Over the past two weeks I visited England, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland and loved every minute of it! The weather was amazing -- 60's to very low 70's. Upon my return, it was quite a shock to step off the plane into the humid high 80's in Minneapolis. It took a day or two to re-acclimate. When I organize my photos I will share some of my experiences. In the meantime, here are photos of what I missed in my own garden while I was traveling. Sorry/not sorry :)
Daylilies Pictured: Waxed Legs, All American Chief, Heavenly Angel Ice, Heavenly Curls, Time Stopper, Patty in Pinstripes, Rudbeckia Indian Summer, Spacecoast Freaky Tiki, Bill Tonn, and Bela Lugosi.
I'm gifting myself with a couple of weeks away from technology. My blog will be on hiatus until August 18th. We'll catch up then!
Pictured: Twin fawns that visit my yard daily - Mom is hidden in the thicket, watching.
'House of Misrepresentatives' really came into its own this year. This daylily has grown in my garden for the past few years, but this year it really demanded my attention. What blows me away is the beautiful color of the large 8.5" blooms. Unfortunately my photos are unable to convey the vibrant violet plum color that I see. The blooms are perfection -- no wilting or fading on these waxy flowers (bud count 21-25). House of Misrepresentatives is a dormant tetraploid that grows 43" tall in my garden, a bit more than the registered 29". I guess that happens when plants are happy. House is a midseason bloomer that started on July 17 and as you can see by the photos has many more blooms ready-to-go.
House of Misrepresentatives is a Wisconsin-bred daylily hybridized by Nate Bremer (2011). I grow a few other Bremer daylilies and all of them are hearty growers that thrive in our crazy climate. And it's always a plus when the daylily's name makes me smile.
My early daylilies have finally started to bloom this week. This year has to be a record for the latest bloom-start ever. That being said, when I was dead-heading flowers yesterday morning I stopped by 'Spacecoast Cherries and Cream' and marveled at what a beautiful garden plant this is. It's reliable, consistent and never fails to put on a show every single day during bloom season. This daylily has acclimated to Wisconsin very well, and for a Florida-bred daylily, that's noteworthy!
Spacecoast Cherries and Cream is a 2000 Kinnebrew daylily. It is a semi-evergreen tetraploid that has 5.5" blooms (bud count: 21-25) and grows about 27" tall in my garden. Last year's bloom time was from July 2-August 3. This daylily also holds up wonderfully in the hot sun. The first photo was taken at about 7:00 am, while the second one was taken a few hours later.
Since nothing much is going on in my daylily gardens just yet, I thought I'd share one of my old-school scarlet reds from last year, 'Chicago Apache.' As you can see, this daylily is a blooming superstar! I had trouble capturing the beautiful velvety look the blooms have in real life.
Hybridized in 1981 by James Marsh/Roy Klehm, Chicago Apache is a dormant tetraploid that has five-inch blooms and grows 33" tall in my garden. It's a late-season bloomer which is very desirable. Last year's blooms were from July 24 to August 27. This year my plant is huge after all the rain we have had. The scapes have not started peeking out yet, but I'm confident that this season it will put on a show even better than these photos! Chicago Apache is an American Daylily Society award winner as well.
Tomorrow the calendar turns to July and there are no daylily blooms to be seen anywhere in my garden. None. That is definitely a first! But instead of whining on that topic, I will instead talk about what is blooming...this gorgeous Dwarf Asiatic Lily named 'Tiny Skyline.' The color on this one is sublime. Photos hardly do this beauty justice.
Developed in the Netherlands, Tiny Skyline was originally bred for containers, so they are also great front-of-the-border plants. The large golden-orange flowers are between 5-6" in size. These Asiatics are super easy to grow in full sun or part shade in just about any type of soil. Wisconsin bloom season is usually from the end of June and into July. These dwarfs can grow up to 14-16" tall, but at my house they typically stay between 12-14" tall. I'm just happy that something is blooming in my yard! The Asiatics definitely bridge the gap as I wait for my daylilies to take off.
Ange and I decided to plant some spruce trees on the small parcel of land we own across the road from our home for some visual interest during winter. After pricing trees ($$$) at various nurseries, Ange decided to go a different route and visit a Christmas tree farm instead. Awesome idea! We bought six four-foot trees at a very reasonable price. So, as of today, our new spruce trees have settled in and they have a forever home that every Christmas tree only dreams of.
Recently I visited Sunset Gardens in Galesville, WI. What a fun place to go! They have absolutely anything and everything garden related: annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, whimsy, plus they offer landscaping and floral services. I'll let the photos do the talking.
After visiting Sunset Gardens, Ange and I enjoyed breakfast at The Garden of Eatin' cafe in the Galesville town square. I'm pretty sure this is only place around where you can eat a great breakfast while listening to Led Zeppelin -- and how perfect is that?
Visit Sunset Gardens website: http://www.sunsetgardensgreenhouse.com/
Visit the Garden of Eatin' website: http://gardenofeatinwi.com/
2019 has been a particularly brutal year for Spring Sickness with my daylilies. Every year I get maybe one or two plants that exhibit Spring Sickness, but this year I bet I have between 15-20. I have added five photos of different plants affected by Spring Sickness. I don't panic when I see this because in most cases I can simply remove the affected foliage and as the weather warms up the daylilies continue to grow and bloom completely normal.
The exact cause of Spring Sickness remains a mystery, and it appears in daylilies throughout zones 3-9 in the United States. Typically the entire daylily clump is not affected -- usually it's only a couple of scapes. There is not a definitive answer for why this happens. A fungus of some kind is suspected, but as of yet it's unproven. It is also worth noting that daylilies are randomly affected. Just because a cultivar has Spring Sickness one year this does not mean it will be affected next year, or ever again for that matter.
To read more about this phenomenon: http://web.ncf.ca/ah748/qanda.html
Ange and I recently demolished our rock garden with the help of our neighbor. I will miss the garden, but the demo was necessary for a few reasons:
Now the garden is gone; the dirt has been leveled and seeded with grass. The perennials were relocated or given away, and the boulders are by our neighbor's fish pond. We did keep a few of our favorite boulders to incorporate into our landscape at a later date. After pondering this demo for a couple of years, this was the year that it finally came to fruition. Happy face/Sad face.
The dwarf bearded irises are in full bloom! It's always exciting to see big bursts of color in May. Dwarf irises are a wonderful addition to any garden because they fill the bloom gap between the daffodils and tall bearded irises. I grow about ten different varieties of minis. Today I'm showcasing one named "Jazzamatazz" that came to me from my friend Sally's garden. It has a fragrance that is reminiscent of chocolate. If this showy perennial has one fault, it's that it multiplies too fast!
Jazzamatazz was hybridized by Heidi Blyth in 1986 down under in Pearcedale, Victoria, Australia, but it also grows in the U.S. Zones 3 to Zone 8b. It is very hardy here in Wisconsin. Jazzamatazz is happy in full sun to part shade. Mine is in an east-facing location. This iris is registered as growing up to 15" tall, but mine rarely gets taller than about 10." In my yard Jazzamatazz reliably blooms in mid-May every year.
While weeding I discovered four bunnies in a nest next to one of my daylilies. (In the second photo the fourth bunny is hard to see. His head is sticking out on the left, underneath his siblings.) These babies have been growing faster than weeds! I have checked on them every day for a little over a week and each day they grow remarkably larger. At first I could barely see them nestled inside their nest covered up with their mom's fur and some old grass, but now they are so big and wiggling all over that they no longer have cover. We have had some heavy rain and I worried that their nest would get soggy and they would get wet and cold. Ange came to the rescue; he put a little table above their nest so the rain wouldn't beat on them. We made sure there was ample room under the table so their mom could get to them easily in the morning and evening. And honestly, I'm not even sure why I'm so worried about these tiny stinkers -- in no time they will be roaming around my yard devouring all my flowers.
I can't carry on enough about 'Panic in Detroit.' I love this daylily! It's big and in your face -- literally. Last summer in my garden Panic grew almost 50 inches tall. I had to actually reach up to deadhead this guy. Panic in Detroit is one of those plants that you just throw into the ground, give it no special attention and it thrives, but make sure you give it some space. The large eight inch blooms are consistent, have good substance and are very showy (bud count: 21-25). When it's in peak bloom you can't miss this plant in the landscape; your eyes are just drawn to it.
Panic in Detroit is an American Daylily Society award winner having received the Honorable Mention in 2009 and the Award of Merit in 2014. These awards indicate that the cultivar is beautiful, distinctive, performs well, and grows in a wide geographic area. Hybridized in Michigan by Ric Adams in 2002, this dormant tetraploid is also desirable because it's a midseason-late bloomer. My plant bloomed a solid two months - from July 10 to September 12. Yes, really!
After reading the April 19 CNN article about the Connecticut golfer that was attacked by a bobcat on a golf course, you can well imagine how shocked I was to see this bobcat only a few feet from our back door just three days later! In all the years we have lived here I had never seen a bobcat. This one looked like it weighed about 25 pounds. The photos aren't the best, but honestly I'm surprised I was able to get any photos at all. As I watched the bobcat saunter through our yard towards the woods, I noticed a small cat cowering alongside of our house, trying not to be seen. The moment the bobcat disappeared into the woods, the cat high-tailed it back home on turbo boost.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has noted an increased presence of bobcats in western and southwestern Wisconsin. Bobcats eat a diversity of prey including rabbits, squirrels, opossums, and birds. An adult bobcat usually weighs between 20-25 pounds, with some large males weighing up to 40 pounds. Bobcats have pointed ears with ear tufts, short tails about 6-inches long, cheek whiskers and orange/tan to brown fur with irregular black spots or blotches. They are usually most active at twilight around sunset or sunrise.
This bobcat looked very healthy, so clearly it's living the good life in our area. And as much as I enjoyed seeing this wild bobcat up close and personal, I sincerely hope I never see it again.
Bobcat info is from the Wisconsin DNR
Look what appeared on my desk at work last week! After the recent ice, snow and 30 degree weather, this hyacinth was such a pleasant surprise. It assured me that spring is really on the way.
Hyacinth 'Pink Pearl' won the Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society. The blooms are so waxy and perfect, plus the fragrance is amazing! Pink Pearl grows 10-12 inches tall in full sun and is hardy in Zones 2-10. Best of all, hyacinths are easy to grow in well-drained locations, plus they are deer and rabbit resistant. (Sorry Easter Bunny!)
I can't wait to get busy in the garden with my new weeding tool, called a 'Carrot Design Cape Cod Weeder.' It was a Christmas gift from my dear friend, Sharon. She has one just like it and found it very effective at removing dandelions and other weeds, especially those close to the edge of sidewalks. The blade is stainless steel and super heavy-duty.
I had never heard of this garden tool before, and apparently that's not unusual. Cape Cod weeders weren’t known outside of the Cape Cod area until the 1980’s when Snow & Neally of Bangor, Maine began to market them throughout the country. The story about the Cape Cod weeder is that many years ago a woman living on Cape Cod designed this weeding tool. It is a knife-like tool used to slice weeds and loosen difficult soils. It is especially handy when working in tight places. Basically, it’s a curved forged steel blade secured to a wooden handle.
Now all I need is for last Thursday's snow to go away so I can get to work. Watch out weeds!
Information about the Cape Cod Weeder from: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/
What a find this cute little petunia was! Last spring I purchased this annual at the local plant hut from the 75% off clearance table. I had never seen this variety before so I thought I'd give it a try; what did I have to lose? The plant looked a little rough after being on clearance table, but once home I planted it in some amended soil, fertilized, watered, and that made all the difference in the world. It promptly returned the favor by looking fabulous! I gave my Supertunia fertilizer every couple of weeks throughout the summer to keep it blooming in top form.
Supertunia 'Daybreak Charm' has a striking color combination with the greenish-yellow throat surrounded by the vibrant electric pink edges. The flowers are a bit smaller than traditional petunias, but they still put on a great show. Daybreak Charm grows about 10-14" tall and spreads out to about 18-24" wide. Supertunias are very drought-tolerant and they love the hot sun. Mine looked perfect, even during the few summer days when we had temps over 100 degrees. Deadheading is not necessary either! Like most other petunias, by August, you may have to give it a manicure. My Daybreak Charm continued to bloom until the first frost in fall.
You can use Supertunias in the landscape as a groundcover, but they are also great spilling over the edge of a planter or a hanging basket. Note that butterflies love these petunias just as much as I do.
This gem came to me from my sister-in-law Sandy's garden. Sissy Sandy is a red and purple daylily connoisseur. Her lovely garden has dozens of variations of these colors. About six or seven years ago she divided her huge 'Persian Ruby' plant and gave me half. I planted mine in a location where it gets sun until about 3 pm in the afternoon and it is growing quite happily. Hybridized by Dan Trimmer and introduced in 1998, Persian Ruby is one of those no-fuss daylilies that increases well and blooms reliably (bud count: 26-30). The huge, almost eight-inch flowers are gorgeous and consistent. This 30" tall, dormant tetraploid daylily is quite a head-turner at peak bloom. Last year in my Wisconsin garden bloom time was from July 10 through August 8.
And with these good looks, of course this cultivar is a multiple American Daylily Society award winner:
So if you want a daylily that's a 'sure thing,' I think Persian Ruby fits the bill.
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