Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Daylily Heaven

The front of our house, this week.  Daylilies!
While it's been a real scorcher of a summer so far, hot and dry here as in so much of the U.S., I have to say my daylilies are doing fantastic.  Both the established named varieties and my seedlings are putting on quite a show.  I have had to water them, which I've done in the evenings to minimize water waste due to evaporation.  One good soaking for each bed each week.  I've been rewarded with a glorious display.  The garden is finally starting to look a bit like I envisioned when we moved in three summers ago.

Above is one of my seedlings.  I call it 'Dixie Highway,' although I haven't registered it yet.  It's my favorite seedling (so far!).

This is 'G. Willikers.'  It looks great in cooler weather, when this picture was taken a couple weeks ago on a cool morning.  In full, hot sun it tends to fade badly by afternoon.  It's very prolific, though - buds galore, and it sets pods like crazy.

This is 'Jambalaya,' one of my favorites for pattern.  It's another that performs best when the weather is a little cooler, but it's been blooming nonstop for a couple weeks now.  I can't fault it for trying, although it fades a little in extreme heat.

Another of my seedlings, from the old house (probably sown in 2007).  I call it 'Oye Como Va.'  It seems to shrug off the heat pretty well, and it's a VERY sturdy plant, with scapes like tree trunks.

'Dominic' forming a wonderful clump, left, and a single bloom, right.  It's such a deep, saturated blood red in the full sun, it's amazing.  It's tall, too - about 30" - and stands above the rest in the back row of plants.  In the sunset light it glows.

An assortment of daylilies by the wall.  'Bela Lugosi' is dark violet, up front, then 'Jambalaya' and what I think is 'Bahama Butterscotch.'  'Bela Lugosi' fits in with the warm colors better than I thought it would (I thought it would be a little darker when I planted it).  It's certainly eye-catching, and laughs at the heat - no fading at all.

Another of my seedlings - 'Foolish Heart,' unregistered.  It's not a perfect flower (the sepals are a bit narrow compared to the petals), but I like the color and ruffling.  It was slow to get its mature growth, but now it's really robust and blooming heavily.  This daylily taught me to wait a few years before tossing a plant that seems weak even if the flower is promising.  Weaklings sometimes just need time and a different location to thrive.

I don't remember this seedling blooming last year (not all bloom their second summer after sowing), so it's a new one for me.  It has nice, deep color, and a fine dark eye.  I'll be excited to see how it performs next summer, when it's more mature.  I'll have to think of a name for it if I decide to keep it.  I was hoping to get a couple nice, dark reds or crimsons from the seeds I sowed, so I'm really happy with this one.

This is 'Cousin Charles,' a huge, intense crimson flower (red shading toward dark violet).  It's a standout in the bed by the deck in the back yard.
It's a big plant, and a massive flower (some almost 8" across).

This was actually the first seedling that I decided to keep, sown in 2006 (I think - it may have been 2005) at the old house.  Oddly enough, I haven't named it yet.  I should - it just improves with age.  It's sturdy, has nice foliage and strong scapes, blooms generously, and is a lovely bloom with good form.  Unusually for gardens farther north, the heavy ruffled edge of the bloom opens reliably and without fuss even when it's cooler in the morning.  This has been a hot summer, so it's been stunning every day.  It needs a special name, preferably after a classic rock song (like my other seedlings so far).  'Take It Easy'?  'Ventura Highway'?  'Sister Golden Hair'?  I'm in an Eagles/America frame of mind for this one.  Or maybe 'Going To Carolina' after the James Taylor song.

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