Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Daylilies and keeping time July 22, 2015

Daylilies have been an important part of the garden for years. It began in the late 80's when we would all go over to Fred McDowell's house on Court Street where he had a national class daylily garden. He would sell his plants for reasonable prices. Everyone in the family got to pick one plant. We would therefore add 4 plants per year.(There were four of us.) I then started adding 10-15 plants a year, until I ran out of space. Daylilies do need sun, which is a limited quantity even if you slowly eliminate the grass.
I did all the compulsive things you can do with plant collections. I labeled the plants. I counted the scapes (stalks), and logged that number where it could be compared with previous years. I had a specific budget for daylilies. I carefully determined where a few more could be put. On a regular basis I deadheaded the spent flowers, which at the height of the season was time consuming.
Any single flower will of course, by definition, only last a day. But there can be up to 20 scapes per plant. Each scape can have 10-20 flowers. You can do the math. A single plant can last for 2-3 weeks. The daylily season can last for much longer.

So I deadhead the flowers still, even though that is mostly on the weekend. That gives me the chance to watch the season progress.

At some point, the last flower for a particular plant will bloom, and then the next day there are no more on that plant. Plant after plant will finish. You can keep track of time as the flowers end. It actually is a nice way to follow the season.

We are now in the second half of the daylily season. Quite a number of plants are finished. The late varieties are going strong.But they will end. And that will be kind of sad.
But you cannot exactly stop this process. You can follow along and get ready for what comes next.

Here are some daylilies from this year.
The first picture was from June 16. Next to it is Ruby Spider. That plant was going to put on a wonderful show until the deer came along.

I show you spent flowers and drying stalks. That is a part of the daylily garden.

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