Mother Nature is holding out on us. I can't believe it's almost July in Wisconsin and only two or three of my daylilies are blooming. This has to be the latest bloom season ever. The anticipation is killing me! Let the whining commence.
Before photo with a calico kitty balancing on the rotted stump edges
After photo with a black kitty happily sitting on the new seat
The barn across the road from our home currently houses about five or six cats. The cats routinely patrol our property for field mice, which we really appreciate and encourage. We noticed that they liked to sit in the sun and/or sleep on an old tree stump across the road. When Ange saw that the stump was rotting, he decided to build a new, sturdy seat for the cats. It only took about ten minutes of his time and the cats started using the new perch immediately!
Ange planted our Northern Catalpa tree almost 30 years ago when it was a sapling, measuring only about 12" tall. Today it towers over 40 feet tall! Other than occasionally watering the tree when first planted, we have basically ignored it. As you can see, the tree has thrived. A Midwest native first cultivated in 1754, the wood of the Northern Catalpa was originally used for fence posts and railroad ties due to the tree's fast growth rate and resistance to rot.
The tree is useful as a shade tree in dry, hard-to-plant sites. Fragrant flowers appear in spring and last into early summer. The sweet scent is heavenly and envelops our entire backyard. Pollinators, including hummingbirds and bees, visit the flowers of the Northern Catalpa. The fruit is a long bean-shaped pod, 8 to 20 inches long. In the city the huge banana-like seed pods can become a messy, slippery, litter problem on sidewalks or on parked cars. In the country it's a non-problem; we never even notice the pod litter. All we see is a pretty tree.
Here's an eye-catcher that I grow named 'Hey Sue's Crispey.' This daylily is not well-known, nor is it award-winning, but I'm crazy about this beauty. I grabbed it from the Wisconsin hybridizer table at the annual Daylily Society Sale in Madison. To me, the Wisconsin hybridizer table means *sure thing* when it comes to northern gardening. When I planted my two fans at home, they never missed a beat and took right off growing.
Hybridized by William (Bill) Powell, this 2009 dormant tetraploid daylily grows 32" tall with six-way branching. The 6.25" blooms are consistent with thick substance (bud count: 31-35). The reddish-orange-gold polychrome color paired with the delicate ruffled gold edge is exquisite. In 2020, bloom time in my garden was from July 21 through August 19. This daylily is very striking in a clump; what's not to love?
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my backyard and garden, I LOVE to talk about it!