Daylily Legacy

Perhaps it is all the digging and paying for pots for almost every daylily in my yard, but for the first time I feel like I have too many daylilies.  I never thought this day would come.  I even think the yard looks a bit cluttered with pots now that there are pots buried in the flower beds.  I have an idea for a daylily “shelf” in the front yard to break it up a bit.  Next year.

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I have wondered what I will do when my favorites from the Southwest garden need to be divided – will I give away some of my others to make room for more than one in my yard?  I have so many ones that were free gifts . . . now they seem like part of my summer, so I feel bonded.  I honestly am overwhelmed.  Next year, I hope to be digging more flowers not more dirt.

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So, I ordered one more today . . . and, honestly, it is almost nauseating to me to be buying more cultivators now.  But, if I have any legacy in the world of daylily hybridizers, it is that I suggested a name and someone ran with it!  It was back when the “Show me your stethoscope” deal was happening.  I suggested “Nurse’s Stethoscope”.  One of the hybridizers was a medical professional . . . and she liked it.  It is a beautiful daylily, and I paid more than I normally do for a plant.  I have no idea where I will put it, either.  Oh, boy, another pot!  But, you know, it also seems like I should have it in my collection.  And, that is it . . . the inn is full.  I will be building the “shelf” come spring!

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Catch 22

I swore I would not work putting pots in the Southwest garden again today.  I lost the bet with myself.  Because there was an area on the thriving side that looked sad and I was curious.  What did I find?  Lots of tree roots.  Even the daylily that I put in a half pot a couple months ago had roots growing up into the pot – but the daylily was doing better than without the pot.

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Such findings make me feel a little nauseated, really.  I made an investment in daylilies after doing a pilot out there.  All my pilot plants did (and do) beautifully.  So, I make a bigger garden spot there.  The problem is that I think the scale is drawing the roots.  In the pilot, I hand watered.  But, now I have to mass water and fertilize.  The half pot I dug up had roots woven around the outside of the pot in its exact shape.  They dominate.

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So, now I think I may have to do real garden pots (as opposed to nursery pots) out there, after all.  The reason is that if I cut big enough holes in the pot bottoms to protect from root rot, I get root invasion.  Catch 22.  The real (decorative plastic) pots that I used in the front garden have a second bottom piece to help with drainage – so I can have a large drainage hole and roots can’t really grow up into the daylily space.  Oh, I will work with the nursery pots for this year. But, I see the future.  I am feeling like a farmer now.

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I also divided several more daylilies.  Little by little, the fall work is getting done.  I am really ready for a boring split shift where I walk the dogs downtown. I feel overwhelmed with daylilies.  Seriously.  Am I ready to be a farmer?

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Anyway, enjoy my blooms from today.  I’ll worry about the tree roots.

Under the Surface

Today brought a good variety of color.  From the yellow-pink blooms of Pizza Crust and Pink & Cream to the deep red of Cherokee Star and Heirloom Heaven.  In the middle was pretty Indian Sky.

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I am keeping a close eye on the Southwest garden since the replantings.  Some yellow leaves here and there.  Overall, they are in much better shape despite looking a bit frazzled.

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It makes me think of our humanity.  Sometimes everything can look pretty perfect on the surface.  The garden had mulch and few weeds.  The sprinkler ran regularly.  And, the lilies looked pretty much OK.  But, several were too small and one died.  The bloom rate was poor and the blooms looked stunted.  I wondered about the sunlight, mostly. Something was off, but the thought of fixing what lay under the surface was something I wanted to deny.

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It was odd to deny it . . . I knew what was underneath.  Somehow, I hoped top soil would be enough to get the lilies started.  I mean, maybe they could do OK in the clay . . . that is what it says on the internet.  Seriously, this Colorado Plateau clay is like an abusive, addictive relationship. Not only does it not provide nutrition, it is like cement.  I have never seen it get damp more than a couple inches below the surface.  The roots that do penetrate are stuck forever, unable to move yet starving for a better existence.

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Diving under the surface and fixing the real problem is hard, hard work.  And, I am sure there is more of it ahead in this adventure.  I could continue to ignore it . . . normalize it. You know, just keep watering harder and hope somehow it corrects itself.  But, then it comes time to stop the cycle and do something different.  I hope it will pay off and that everything flourishes and blooms.  Then, it will be worth it for daylily generations to come.

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Sick Day Bouquet

Today, I ended up taking half the day off as a sick day.  It makes me feel guilty to write a blog with the smattering of photos I managed this AM.  But, believe me, the 4 hours of hard sleep and other viral symptoms are as real as the beauty of the flower.  My first sick day in the year I have worked there . . . well, almost a year.  I’m sure my crazy shifts in the yard added to the exhaustion.

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Of course, there are no new blooms today.  I sort of like the fall in daylily-ville, because you don’t have to look as hard to be sure you didn’t miss one.

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This weekend is camping weekend.  I also hope to get the daylily roots washed for my coworkers so I can mail them on Wednesday next week.  I have a few more divisions to do . . . some of my co-workers down South will do better with the evergreens.  I just haven’t gotten that far yet.  And, I have a musical pots thing that needs to happen.  But, before that MORE garden soil to buy.  Jeez.

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In thinking of next year, I think I will pull two of my three Stellas completely out of their pots and add divisions of Pink & Cream and Yellow Punch.  They have earned their stripes as pretty rebloomers this year.  The color and shape is better than Stella.

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With all these pots, next year I may have a daylily yard sale.  I love to give them away.  And, if the pots do well, I will have more than enough for that.  So, maybe a little one-day sale or something.  I need to think about it.  Anyone with any experience out there?  Or is online better?

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For winter, I want to blog more about my poinsettias, orchids, and Amaryllis.  I actually may look at other Christmas bloomers.  I got the coolest Mexican pottery at . . . Walmart.  It was a few weeks ago . . .  amazing prices.  Anyway, thinking of some winter wonder bloomers in there.  Ah, it is time to sleep, again.

 

Just A Flower I Can Help Along

Today was the day I finally got the Southwestern Garden mostly redone.  What a lot of work . . . seriously, my back is DONE digging for a bit.  I thought it might be fun to show a couple photos.  So, this side is the one I have been working on.  All but a handful of daylilies now rests within a nursery pot that is buried under ground.  These ones have been trimmed so that they can focus on some new roots before freeze.

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And, this is the other side, where the daylilies are blooming size.  Much happier than the other side.  There used to be a pine tree out there, then a new sewer where I think they used a sandier fill dirt on the side with the happier daylilies.  Perhaps water, too.  Today, I got my soak hose system in.  I am pretty jazzed.  I think it will prove to be the best system I have ever had.  It is amazing how the clay soil is always hard and dry, no matter what.

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So, today I had some great blooms.  I barely had time to notice them, but they did remind me that the backbreaking work will pay off in blooms (I hope).  (In order – Featured photo is Heirloom Heaven; Pictured first below is Passionate Returns, then Western Sandstone, Pink and Cream and Pardon Me.

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I also divided daylilies for friends.  That was kind of fun, actually.  Beats digging holes in adobe clay soil with roots.  I could make a good mud house with that stuff, though.  I went through 8 big bags of soil this weekend.  Crazy!

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Not many daylilies – Just Stella and her offspring, Pink and Cream.  But, what did catch my eye this AM was that my Amaryllis bloomed . . . mostly.  This guy has been out since it bloomed last Christmas, moved to the garden in May.  So, why it decided to bloom, who knows?

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Amaryllis and orchids are the winter blooming houseplants that bring to mind my daylilies.  Fall brings a longing to start dreaming of their blooms.  I wonder if I let this one rest (as usual) for 6 weeks if it will get another bloom?  We will see, I guess.

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I did a 12-hour shift with my shovel.  This was less about “flow” and more about grit.  I have 6 more that I want to do tomorrow before I fix-up the soak hose.  I have about 10-12 more to do total. Hopefully, this fall.

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Digging up the garden made me a bit sad for the daylilies.  They are pretty shallow-rooted.  Some are too small . . . and that seems to predict lots of roots underneath.  Or, visa versa.   It takes forever because of the clay, roots, and tight spaces.  I decided that the daylilies would either get better, stay the same, or get worse.  Worse would be crown rot or more shrinkage.  The same is the same.  Better would have two possible management plans.  The first would be to leave them in the containers and divide often.  The second would be to see how they do without containers now that they have deeper basements.  Or I could get decorative containers, too.  It is like a research study.  Not so much random assignment . . . but half the garden gets the intervention.  Need to give it time.

Meanwhile, I am beat.  Six more tomorrow, then a break from digging for a bit.  Other than making a few divisons for friends . . . or starting that.  I figure one more full weekend of daylily-ville work.  I can’t wait to be a real person, again!

 

Double Helix

Today, I believe, brought my next to last NEW bloom for 2017.  Pizza Crust, a late bloomer that I added last year.  This year, a two bud wonder.  Seriously?

At any rate, I was taken back by how it looked like a twin to Western Sandstone.  Like, can you see a difference?  Pizzacrust3.8.11.jpg

So, curiosity got the best of me.  I thought that these two had the same DNA, and while their parents were not listed, they originate from the same hybridizer.  Ah, ha . . .  I think my eye does not deceive.

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Honorable mention goes to Cherokee Star, who put out a near perfect, velvet bloom today.

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Today was the beginning . . . of a weekend of daylily digging and putting in pots, again.  This time the Southwest Garden.  Only the bad side.  But, that’s over 40 daylilies and the digging is hard.  Tight space, tree roots and clay below the good soil that is now full of tree roots, too.  I have 17 done and like 25 left to go.  I think I will hit the hay early and get up early to start.  I would prefer to be done or mostly done by Sunday.  I still have divisions to do for friends.  This work actually makes me look forward to snow . . . kind of.  I do wonder if I will end up with decorative pots out in that garden, too.  I guess this is a pilot.  PS – I was digging up the daylilies out there to raise the grade of the garden at exactly this time last year.   Sigh.  It never ends!

Tomorrow, I think my Ugly Daylily will be in bloom.  That is my confused Amaryllis.  Life in the garden is always full of surprises.

 

Upward Spirals

The daylily garden is my happy place.  Gardening brings a feeling of flow – or a loss of self.  And, with daylilies, my optimism, curiosity, creativity, and appreciation of nature strengths kick in, bringing a sense of joy.

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And, today must have been extra nice because I managed to take 30 pictures with only 4 cultivators in bloom.  Well, and I snuck in a couple shots of my mini sunflowers, Mexican daylilies (shellflowers), and my confused amaryllis (yes, it is about to bloom in my yard).

It was a nice daylily day, though, despite the small number in bloom.  First of all, Western Sandstone bloomed for the first time ever in my yard.  This one was ordered the first year I was doing roots . . . 2014?  And, so it is a gardener’s triumph!  A pretty one, too.  (pictured below)

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So, back to the happy place.  There is some good science that says we need 3 positives for every negative (emotion/event) to flourish.  Or, somewhere around that number. When we flourish, we broaden and build resources.  A month or two ago, I was feeling weighed down in some stuff that was creating an amazing negative spiral out of life.  Having the daylilies to focus on is hugely therapeutic.  No wonder the longest lived populations all garden!!! No wonder we call it “flourishing.”

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Tomorrow, maybe Pizza Crust will bring a smile.  Or, my silly amaryllis 🙂

Peace in the Garden

The garden was cool this AM when I got up to look what was in bloom.  I needed a fleece to stay comfortable.  The scattered blooms took forever to open.   Stella has returned, after 2 months of rest.  I got Stellas last year so that I would have blooms all summer, and it has been disappointing.  I probably need to divide more often.

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I like my big box Pink and Cream that has been in bloom much more frequently and is prettier – a nice offspring. It will need to be divided in the spring, for sure!

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And, fun with flower photos is turning into dances with shovels.  Today, 8 more put in some sort of pot.  The Southwest garden is hard work . . . clay and tree roots.  And, odd shaped working space for digging holes.  So many left to go.  I have the worst corner done now. That’s a bit of progress.  Every time I think I have foiled my desert garden, I end up re-doing it a couple years later.  Because, when you add water and fertilizer, the natives want first dibs!

Somehow, this Gordon Lightfoot song has been going through my head all day:

There’s peace in the garden
There’s peace in the air
Peace in the sound of the river
There’s peace in the meadow
The sun shines like gold
And if she were with me
There’d be peace in my soul 

Tomorrow, maybe I’ll talk about the upward spirals from time with my daylilies.  I may have my first Western Sandstone tomorrow!

Quiet

Today was quiet in the yard.  Four blooms.  Cool, rainy.  Shifting seasons in the air.  It is good to see the new growth on the daylilies I put in pots a couple of weeks ago.  There is no doubt they look healthier.

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I walked by Fairy Tale Pink and saw her shrinking fans under those invasive blue bells.  I stopped to put her in a pot before the dog walk.  I’m out of potting soil, again.  More, tomorrow.

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I sincerely hope I never have to put this many buried pots in any place ever again.   The veggie garden was the worse.  The Southwestern garden is more of a challenge than the front.  At least as far as big roots.  The invasive blue bells are in all the roots out front.  A woman at the farmer’s market last weekend says they probably have something in their roots that inhibits the growth of other plants.  I have to do a procedure where I paint the weeds that appear in the pots with herbicide.  After all the pots are in the ground, that is.  I hope the bloom next year is worth it!   Oh, life on the Colorado Plateau!