Saturday, July 04, 2009
This evening was the first time this season that I went around and live-headed my daylilies. Live-head, a term that many people have never heard.
When a gardener dead-heads a plant, they are removing a spent bloom. Some plants don't require this but others, like daylilies, show much better if the the spent bloom is removed.
Nothing looks prettier than a daylily clump loaded with crisp clear blooms like on this antique variety 'Try It'.
What you'll rarely find though is a photo of the ugly drippy mess that awaits you the next morning.
Yuck, nothing is worse than removing gooey, wet daylily blooms that stain your fingers and shorts with purple and red.
Rather than wait for the morning, I love walking around in the evening and removing the still live bloom. It gives me a chance to see each and every daylily up close. 'Dark Monkey' here was facing away from the front of the bed but when I had it in my hand I just had to rub my fingers over the velvety interior.
At first it's disconcerting to see your garden go from full glory to bare nakedness but wait, look closer and you'll see it. It's the promise, the knowing that tomorrow you will once again have a garden full of jewels.
Different cultivars show their promise differently. The long, curly spidery forms that I adore look more like banana peppers with little puckered kisses on the end.
Some varieties are brazen in their promise, sticking out their tongues in advance, hoping for that instant moment of romance in the garden, the brush of pollen against their waiting pistils.
Tonight I spent a long time looking through the lens of my camera, searching for the promise of what is to come. It was the most amazing feeling, I could have taken hundreds of photos of blooms that are just waiting for their moment of glory.
At the end of it all, the buckets of blooms are spilled upon the compost heap, and that too is a promise of riches to come.
Tomorrow will be beautiful, I promise.