Sunday, August 16, 2009

I Love the Daylilly

I  Love the Daylilly

I love My Daylilly I have since I was five years old. I offer to share my Love. My first experience with dayllies was a mass bed of the old fashion orange daylilly (Hemerocallis fulva). The bed was watered frequently from the sink drain in the kitchen and green and thick most of the year. It bloomed profusely for about two weeks in June every year. I planted my first Vegetable garden along side the flowers We moved away from that small house when I was ten years old I never forgot the beauty of that mass of daylilles.

During my teenage years, the flower beds belonged to my mother and my gardening was mostly vegetables, strawberries, and melons. I did not renew my interest in daylilles, until I returned home from military, got married and purchase my own home.

The first varieties I planted were the old orange ones I remembered from my child hood. I also got the lemon yellow that was one of the earlier varieties and the orange variety that had a bloom with a multi-set of petals(and sepals) instead of the usual six(3 petals and 3 sepals). I started with these because I could get them for free from friends who love the old varieties.

Then I discovered that the father of a friend that I went to high school with was an amateur Hybridize who had developed several named varieties. I then started adding to my collection. Overtime I purchase different varieties that bloom at several different times from early spring to late fall. Some bloomed more than once during during the year and were called rebloomers. I had varieties as small as 12 inches and as tall as more than 3 feet. I had colors from almost white to deep purple. My all time favorite is a small cultivar called STELLA De ORO. Its blooming scape(stem) is about 12 inches tall. It has a small tight yellow bloom and it blooms at least three times during the year. It will multiply very fast. I started with three several years ago and now I have about a couple of hundred plants that I use as border plants along my fence line.

The daylilly is the perfect perennial. It comes in many colors and a variety of shapes and sizes. It can be used in all types of landscapes alone and in combination with other plants. It doesn't take a lot of care. It can be found in a wide range of climates, has few disease and pest problems and can grow in wet and dry. It does well in full sun or partial shade. By using a number of varieties, you can have blooms from early spring to l
ate fall.

I have other flowers(gladiolas, iris, tiger lilles) but none have that special place that started in the heart of a five year old boy. I tend to grow them in rows rather that formal garden layouts because it makes it easier for me to organize them by blooming date and size and flower shape and color. It makes it easier to hybridize(cross pollinate) for new varieties. Take a look at the Daylilly and you will find a new passion if you love flowers.