Veining is a unique color pattern some daylilies exhibit. The natural veins in the flower show up as very darkened and they contrast with the lighter background or vice-versa. "Nowhere to Hide" (shown above) is a perfect example of this characteristic.
The American Daylily Society definition: "A color pattern on the floral segments in which the base color and the veins within these tepals are of a contrasting color."
Daylilies show varied amounts of veining contrast with this color pattern. If you look carefully, some veining is quite subtle. I added some examples to clarify the many ways in which veining can appear.
Pictured below: Profound Mystery, Bordeaux Beauty, Mr. Lucky, Solar Eclipse, Pork Barrel Spending, and Waxed Legs.
I never tire of taking photos of 'Firestorm.' Whenever I'm in the garden it continually beckons me over with its large 8.25-inch vibrant, brick red blooms. I originally grew it from a division that my friend Sally gave me way back when. In my yard it grows approximately 31-32" tall and last summer it bloomed from July 16 through August 18. Hybridized in 1979 (Krekler), Firestorm is registered as an Early Morning Opener (EMO) and an Unusual Form Crispate. Firestorm is also known as a 'Bud Builder.'
Bud- Builder: Scientifically called “indeterminate inflorescence,” it means “continuing to grow at the apex” or end of the scape. A pattern of growth on scapes in which buds continue to form as lower buds open. A scape showing this characteristic will get taller through the bloom season. It is a somewhat unreliable trait, dependent upon weather and growing conditions. Later bloom tends to be sparse. -- Definition from the American Daylily Society website
Over the course of (at least) the last twenty years, this award-winning dormant diploid has never once disappointed me. Firestorm always looks fantastic with no special fuss or care.
AHS Awards: Honorable Mention: 2009
Now that we've had that first 60 degree day, spring is on the horizon. Before spring officially arrives there are some outside jobs you can take care of in the meantime.
Pictured: Pansies that will often bloom in the snow
Stratford-upon-Avon is a quaint medieval town in England's West Midlands. Stratford-upon-Avon was founded by the Saxons when they invaded what is now Warwickshire in the 7th century AD. In the late 12th century it was transformed into a town.
While in Stratford-upon-Avon, I visited the 16th century home of Shakespeare managed by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Although the garden re-creations were not done to current standards of historical accuracy, I still enjoyed them. I found the huge holly bushes particularly beautiful. They clearly thrived in the English climate.
I also enjoyed spending a leisurely afternoon exploring the unique shops in town, seeing all the Tudor houses, and watching the boats lazily float down the River Avon.
Here is one of my big guys, "Legislating Life." A 2012 dormant tetraploid, this daylily was hybridized in Wisconsin by Nate Bremer. It thrives in our northern climate of extremes. The 7.5 to 8" blooms are consistent and always look good (bud count: 21-25). I love the different shades of lavender and the subtle watermark on the petals. Legislating Life grows 38" tall in my garden and bloomed from July 14 through August 14 in 2019. This beautiful daylily is a child of Curt Hanson's well-known, award-winning "Swallow Tail Kite."
The iconic Stonehenge either speaks to you or it doesn't. I thought it was awesome -- very eerie and mystical. I enjoyed walking around the perimeter and seeing Stonehenge from all the different vantage points. It has a history dating back 4,500 years! You can't help but wonder what stories these stones could tell over all those years.
Read more about Stonehenge: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/
What better time than February to reminisce about last summer. Looking outside today, these photos hardly seem real! So far this winter we haven't had all that much snow in western Wisconsin (not complaining--just stating a fact). In 2019 our bloom season was a bit shorter than usual because of the excessively cold spring weather and the sudden 85 degree temperatures that followed. Nonetheless, the daylilies did quite well with the abundant rain we had.
Last year's photos will keep me going for the next couple of months as I dream about the upcoming 2020 daylily bloom season.
Daylilies pictured: 'New Series,' 'Firestorm,' 'Heavenly Curls,' ' Patty in Pinstripes,' 'Lotus Position,' 'Shores of Time,' 'Sharky's Revenge,' 'Frances Joiner'
'Heavenly Flight of Angels' is a bit of an oddity in my garden. A good oddity of course! It's always fun to discover the unusual blooms this spider puts out. Every seven-inch flower looks just a little different. Hybridized in 2003 by Jamie Gossard (Ohio), this semi-evergreen diploid grows 39" tall and has a crisp vibrant yellow and lime-green color with white edging. It really stands out in the landscape.
This beautiful daylily is a 2007 award winner (American Daylily Society Honorable Mention). Bloom time in my Wisconsin garden in 2019 was from July 11 thorough August 16. If you want unique, this daylily is a perfect choice.
I'm often glad I live out in the country, because I'd be the first to admit that I can get very distracted while outside gardening. I sometimes find myself just sitting still with my eyes closed so I can hear the birds, feel the wind in my hair, or enjoy the warm sun on my face. If I had close neighbors they'd probably wonder what I was doing.
Weeding, after all, is not the most rewarding garden activity. I can easily be distracted from weeding -- fill that bunny hole, stomp down that mole tunnel, remove the Japanese beetles from my plants, or run to get my camera or phone to capture that perfect photo I can visualize. Some days (or should I say most days) weeding can take way longer than expected.
But I don't think that's a bad thing; it's all part of what we enjoy about the garden experience. And on a positive note...it's great for your well-being.
Pictured: Daylily 'Grey Witch'
If you talk, sing, or play music to your plants, will they respond? Does it help them grow?
I read an interesting article "The Intelligent Plant" written by Michael Pollan and published in The New Yorker. According to the article, plants have the ability to sense and react to the world. For instance, when plants were played a recording of a caterpillar chewing on a leaf, they reacted by secreting a defensive chemical, just as though they were threatened. Pollan also states that plants can sense gravity, the presence of water, and can adjust/shift the direction of growing roots when it senses there is an obstruction (a rock, perhaps).
The Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters explored the possibility that plants respond to sound and/or speech. They set up seven greenhouses, four of which were equipped with stereos playing looped recordings. Two were of negative speech, while two were of positive speech. The fifth greenhouse had classical music playing, while the sixth had heavy death metal. A seventh greenhouse, set up as the control, had no music. The team found that the plants in the four greenhouses with recordings grew faster than the control plants with no music, but the plants in the greenhouses with music grew even faster than the negative and positive speech. Surprisingly, the plants in the greenhouse exposed to heavy death metal music grew the best of all!
Bottom line: Talk and sing to your plants; complain, yell, and scream...just don't give them the silent treatment.
New Yorker article "The Intelligent Plant"
Discovery Mythbusters (Episode #23 aired November 15, 2004)
Pictured: Daylily 'Black Falcon Ritual'
Wow...this year whipped by! Time for me to reminisce about a few of the little things that made up 2019.
Pictured: Homage to one of my favorite 'Life is Good' tee-shirts
Recently I passed by a home that had a ginormous resin cow in the front yard. The homeowner had tied a chain around the cow and wrapped the chain around a tree trunk with a padlock. Cows are big here in Wisconsin! This is yard art at its best!
You've all seen yard whimsy gone wild, yes? It's that yard that has one too many flamingos and somehow crosses the invisible line between tasteful and tacky. It stops you in your tracks to gape at in disbelief. Thoughts I ponder when I see yard whimsy gone wild:
Daylilies never fail to amaze me with all the different types of shapes, colors and sizes that are available. There is truly a daylily for everyone, no matter what your likes and dislikes are. Hybridizers are continually coming up with many unique cultivars as each year passes. Lately, I am particularly fascinated with the striped and spotted daylilies that are becoming popular. Hello wish list...
Pictured are just a few of the variations that grow in my garden.
'Jen Melon' is one of my favorite old-school daylilies that is hardy and fuss-free. I got this melon-yellow daylily as a freebie when I bought another plant, and to be honest I actually liked Jen Melon better than the plant I purchased! This dormant diploid was hybridized in 1987 by Oakes Daylilies in Tennessee. Although registered at 26," my plant grows 32" tall. The thick, waxy blooms are consistently 7" in size and hold up wonderfully in any kind of weather. A midseason-late bloomer, Jen Melon bloomed from July 19 through August 21 in my garden.
This pretty is also an American Daylily Society 2018 Honorable Mention award winner. This award is the first official 'stamp of approval' where good performance goes beyond the regional level.
In Ireland, the people were so friendly and welcoming wherever we went. In addition to traveling through the lush, emerald-green countryside, we visited Waterford, Ireland's oldest city, where the Vikings played a prominent role (see the photo of a restored Viking ship), Jerpoint Park where we saw 12th Century remains from the Lost Town of Newtown Jerpoint, Kilkenny Castle (built in 1195), and the capital and largest city, Dublin.
Everyone told us that the Guinness Storehouse was the place to go in Dublin. That's me relaxing in the Gravity Bar with a 360 degree view of Dublin in the background. The displays on the various floors of the Storehouse were cutting-edge and thoroughly engaged all of your senses. The clock photo below is just one example.
The Glasnevin Cemetery tour in Dublin was surprisingly one of my favorites. The cemetery is 124 acres in size with 1.5 million interments. Our guide was a knowledgeable, animated high school history teacher whose love of Irish history was infectious. It was mind-boggling to see literally thousands and thousands of beautiful, intricately crafted monuments from centuries past. There were cherubs, angels, statues, and Celtic designs for as far as you could see. Just wow...
And what would a trip to Ireland be like without hearing traditional Irish music and watching Irish dancing? We spent an entertaining evening at the Merry Ploughboy Pub in Dublin -- a great time with wonderful music, dancing, and delicious food and drink.
Every season I seem to have one daylily that goes above and beyond in performance with re-bloom and length of bloom. In 2019 it was "Time Stopper." This beauty grew to a height taller than I had ever seen before (58") and it bloomed the longest of any daylily in my garden. Bloom started on June 15 and continued through September 15. Perhaps it was all that rain we had! Time Stopper is a hardy, reliable plant that grows vigorously in a northern climate without any special fuss or care.
To read more about this cultivar's attributes, I previously posted a profile of Time Stopper in 2017:
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