This is the moment!

This is it!  The moment we had dreamed about all winter, the time of year I convince myself that all that winter is worth it!

The flower show in full swing, and it’s time to focus on the moment!

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I took a spin around the yard a few weekends ago, as I realized I have not updated the Daylily Collection Page in quite a while.  I now have 28 varieties!  That is really not a lot, considering the thousands of varieties that exist.  But it’s quite a lot for my small yard!  They all take their turns.

So in my Zone 6A garden, the daylily show lasts from mid-June and is still going strong here in late-July.  A few are “second time around” bloomers. I noticed the Stella d’Oros are reblooming, as are the Happy Returns.

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They are usually among the first to bloom.

On one of our nightly walks with Willis, I noticed a really striking bright orange one in the neighbor’s garden.  I was trying to decide how I would gather a few seed pods to start one of my own.  The next day, I was clearing the weeds from the sideways driveway, and I could not believe it.

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I actually have the very flower I was coveting!  I really don’t remember planting that one.

Each year, it seems I choose a new favorite.  This year, this purple one strikes me – it’s so unlike any others that I have.

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D is for Daylilies

My favorite flowers in the garden have to be the daylilies.  I started my collection with the standard Stella D’oro, and they continue to be the most productive plants.

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I have divided them numerous times, shared them with countless neighbors and friends, offered them up to the Garden Club for our annual May Mart flower sale, and I still have more to divide and conquer.  I simply cannot bring myself to destroy any, so they keep on reproducing!

One of the best features of the daylily has to be (in my own opinion) the ease of which they grow.  I do deadhead them, simply to encourage more blooms.  The plant’s purpose is to produce seeds, so the more you frustrate that attempt by removing spent flowers, the more the plant tries to reproduce by producing more flowers.  Simple.  And by late summer, many of the leaves around the base have turned brown.  Easy to remove and actually revitalize the appearance.

And they come back, year after year, even in my snowy part of the world.  And the first plants start blooming in late May, with the final show ending sometime in late August.  If you are lucky, you get a second blooming period.  No muss, no fuss.  Reliable.

A few springs back, I attended the May Flower Sale at Phipps Conservatory, which just happens to be located right across the street from where I work the day job.  I was astounded by the multitudes of varieties that the local chapter of the American Hemerocallis Society (aka American Daylily Society) had on display and for sale.  They had catalogs of all different varieties, too numerous to even count, picture albums that included the names of each.

I had some variety in mind, and naively thought I would be able to locate it in their catalog.

When I first started collecting Daylilies, I created small name tags to keep with the plants.  But these tags have been long-lost and faded, so now I really don’t know what I have. I make up names for them, and continue to Google daylilies just to try to identify them.  Diploids, tetraploids, (something to do with chromosomes, sounds too technical) throat color, petal shape, height – so many ways to differentiate.

The latest one I (thought I) ordered was called Coach’s Fast Break.  This was the picture of what I thought I was ordering (on the left).

And this is what bloomed (on the right).  A quick search on Google, and I think I have Coach’s Braided Angel.  Surprise!!

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Can’t wait for this summer’s daylily show to begin!

 

A Hemerocallis by any other name

About 10 years ago, I started noticing beautiful daylilies around the neighborhood.  Seemed as though every yard that was adorned with flowers had at least one specimen.  The one I noticed first was the stella d’oro.  In fact, I believe my first daylily was a stella d’oro Alice divided and shared.

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A few years later, she gave me a pink one and a taller maroon one.

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I don’t know the official names of all of my daylilies.  I ordered some through mail order nurseries, and have misplaced the identifiers.

So on my first trip to the Phipps Conservatory Mothers Day flower sale, I searched out the daylily table, thinking these experts will surely be able to help me identify my daylilies.  I thought I could simply show them my pictures and they would recognize them immediately.

OMG – was I in for a surprise.

This table, belonging to the Pittsburgh Iris and Daylily Society, sported binders upon binders of pictures – hundreds of pictures – of possible varieties.  I never realized how many there are.

I’m a fan of daylilies and have visited many websites that feature them.  With the vast amount of hybridizing, there are literally thousands of varieties, each with its own lineage, each with its own interesting name.  And I discovered you can register your own varieties and give them proper registered names.  The American Hemerocallis Society offers a registration service, where for a small fee, you can register your own cultivars.  There are many rules and many features of the flowers that must be documented in order to complete the registration.

I will do my best to identify the daylilies in my collection, but I doubt I will ever be sure.  For now, I will be making up names for them, until the “official” names are discovered.

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Bloom Day – June 15, 2012

Here is my entry in Bloom Day for June 2012.

The clematis has filled in very nicely; I have one on the mailbox and one climbing the lamp post.

Hydrangea takes its color based on the soil conditions.  This year, a pink bloom presented right next to a blue one!  I guess my soil is mixed up this year!

My daylilies have only started – Stella d’Oro is always first, followed by Happily Days.  I love the peachy ones – I’m working on the names of all of them.

The most fascinating bloom is the Evening Primrose – we watch it bloom at dusk.  It’s easily my favorite – because the whole family gets involved in a nightly contest of guessing how many blooms we will have.

Happy Bloom Day!