Queen of the Jungle

It was hot outside today . . . 98.  Could be worse, I could live in Arizona or California.  But, 98 is respectively hot.  Daylilies like heat, but I think they prefer the Southern, humid kind.  I feel like I spend every second that I can get outside watering something in my yard.  Average rainfall for June her is half an inch.  It is a challenge . . . it is the desert.

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So, today Jungle Queen made her first appearance in my yard for 2017.  It is not humid enough to be a jungle, but I am always glad to see her amazing bright blooms.  Today, she is Desert Queen.

Tomorrow, if there are new faces, it may be Hopi Jewel or Inwood.  Wait and see.

The Longest Day

I love solstice because I like long days.  And, today was long with paid work and yard work.  My split shift was spent in my Southwestern garden.  I have two in bloom today, Papa Long Legs and Kokopelli. (Kokopelli is immediately below and Papa Long Legs is the second photo on this page). A spider and an Anasazi pipe player.  Funny names.

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The strugglers got some attention.  In fact, turning hard adobe earth into a garden requires more attention than photographs of the fruits of the labors.  I have two brand new ones that have shrunken into small fans.  Like seedlings.  I think sometimes Southern daylilies go into shock with the soil, lack of rain, and dry air.  I lost a couple last year, and I have 4 currently in ICU, one in critical condition.

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My new ICU approach is to cut the bottom out of a cheap plastic pot and use it as a buried container . . . bottomless.  Sort of a hybrid situation.  I am hoping it aids soil retention and keeps the soil more acidic, at least until they get started.  I also installed a sprinkler hose on the side that gets less water.  Boy, do I loose a lot of water with the regular sprinkler, and there are so many barriers between the sprinkler and some parts of the garden.  There is clearly one side where the plants are more anemic, and I think it is a water difference.  I guess we will see.

As for tomorrow, I think Jungle Queen will make a debut.  She came in the same order as Kokopelli – practice bidding on the auction.  It is interesting to look back and see what was in bloom this day last year.  Lots the same.  But, some of the Southern daylilies that I put in last spring bloomed pretty early due to being from another zone.  Not sure if they will bloom this year.  And, old timers like Early Bird Cardinal were putting on a show last year, but this year the scapes are still developing.  At the same time, I think I have more scapes total this year.  Bigger plants (mostly).  Lots of time and effort in making the ground more fertile in the past 12 months.

Kokopelli brings the summer!

Kokopelli is a Hopi word meaning wooden backed.  The Kokopelli is truly a legend of the Southwest.  Lots of folklore. . . the character who changes winter to spring.  And today, Solstice, brings the blooms. The equinox and solstice were both amazingly powerful in the Anasazi culture.  Back on the equinox, Kokopelli was one of my first daylilies to show its fans.

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With my love of the Southwest and spider daylilies, a bloom with this name surely caught my eye.  My first purchase on the lily auction.  The start of my Southwest garden. Still a gamble of a biology project.

I am in awe at how perfect this first bloom looks.  Last year’s first blooms were a little scraggly.  I put it in in Fall 2015, the same year I started my doctorate.  I guess we are both more established now.

Not sure on new faces in the garden tomorrow.  I think next up is Jungle Queen. Sometime this week.

Valentine’s Day: The Day Before Solstice

What an interesting year.  Lots of blooms and lots of work hours.  Finding whatever balance there is in the mix.  So different from last year.  Time and money . . . sort of.  So, limiting to new blooms despite a dozen cool photos of seven different daylilies is like narrowing a doctoral project topic.  So much cool stuff, but only so much time.

So, today was the first bloom of Funny Valentine.  Last year, she did not like her location and she gave me only a couple scrawny blooms.  Funny what improving drainage, sun, and water can do for a daylily.  Always a few out there that are not happy.  You tweak, you hope.  And, sometimes they send you Funny Valentines.  Tomorrow, Kokopelli for Solstice, perhaps.  Turning winter to summer, that’s what Kokopellis and Solsti do.

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Few things are more stunning than daylilies, but . . .

I have had a busy weekend revamping my back porch.  This is the place that my evergreens spend 3 months of the winter.  Spring and fall are temperate in the south-facing fiberglass lean-to style porch.  So, why not have a place to sit and pretend it’s spring?

At any rate, when I did get a chance to go get some pictures of flowers, I was focused on a gorgeous bouquet of Ruby Spider and Return a Smile, when something caught my eye.  It was a bloom on my Easter Lily Cactus.  I brought it home from the Senora a couple months ago.  It’s bloom buds fell off in the colder weather – but I guess we are Senora hot now.

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New to the yard for this year (and doing much better than last year) is Strutter’s Ball.  A common daylily, but still a favorite big purple-red bloom.

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With my work schedule this year, I am sticking primarily with new blooms for photos.  I had 7 varieties in bloom in the yard today.  I take photos, but don’t have time for posting more than I do.  So, please enjoy these two beauties.

PS – I named my back porch the Senora Room!

Ruby Friday

Yesterday,  Ruby Spider showed her first bloom. To me, she is an iconic daylily. I got her to hide a drip system hose, after the ornamental grass died. Hey, daylilies look like grass but you get flowers.

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It’s been 10 years or so, and she has become 4 plants. It’s cool, because she blooms later in the front garden than in the patio pot. I always smile when she shows up with her huge red blooms.

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Papa Long Legs visits for Father’s Day!

Wow, tonight I am blogging from my laptop and using my Canon photos!  Getting into the daylily season routine.  At least as much as possible when I work until 10 PM.  Fortunately, I work from home so can run out quickly and snap photos here and there.

Today, Papa Long Legs bloomed for the first time in my yard!  And, he is officially the first bloom in my Southwest named daylily garden.  I am unsure how much daddy longlegs spiders are Southwestern, really.  Although, they certainly inhabit the region.  I love the Ned Roberts (hybridizer) spider daylilies, and I am fortunate to have a whole garden where they dominate.  So, when I go through the lists of his blooms, I pick everything that reminds me of my home area.  And, honestly, I have a lot of these creatures in my yard.  Watching these ones bloom is amazing, it takes a couple hours.

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Anytime one takes a space that has been a rock garden on top of W. Colorado adobe earth, one risks.  It is hard, clay that is so basic (pH) that the nutrients lock-up in it.  Amendments help, but not for very long.  Most of my daylilies in that garden are growing, several have scapes.  A few struggle.  Why?  I seem to always find a lot of clay soil in the roots when I dig these ones up.  I also find roots of other species of plants that infiltrate everything in my mature yard.  I’m trying something new and cutting the whole bottom out of cheap pots and burying them with the strugglers inside.  And, good soil.  Hoping for some moisture retention and root guard protection.  Taking care of those who don’t flourish is the work of a true gardener.  Here on the Colorado Plateau, I have my work cut out as the nurse of the daylilies.

Nightlilies

Daylilies bring to mind blooms that come and leave with the daylight,  each lasting only a day. Some, however, are called nocturnal or extended bloom. These open in the evening and bloom all night, perhaps until the following evening. This is Yellow Punch with a retro filter.

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My Lowe’s newcomers seem to be nocturnal extended bloomers. This makes me even more curious about the genes, other than Stella.

PS – I had Indian Sky bloom in March in my fibreglass porch. The blooms (only 2) lasted 3 days each in that cooler, shadier place.

For tomorrow, I think Ruby Spider and Papa Long legs.

 

Big Box Punch

Today came my first Yellow Punch bloom. One of my Flower Power daylilies from my weekend trip to Lowes.

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I’m not much of a big box shopper, but I do appreciate rebloomers. Stellas are the best! So, I was curious about what big box did with Stella.  I wish I could find out the parentage. Monrovia just says it’s new this year. (It looks lots like Pink and Cream that I got at the same time. Hmmm.)

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I do see mother Stella. It also reminds me of my Frans Hals, which is an older daylily. Hard to know. Many after it’s less new??? (Below: Stella and Frans Hals)

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Flower Power!

My new little Pink and Cream Monrovia (Stella de Oro offspring) daylily bloomed. It bloomed for 270 miles. It bloomed at 12k feet above sea level. It bloomed in more than half a dozen counties. It crossed the Great Divide.

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I planned to stop in one town for gas, then the next, then the next. One thing or another made me decide to wait til the next town. I got 45 miles to the gallon this trip in my Honda Fit, so we made it to the gas station.  Maybe, just maybe, we were running on flower power.