Here comes the peak.  Thirty-seven bloomers today – Six new ones.  Well, five, but I am going to highlight Papa Long Legs, again.  Because his first bloom was not his best.  So, here he is today.  He totally lives up to his name!


Papa Long Legs 6/30

And, as I said yesterday, Happy Hopi was in the blooming process.  She ended up with some awesome blooms today – I have never seen her before in my yard.  Another first.  I am now up to 21 Ned Roberts spiders that have bloomed.  I hope to double that.  But, I only had like 12 all of last year.  So, those buried pots matter.


Happy Hopi 6/30

The other new Roberts spider (another very first bloom) is Black Arrowhead.  She reminds me of Apache Bandana.  Somewhere I have all the genetics for this family of daylily – I need to look to see who is related to who.  But, probably not until the peak slows some.


Black Arrowhead 6/30

The next two are family flowers.  In the Walkway Garden, I have a small Family Garden section.  It is inspiring, spiritual, and sad to me . . . all at once.  Many of my family have passed (I am the baby of the family whose mom was nearly 40 when she gave birth).  Others and just estranged or distant.  I wish it was different, but I have always been the resilient one.  Sometimes that means aging solo.  But the garden brings me to a place of remembering the positives I got from my family.

So, today a first bloom of Catherine Irene.  My mom’s name was Catherine Irene.  This flower has done so much better in a buried container . . . first bloom after 3 summers here.  She is a pretty little mini!


Catherine Irene 6/30

And, speaking of minis, Mini Pearl showed up today.  My mom’s mom (my grandma) was named Mini Pearl.  She is a reliable bloomer and I am sure I will need to divide her come fall.


Mini Pearl 6/30

I also had my first Electric Lizard for the year.  This plant struggles in my yard.  Only 2 buds this year.  None last year, I don’t think.  One the year prior.  I love this bloom and wish it liked me better.  Maybe more miracle grow this fall?


Electric Lizard 6/30

Last, but not least, is cute little Early Bird Cardinal.  She has been a reliable bloomer over the years, although only gave me a couple blooms last year.  Many buds this year.  I was thinking the one I named Red Riddle might be an Early Bird Cardinal – but I don’t think so now.  Look at the side-by-side of today’s blooms. I think Early Bird is smaller, rounder, and rufflier.  I don’t know for sure, thought.


Early Bird Cardinal 6/30


Red Riddle 6/30

OK – other bloomers (are you ready?) – Purple Many Faces, Indian Love Call, Pink Rain Dance, Cheyenne Eyes, Navajo Rodeo, Chokecherry Mountain, Cherokee Princess, Hopi Jewel, Holy Sombrero, Pueblo Dancer, Black Ice, Soco Gap, Aztec Firebird, Zuni Thunderbird,  Prairie Blue Eyes, Red Riddle, Purple Mystique, Mesa Verde, Canyon Colors, Bluegrass Music, The Colorado Kid, Happy Returns, Lady Fingers, Yellow Punch, Jungle Queen, Route 66, Ruby Stella, Nurse’s Stethoscope, Strutter’s Ball, Wild Horses, Inwood, Chaco Canyon, Funny Valentine, and Return a Smile.

Tomorrow, it will be quite a roll-call for the week.  But next week will be even crazier.  And fitting in medical appointments . . . But, I would not miss the peak bloom for the world.  Tomorrow, we will hear from Primal Scream!

So, that is 62 of 175 (ish) – 35% bloom rate so far.  Man . . . we have a ways to go!

Friday’s Flowers!

Friday in the garden.  My early to work, early to get off day.  That means running around trying to get as many photos early as possible . . . because the UV cooks the blooms my noon.  We were in the 90s with single digit humidity, again.  Smoke in the air from several fires in the area.  And, still there are blooms.

So, the first one I want to talk about is Rocky Mountain Pals. I ended up with only one good bud and today was a first every bloom for this cultivator.  This is another Ned Roberts spider and has a special story.  I don’t claim to know it well, but I believe the hybridizer named it after the staff of cancer specialists toward the end of his life.  What a cool gratitude gift.


Rocky Mountain Pals 6/29

This story touches me know as I deal with my first ever cancer . . . a fairly easy to remove skin cancer.  Still, mortality somehow seems a little more real now.  Especially since I have been fighting fatigue for almost 2 years.  I think it is my work hours, but it is time for a work-up.  And, so, today this flower holds special meaning. Can’t wait to get to the surgeon!

The other first time Ned Roberts spider is Purple Grasshopper.  Sometimes, I would look at the names of these flowers and try to figure out if they were southwestern enough for my theme.  I decided we had enough grasshoppers out here that it counted.  Still, I didn’t realize today that this bloom looks like you are looking a purple grasshopper right in the face.  Do you see it?


Purple Grasshopper 6/29

Lastly, one of my minis did bloom.  This is another first ever in my yard.  Petite Petticoats.  I think this came as a bonus with Santa’s Pants late last summer.  I decided to put a bucket of minis together in the Mural Garden.  So, she is the first bloom in the bucket.  I like the color mix.


Petite Petticoats 6/29

So, all day I have been watching Happy Hopi and Papa Longlegs.  These spiders start blooming the day before they actually bloom.  They were open by this evening and a little saggy from the heat of today.  I hope they revive a little in the cool night air, because tomorrow is their bloom day.  I want some good photos.  I need to get up early.  Oh, yea, exhaustion.  Well, sort of early.

Other bloomers today were Purple Many Faces, Cheyenne Eyes, Laughing Feather, Indian Love Call, Navajo Rodeo, Canyon Colors, Comanche Princess, Talon, Apache Bandana, Prairie Blue Eyes, Dark Mystery, Red Riddle (who I am starting to suspect is a second Early Bird Cardinal – I will compare when my labeled one opens – maybe tomorrow), Stella, Wineberry Candy, The Colorado Kid, Mesa Verde, Happy Returns, Alabama Jubilee, Pink and Cream, Yellow Punch, Jungle Queen, Nurse’s Stethoscope, Wild Horses, Ruby Spider, Return a Smile, Lady Fingers, Funny Valentine and Passionate Returns.

And, the Walkway Garden is barely starting to bloom.  The Southwestern Garden is maybe 1/3 done.  The Mural and Driveway Garden are pretty much peaking now.  Fifty-seven of 175 have bloomed.  We are at 31% bloom rate and it is not even July yet.  This time last year, we were at 27. So far, we have more than doubled our bloom rate!  And, the odd part is that the Walkway Garden is later to bloom this year.  I think better buds and more flowers this time.

Colorful Big Birds Land in My Garden

Wow!  Thirty bloomers today.  And, yet, the scapes are still everywhere.  I think the Walkway Garden is about to start popping.  And the Southwest and Mural Gardens are close to peak.  It is going to get busier very soon.

Today’s new blooms include two of my favorite Ned Roberts spiders out in the Southwest Garden.  Of all my daylilies, Zuni Thunderbird is my favorite.  Let me say that again – My favorite daylily of all the 170+ in my yard had its first bloom today.  Zuni Thunderbird was one of my original 4 pilot flowers in the Southwest Garden (AKA Yucca Garden).  I had Kokopelli first – but quickly added Dream Catcher and Zuni Thunderbird.  Of all the Southwest named daylilies I was discovering, those names caught my eye.


Zuni’s first blooms are never her best – but this year, they are better than I have ever seen them.  I think the bug spray helps.  No one nibbled her buds and sucked her color out.  Why is she my favorite – I like the deep color and she gets some of the most amazing curls you have ever seen.  I just love her.

The other big bird is Aztec Firebird.  Aztec Firebird likes where she is planted and puts on a great show every year.  She was added the spring after the pilot, yet she is bigger than most the plants added at that time.  I love her bright colors . . . she is a firebird!


The other newbie for 2018 today is Strutter’s Ball.  She is in the mural garden.  Added a few years ago and a pretty reliable bloomer.  I like her with my solar flower.


So, tomorrow is my early day.  And, I am dealing with some minor health issues now, so I do need to sleep.  Depending on the Walkway Garden, we should have around the same number of blooms . . . maybe more.  Several of my minis look almost ready.  I am sure I will have at least one in bloom tomorrow.

Other bloomers today: Treasure of the Southwest, Mesa Verde, Pink Rain Dance, Purple Many Faces, Comanche Princess, Black Ice, Pueblo Dancer, Soco Gap, Prairie Blue Eyes, Red Riddle, Wineberry Candy, Jungle Queen, Saratoga Springtime, Colorado Kid, Canyon Colors, Pink and Cream, Yellow Punch, Wild Horses, Funny Valentine, Ruby Spider, Return a Smile, Indian Love Call, Holy Sombrero, Dream Keeper, Ruby Stella, Route 66, and Nurse’s Stethoscope.  I think that is it.  Goodnight, Big Bird!

Watch Your Step

My day starts a little early this time of year.  My camera says I was out shooting photos before 7 AM.  Not all of the lilies open early, so some are in the process of blooming, so I usually go for a short run and come back to finish.  Today, in my clumsiness, I managed to step on my only Orchid Moonrise scape.  It broke off the scape and two leaves.  That poor plant nearly died last summer and has done better in the buried pot.  I was surprised it put out a scape.  I felt sick that I broke it . . . I am trying it in a vase with water, but the buds and young so I don’t think I will get a bloom.

I felt sad about that off and on all morning.  Then, I began to think of my successes this year.  Last year I had 16 or 72 (ish) cultivators bloom out there.  That is 22%.  This year, I have had 21 so far – and probably at least 30 more in scape (well, 29 now that big-foot visited).  That is 30% so far.  If I get 50 to bloom, it will be 70%.  I still have some water issues in one area of the back row.  And, I have a few that really died back in the year or so with no buried pot, so they need to grow this year.  I will take that, and fall will bring a few more improvements (but nothing like burying 60 pots in clay mud and tree roots).

So, speaking of the Southwest Garden, today Black Ice bloomed.  She has not bloomed since her very first year.  She died back, but not as bad as some of the others.  She has a fair number of bulbs.  I love her dark bloom.  So cool.


The other newbie in the Southwest Garden was Papa LongLegs.  I added him last spring and got a bloom.  I find the first blooms on the spiders are sometimes kind of deformed, and such is the case with this first bloom.  I will share a better shot (hopefully) with the weekend listing.


And, another yellow spider, Lady Fingers, bloomed for the first time in 2018.  She is one I got when I xeriscaped my front yard during the last drought – maybe 6 years ago.  I divided her and so this one is growing in the Border Garden with the new drip system.


Last, but not least, is Alabama Jubilee.  I ordered her my first year of roots specifically because my daughter lived in Alabama at the time.  She had my granddaughter while living there – and I called myself the Bama Grandma.  Those years were both special and troubling.  Sometimes things happen that we would never dream would happen a few years earlier.  Such is life.  This bright orange bloom reminds me of hope and the beauty of the relationship I had with my granddaughter when she was little.  This one is for you, Maia!


Ok, man, it is 11 PM and I am beat.  I need to put a wrap on this.  Quickly, other blooms today were Treasure of the Southwest, Zuni Eye, Apache Bandana, Comanche Princess, Hopi Jewell, Laughing Feather, Soco Gap, Holy Sombrero, Funny Valentine, Return a Smile, Nurse’s Stethoscope, Route 66, Ruby Spider, Jungle Queen, Stella, Happy Returns, Bluegrass Music, Canyon Colors, Prairie Blue Eyes, Purple Mystique, Red Riddle, Yellow Punch, and Wineberry Candy.  Phew – and it isn’t peak yet.  Tomorrow starts early.

PS – I have had 50 different blooms so far this year, so we are at about 29% total bloom rate – and it isn’t peak yet . . . then come the later bloomers.  Last year, we had 83 total bloomers all season.  That is a total bloom rate of 47% bloom rate.  Any guesses when we will surpass that?  My guess is that we will pull ahead by July 4th.

Daylily Days Keep the Doctor Away

Daylilies are happy beings.  They bring smiles to the faces of passersby.  They give me something to look forward to all year . . . and every day.  I am sure they are good for my health.  Well, other than not enough sleep for a few weeks every year during peak.

Today, the doctor (well, nurse practitioner) was not kept away.  Time for a visit to check on some things.  Not all the news was good.  I am once again reminded that all my extra energy now needs to go into a resilience plan.  The daylilies are part of that plan.

So, I had a few new blooms today.  I think my favorite is Chokecherry Mountain.  It is another Ned Roberts spider.  I wasn’t sure at first if that name was really Southwestern – but I think it is named after a Mountain in Nevada, so that is good enough for me.  I love the patterns in the pedals.


Soco Gap also appeared in the Southwest Garden today.  Soco Gap is a Native American name and she was a gift plant my year of the pilot out there.  I stuck her small fans between 2 yuccas.  It was quite a surprise the first year when she got as big as the yuccas.  I can’t dig her up now without stabbing myself, so she stays.


Another favorite is Thin Man.  This was one of my first mail order daylilies.  I really had no idea the roots generally don’t bloom for a season, sometimes longer.  Thin Man has been a reliable bloomer.  I totally love the shape of this guy!


Ruby Stella was one I added to the pot with Route 66.  She bloomed forever the first year – into November.  No blooms last year.  She is in the Rain Barrel Garden, so she gets her drip, drip, drip now.  Curious to see is she does her late-blooming act this year.


Pink and Cream was a Lowe’s daylily that I picked up last year with Yellow Punch.  These are Stella hybrids.  Pink and Cream is my favorite of the two.  I like her flowing shape.


That’s all folks.  The other blooms today were Talon, Comanche Princess, Navajo Rodeo, Apache Bandana, Indian Love Call, Pueblo Dancer, Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, The Colorado Kid, Happy Returns, Stella, Jungle Queen, Route 66, Funny Valentine, Dark Mystery, Platinium Palette Pink Whispers, Wineberry Candy, Nurse’s Stethoscope, Zuni Eye, Pink Rain Dance, and Hopi Jewel.  Goodness, we are not even at peak yet, though the Southwest Garden is right on the cusp of that stage.  I am bummed the bugs got all but one bud on Rocky Mountain Pals.  Overall, though, it hasn’t been a bad bug year.


Monday Flower Power

OMG, how did it get to be 10:30 PM?  Anyway – the day started as usual in the daylily gardens.  Three new faces today for 2018.  It was about 10 AM that my power crashed . . . right as I was starting to make my calls to students.  Our work phone system goes through the internet . . . and so everything was dead.  Well, except my dying cell phone that was hooked up to my charger.  From there, I tried to follow my calendar and make calls or send texts on my personal cell.  Of course, how much I could actually do with my notes and scheduler was very limited.  Power was out nearly 2 hours, took a while to catch up.

That said, I guess I survived my morning with flower power.  PS – I think that is why my phone batteries were so low when the power went out.

New blooms today – well, my old buddy Route 66 bloomed for the first time in 2018.  I got her after a roadtrip to Route 66 a few years back  . . . before I ordered online.  So, I was at a local nursery and sort of stunned to see the name on a daylily.  She came home and was in a planter in the driveway area for a couple years, but water was inconsistent.  So, last year, I added the rain barrel and solar drip system – now this is the Rain Barrel Garden. Route 66 is doing so much better the year.  She had 3 big blooms today.  She was the one to open my eyes to place named daylilies!  After that, I was hooked.


Route 66 6/25


Cheyenne Eyes was a brand new face in the Southwest Garden.  She is another pretty Ned Roberts spider.  Reminds me of a Native American rug design. It is her first bloom ever in my yard . . . another 3rd year is the charm.  I have to tell you that I love the huge blooms out there.  They really draw attention to the area that is a ways away from the sidewalk.


Cheyenne Eyes 6/25

And, Inwood is a first bloom for 2018 today.  I have had her for a few years.  She bloomed year 1 but not year 2.  Not enough water or sun, I decided.  Now she is thriving back in the Mural Garden on the drip system.


Inwood 6/25

As for tomorrow, more flower power.  I don’t know how many – but estimate 30 or so.  Oh, today’s other bloomers were Dream Keeper, Apache Bandana, Comanche Princess, Zuni Eye, Canyon Colors, Purple Many Faces, Treasure of the Southwest, Pink Rain Dance, Laughing Feather, Mesa Verde, Bluegrass Music, The Colorado Kid, Funny Valentine, Happy Returns, Ruby Spider, Return a Smile, Wild Horses, Purple Mystique, Red Riddle, Dark Mystery, Prairie Blue Eyes, and Stella de Oro.

Horses, Canyons, Rodeos, and Our Blooms for the Week!

Summer is here! I got home from camping 6 hours ago and am still trying to get everything done for the weekend!  When I don’t take photos in the morning, the blooms are pretty sunburned by noon.  And we had wind today.   And single digit humidity.  So, for today there were 5 new blooms.

Wild Horses is a favorite, dependable bloomer.  I have had her 3 years and she puts on quite a show.  Can you see the wild horses in her pattern?


Wild Horses 6/24

So, Chaco Canyon bloomed when we returned from this same camping adventure last year.  I love her stripes!


Chaco Canyon 6/24

A brand new face for this year is Navajo Rodeo.  Waiting 3 years to see some of these has taken patience.  She reminds me of Talon, but redder.  I am sure they are related.


Navajo Rodeo 6/24

Ruby Spider is one of my oldest blooms, and always a favorite.  She is huge, and oh so red!


Ruby Spider 6/24

And little Happy Returns is back.  She is such a delicate little yellow trumpet.


Happy Returns 6/24

And there is the long roster (with photos) of all or our blooms from 6/18 through today:


Bluegrass Music 6/21


Canyon Colors 6/21


Comanche Princess 6/22


Dark Mystery 6/20


Dream Keeper 6/22


Funny Valentine 6/19


Holy Sombrero 6/22


Hopi Jewel 6/20


Indian Love Call 6/20


Jungle Queen 6/20


Kokopelli 6/19


Laughing Feather 6/19


Mesa Verde 6/22


Nurse’s Stethoscope 6/21


Painted Petroglyph 6.21


Pink Rain Dance 6/22



Platinum Palate Pink Whispers 6/22


Prairie Blue Eyes 6/19


Pueblo Dancer 6/22


Purple Many Faces 6/22


Purple Mystic 6/20


Red Riddle 6/21


Return a Smile 6/19


Saratoga Springtime 6/21


Stella de Oro 6/19


Talon 6/21


The Colorado Kid 6/22


Treasure of the Southwest 6/21


Wineberry Candy 6/24


Yellow Punch 6/22


Zuni Eye 6/20

So far, that makes 36 that have bloomed in the yard.  Of 170-something.  21% or so of my cultivators have bloomed so far.  Tomorrow, it looks like more new faces will join the count!

Appreciation of Nature, Beauty

Friday. Finally. I had a ton of blooms today. Over 20. And, now, I’m camping under the stars in the National Forest about 50 miles from my yard. I’ll miss tomorrow’s blooms, but will catch the ones on Sunday. It’s worth it to get away from the routine for a few hours. It’s quiet here due to the drought and burn ban.

So, back to daylilies from this morning. I had 4 new ones. Pueblo Dancer, another Ned Roberts spider, gave me only a couple anemic blooms last year. This year, she is still too scrawny, but herblooms are much prettier.

Apache Bandana is another of Ned’s blooms. I love her dark color and long petals. It’s her first ever bloom for me.

Speaking of droughts, Pink Rain Dance, another of Ned’s spiders, bloomed for the first time today. I hope she brings the monsoons.

And, Holy Sombrero was another first ever bloom from a gift plant I put on 2 years ago. Her huge yellow bloom is amazing.

It’s funny, because I arranged that garden to have the taller blooms in back. It seems like the ones in the front row age taller that average, and the ones in the back are shorter.

The sun is going down, my melatonin is kicking in. I’ll be back Sunday with all my bloomers for the week.

The Longest Daylily: Nurse’s Stethoscope

Drum roll . . . the day has come for the one and only daylily that I ever helped to name to bloom for the first time in my yard.  Nurse’s Stethoscope was born one day during the “Show me your stethoscope” incident on The View.  The incident went viral, and somehow my brain synapsed that Nurse’s Stethoscope would be a cool daylily name.  So, I suggested it on the National Daylily Society Facebook page.  And, from there one of the hybridizers with a medical background found a seedling and registered the name.  She may not be the longest daylily, but it is Summer Solstice and she is a BIG bloom.  She is my most expensive daylily . . . but I just had to have her as my self-nurturing with my annual bonus money.


I also had another mystery daylily open from the smaller pot of noID daylilies from the old back corner garden.  She is cute – kind of generic looking red daylily with striped petals.  I named her Red Riddle.  I suspect she may be a common one named Red Volunteer but there are so many, I doubt that I will ever know for sure.


It was a busy day, as solstice usually is in the daylily gardens. (And, an 11 hour work day.)  Bloomers today were Treasure of the Southwest, Purple Many Faces, Canyon Colors, Comanche Princess, Talon, Hopi Jewel, noID Dark Mystery, Wineberry Candy, Bluegrass Music, The Colorado Kid, Saratoga Springtime, Mesa Verde, Stella de Oro, Funny Valentine and Return a Smile.  Stay tuned for photos of all our bloomers for the week on Sunday.

Tomorrow is my early work day – then I leave camping.  Between now and work at 8 AM, I need to take a bath, pack, sleep, and take photos of about 20 cultivators that look ready to pop.  Some cool new ones – like Holy Sombrero and Pink Raindance.  And, so, Happy Solstice to all, and to all a goodnight!

Twas the Night Before Solstice

It was a busy day in the garden.  I had 15 in bloom.  That means, when I get off work at 9 PM, I am running on empty and I have a lot of photos to edit.  They are a joy and I need to sleep.  So, I will keep it short.

Jungle Queen bloomed today for the first time in 2018.  She was one of my first Daylily Auction purchases.  I bought 3 daylilies (Jungle Queen, Quilt Patch, and Classy Lady) to learn how the system worked before it was time for the bids on Kokopelli to close.  I got all 4.  I love her big blooms.  I divided her last year and now have 2 pots in different places.  Should spread the blooms out over more weeks.


And, Painted Petroglyph produced a few buds with misshapen flowers.  I added her in the fall of 2016.  Today was her first attempt to bloom.  The insects obviously picked on her and her blooms are smaller than they should be.  That likely means something is making her roots weak.  She is in the section that didn’t all get put in buried pots.  I need to make a note to myself to dig her up and pot her this fall.  Probably some big tree root right there or something.  But, she is trying . . . at least she bloomed this year.  That is something. The bugs have been fairly low key this year with the spray, so they picked a weaker plant to eat.  I need to spray again, though.


Other bloomers today were Zuni Eye, Treasure of the Southwest, Purple Many Faces, Indian Love Call, Hopi Jewel, Mesa Verde, Blue Grass Music, Purple Mystique (no ID), Dark Mystery (no ID), Platinium Palet Pink Whispers, The Colorado Kid, Wineberry Candy, and Stella.  Tomorrow is the BIG day – the first bloom of Nurse’s Stethoscope – it’s half open already.  I can’t wait!