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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Do you do Daylilies?

There's something about being a plant collector. Something that we can be oh so proud of when we are surrounded by similar collectors and yet somewhat embarrassed about when with less understanding folk.

I began gardening as many people do, with vegetables and a few simple flowers. Then I was bit by the perennial bug. I was hampered by a limited budget but I tried hard to get my hands on all kinds of perennials. One day a woman at work gave me a hybrid daylily and the fever took hold of me.

The opening photo is of a darling little daylily named 'City of Sin'. I don't know what it was about being a daylily collector but it drove my life and the lives of those around me for more years than I care to count.
Finally though the fever broke, there was a light at the end of the tunnel and it wasn't this luscious 'Starlight Serenade'. I never totally gave up my perennials and slowly but surely they called me back to the mainstream gardening world.

It's taken me years but I think I've finally found a balance in my garden between daylilies and perennials. One thing about daylilies though, they increase like the dickens and you have to do something with them.

It's one thing if you have a big clump or two of a beautiful plant like this 'Tuscawilla Princess' but what happens when you have 450 different varieties? Ok, they don't all clump up at the same speed and time but chances are that every year you are going to have 50 - 75 clumps that need to be divided.

I will always be grateful to my daylilies. Through them I've met a world full of wonderful people. Now that I'm less active in the daylily world, they continue to give to me by allowing me the chance to share them with others.

'Paper Butterfly' seen here is one of the first daylilies to bloom in my garden. Isn't it lovely?

If I could have more of one daylily it would be this amazing 'King's Golden Treasure'. This daylily bloom is the size of a dinner plate and was hybridized right here on Long Island by an extremely talented man by the name of George Rasmussen. I would love to have drifts and drifts of this shocking bloom interspersed with clouds of Rudbeckias.

The deep purple's are fabulous but for some reason I couldn't find one decent photo. 'Bela Lugosi' is much richer than this photo shows. I'll have to work on taking better photos in the future even though I will be in Germany this summer while it's daylily season in my garden.

If you had told me I'd fall in love with a brown daylily I would have laughed at you. That is, I would have laughed before I grew 'Brown Witch'. This photo doesn't do this daylily justice, it just glows in the garden.

There's lots of award winners such as this 'Custard Candy' that do so well here on Long Island.

Check out these pie crust edges on 'Embroidery Plus'. Guess it was well named :-)

Whether they're big, medium or small like this adorable little 'Laura Abdallah' they're all beautiful in my eyes.

Best of all, most of these will be available this Saturday at our Plant sale. The information is on the sidebar for any local readers to check out.

Oh don't run out and buy a plane ticket here, 'King's Golden Treasure' won't be on that sale table and I haven't yet decided to divide up 'Brown Witch' because I couldn't stand seeing people snub her.

So what about you? Do you do daylilies?


Hoot Owl Hollow Nursery said...

Oh, yes I do - but along with lots of other perennials and trees and shrubs and water plants. We have about 1500 registered daylilies plus probably that many seedlings. They definitely are addictive.

Lets Plant said...

Great pictures!! It is weird how you can be proud at times and embarrassed at others!

Pam/Digging said...

I love daylilies, but I only have three varieties. Over the years my deciduous ones died off, and only the toughest evergreen ones survived in our climate. Still, I treasure those three and am enjoying the first to bloom right now. I can see how daylilies could become an obsession. I feel that way about agaves too.

Anna said...

I don't have a single one cause I know nothing about them. That soil at my other house was like growing in clay pots. This soil is amended better so I'm hopeful. I love all your varieties so I'll have to study up on how to grow them. Is it very hard? Good luck and hopefully you can rest some when it's all said and done.

Piondröm said...

Yes I do Daylilies to but my have comes so fsr than yours.
Very beautiful Daylilies you have and the pictures is outstanding.
Ken from Sweden

Melanie said...

Jane, 1,500 is such an amazing number and yet if I had the land and there was another gardener here I could see us reaching those kinds of numbers.

Lets plant, yes, embarrassment is a strange thing isn't it?

Pam, daylilies do so well in Texas because there are so many excellent evergreen varieties. The national daylily convention is in Houston in the next week or so.

Anna, no daylilies! You definitely need some, they would do fantastic at your house. Daylilies are rough and tough. You could leave them on the blacktop for a few days, plant them out and they'll still grow. They tolerate drought and flood conditions (once established). There's got to be an active daylily club in your area, it's the best way to get plants that grow in your location. Almost all clubs have an annual sale because we have to get rid of our excess!

Hi Ken, thanks for the compliment on the photos, they were taken last year. We get daylily bloom here in July. Other parts of the United States can get bloom as early as May.

Gail said...

I do some daylilies! I was even a member of the Daylily Society in Tennessee. They were the funniest people, I don't believe I laughed as hard as I did at those meetings.
I have about 40 different varieties all needing to be divided so I can grow other perennials, we have limited sun here! My favs are still the older ones like Hyperion and Kindly Light. Don't you love terms like diamond dusted?

They aren't my love, there were too many other plants to grow! I lean toward loving wildflowers!

BTW you have some stunning daylilies!

Thanks, Melanie for a lovely post.


Brenda Hyde said...

Daylilies are one of my favorites, but I only have three varieties so far. If money were no object I'd have as many as I could squeeze in! Yours are stunning, and I wish I lived closer to visit the sale. Alas, I'm in Michigan. The only time I'm embarrassed is if I ramble on like an idiot about gardening and realize the person I'm speaking to has that glazed over look in their eyes. BAHAHAHA

Gina said...

one of the first things i did when i first started gardening is remove the bazillion orange daylilies that were in my backyard. even now i still see them popping up here and there (i guess i didnt get them all). i remember last year not wanting to have anything to do with the daylilies but this year i find myself thinking yours are very pretty and maybe i should get a couple. time heals...

Dave said...

Wow that is a lot of daylilies! I only have a couple kinds but I plant to get more as I can. I have plenty of space in full sun that is just calling for drifts of daylilies. Have you ever tried hybridizing them?

Karen said...

Daylilies have just recently become a passion for me as well. I don't have much of a collection yet, and some that I have I don't know their id. Roses and daylily are my new dig. :)

Nancy J. Bond said...

Your lilies are very beautiful! I've grown a few of the standards in the past, and they're such a forgiving and rewarding plant.

Pam/Digging said...

It's interesting that the daylily convention is in Houston, but I have to say that Austin and Houston are worlds apart in terms of climate. Houston is nearly tropical, with plenty of summer rain showers and acidic soil. Austin has droughty summers and alkaline soil. The evergreen daylilies have the best shot here, but they're not exactly tried-and-true plants for this region. I keep trying though!

redrahde said...

I have about 200 daylily cultivars, but like you, I think the fever has broken--especially since I don't hybridize.

I'm trying a lot of different perennials and annuals this year. Unfortunately, the bed where most of them are going is lined with daylilies. You have to look over the daylilies to see the perennials. It appears that some changes are in order--next year.

I was wondering, what is the greenery in the upper left of the picture of King's Golden Treasure?

Mary Beth said...

I only have 3 varieties - but last year decided I want more! They are such a great addition to any bed. Love all your pictures!

beework said...

When I started with dls, my garden was slim pickins for anything else. But as a few years (OK, several years) passed I became more interested in the total garden, and began buying "companion" plants to work in with the daylilies. I still have a lot of daylilies, but worked in among them are sedums, asters and ... Well, you get the point. Do you suppose this is some gardening "coming of age" thing?

cindee said...

Yes I collect them too. They really like my garden and seem to do well here. They are all getting buds now so soon they will be blooming(-: And to think it all started with one little start off my aunts daylily plant(-:

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I had some in my Alabama garden, but for some reason the daylily bug never bit me. I'm not really a collector of any one particular plant.

Jane Marie said...

I most certainly do do daylilies. I am an avid collector. Right now I have 116 varieties and can't wait for the season to start so I can buy some more.
My question is, what kind of markers do you use. I'm tired of redoing them every year. They break or just get shifted in the wind and snow as the ground heaves. I have been using a paint pen and that works the best so far for the wording. What's your experience?

Sheila said...

I too have learned to love daylilies! I just planted about two dozen babies I got in the mail last week in my new garden.

Frances, said...

HA, 450 is a large number of anything! We thought our fifty or sixty was a lot. We share Bela Lugosi, I had to have it for the name alone. Aren't the names great, they do affect the purchase, when there are so many to choose from and so many are similar to something we already have. I would snap up that Brown Witch in a flash at your plant sale, no worry about her being snubbed! My daughter, Semi, has the daylily bug bad, even with all the ones I have to share with her, she has a dl farm near her house and goes by everyday and buys more, ther goes the grocery money. He even offered her a job there. HA

Frances at Faire Garden

garden girl said...

Melanie, I have a bunch of 'happy returns' in the front of the house where there's plenty of sun, and have a few 'happy returns,' rosy returns and 'Sunday Gloves' in a couple of part-sun spots in the back garden. The ones in back are somewhat experimental, as there's so little sun back there. They grow just fine, but the jury's still out on whether they'll bloom enough to make it worth having them in the back garden. They're in the sunniest spots, time will tell if they get enough sun to bloom well. I do love daylilies. They're tough plants, and hard to kill!

Kerri said...

Oh yes Melanie, I do love daylilies! My collection is small (perhaps 20 varieties), but we add to it each year.
I was bitten by the DL bug about 4 years ago.
I have some that are very similar to the ones you've pictured, but none of them share the same names.
You have some beauties!

Amy said...

Oh heaven! I fell in love with daylilies about four years ago and wish I had more. They just about the perfect plant for my difficult growing conditions. I have a whole bunch started indoors from plastic bags of roots I bought earlier this year at the local hardware store. I can't wait to put them out!

Babs said...

You seem like quite the expert. I have put in my first daylilies ever, so I'm not sure what to expect. I picked up a bag of bare roots plants on a whim at Walmart two weeks ago. Now I know that the quality is probably poor as I got them at a big box store and not a nursery...two of eight plantings have come up so far. So here's my question: How long should I wait before I declare the other six dead and plant something else (probably annuals) in their place?

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I do love daylilies, but I've also backed away some. I can see why you'd like King's Ransom with rudbeckia.

Purples don't photograph well. You can't capture their true color (they appear more red) and their velvet texture.

Great post. Daylilies will be blooming here in a few weeks.~~Dee

Anonymous said...

Hi last year I planted Blueberry Sunday and Wild Mustang (fragrant) as bareroot plants and I hope to see them flower this year they are doing well.)I also ordered stella d'oro but it was dead on arrival although I had planted it anyway because at first I thought it might be okay. I wanted to order more fragrant daylilies this year as a start to my collection but I don't know if I'll be living here next year so I forced myself to wait till later, but I plan on collecting them because I love the idea of collecting flowers-the more spreading the better! One of the first gardening books I bought was on daylilies! Have you ever read Daylilies, The Perfect Perennial by Lewis and Nancy Hill? -A

Shirley said...

Yes I do, although a beginner! And I wouldn't dream of snubbing 'Brown Witch', I fell in love with her online 2 years ago and WISH I could find her here in the Netherlands, but no luck so far :( Guess she will have to fly away one day.. on her broom LOL
Lovely blog and pics! Will visit again.