Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mears Garden news- Summer week 3- July 5, 2009

The daylilies have taken over the garden. They dominate in part because they take so much attention. They are also peaking at this point, even though they will bloom like crazy for at least several more weeks. The day starts with early morning deadheading. While this is a cleanup ritual it also requires you to get to all the corners of the yard, seeing what just started to bloom. Then you go take pictures.

Another really neat part of the daylily season is to see my own hybrids start to bloom. Daylilies cross so easily. You can do it with your fingers. Just take the pollen from one plant to the other. Then rather than deadheading those flowers the next day you just cut the old flower back several inches above the point of attachment. Within 2-3 days you will be able to see if you are setting seeds.
I have maybe 20 of my own crosses so far. Some carry the creative name of Mears seedling number 5. It takes about 3 years to get a seedling to bloom. If you have new seedlings each year then each year there will be some new surprise.
In the bonus section of the blog there are 3 pictures of daylilies blooming right now. Two are the parents of the third. The cross is rather apparent. I am not sure the result is a major improvement but it sure worked.

Of course the daylilies have competition for subjects to photograph. The Oriental lilies have started as well as all the crosses with Oriental lilies. There are also some wonderful combinations, particularly with the coneflowers scattered around.

So what about pictures? This group of four for this week’s poll was somewhat hard to pick out. I omitted the water lilies as I have decided that they are just unfair competition. They do appear in the bonus pictures.

The first picture is this great double black daylily called Night Embers.

The next picture is Oriental lily Silk Road. I have three of these that are now about 6 years old. They are almost 6 feet high each and rather sturdy even with their half day of sun. They do tower over a bed.

Then there is daylily Primal Scream. Don’t you love daylily names? This picture does come close to capturing the really vibrant orange of this flower.

Finally there is this Orientpet (Oriental and Trumpet lily cross) called American Heritage. This plant is six feet tall after 7 years and has no problem standing up by itself.

Those are your poll pictures this week. In last week’s poll the daylily close-up finished with more votes. All four pictures received good support, which is what I try to do with my selections.
In the bonus pictures I start with the three daylilies blooming this week that are a family. The two parents are San Ignacio and Mandalay Bay. The third picture is my cross which gives San Ignacio the Mandalay Bay frilly edge. It worked, even though I do not know that the cross was an improvement over the parents.

In the other pictures the group daylily shot is a plant called Bahama Butterscotch. This smaller daylily has maybe 23 stalks this year, each with 10-15 buds on it. It is just about the most prolific lily I have. It is in the little bed of 7-8 lilies on Fairview Street just north of the crabapple trees. If I had to have one daylily only, this one might be it.
The water lily picture in the group was taken on Saturday when we had what farmers call a million dollar rain. We needed rain and got over an inch over an 8 hour period. It all soaked in and made weeding today a dream. It also brought out the bugs. If it is not one thing, it is another.

Enjoy the week.

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