Saturday, June 30, 2007

Herbs and Daylilies, of course!

I realized that I haven't paid much attention to the herbs lately. They are really low maintenance. This is a lovely pot of spearmint with some flowering feverfew beside it. There's a nice crop of oregano back there, too.

Here's a good shot of the herb area. Lots of lemon balm, catmint, thyme, sage and fennel can be seen. I have cut back the flowerheads of the chives so it has started to brown on the tips, but that's no problem. I don't like a trim and properly groomed herb garden anyway. Tomorrow I plan to harvest some lavender. I'll tuck some in my pillowcase tonight. Sweet dreams.

Now for the new daylily showings. This is Robespierre. It actually is quite a bit darker in the morning but lightens as the day goes on to this red.

The following one is a new purchase today! Chorus Line. A sweet smelling little miniature dressed in coral. It is supposed to be one of the longest lasting blooms -- up to 16 hours. I think I'll time mine once it's planted. This one is still in the pot.

Here's Little Business, another small one. It has so many blooms each year that it makes up for its size.

Siloam Plum Tree, as rich-looking as a queen's royal robe.

And one of my all time favorites, Egyptian Ibis. I love the name and I love the simplicity of the petals and sepals. The bloom is about 5 1/2 to 6 inches, and never fails to impress my garden guests.

That's it for today. I hope you're not getting bored with me. I'm trying to journal all of my flowers with a pictorial display.

Friday, June 29, 2007

A Promise is a Promise

Well, here is the garden picture I promised, but it doesn't show off the flowers at all. I realized that a lot of the short daylilies are not able to be seen from this angle. Maybe next week or so we'll actually hit peak blooming and I can get a better shot. But a promise is a promise, and I keep my promises.

This is Dark Star an old-fashioned daylily, 1953 I think. It's at least 5 feet tall.

Another of the unknowns. A shorter plum color, about 3 feet.

Bold One, bright and elegant.

Caprician Fiesta, says it all.

Charles Johnston, the color is a little washed out. It's usually larger than this but sometimes the first bloom doesn't live up to the norm.

And last but not least, another older, 1951, one called Crimson Pirate. This is an extremely accurate color depiction. The sun was just right for the shot. I love it.

What Have I Done?

What have I done? I can't believe I actually did it! I plucked every last daylily bloom I had. Why?

The first time I went to a daylily garden in peak season, I was in awe at the beauty. I literally had the shakes. Acres of beautiful plants all blooming at the same time. I noticed that there were no spent blooms from the day before left on the scapes, and I wondered if these two retired sisters had gotten up at dawn to pluck them all off. I was told that they have a crew come in at 4:00 the day before to start popping ALL blooms. This way everything is fresh and new in the morning. One woman told me she came purposefully on that evening with her camera to watch. There were wheelbarrows full of gorgeous blossoms, just being thrown away. It seems like such a waste, but they would have been wilted by morning anyway.

My friend and I always talked about doing it someday to our gardens. Last night at 6:00, I did it.

It was painful at first, but surprisingly therapeutic after a while. As the basket filled with blooms, I felt the presence of God in all this glorious color.

But then I turned around and took one last look at my garden. Nothing left but some Heliopsis and the Nearly Wild Roses. The dry, brown, grass made it all the more barren-looking.

As I spread the blooms on the table, I perked up at the thought of a summer party with daylilies as the tablescape. Can I do it again for the sake of my guests? NEVER! Once was enough.

Later this morning, I'll take a picture from the exact same spot and show you the beauty of a daylily morning.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Today's Daylilies Surprises

It was a cool wonderful morning. After yesterday's stifling heat and humidity, it felt wonderful to stroll the garden and see what had awakened. Here's what I found:

Time Together; I bought this one to remind me that Duane and I need more of it. It's our goal to not work so hard and enjoy each other as much as I do this wonderful flower. The light coloring around the center is called a watermark.

Country Melody; A beauty in her own right. It has a ruffled yellow picotee edge.

Prairie Blue Eyes; this one took a few years to get to this point. It was small and disappointing at first but now it's gorgeous.

Pandora's Box; one of the first daylilies I bought when I began to categorize and take note of. It's white with a dark plum eye. It actually sparkles in the sun with what is called diamond dust.

Mephistopheles; The first year for me. It's dark burgundy/black velvet. I'm very pleased.

Dallas Star; It lives up to it's name because it's the size of Texas. Huge and beautiful!

Hyperion; an old-fashioned daylily but still one of my favorites. Long lasting and smells like lilies. The hummingbirds like the trumpet.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Daylilies and Rain

The only bad thing about daylilies is water. What to do about it? They need water obviously, but water ruins the looks of the blossoms that are only going to be seen that day. I usually water my plants after 4:00 because I know those blooms are going to die anyway and the next ones won't be open until tomorrow morning. Last night there was a gentle rain -- just the kind we need for daylilies. BUT this morning there was a downpour; thunder, lightening, the works. It even shut down the computer for a while. Well, my heart sank because I knew today's new blooms would have water spots.

While it was still lightly drizzling I went out to see how things looked. I found only two new ones open today, but I'm sure more are coming. I hope they wait until the rain is completely finished. This one is called Mauna Loa and is the brightest orange I have ever seen. I feel I need to put on my sunglasses to look at it. It isn't completely opened up here and the sun came out just as I was taking the picture, so it looks a little brassy. I'll try to go out later and get another shot.

And this is Oriental Topaz. It seems to be handling the rain drops quite well. I'll watch it as it dries off.

I'm actually thrilled with the rain; the grass was turning into a hayfield, all brown and crunchy. It's amazing how fast everything greens up. It's a little like life. Just when you think things can't get any worse, it turns right around and begins an upswing. Gardening gives me hope and reminds me that a little rain in my life or in my garden is a good thing and is part of the circle of life.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More Daylilies

Let's start this post off with something else. This is my Paprika yarrow; it's just getting a good start. It adds a little color and fills in spaces around my pets, the daylilies.

Next is a real show stopper called Chicago Arnie's Choice. Huge lavender blooms on strong scapes.

This one is Strawberry Candy, I believe. It's another one that was given to me by an 80-year-old friend. She called it Stawberry Fields Forever but it doesn't seem to resemble it at all. In most cases Strawberry Candy is quite a bit lighter in color, but daylilies can change color depending on the amount of sun they get, the soil content,and the time of day. Study one bloom at different intervals throughout the day. Some will fade, some will change to a totally different shade. They can fool even the best daylily experts.

Imperial Lemon is a very large flower of a beautiful yellow color. Good enough to eat.

And last but not least( for today only) is Buddha, a dark rich black/purple. One of my favorites, but then I tend to say that about all of them, don't I?

Here's a P.S. My husband, Duane, noticed that I said on the last post that I had been married for 30 years which was a mistype. He got a good chuckle, saying that I was trying to look younger than I am. We actually had our 40th anniversary this past winter. I didn't notice the mistake, I guess because I feel younger than I am. Gardening does that for you :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Dayilies, daylilies

Decatur Dictator

This daylily does not have a name as far as my garden goes. A friend gave it to me , as she dug them out I made note of what they were. I guess I misunderstood what she was handing me. She dug it at the same time as Decatur Dictator but they are obviously not the same plant. They both had blossoms today so I could get up close and compare. Does anyone recognize it? This picture is a very accurate color.

Fabulous Face, and it really is!

Miss Jessie, one of my favorites. It blossoms almost all summer long.

This tangerine colored dayliliy also is not named. I bought it in my early years of gardening, and I didn't have enough sense then to keep track. Now I can't determine which one it is.

Spacecoast Gator Eye. This is it's first year to bloom for me. I'm thrilled. Just as I had hoped for.

Ruby Spider. I love this one. 6 inch blooms, looks like the red velvet of my bridesmaids dresses 30 years ago. Oops, does that tell my age? Yikes!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hurray! the Daylilies are Performing!

There is a hush in the audience. The curtain is lifted. Maestro, raise your baton, please. Let the show begin!

Allspice Spice


Louisiana Edith

Pure and Simple

Vintage Bordeaux

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Daylily pain

It's so painful. Why am I such an obsessive/compulsive, impatient person? The daylilies are just taking their good old sweet time. Today there was only one new one, but there are many buds just waiting to explode. I'll check later today, but usually if they are not open by 10:00, it will be another 24 hours. Shoot, heck, darn!!! Here is the only new one to show her face.

Orchid Champagne

I did find something new that I didn't expect. Two baby frogs sitting on the Anemopsis californica, or Yerba Mansa. BUT what's that? Oh no. A snake. He's a garden snake and not going to hurt me, there are no poisonous snakes in Michigan. But he does like frogs. We've lost a lot of them in the past only to find a snake basking in the sun with a bulge in his normally slim figure. He made me cry last year, I was so mad. I know, it's the food chain and all that, but it's still hard to take. Let's hope these two guys learn how to leap fast and far and hide under the rocks and water plants.

Friday, June 22, 2007

June 22 Daylilies

The daily surprise is in full swing. Each day I can hardly wait to get out of bed to see what will be fully open today. Of course most don't finish the process until 10:00 a.m. but I can tell which ones will start their show. Here are the four that I found.

Grace and Grandeur

Small red, unknown name

Siloam Double Classic

Spiderman, my son-in law's favorite. He's waiting for the plant to get large enough so I can share a fan.

I also plan to surprise him with a Lord of Rings soon. You can see where his passion lies (other than my daughter, of course.) Oops, I think he reads my blog. Oh well, now he'll just be surprised when the plant shows up. Now I have to search for plants that have names for my two daughters and the other son-in-law. What have I started now?