Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New Every Morning

I love the name of my favorite daylily garden -- New Every Morning. Every morning when I get up, I go downstairs for my cup of tea. The back of my house is all windows so I have a perfect view of the main garden along with a good look at birdfeeders and the pond, and get a good look at what is new. I love to get up in the dark and watch the sky change as the day begins. Although I'm still excited every day to see how things look, I've noticed that the "riot" of color has begun to be a small "skirmish." There is still much to come and summer's not over yet, but that wonderful anticipation we gardeners have in the spring is waning. I would love to be able to hold on to that childlike feeling, but just as losing the Christmas morning excitement is part of growing up, so is the progression of the seasons and the feeling of "settling in" with your garden.

I realized this morning, that it is a good thing, as Martha Stewart likes to say. The weeds are slowing down, maybe due to lack of rain, but now I can really enjoy the yard and all of the critters that stop by.

I'm sure this fellow is up to no good, but how can you deny that he is adorable? He must have been a young one, because I was only about 5 feet away from him and he watched me intently to see what I was planning on doing. He posed for many shots, just as though he knew he would be the feature for my blog.

We bought some tiny goldfish this year for the pond. They are now about 2-3 inches long. I'm not quite ready to try Koi because we've had a lot of problems keeping the ph balanced and the water level at a proper depth. I think we've found and solved all of the leaks, but after a hard winter, I'm sure we'll be dealing with it again next spring.

I had some clearer shots but I wanted to show you this one because these guys were ravenous. Notice the fellow on the right sucking in his food. They just recently started to trust us and come to the surface when we are feeding them. The splashing they make is hilarious.

I was getting ready to delete this photo when I noticed the frog sitting on the plant. Apparently he was there the whole time but I was so focused on the fish, I never saw him.

Believe it or not there are still daylilies coming. This is Karen Sue. I just planted it on Saturday. Poor thing is in an area that needs mulch badly. But she promises to be a good performer.

And here is Susan Weber, purchased and planted late last summer, after one of my August trips to the daylily garden. I love the soft, delicate pink edge with the rose ruffle.

These are new buds on the hibiscus. They look like large rose buds. The flowers will be "dinnerplate" size when they open.

I found this Resurrection Lily all alone in an area along the back of the garage that I am getting ready for a new garden. I guess it just didn't want to give up so I'll leave it there. I'm sure it will multiply next year. I recently saw several of these posted under other names, such as surprise lily and naked lady. I think naked lady really describes her lack of finery but resurrection lily says it all. Out of nothing, something new and beautiful was resurrected. Although summer only has a month to go with fall close behind, the promise of spring is always beckoning a gardener.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Color Conflict?

I haven't been able to post in the last few days. I've had a very busy week. But there have been some new daylilies that have opened and there are still a few more to come. I've worked very hard in the last few years to purchase late bloomers and it's finally starting to pay off. The garden still looks great, not quite as full as the week after the Fourth of July, but satisfying nonetheless.

On Friday we made another trip to our favorite daylily garden, "just to check things out," and I came home with three new plants. I'm hopeless. But the fun thing is that most times at a daylily field you'll get a bonus plant, or "freebie" as we like to call them. I bought Frills and Fancies, a double late-blooming orange; Karen Sue, a bi-color pink; and Illini Destiny, my bonus plant which I think is a tall pink so it'll be a surprise. That's always fun.

Chicago Apache was a bonus plant last August. It really is a pretty red. The color is called a "self" when it is the same on the sepals and the petals and goes right down the throat. I've noticed that reds don't photograph as well as some other colors. I wish you could see the velvety texture.

I bought Savannah Debutante last year in August also. So if you want late blooming daylilies, make your visit to the gardens at the time they are in flower so you can choose your favorite.

Wilson Spider is doing well. It also was a bonus plant last July. It's still pretty small but I can see that next year it will come into full size.

While I was photographing Wilson Spider I noticed that I have quite a color conflict. I had planted this bright pink petunia as a border along my driveway garden. A few years back I had moss rose there. They're still popping up occasionally. My husband said leave them, I like them there. I thought the colors would be fighting but now I kind of like it.

Further down you can see the snapdragons that came up from previous years also. A nice little surprise. So thanks to these volunteers, my garden still has plenty of color. Sometimes I think we agonize over our gardens and then a nice little "accident" happens that shows us how silly we were to get so tense over it all.

And lastly, I wanted to show you my phlox, called "Franz Schubert." One of my favorite composers and also one of my favorite colors. There's no mildew in sight this year. That's one good thing about a drought.

I haven't been leaving you with a quote lately, but here is one I found that I like:

Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sleepless in Michigan

I couldn't sleep. I have those nights sometimes. They tell me it is a problem with getting older. Who wants to hear that? "Getting older" is not in my vocabulary. Anyway, I got up at 4:00, that's what I said, four o'clock. When that happens, I read a book or check out a few blogs, hopefully get sleepy and fall asleep on the couch for a few hours waiting for the rest of my part of the world to start their day.

Today I found a few new comments on my latest post and was surprised when
Culinary Cowgirl mentioned that she had left me an award and asked if I would check out her blog. I was puzzled and intrigued, so I quickly clicked on her link. I was brought to tears when I saw that I was one of six she had chosen to receive these two following awards -- The Thoughtful Blogger Award and The Power of Schmooze Award:

The Thoughtful Blogger Award is for “those who answer blog comments, emails, and make their visitors feel at home on their blogs. For the people who take others’ feelings into consideration before speaking out and who are kind and courteous. Also for those bloggers who spend so much of their time helping other bloggers design, improve, and fix their sites. This award is for those generous bloggers who think of others.”

The Power of Schmooze Award is for bloggers who “effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship.”

A little over eight months ago my daughter encouraged me to try blogging. Although I am computer literate, I barely knew what the word "blogging" meant. I have learned so much from her and from all of you that it has opened a whole new world for me. I've always loved to write, and this gives me an outlet as well as allowing me to share some of my hobbies and compulsions. I feel that I know you well even though we've never met, and I thank you all for your encouragement and praise. I guess we never get tired of a good pat on the back. So now here is my pat on the back for some of you. I agree with Culinary Cowgirl, it's difficult to decide which award goes to which blog, so I'll just lump them together. I wish I could choose you all.

In no particular order:

Yolanda Elizabet, Bliss

Layanee, Ledge & Gardens

Karen, 1-2-3 Go Garden

Diane, The Mommy Spot

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Zoey, Perennial Passion

Thursday, July 19, 2007

And The Winner Is .....

Yes, the final votes were tallied and a daylily has been chosen for me to purchase. I'll save the answer for last so unless you're one of those who reads the last page of a who-done-it first, you'll have to wait a few minutes.

The newly arriving daylilies are slowing down, This is the only one today that was making a first appearance.

It's called Miracle Maid, a beautiful deep red-colored velvet, tall and graceful.

This is Country Melody. I first showed it to you on June 24th when its first bloom appeared, and here on July 20 it has 12 blooms; just look at all of the buds. Wow, what a performer. I think next year I'll try to count the buds as well as the days.

And yes, the winner is Raspberry Suede. What a classy bunch you are. You chose the one that costs $5.00 more. Today I will call in my order and pick it up when she has it ready for me. I'll count my pennies before I go because there's always something else that I fall in love with. Thank you for all of your comments and advice. You really did make my choice for me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Jumping for Joy, It Rained

Yes, we're jumping for joy. It rained again, and this time it was a true downpour. It only lasted about 10 minutes but then went into a gentle rain for about 20 minutes. I think it helped a lot. The only problem was that it came first thing this morning and of course now all of the daylily blooms are spotted. I was able to capture this daylily yesterday afternoon. But the others will have to wait until tomorrow when a new bloom opens up. Wouldn't it be nice if the daylily lovers could control what time of the day the rain would fall?

This one is Purple Storm. True to its name, it bloomed right before the storm.

I just wanted you to see that I do have more plants than daylilies. This is liatris, or gayfeather, with some waning heliopsis in the background.

And here is veronica planted in front of rudbeckia. Okay, now you can see that I like purple and yellow in my garden. Isn't it strange how you can be attracted to color combinations that you would never think of wearing? Mother Nature just looks great in all colors.

And last but not least, red hot pokers in front of more rudbeckias, which are not quite opened all the way. I love them in with the daylilies because the leaves and shape of the plant are very similar.

Vote, vote ,vote for my daylily choice. Is it Mask of Eternity or Raspberry Suede? Read about it on my July 11th post and vote in the sidebar above my picture.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Coming to an End?

Lime Frost, this is the third and the last of my whites. At first I wanted only strong colors in my garden, but I soon came to realize that I needed white to accent those colors. Then I fell in love with the clean, pure look of them. This one really shows off its name. There is a gentle touch of green on the petals and the throat echoes the lime in a stronger shade.

Over the Edge, the first time blooming in my garden. It's living up to my expectations (which are really quite low-- since I love them all.) The wind was quite strong, and I hard some problems keeping the bloom still, so it's a little out of focus. But this photo will do until I can get a better shot for my album.

The pictures have been a great help with identifying the plants that have lost their markers over the winter. I just wait for a bloom and then compare it to the photo. Each picture has a description of where it is planted in the garden and what plant is next to it.

I am now having to deadhead scapes. Some of the plants are done for the year, while others have not started yet. It always makes me feel bad to see them coming to the end of their season. I love the high I am riding on, while anticipating the next morning for the new blooms to appear. But such is the cycle of daylilies. Oh well, I'll just need to buy more late bloomers!! And by now you know how I love to buy daylilies.

Now, time is running out for you to be able to put in your two cents on which daylily I should buy. I'm serious about this. Duane has given me the go ahead to buy whatever you say. Of course, I don't really need his permission, but it helps to keep harmony in the family. Don't tell him, but I would have gone ahead and bought it anyway. So go to the July 11th post and vote in the sidebar. You're all welcome, the more the merrier.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Capernaum Sin, a color dilemma

Garden Rant

I was quite surprised when this daylily opened. The color is a wonderful purple. Why was I surprised? Because it's not the color it was last year or the year before that. It's called Capernaum Sin. I remember the first year it opened I was disappointed, as I have been in the past with other plants, that it was a red bloom as in this picture below.

This is what it looks like this year. This is the color I purchased. A wonderful purple. But it took a few years to get here. Maybe the weather conditions were the same as when I first saw it in the dayliliy field. This is what daylilies can do to you, so that's why it's basically useless to try to plant coordinating color patterns. It will just, plain and simply, drive you crazy.

A few days ago, Garden Rant wrote a post about just this same thing. It touched off quite a lot of comments, including my own. I thought you might be interested in reading what other people had to say about daylilies and their fickle colors.

There's only a few days left to vote on my daylily purchase. If you haven't done so already, read the July 11th post and then vote on the sidebar.

P.S. it finally rained !!!

In the Pink and Mystery Solved

It seems I'm in the pink today. New blooms for Friday the 13th, and a mystery plant has been solved.

Dublin Elaine, A very pretty double pink.

Siloam Merle Kent, a miniature. The bloom is only 2 inches and the plant is 12 inches tall, although it could be taller next year. Maybe a whopping 18 inches.

Windfrills, a lovely pink spider.

And finally, one of my mystery plants is solved, thanks to Sandy at
New Every Morning Daylily Gardens. This one which was previously confused with Decatur Dictator is called Russian Rhapsody. The funny thing is that it was on my "must buy" list. I had seen it online and thought it was beautiful. Who knew I already owned it?
She also helped me to clear up the fact that my Strawberry Fields Forever is actually a Strawberry Candy. I had been debating about that one.

So still a few to go, but I'll solve them all eventually, with a little help from my friends.
Don't forget to help me by voting for the daylily I should purchase next. Go to the July 11th post to see the pictures and vote on the sidebar.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Insects, and Daylilies

This dragon fly -- widow skimmer -- is difficult to see. It was perched on top of one of the reeds in the pond.

A water plant is flowering.

A monarch on my purple coneflower (echinacea.)

A yellow swallowtail on the purple coneflower, only a few feet away from the monarch.

Lavender Doll opened finally today, a little later than normal. It's only a two inch bloom, 18 inches tall. It's usually very delicate and sweet but not as impressive this year. Maybe the drought is getting to it.

Svengali also made a showing. It was not as strong of a color as in the past. I'll check it tomorrow for other blooms and compare.

The polling is going well. You are definitely swaying my opinion on which one to buy. If you haven't made your selection go to yesterday's post, and cast your vote.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I Need Your Help

Okay, here's the thing. I am at the time of the season when my head starts to get foggy. I still have a few holes to fill but the funds are running low. When I was at the last daylily garden, I took pictures of my favorites so I could go home and decide what I really wanted the most; otherwise I would take everything I could get my hands on.,
I have it down to these two, but I just can't make up my mind. One is $5.00 more than the other, but I don't want money to influence your decision, so I won't tell you that now.
I'll give you the stats, if you'll help me decide. Please take the time to take the poll in the sidebar. I'm giving you one week. Next Thursday,I'll announce my decision. Feel free to make comments about why you chose the one you did. (Caution: It's been pointed out that the daylilies are in reverse order on the poll than they are here.)

Raspberry Suede -- blooms midseason, 28 inches tall, 5 inch flower, dormant (means the green leaves disappear in the winter)

Mask of Eternity -- blooms early, 28 inches tall, 6.5 inch flower, evergreen (leaves remain throughout the winter) rebloomer (will have a second blooming in the same season)

Thanks, I really appreciate it. I'm usually not so indecisive. It must be that "senior" thing again.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Will the Show Never End?

Will the show never end?
I have planned it so it should go on for several weeks yet. When I first started to collect daylilies, over 27 years ago, I would see two or so plants blooming at a time and then there would be a waiting period for the next one. I think I had about 7 varieties, some passalongs from the neighbors and a few I bought myself. When I moved here, I dug them up and transplanted them around my work place until I was ready to start my garden. Then I moved them again the next year. Those daylilies are still performing.
I soon found out that there are early, mid and late bloomers and some break-offs in between. The trick is to have a few of each at first so your garden doesn't flourish with color and then go dead the rest of the season. I finally accomplished my goal this year so I can span the summer months and see color until late August.
Last year we went to the daylily field in August to see what was blooming in our area and purchased some of those. We'll see how that works out in a month or so.

Ilini Jackpot is exactly this color. The eye is a blue/red velvet with a yellow/green throat. Wow!

Charlemagne is absolutely huge, I need to measure it but it must be close to seven inches. I noticed today that one of the scapes is weak and leaning over. It's pretty rare to have to stake a daylily but I might have to take care of this one.

Brookwood Impeccable is a very pretty yellow, recurved -- meaning the sepals and petals curve back. I just planted it a week or so ago so it is very short. I think it will be about 24 inches tall.

Happy Journey is a passalong from my daylily friend and her mother. Once it starts it keeps on going for a long time. Love it.

Tom Wise -- my bonus plant from the first trip. It's already blooming, not as large as it will be, but still a pretty bloom.

And finally , my favorite of the day -- Eye Catching. Its name says it all. Sigh!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Daylily oohs and aahs

I went on my second garden tour of the season on Saturday. It was the first day of their open garden which lasts for about 4 weeks. This one is a little different from the last daylily farm I visited. The daylilies are on display in a pretty garden setting around the owners' house and in their side yard. There are chairs under shade trees so you can rest and contemplate what you might want to purchase. Punch and cookies are served also. That alone is enough to tempt me to come.

You place your order and pick up the plants in a few days; they have to dig up your fans from the back acreage, clean them off, and give you bare root plants.

These are two of my friends that were there with me. The lady on the right is in her 80s. She doesn't let heat, or the walker she needs to use now, slow her down. She's still gardening and buying new plants. I read that gardening leads to a long life. I hope I am able to be as active as she is when I reach that age.

I don't know these two women so I hope they'll forgive me for using their picture. I was just taking a picture of the layout of part of the garden. They were so intent on studying the blooms that I didn't want to disturb them.

This is another area where we can search for the daylily of our dreams. Oohs and aahs can be heard from everyone, even those that start out thinking they won't succumb to sounding like children at fireworks. You can see how dry the garden beds are. Last year these were lush and green.

One of the hosta gardens. I have about 7 or 8 hostas but I'm really not "into" them like some people are. So I passed this area by.

And this path leads back to the field behind the house.

I don't know how I restrained myself, but I only bought one. Black Ambrosia. I took this right there in their garden. Isn't it a beauty? Ooh, aah.