Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Plant For All Seasons

In my early gardening days I never had a love affair with the "Daylily."  I thought any plant that produced a flower for only one day was not worth having in the garden!  Boy, was I wrong!  The daylily has become a welcome seasonal anchor in my garden.  My Oakes daylily catalog arrived today, and the first thing that entered my mind was where could I possibly fit another plant. 

I very rarely buy a potted or packaged daylily, mostly ordering from reputable firms over the internet.  The selection is endless finding plants that will never be offered at the garden center.  The daylily is a hardy character and is perfect for being ordered wrapped in newspaper with a rubberband around the scapes.  They do not look very viable when received, but oh what a pail of water can do overnight.  If you take off all packing material, remove the rubberbands and soak, they are ready for planting and wonderful growth even the first year.

There are daylilies that will bloom early, early middle, middle, middle late and late.  What this means is that you can have daylilies blooming throughout the growing season.  If you get excited about the notation that some are rebloomers, well don't, because if you live anywhere in zone 5 or below it is sporadic at best.
Stella D'Oro is the prime example of this, blooms great for the first flush, not much after that, plan on dividing this one often - finally gave all of mine away.  Ditto for Happy Returns - it doesn't return, but I kept this one.

I have finally come to the conclusion that I want a lot of bang for my buck!  It is my large, colorful daylilies that are spectacular in my summer garden.  Please do not think that I have ignored all of those beautiful, delicate or miniature daylilies, I have made some room for them also, but I call them my walk by daylilies not to look at from fifty feet away.

Picking off a mushie (dead flower) will not produce more daylilies on that plant.  It will make the plant look more attractive especially on the larger flowered daylilies.  However, cutting the whole stem to the ground on the professed rebloomers will give you some rebloom. 

Well, I am going to leaf through this great little catalog, thinking to myself I can always make room for a few more! and  Martha's Vineyard (they are small and have an email on website).