Tuesday, August 27, 2013


It wouldn't be summer, especially the month of July, without daylilies in bloom in my opinion. Even though they aren't actually "lilies" (Lilium), but rather "hems" (Hemerocalis), they are charming perennials.
 Each flower opens, blooms, and finishes in a single day, thus giving them the common name daylilies. But an individual plant can have lots of blooms and keep putting new ones up for a long period of time. Some blooms, as you can see in the photo above, have a colored "eye" and they often have delightful names (I think this one is called Strawberry Candy.)

 There are lots of folks all over the country who get impassioned about breeding daylilies, and so there are plenty to chose from. Also, a big mature plant can be easily divided, so gardeners can share as well. I got quite a few like that myself.

 The color range is pretty amazing. There are some that are almost pure white, many shades of yellow, apricot, salmon, orange, and red. And then there are purples, lavenders, plums, and many shades of pink, not to mention bicolors and combinations.

 The flower shape differs quite a bit too. Really pointy petals are called spiders, and some have ruffled edges called piecrust.

 They like full sun, as do most heavily flowering perennials. But they are easy and tolerant plants, not requiring much extra pampering. These along the south sidewalk are in too much shade to be ideal, so they flop over but still bloom.

 Some daylilies are quite fragrant while others seem to have no scent at all. This yellow one is lemony.

 This photo above shows some undeveloped buds in the background. They get quite big just before opening into the bloom itself.
 Here's a nice apricot/salmon color. Off to the right, you can see the finished bloom from the day before. I usually try to remove those. It looks nicer that way and it prevents unnecessary effort for the plant to make seed. They don't usually reseed, however. So you need to start with plants.

 The yellow "throat" makes a nice contrast with this rose/lavender one.
 Some of my favorites are the "eye zone" daylilies like this one.
Bright, cheerful, and undemanding, daylilies also tend to help with weed problems because their foliage spreads out and shades the ground underneath them. The daylily is a good perennial for beginner and longtime gardeners alike and one of the joys of July.

Well, it's almost the end of August right now and the we're suffering another heat wave and drought here. The garden is looking very tired and stressed, so I'm not sure if the next blog will include new garden photos or some other topic altogether. Stay tuned!

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