color descriptions are also relative.  Someone's pink might be someone else's mellon. 

I am so glad that we didn't break up after all. Instead, I expanded the Susan's Bed to give me more room for wildflowers and edited out all the non-performing perennials.  I adore Monarda didyma but, there has never been a moist enough year to keep it blooming and my Susan's Bed is really a small garden.  (Breaking Up Is hard To Do)




Compromise is a good thing! Now there's plenty of room for my first love daylilies and my soulmate wildflowers.

xxoogail




Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone." She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.

28 comments:

  1. Like you, I could never give them, and yes, I'm loving the whirly twirlies the best now. However, I will say that when I have a moment to sit in the gravel and gaze at them, I enjoy my ruffled ones too.~~Dee

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  2. I love the ones with oranges in them, very pretty! Definitely garden workhorses!

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  3. I love all day lilies, but isn't it funny, he in New Hampshire mine don't even have buds yet! My columbine are still blooming....but I actually have purple iris blossoms this year!

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  4. I bought my first daylilies as a clump for 50 cents at some plant sale. They spread so much, I divide and move them all over the garden. This is one of the reasons why I love daylilies - they multiply and they are almost carefree. You have a good collection of daylilies, Gail! I like all of them.

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  5. I think the melon one is especially pretty. I actually did break up with daylilies, for quite some time. I didn't have enough patience to allow them to fill in to the point that their fleeting blooms were made up by the sheer volume of flowers. I'm trying again though, and actually do have a few planted at the edge of my herb garden. I'm hoping now that I'm older, and wiser, that I'll have more patience this time, they really are beautiful flowers.

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  6. Never met a daylily I did not love. Even the lowly ditch lilies are lovely on hillsides in bloom. Beautiful photos. Valerie

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  7. Seeing the daylily blooms on blogs makes me covet a bit...and reminisce.

    I love daylilies...until they stop blooming...but, that's because of my space issues, not the flowers! Since deer eat them, I have only 3 varieties in the cottage garden and I'd like to rip out the Stella d'Oro. I still love 'Joan Senior' and am okay with 'Happy Returns'. For me, it's a space issue in the cottage garden. I want the space for other plants. At a former home, I was a daylily collector, buying every unique and wonderful variety that I could find.

    PS I planted seeds for rudbeckia hirta and I think those flowers are going to take over my gardens! I've never seen such masses of blooms forming! What have I done? They're beautiful, of course.

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    1. You'll be writing them a Dear Susans letter after this season! They aren't nearly as bad a spreader as the R fulgida.

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  8. Daylilies are such amicable garden plants. My favorite is the second from the bottom.

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    1. I wish I could tell you their names! I moved them from their original spots when we built a porch. Now I just enjoy them.

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  9. Until about four years ago I only had a few old orange ditch lilies. But then I found 'Happy Returns' (a softer yellow than that brassy 'Stella d'Oro') and 'Rosy Returns.' Last year I added 'Ruby Stella,' and now I need to find space for more! Yours are beautiful, Gail.

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    1. Gloria, I recommend that you tried a few heirloom daylilies~especially nice is 'Hyperion'. It doesn't bloom forever but, when it does, the soft yellow and sweet fragrance will win your heart. g

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  10. I love the independent nature of the day lilies myself!

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  11. At one time I thought it would be best if Daylily and I saw other people, but like you I came back. Is there a more versatile perennial?

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  12. You can never forget your first love! When they're in bloom, I fall in love all over again with my garden. My only problem is that they've outgrown their home--looks like I'll be doing some major construction again this fall.

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  13. My daylilies are shining this year. Newly planted a couple years ago (hard to believe we are here two full years now!). Love the colors of the ones you shared above. First loves are wonderful!

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  14. You have made me fall in love with those gorgeous spiky green stems...no blossoms yet to see here. But then again we are "late" also.

    Love your collection, and you have inspired me to add to mine.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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  15. Those are stunning. So far I have only found one of the old fashioned kind with quite a small delicate yellow flower which looks at home up here but you are inspiring me to look again. Have you any recommendations for a garden which is always on the edge of wildness?

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    1. Elizabeth, 'Always on the edge of wildnes"~You've been peaking at mine! I recommend Hyperion and Kindly Light and go here to find some more! http://www.oldhousegardens.com/display.aspx?cat=daylily. gail

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  16. I love daylilies too, even though after 14 years the deer have discovered them and I have to spray them nightly with peppermint.

    I have both mellon-colored daylilies and a number of true pink ones. Love them all. :)

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  17. PS Just looked at your "breaking up is hard to do post" and saw the pink beauty in the first picture. So lovely!

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  18. What a wonderful selection of colors you have!

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  19. I love those daylilies and hope they are there to stay. That peach delicacy looks luscious. My favorites are the hot colors and spider shapes.

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  20. Hm. Seems like I'd be the odd man out if I confess to having mixed feelings on daylilies. Love the green leaves when they first emerge early in springtime and the flush of blooms are beautiful.

    But I struggle with other aspects of the plants - they take up an awful lot of room and when the blooms are done they look kind of bedraggled to me. I also have issues with leaves browning/yellowing and aphids attacking the plants (especially the ones that don't go completely dormant in winter).

    And should I remove the scapes when the blooms are done or do they serve some vital purpose?

    Is there some 3-step program I can take to growing better daylilies? :)

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  21. Gail,

    Have you ever been to Willie's Lilies in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee? We were there last weekend and his daylily gardens are simply beautiful. I've never seen so many different colors. It is well worth the trip. His name is Willie Markus and his phone number is (931) 762-5043.

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  22. You have quite a collection of Daylilies. How nice that they're blooming now! And your captures are lovely!

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  23. Maybe that's why the yard looks so busy right now. I only have quite a few daylilies, some plain, and some multicolored, and there is only one of each kind. I've mentioned that each of my beds has something that's also in another bed, but not all plants are in each bed. Well, daylilies are in all of the beds, except for the one where the tree used to be.

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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