Monday, February 1, 2021

 Daylilies Part II

As July moves on, different daylilies come and go in flower.  Some will bloom for a very long time, others concentrate all their efforts into two or three weeks, but I will have flowers straight into September with the varieties I grow.  I like to think of daylilies as "happy flowers", they don't ask for much but always seem eager to please.   As a plant nerd who will sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to grow challenging plants that I really like, it is quite nice to grow some plants that give so much for minimal effort on my part.  


This seedling from Marietta has a great big polychrome flower with nice ruffling.  Its not the most floriferous plant but each bloom is eagerly anticipated.   Smells good too. 


Galactic Explosion is from Obannon Springs as are most of the plants in the front section of the older bed.  It is one I brought sight unseen and am glad I did.  It produces lots of colorful small/medium sized "spider"/star shaped dark centered burnt orange flowers over a very long period of time.  Flowers well above the foliage, another plus. It could make a good plant in the right spot in a perennial border. 


Small Gesture has lots of double pink flowers with a darker center. 


Brown Witch is one of the few brown flowered daylilies. Brown would seem to be an ugly color for a flower but in person it actually is pretty nice, at least the sort of golden browns that daylilies come in.  A good performer and fairly tall. 


Grey Witch is similar in form, height and bloom period to Brown Witch.  Also a sort of indescribable color, more of a muted purple shade.   These spider flowered sorts do blend better in a garden with other plants than the daylilies with big round ("bagel") flowers or ones with extreme ruffled edges ("chicken fat").  Both of the witches are in the newer main bed near the deck.  Many plants in that bed are late bloomers I got from Manatawny but when I extended the bed I added quite a few more from mail orders including both of the above. 


Ok this is not in my garden, but at a nursery, CT Daylilies, that I paid a visit to in July.   It is an example of a "bearded" or "sculpted" daylily.  Not my cup of tea at all but I do find it fascinating how much human selection can change a simple wildflower in a few generations.  And its good that there are folks breeding all kinds of new flower forms.  Who knows what this flower form might lead to in the future?  People go nuts over cristate growing succulents so why not a flower with such an odd form?   There's lots of room for different preferences, diversity is one of the things that makes gardens interesting. 


There were a lot of really cutting edge newer sorts of daylilies at CT daylilies and they were not inexpensive.  But when I later compared prices to other online nurseries, and also considered the fact that the owner put a lot of extra effort into growing them in pots (which means less transplant shock) and that they were robust plants I realized they were actually priced quite fairly for what they are.   So naturally I left with four new ones for my gardens.   As can be seen they all have some unusual features.  One has a huge flat red flower (Greatful Red) , two others have patterns (Pattern Master-bitone, Nick of Time (purple) that are hard to find (and an active area of breeding at CT daylilies and among other breeders--we can expect daylilies that have kaleidoscope like patterns in coming years) and one is stippled (Spots Before My Eyes-tiny dots of color on a lighter background) and a tetraploid (even less tetraploid stippled sorts than the few diploid ones). 


This gorgeous monster at CT daylilies was one of their seedlings and was going home with one of the workers.   Now this is something different and indicative of some rather far out daylilies to come in future years.  Many, if not all, with this kind of concentric ring pattern have crimped petals but this one is relatively flat and is definitely an advancement from the first ones with this kind of pattern.  Not a perfect form yet but certainly nice enough that I would happily grow it if I could. 


Miss Jessie is an old spider form. I've had it for years and it came from the old house to this one in 2012.   Tough and reliable, its a good and inexpensive one. 


One of my better seedlings, this one has nicely shaped purple flowers with darker veining.  It blooms for a long time too. If I were to change anything about it, I'd like the flowers to be on taller stems.    


 This old classic, Lullaby Baby, looks even better in person.   Its a polychrome tending towards white, but each flower is perfectly shaped and the smallish size is well proportioned to the plant. 


Muffet's Little Friend is an odd sort, and is shown here at Grace Gardens.  Its a smaller one with a wildflower look to it.  I got it and was warned it does spread a bit like H fulva, the common orange daylily one sees everywhere.  I like the small flowers and plant, though the flowers could be a little higher above the leaves.  I put it in a location where it has some Iris fulva nearby (another spreader) and a walkway and the pool to keep it in bounds if that does become an issue. 


Grace Gardens is quite a sight to behold when their large daylily field in in full bloom.   


Santa's Pants at Grace Gardens. Of course I had to get this to bring home.   What a pretty flower and quite distinctive too. 


Our big three day getaway this past summer was to Ithaca when the virus was at a very low ebb and we got to see friends on Cayuga Lake for an outdoor distanced dinner.  The most amazing rainbow we have ever seen appeared over the lake. So it was an amazing trip even though we did not dare eat in restaurants or other usual things we might do.  But between the daylilies, stopping by at our friends place, walking the Cornell Botanical Gardens, and picking up Purity ice cream to eat elsewhere it was a good if short getaway, our only one during the pandemic. 


Rainbow Radiance was looking pretty good at Grace Gardens in spite of a thundershower that sent us scurrying back into the car for a bit.  Got a division to take home. 


The haul from Grace Gardens and another smaller daylily grower in nearby Cortland.  They always look a little ragged after the ride and for a bit after planting as they focus on new root growth.  Next growing season they will really take off. 


This one I got as Athalone seedling from Manatawny.  It definitely has a more of a species look with its grassy foliage and simple but bright flowers. 

Another Manatawny no name seedling from my first of three visits out there so far.  This one I call "Dusky Rose".  Its an odd one, interesting pattern and not that tall   Sets seeds readily. 


Ernest is my name so of course I have a daylily named as such.  I cant say that I would have purchased it otherwise as the color is a bit washed out to me.  But it does have lots of buds per stalk and is a good seed setter so it probably has value in breeding.  And like most of them, almost no effort to take care of. 

Yet another no name Manatawny seedling, this one I call "Glow".  One of the oddest ones I have, small grower with lots of flowers of an unusual shape and with a big eye that really does seem to glow. 


Masses of bloom on July 13, 2020. 



A popular cultivar called Lavender Blue Baby.  It has been used a lot in breeding and is worth growing on its own.  It has taken time to clump up and put on a good display here. 


In its first year after the year I planted it, One Above You is living up to its name.  Tall and with big bright yellow flowers.  I really this one so far.  Came from Willow Creek Garden via mailorder. 

I think I have had Outrageous from my days at NYBG, but it really took off when we moved here and i planted it next to a compost pile.   Guess it likes all those good nutrients.  Its well named too, it one of the more distinctive ones that is easily recognized.  Its also a fine example of a good showy garden plant that is an older variety, readily found, and inexpensive.  
A Manatawny seedling I call "Pink".   It is a compact plant with good habits.  I can only guess it didn't get registered because it isn't distinctive enough?  It closely resembles Janice Brown in flower and plant size, and in my garden I don't have anything else exactly like it so far. 
I had to really hunt for Poinsettia, an old Stout cultivar. I have seen it in the perennial gardens at NYBG where several clumps of it are very impressive in full bloom with many flowers open at once.  It is unaccountably scare for reasons I don't understand. It has fantastic color and blooms for a long time.  Perhaps it isn't the fastest to multiply for growers (?) or maybe everyone wants "bagels", but it is definitely worth having.  I got a plant with four fans from Willow Creek and planted each fan in different spots in my back gardens.  Three decided to bloom this year, this one being the most vigorous as it is right by the compost pile in full sun.  I had to keep the gem squash leaves (I grow this South African squash variety right in the compost pile) from overrunning Poinsettia's foliage.  

This is what Poinsettia looks like in a garden when its happy.  I took this photo at NYBG some years ago and have been on the hunt for it since.  In coming years I hope my Poinsettia daylilies clump up like this.  It also sets seeds readily and I put quite a few things pollen on them and will grow out seeds this coming year.  


Rocket City is another oldie but it is still grown in many gardens because its tough and very colorful.  Not a plant for pastel borders, lol.  I got mine from my friend Andrew who also worked at NYBG and also got plants from Greg and Mike.  The white one in front of it is a seedling of mine. 

Salmon Sheen is a very old variety.  It is pretty compact, the flowers are nice and have an slight twist to the petals that works in its case.  More folks should grow some of the older varieties so we don't lose them, both to preserve genetic diversity and to reduce the risk that we lose them forever. Not all are worthy of preservation but there are some unique and interesting sorts that really are easy going plants that are no trouble to care for.   And reliable bloomers too. 
This rather nice seedling of mine must have No Where to Hide in its background, the deeply colored veins is strongly suggestive of that. Very pretty flower but I need to move it to a spot with less competition to see what its full potential is.  It certainly has a pretty face. 


Pretty sure this big pink flower is a seedling from my random pollinations (or was it a bee?).  I like what I see so far, so I will keep an eye on this one. 
In another garden near a patio Swallowtail Kite (foreground) and Up Against the Sun are growing into nice clumps.  Both are good plants by a breeder (C Hanson) who appears to have a reputation for producing plants with good foliage habits and lots of flowers.   I'd say he hit it right with these two.  If I had to pick between them I would say Up Against the Sun is the better one as its a bit taller and the color attracts attention from far away.  Swallowtail Kite might be the better choice for a garden with lots of pastel colored flowers though.  

Up Against the Sun is a good name for these big bright orange flowers.

A white flowered seedling of mine.  I like it and its been a decent performer so far. 








1 comment:

bittster said...

I knew you had a few daylilies in a spot protected from the deer, but WOW! I never suspected you were this deep into it. They're awesome and you've got a bunch of real nice ones... and that's coming from one of those 'snobs' who complain about the foliage :)
Good luck with the thinning. I suspect that time will come sooner than later based on how fast the new ones are showing up, and I can't imagine it will be easy.