Posts Tagged Daylily ‘Water Witch

Beautiful Overindulgences

Water Witch with visitor

In 1989 when Wonder Spouse and I first moved to our current home, the fertile sandy loam of our five acres tempted us into a few acts of botanical acquisitiveness that we now mostly regret. Wonder Spouse’s big buy was daylilies — lots of them. In those early years, there was a wonderful daylily nursery just a 20-minute drive from our house that was only open to the public when the daylilies were in bloom. Customers walked the long rows of dramatic bloomers, picked out the ones they liked, and willing assistants dug them up and carried them to your vehicle.

May-May

On one visit, we made the mistake of bringing our covered pick-up truck. Wonder Spouse decided that in the mythological state known as his retirement, he would hybridize daylilies. So he bought a lot of them, enough to fill the long-bed pick-up. He bought tall spiders, miniatures, late bloomers, repeat bloomers, frilly ones, and simple ones in every color you can imagine.
 
Today, of course, I would not buy these one-season wonders. They are not native. Their flower buds are a favorite food of deer and other varmints. Their leaves are prone to a disease that turns them an unsightly rust color. And while pollinators do visit the flowers, I can now think of two dozen native flowers off the top of my head that would feed more pollinators, bloom longer, and better serve the life cycles of native insects and animals.
 

Siloam Jim Cooper

Despite horrible neglect, our fertile sandy loam has stimulated these daylilies to multiply enthusiastically. I have given away more plants than I can count, but you would never know from looking at those that remain.
Still, when their succession of blooms adorns my front garden where many of them are planted, they are quite lovely. A number of them are tucked in around our front water feature, and freshly metamorphosed froglets seem to favor the leaves and blooms of the daylilies as perches, where they practice air-breathing in dawn’s light before they retreat deeper into the foliage to escape searing summer sun.
I have lived with these daylilies for several decades now. When I planted them, I created name tags for each variety, so that Wonder Spouse and I could keep track of them. Most of the markers are long gone, but it doesn’t matter. I know each variety by sight, greeting the first blooms of each one by name as they appear. This post features many of the current bloomers, but not all of them. Vegetable tending in our growing drought and heat is a higher priority than daylily admiration.

Bertie Ferris

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Today’s Arrivals

This morning's crew newly emerged from the front water feature.

This morning’s crew newly emerged from the front water feature.

It’s too hot to garden, too hot to write, too hot to think — basically too hot for anything but drinking iced drinks and moaning softly. Still, before the sun tops the trees on my eastern border, I drag myself out for a few quick photos. I figure if the daylilies and the animals are still making an effort, I must also.  Thus, this homage to the newbies.

Water Witch

Water Witch

This one does like a bit of extra water, which is why I planted it at the base of the water feature.

Joan Senior

Joan Senior

Joan Senior is a ruffled white beauty that stands up to the heat remarkably well.

Top Banana

Top Banana

This very tall daylily is blooming profusely without the benefit of any extra water from me. Amazing.

Hesperus

Hesperus

This elegant tall spider daylily is having a great year because I actually managed to weed around it. Small victories. Baby steps.

A volunteer cross

A volunteer cross

When I stop paying attention, most of the daylilies set seed. When I really stop paying attention (say, during prolonged heat waves), those seeds actually mature, fall to the ground, and germinate. Given the location of this volunteer cross, we are guessing its parents were Red Toy —

Red Toy

Red Toy

— and Brocaded Gown.

Brocaded Gown

Brocaded Gown

A number of the other daylilies I’ve shown you previously are still pushing out blooms, but the flowers aren’t even lasting a full day, due to heat/drought stress.

The weather seers are promising dramatic relief by the weekend. Here’s hoping they get it right this time.

The Pokeweed intruding in my front garden is the favorite perch of the newly emerged froglets. Sometimes   I guess it's a good thing that my weeding tasks are postponed.

The Pokeweed intruding in my front garden is the favorite perch of the newly emerged froglets. Sometimes I guess it’s a good thing that my weeding tasks are postponed.

Stay cool, ya’ll.

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