Daylilies pictured: 'Woman's Scorn' in the foreground and 'Integrated Logistics' in the background
Most landscaping design, along with interior and print design follows traditional color theory using complementary colors on the color wheel. Red and purple are an unconventional and unexpected color combination that will turn some heads. In fact, it's one of my favorite combos with flowers. I always buy Wave Petunias in these two colors. It was fun to try this pairing with daylilies. I love the look! So if you're bored with color and want to try mixing unusual tones, red and purple may give you that extra edge.
Daylilies pictured: 'Woman's Scorn' in the foreground and 'Integrated Logistics' in the background
Ahhhh...September....the month we Northern gardeners try to remedy our planting fails from the previous spring by juggling daylilies around the yard. My friend Sally and I like to refer to this as the 'Domino Effect' because in order to move *one* daylily to a new spot, it seems like an entire chain reaction of plant-moving needs to take place before that *one* daylily can be put in its place.
The Domino Effect reminds me of these three Murphy's Laws:
Why move daylilies around? A daylily's registration information can vary greatly as to how that plant grows in your garden, due to differences in sun, soil, temperature, and location. Planting is definitely a trial-and-error endeavor until you get to know how a particular plant behaves in your unique situation.
Here are just a few examples of why you'd want to move a plant:
I have yet to encounter a year without experiencing the Domino Effect. And as a gardener, I suspect you haven't either!
Daylily pictured: 'Techny Spider' with a companion ant
Watch out for this plant! While it may look dainty and smell deviously fragrant, it has aggressive, unmanageable behavior. When I was a gardening newbie, a 'friend' gave me a tiny kiddie-shovel full of Lily of the Valley for my shade garden. What an epic mistake! Lily of the Valley has these invasive underground runners that spread out of control and get tangled up in the roots of the well-behaved perennials. After twenty-five years of digging Lily of the Valley roots out of my flowers, I am still trying to eradicate it. Every year when I think I have completely removed it, a survivor shows up. It has even popped up in the grass outside of the flower bed. Aargh!
This plant may be good for erosion control, far away from flower gardens, but to this day I still shudder when I see Lily of the Valley for sale at garden centers. I mean really...should you spend money for this kind of aggravation?
Picture courtesy of Pixabay
Here are a few daylily hacks that have helped me grow healthy daylilies over the years:
Here are photos of the field next to our house where I have regularly dumped wheelbarrows of weeds over the years. As it turns out, my weeds weren't all weeds! I do remember tossing some rotted irises and a few daylily crowns that felt soft and mushy when I was dividing plants, but not any other plants. Who knew?
In addition to the 'Garden Scarlet' Bee Balm, 'Purple Sensation' Allium, and Narcissus/Daffodils pictured, our field boasts quite an assortment of irises, some hosta, a few daylilies, and a spirea that are all thriving. In late summer the field morphs into a fiesta of multi-colored tall garden phlox.
So our field has transformed into a perennial garden of sorts. Surprisingly, the perennials are successfully holding their own mixed in with the weeds. And what a bonus to have a colorful field!
As much as I love my daylilies, Picky-Patty-Me harbors a few pet peeves. Here are my top ten:
In spring 2019 this dainty, 12" tall fringed tulip arrived unannounced in my garden. The odd thing is that I have absolutely no idea where it came from. However it got here, I love it and it's staying! Note the neat white eyes in the first photo. This is also my latest tulip that bloomed through May 12.
Also known as Crispa Tulips, fringed tulips have lacy petals and crystalline-like fringes. Some have fringes in the same color as the petals, but others have contrasting fringes. They come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. Like regular tulips, it’s easy to grow fringed tulips. Plant the bulbs in autumn, in well-draining soil that gets full sunlight and add a bit of bulb booster. That's it!
You can read more about fringed tulips at Gardening Know How:
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.
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'
I usually hype annuals and perennials that I like, but today I want to talk about an annual that I think was an epic fail -- Red Double Wave Petunias. I expected that they would bloom profusely like the regular Wave Petunias that I love. Uh...no, far from it! After giving them three months to do something, the Red Double Wave Petunias were dug out and disposed of. Marigolds were planted in their place that are happy, blooming like crazy, and look 100% nicer.
I'm sharing this so you don't have to experience the extreme disappointment that I did. And just so you know, it wasn't only me. My good friend, an avid gardener, also bought these annuals and felt exactly the same way I did. She disposed of her Double Waves as well. Simply put, we would never purchase these again. In fact, we don't want them even if they were free!
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.
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/
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.
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!)
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.
On a dreary, 'fake-spring' afternoon I spent some time on my laptop going through photos from last summer. I deleted images I no longer wanted and re-arranged my keepers. I came across photos of this Asiatic lily that I just had to share. 'Suncrest' is such a beautiful lily. It is a hardy grower that I'm confident *anyone* could successfully grow. It grows approximately 3-4 feet tall and thrives in Zones 4 to 9. (I live in Zone 4.) It grows so robustly that I transplanted mine to partial shade to slow it down a bit! What I really like about this lily are the different looks that it presents. The buds are green with a touch of rose. When they first bloom, the flowers look lime-y green with burgundy speckles over a yellow base. As the bloom ages it morphs into a pale yellow color, as you can see in the third photo. At peak bloom it often looks like the plant grows two different color blooms simultaneously.
Suncrest is a Longiflorum-Asiatic (L.A.) Hybrid Lily. L.A. lilies are hybridized for better performance, bigger blooms, and a vase-life that is the longest of any lily. For those with allergies, they are virtually scentless. I purchased my Suncrest at the Saturday State Street Markets in Madison many years ago. As annoying and awkward as it was carrying this lily around in its pot, while trying to maneuver around tons of people at the markets (without whacking them in the head with my plant), it was totally worth it. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
(And yes, the calendar says that it's spring, but I consider it 'fake-spring' until I can actually get outside.)
Every year, without fail, I grow Double Red Peony Poppies in my yard. I got a few peony poppy seed pods from a friend's garden about twenty years ago and have been growing them ever since. I love the grey-green foliage and the bright pop of color they provide early in the season, even though they have a somewhat brief bloom time. The flowers measure 4+ inches in diameter and the plants grow about 2-3 ft. tall. Snipping off the flowers will extend the bloom. They are super easy-to-grow annuals. When they are done blooming I simply shake the seeds out of the dried up pods where I want them to grow next year, rough up the dirt a bit, and that's it! Then I remove the dried-up plants from the ground and compost them. It can't get easier than that!
Important: You may want to deadhead most of your poppies after their bloom to keep re-seeding in check. With hundreds of seeds in each pod, they can overpopulate fast. Often the wind can blow the seeds to places in your garden you may not want them.
Garden slip-ups are, without a doubt, one of the easiest topics for me to write about since I have single-handedly made just about every blunder that a gardener possibly could. As I've mentioned in earlier blogs, I did not grow up in a gardening family; my love of perennials came unexpectedly out of left field. Without a mentor I learned to garden by the trial-and-error method. Some of my gardening ideas worked (luck), but many others were an epic fail. It was then that I borrowed books from the library. The gardening books helped me achieve a much better outcome. And why is it that we never read instructions until we screw up or can't figure something out? Human nature, I guess.
Here are a few of the things I've learned (the hard way):
if it's about
my backyard and garden, I LOVE to talk about it!