Sunday, July 27, 2014

Nearly Perfect

Daylilies are frequently described as the perfect perennial.  For those of us that try to garden where polar blasts of frigid air are frequent visitors during the early days of the growing season, these plants are survivors.  Early tender growth blackened by frost is simply replaced with new growth.  Providing frost protection with plastic buckets or tarps is not necessary if hardy daylilies are planted.  This Prairie Blue Eyes is a visual treat.  White midribs combined with a light ruffled edge create a sharp contrast to the yellow eye spot.  It endured several late frosts but looks perfect now.

If bark mulch is used to suppress weeds and conserve soil moisture it should be pulled away from the crown of the daylily early in the growing season to reduce problems with leaf rot.  Leaves that do brown can either be pulled clear or cut away.  That is the only care that these Frosted Vintage Ruffles required this year.  This beauty is pleasantly fragrant in addition to its complex flower configuration.  In this instance the rewards from the blossoms far exceed the work required to maintain the plant.

Ordinary orange flowered daylilies are frequently seen along roadside ditches.  They appear there as escapes from colonial gardens.  The number of multicolored new varieties now available is in the thousands.  Cost can seem excessive for some of the newer varieties but many inexpensive attractive and hardy varieties are available.  A daylily clump will increase in size each year and soon supply more plants by division.  This Spiritual Corridor was an early purchase here and it will be divided early next year.

The only downside to daylilies is that the flowers only last for one day.  What was a beautiful flower becomes a slippery slimy ugly mass.  Left alone it will dry and drop to the ground or hang up on an unopened bud.  It is not a totally unpleasant task to walk near the bed each morning snapping off spent flowers.  That activity places one near the new flowers and their scents on what could be a daily basis.

We need to complete the foundation plantings in front of our home.  Part of the reason that this task has remained undone for so long is that I wanted to do it right.  Many different varieties of daylilies will anchor the flower bed to be placed in front of the living room wall.  Pleasing scents from the flowers will drift into the house via open windows.  Our daylilies will continue to bring us pleasure after we have come inside for the remainder of the day.

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