Saturday, July 9, 2016
As winter gave way to spring here, our weather experienced extreme shifts. Daytime temperatures can range across seventy or more degrees on consecutive days. An early appearance of a strong warm system from the south tricked many of our plants into early robust growth. Then an equally powerful cold northern air mass changed everything. Overnight temperatures fell perilously close to ten degrees. This was way beyond a simple frost. Our plants were hit with a hard freeze. New daylily leaves that were nearly one foot tall were transformed into yellowish limp slime. We were certain that all of the daylilies were totally dead. Not knowing how to deal with the mess, we simply turned away to other tasks in other parts of the garden. After more than four days had passed, new growth began to appear above the rotting slime. Nearly normal leaf growth finally produced properly appearing plants. Relieved that our plants still held life, we tidied up the bed, but expected no flowers from them this year. These pictures show that we had seriously underestimated the strength of these plants. We love the colors of this variety but hate its name, Indian Giver.
Molokai was poorly placed near the field grasses. Quackgrass rhizomes have pierced the crown of this daylily but its leaves prevented the deer from finding and eating flower buds. When a more civilized area is ready for desireable plants, Molokai will be moved to a better spot. Big yellow and beautiful, this flower can be easily seen through the heavy rain from inside the house even though it is at the far end of the garden,
Chicago Arnie's Choice displays the moisture from early morning rain. We have watched moisture laden systems pass north or south of us for months. Today we will likely see measurable amounts of rain all day.
Ivory Edges sports small flowers with rather flat petals. Shades of purple marked with white is a favorite combination here. Safe inside of a fenced area, yesterday's flowers are beyond my reach. Sliding my hand through the 2 inch by 4 inch openings would allow me to snap off the spent flower but then the back of my hand would have spots of color similar to the purple of the flowers.
The storm clouds have opened and bright sunlight now fills the air. We will be drawn outside to work knowing that the rain will return and we will be soaked before we can reach shelter. This is how July in the garden is supposed to be here. The gardeners don't look nearly as pretty as the daylilies when drenched with rain, but we are enjoying the rain just as much!