The Icon of Orange

Today, it was almost rainy.  There was thunder and clouds . . . and a few drops of rain.  It was cooler, and I began thinking about fall.   I felt a little sad knowing that I was cutting off spent scapes much more quickly than new ones are going up.  Having a new daylily every day is probably not going to be with us long.  The blog will fade into the background as I start to do the elbow-grease stuff to make next year more successful.

At any rate, Orange Vols showed up for the first time today.  I absolutely love these colors. If Ruby Spider is the icon of red blooms, Orange Vols is the icon of orange. I have painted this one a few times!


Speaking of painting, today I started to think about how I would be painting some of these this winter.  Then, I thought of the seasons and my favorite things about each. Spring is desert hikes and my annual Southwest road trip.  Summer is camping and . . . daylilies (of course).  Fall is the colors and harvest.  Winter is painting.  Daylilies, of course.

Tomorrow, perhaps Best Seller’s only other bud.  I hope it survives.  And, well we will see what the rain brings.

Where is the Rain?

Today, we were supposed to get a lot of rain.  Maybe flash floods.  I wasn’t sure I would get any work done in the yard on split-shift, but I worked outside the whole afternoon. More on that in a minute.

Today brought 2 new blooms.  Royal Palace Prince was a bonus plant a couple years ago.  It has done better than some of the purchased plants.  It reminds me of Pick of the Litter.


The second new face for the year is Apache Uprising.  It is the second year for this one.  I like the red.  It reminds me of Baja a little.


I also like this photo of some of my last near blues today – Blue Beat, The Colorado Kid, and Bluegrass Music.


I don’t know about a later peak this year.  Bud counts down and buds dropping.  March was warmer than April.  And, we had the late May snow storm . . . then no rain.  Last year was better in the front garden.

I feel like I am freeing hostages.  Daylilies that are not flourishing, but could under different circumstances.  Buried pots in order for several in the front garden.  Today, Catherine Irene and Happy Happy.  Neither has ever bloomed here, and this is going on 3 years.  Others that need a transplant include Alabama Jubilee, Coburg Fright Wig, Navajo Blanket, Primal Scream, Lacy Doily, and Heavenly Curls.  All have had either extremely low bloom this year or have never bloomed.

When I dug up the two today, I was amazed at the other roots that were woven in with theirs.  And, in one case, an ant hill.  The whole front garden looks so dry.  I have the sprinkler on daily.  I need to get a sprinkler hose or something.  I wonder if eventually, all 100 plus of my in-ground daylilies will be in buried pots.  That makes me tired to think about it . . . but it worked well for the veggies.  Come on monsoons.  Where are you?

Black Eyes and Twirls

Today, two brand new faces joined the yard.  I am most excited about Twirling Pinata.  It’s a new Ned Roberts spider that I added last fall.  I just love the curly ones!  The color is nice, too.


The other one joined this spring after a trip to the nursery in Grand Junction.  The name caught my eye – Black Eyed Susan.  I like the color of those flowers.  And, the daylily version does not disappoint with the rich golden yellow-orange.  It has a LOT of buds, too. It was an early addition, so I think it is happy here.


The blooms continue at a steady pace.  I am disappointed so many are dropping buds.  In continuous improvement, we make changes at a rapid pace to improve outcomes.  Daylilies are slower.  I can try adding more water or fertilizer, but the die have been largely cast for the year.  I’m at 35% bloom.  If all bloom with scapes (help me out here insects), then it climbs to 45%.  I am sure I will get a handful of late ones to add.  Maybe 50% for the year.

At some point, you go from having a few daylilies in your yard to being a hobbiest/collector.  For me, I think that happened at about 50.  In a way, it becomes more work at that point.  There is an art and science that you have to learn.  Most do better in pots here, a few prefer the ground.  Most all prefer the drip system on my porch.  Some areas get more sun.  I have a ton of work to do on those who didn’t bloom for the next cycle.  But, will it work for next year?

Life goes on, and the years we have left with the flowers shrinks.  Heaven help me, I will be at 80% bloom long before I run out of time.


Remember Kodachrome?  And, the need to get enough film for all the photos you might want to take ahead?  And rewinding the film? Processing?  I would go nuts (and broke) in the daylily garden if life was still like that.

This summer, I am trying to tame my desire to take 15 photos of the same daylily on the same day.  Seriously, though, lighting and angle do make a difference.  So do 10-hour work days.  And, so I am trying to find a happy medium.

Today’s only new bloom is Baja.  This one is such a cool red color – it has been blooming in my yard for a few years now.  And, for some reason, I only got one photo of it in full bloom today.  I guess I had calls to make to students and didn’t want to be late.  It did not open until after my work day started.


For tomorrow, I think Black-Eyed Susan is close.  She is new this year.  Maybe Orange Vols.  I have a lot of newer scapes still on some that have not bloomed yet.  The bugs have gotten the better of a few.  Hoping for a nice second peak very soon.


It is so good to be home.  However, I found the need to catch-up on a little sleep took priority over the garden work I had wanted to do.  Work travel weekends are a little awkward in the summer.

At any rate, I had several new kids in the yard today.

El Desperado is a favorite.  It is so odd, because he didn’t bloom much last year.  This year, lots of scapes and buds.  I moved him 3 feet.  Right next to him is Canyon Colors, who bloomed like crazy last year but did nothing this year.  I think I will divide it this fall and see.  Time to start giving away extra roots!


Lime Frost is my only real off-green daylily.  I love this one with its big, fluffy near white blooms.  And, it sounds like a treat from Dairy Queen.  (Same bloom with and without the sun shining on it.)



Mini-Pearl is in my yard because my grandma’s name was Minnie Pearl (she hated in and dropped the Minnie).  My car is named Mini Pearl, too.


Razzmatazz is a cool little purple flower that reminds me of Purple de Oro.


It was kind of a low bloom day – less than 20.  Last year it peaked again the 3rd week of July.  I am hoping!


Today brought the 8-hour drive home, across the desert.  A detour to pick up the dogs, then home to see what was in bloom.  I have several new faces to share tonight. All were a little cooked by the time I pulled into the driveway at 3:30 PM.

Bela Lugosi is a new addition this year.  I wanted big and purple.  And, so it is.


On the softer side is the return of Lullaby Baby for 2017.  She has been with me several seasons.


And, Marque Moon with a near white bloom with a nice ruffled edge.


Melon Balls makes me smile.  Looks just like its name!


Thin Man is such a cool daylily – I love this one.  It was in the very first order of daylily roots that I ever planted.  I had no idea what to expect then.


The last one is a tiger, but I don’t know the name.  The nursery was not sure what it was, so sold it to me at reduced price.  I knew it was a tiger because several were in bloom near it . . . this is the first ever bloom for mine, even though I put it in last year.


Chicago Apache bloomed today, but I missed it and just now remembered.  Not much point at 10:30 PM.  I’ll feature it next time it blooms.

Tomorrow, I think there will be more new faces.  Peak is here.  Or very close.  I noticed that desert icicle is sending up scapes.  I keep hoping for more . . . a long season would rock.  It’s good to be home.


Tomorrow comes my 400-mile trip home to daylily-ville.  And my pups and kitties.   I can’t wait to see what the monsoon rains have brought into bloom.  I hope my squash and other veggies survived.  It is hard to be gone during growing season.

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Today, I took a walk after dinner.  One of the few breaks from mandatory activities for work.  I found a little air plant.  I think live plants make cool souvenirs.  Maybe I really am turning into a gardener.  It is a grounding hobby in a world of uncertainty.


The Rainy Season

The rainy season has come to my yard since I left for my business trip.  Monsoon patterns bring welcome relief to the arid high desert of the Colorado Plateau.  I am glad to hear of the rain, but afraid I will miss the blooms that it brings.  Only one more full day without my garden.

Last year on this day, there were a lot of pastels.  Judging by the scapes, my guess is that they may be in bloom now.  The pastels bring a special aura to the garden.  A very different flavor than Ruby Spider.  I can’t wait to see with my own eyes.

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Smiles are a sign of human engagement.  And, for now, my smiles are daylilies.  I miss my mornings in the garden and am thankful for my photos.

Last night, I praised my Ruby Spider for having the most days of blooms.  Tonight, I praise Return A Smile for having the longest run of blooms.  She was the first one, and she was blooming on Monday when I left.  She has scapes that survived that late snow storm. She was purchased at the same time as Ruby Spider . . . maybe 8 years ago.  They live in the same planter – which seems too small but they thrive.  Return a Smile, Like Ruby, has been divided and lives in 2 locations in my yard.


It gives me some faith to see them flourish.  I figured it out, and if all those with scapes bloom, I’ll be at 42% bloom this year.  I hope a few more produce.  I have to dig some more up and put them in pots.  I may bury the pots – but they need better soil and less competition to stand a chance of blooming.  I wonder if I’ll need to do that in the Southwestern Garden?  For this year, I think I’ll try breaking through the clay a little deeper and see what next year brings.

Farming is hard work, yet it brings a sense of engagement and purpose to life.  All of the world’s longest living people garden.  I can understand why.

21 Days!

Sitting in a hotel room some 300+ miles from my blooms.  I wonder what bloomed today? Best Seller was so close – I’ve waited 3 years!  It was one of the first roots that I ordered.  I hope is saves some buds.

So, I decided to make a chart showing which day each flower has bloomed.  So far, I have had a 27% bloom.  I hope I can get to 50.  I don’t ever expect to hit 100.  But, I do want to see it increase every year.  I move them, I water more, I add fertilizer, I trim trees (pending).  It is quite a learning curve . . .

In looking at the number of days each cultivator has bloomed, Ruby Spider definitely wins the prize of the most days in bloom.  It helps that I have 3 of her in different places in the yard.  She is one of the oldest ones, too.  She is the icon of my daylilies.  Bloom on, Ruby!