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Monday, August 25, 2008

Day's of Summer - Daylilies

This morning I began my new term as Board of Education trustee up at our high school. Our students don't return until after Labor day (next Monday) so technically (besides what the calendar says) it's still summer here.

Growing daylilies has been a passion of mine for 14 years now. At one point, just two years ago, my collection peaked at 450 different cultivars. Slowly but surely I've been reducing that number, eventually I'd like to get it down to 200 of the best performing plants.

What is amazing about this opening photo is that it was taken just yesterday. There are thousands and thousands of different daylilies. Tall ones, short ones, ruffled ones and plain ones. There are red, purple, yellow, orange, cream, pink, peach and a multitude of combinations of color. There are round daylilies and narrow daylilies too but most importantly there are early, mid and late blooming daylilies.

If you want to have daylilies blooming for more than three weeks in your garden you need to look for varieties that bloom at different times. This photo shows a late blooming daylily named 'Royal Jester'. It looks incredible combined with this hardy begonia (if somebody knows the botanical name of this begonia please leave a comment for me).

Just two weeks ago, in mid August I took this photo. The dominant daylilies here are 'Point of View' which is one of the best performing reds (in my opinion) and 'Big Bird' which is the tall yellow that does such a wonderful job of echoing the yellow throat of 'Point of View'. If you are wondering why the Queen Ann's Lace is allowed to grow in my garden, it's because it invites beneficial insects that eat thrips (a not at all beneficial insect).

Just before I left for Germany (the first week of July) I took a few photos of the daylilies that were beginning to bloom. This cool yellow narrow form on 'Flight of Angel's' just stopped me in my tracks. I love the unusual form of narrow daylilies that cascade and curl. They look incredibly graceful combined with many summer perennials.

At one time I grouped my daylilies all together but now I find much more pleasure working them into a total landscape vignette. Here you can see the little daylily 'Pimento Pepper' combined with Salvia and Lychnis.

Always perfect, year after year is this luscious purple 'Star of India' with the amazing appliqued pattern in the yellow throat. Combined with the purplish blues of the Salvia and the pale yellow Achillea, I think this is one of the best grouping I've ever designed.

Out in front of my house I have a clump of daylilies that is not registered with the American Hemerocallis Society. This daylily is a seedling that my youngest daughter Emily hybridized and best of all, I have a photo taken of her on the day she made this cross!

The daylily may not be worthy of registration but in the garden we call it 'Little Em' and it's a blooming fool. With little blooms on tall scapes, it's the perfect addition as a landscape daylily.

As a closing shot, this daylily is right next to the one in my opening photo. The difference is that this one blooms in early July while the other one blooms in late August. By planting them side by side I've extending the show in this spot (see how much smaller the Begonia foliage is?).

This cultivar is 'Lounge Lizard' and I'm just blown away by it's beauty.

Well that's it for today, this year I missed most of the daylily season but just wait until next year!


Di DeCaire said...

I've been waiting for a post about daylilies. I like your daughter's daylily for it's huge hanks of bloom. Combinations certainly are more interesting than too much of one type of plant.

Daisy said...

I believe it is Begonia "Grandis".. but if that is incorrect it should send you in the right direction anyway.

Glad to see you are back, and your Mom is doing well.

Gail said...

I was hoping to see your Daylilies...they are beautiful and you have a great eye for combining them with other plants! Flight of Angels is my favorite so far!


Bev said...

Love your garden combinations. The hardy begonia is beautiful. I also enjoyed the post on the money plant-interesting. tfs

Bev J.

Dave said...

You're daylilies look great! Your daughter must be proud to have made that daylily. Glad to see you posting again!

Hoot Owl Hollow Nursery said...

Begonia evansiana 'Grandis'
There is also a white flowered version 'Grandis Alba' which is a little less vigorous. My original plant of 'Grandis is now a swale about 4 feet by 10 feet while the white one is only about a foot square.

Melanie said...

Hi all,

This seemed like an awfully skimpy daylily post from me but I guess something is better than nothing!

Thanks for the notes on the Begonia 'Grandis'. Jane, I've tried the white variety too and just as you said, it is much less vigorous. Last year I started spreading around the pink seedlings to different beds. They are small this year but I know that in time they will really begin to bulk up.

Dave, having a flower that my child made is the most incredible thing! My older daughter hybridized a few daylilies too and I'd give anything to have one of them here again. I'm not getting rid of this one as it really works so well in the landscape.

Off to see how my pumpkins are growing :-)