From Desert to Daylilies

Today was a desert drought day. Smoke from nearby wildfires clouded the air. Ninty degrees with single digit humidity. The desert – my cacti and succulents are loving it.

Purple Corn Dancer 8.15.20

Today, I began the repotting project in the Southwest Garden. It wasn’t too bad – I got 15 done and have 5 more pots for tomorrow. I have lots more pots to order, but even $6 pots add up when you have several dozen daylilies.

Purple Thunderbird 8.15.20

I was thankful these were in cheep pots already because my soil is murder to dig in. There is an area in the garden that needs to have the holes dug but I aint doing that in 90 degree heat. Speaking of soil – the cheep pots did well at holding the new soil in but they all had tree roots growing into them. Our soil is mostly clay and silt (90+%) and has a very alkaline pH of 7-7.8. Daylilies like slightly acidic soil that has a pH of 6-6.5. They like slightly moist soil with some organic matter. Our clay soil is hard and dry with poor water retention. I have put several inches of topsoil in that garden circa 4 years ago and you would never know it – the clay wins.

Navajo Curls 8.15.20

At any rate – I have 3 bloomers left in that garden – Purple Corn Dancer (will be hanging around the longest), Purple Thunderbird, and Navajo curls. I am working around them so I don’t accidentally break a scape. It is amazing how the foliage looks so dry and the plants are shrinking back. I am not watering everyday due to work. Ugh – Monday is a 12 hour day. I miss working from home where I can run out and turn hoses on. The drought doesn’t care.

Purple Corn Dancer 8.15.20

I had a dream about my daylilies last night. I sold my house and after I closed I realized I left the daylilies. The new owner said I could go back and get them. But, I was like on a country road looking everywhere for them. I will be glad when they are potted because they are on the easement. I think having the sewer guys almost having to dig up my neighbor’s easement to get to my sewer woke me up. The pots can be moved.

Dwindle

Oh, how the mornings have changed from a month ago. I was fresh off vacation and in the midst of the daylily peak. Now, my mornings bring a handful of color and an early drive to work. And, work is no vaca in the middle east a pandemic.

Royal Palace Prince 8.14.20

It’s hot, though. And, really dry with single digit humidity. Wind fires blaze. Record breaking temps are common. Too hot and dry for reblooming. Even yellow Punch isn’t trying for a comeback.

Purple Corn Dancer 8.14.20

I got the first of the pots for you buried garden. Soil tomorrow. It’s kind of hot so I’ll start with just moving those already in pots to the better pots. I can’t dig tree into clay in this heat with a Graves flair.

Navajo Curls 8.14.20

Anyway, enjoy my dwindling handful of color.

Purple Thunderbird 8.14.20

One and Only

My goodness, I can’t believe it’s been 5 days since I posted! Fortunately, I’ve had time to take photos. But, on top of school starting amidst a pandemic, I’m also having a Grave’s flair.

Golden Eclipse – the sole bloomer 8.13.20

I have had nice bloomers, several with finale blooms this week. It hot, dry, and wildfires rage nearby. I don’t anticipate reblooms outside of maybe my yellow trumpets. I’ll start my improved buried pot project this weekend.

Sixty-Six Spiderman Daylilies for 2020

Hi all – When it is Saturday and it hasn’t been the fun day that I planned. COVID had driven the world mad – and they seem to all be mad at me. So, how about a little Ned Robert’s daylily therapy? I fell in love with Ned’s southwestern named daylilies after finding Kokopelli on Lily Auction 5 years ago. I have a collection of 70 ish now. I am including a few from 2019 if they didn’t bloom this year. Comment with your favorite! Direct from Montrose, Colorado . . .

Adios Albuquerque 2019
Apache Bandana 2019
Apache Beacon (w Dream Catcher) 2019
Aztec Firebird 7.19.20
BlackArrowhead 7.19.20
Black Ice 7.21.20
Chaco Canyon 7.29.20
Cheyenne Eyes 6.30.20
Chief Four Fingers 2019
Chokecherry Mountain 7.20.20
Comanche Princess 6.26.20
Coral Taco 6.30.20
Cricket Call 2019
Coyote Laughs 7.20.20
Cripple Creek 7.21.20
Dancing Maiden 7.20.1
Desert Icicle 8.8.20
Dream Catcher 7.28.20
Dream Keeper 6.6.20
Feather Woman 2019
Fox Ears 2019
Ghost Ranch 2019
Echo Canyon 6.25.20
Glen Eyrie 7.21.20
Golden Eclipse 7.30.20
Happy Hopi 7.3.20
Iktomi 7.21.20
Kachina Firecracker 7.30.20
Kachina Dancer 7.20.20
Kiva Dancer 7.1.20
Kokopelli 7.20.20
Land of Enchantment 6.20.20
Laughing Feather 6.26.20
Lobo Lucy 7.19.20
Mama Cuna 8.4.20
Mauna Loa 6.26.20
Maya Cha Cha 7.17.20
Medicine Feather 2019
Moon over Chimayo 8.8.20
Mount Echo Sunrise 6.23.20
Navajo Curls 8.4.20
Navajo Grey Hills 7.23.20
Navajo Rodeo 2019
Ojo De Dios 6.23.20
Papa Longlegs 7.18.20
Pink Enchilada 7.5.20
Pink Rain Dance 7.2.20
Purple Corn Dancer 8.5.20
Purple Grasshopper 2019
Purple Many Faces 6.24.20
Purple Thunderbird 8.5.20
Raspberry Propeller 7.17.20
Raven Woodsong 8.8.20
Rocky Mountain Pals 7.17.20
Santa Fe Christmas
Shape Shifter 7.27.20
Skinwalker 7.29.20
Spirit of the Morning 7.23.20
Star Over Milagro
Taco Twister 7.20.20
Talon 7.27.20
Twirling Pinata 7.27.20
Wild Rose Fandango 2019
Winds of Love 7.22.20
Zuni Eye 2019
Zuni Thunderbird 7.22.20

The Golden Girls

My blog title came to me early this AM, as I tiptoed through my garden at 6-something AM before work. Titles come to me sometimes and they disappear into thin air by the time I sit down to write the blog . . . I just can’t remember what my early thought was.

But, today I do because it relates to the color of the blooms that stood out from my bedroom window as I did aerobics first thing after waking up. Golden Girls . . .

Navajo Curls 8.7.20

The first one I spied was Navajo Curls. She is yellow, but deep enough to have a golden hue. She is described as yellow-gold in her official listing. She is big and easy to see from the window.

Cripple Creek 8.7.20

Cripple Creek was in bloom today. Cripple Creek, Colorado is an old gold mining town. I am sure Ned Roberts had that in mind when he named her.

Golden Eclipse 8.7.20

And, Golden Eclipse – a flower that is rust-red on the face side, but gold underneath with a gold eye. I see an eclipse in her. Do you?

I’ve had 52 Ned Roberts spiders bloom this year. About 40% of all my blooms. I don’t remember how many Neds I have total – 65-70? I had I had 61 bloom last year. Yikes – Dang drought. Oh, well, I had 40 in 2018, 13 in 2017, and 10 in 2016. So, my trend is still way up. I will have to show off my Neds one of these nights when I have the energy. They come from all over the US and are the pride of my garden. Might still be blooming in a month . . . we will see.

Still Hot

The days are still hot and the monsoons didn’t last long . . . a couple of weeks, at best. I don’t have time to water except on weekends now. We could use the rain. I got a few shots before work today. I am exhausted . . . and it is only the second day of being back at work. My Purple Corn Dancer that is in the Southwest Garden has baby scapes . . . I will have flowers into September.

Chorus Line 8.6.20
El Desperado 8.6.20
Moon Over Chimayo 8.6.20
Navajo Grey Hills 8.6.20
Purple Thunderbird 8.6.20
Ruby Stella 8.6.20
Shape Shifter 8.6.20
Skinwalker 8.6.20
Treasure of the Southwest 8.6.20

Saving the Best . . .

. . . For Last! Today came what I think is likely the last of the premiers of the season – Purple Corn Dancer. Honestly, one of my favorites! It is almost sad because Saratoga Springtime is cool enough, but not a favorite. Saratoga stars when my desire to see daylily blooms is the highest. Purple Corn Dancer is frequently the cultivator with the last blooms of the season. Funny, she showed up the same day Olathe Sweet Corn was shipped across the State!

Purple Corn Dancer 8.5.20

All too often, I am sidetracked or just at a saturation with daylily photos. I guess it’s like how they say there are almost always more photos of the first born child.

Purple Thunderbird 8.5.20

I had 13 today and I am exhausted after my first day back to work in 5 months. I think I will just feature my Ned Roberts cultivators from today. Purple Thunderbird had a nice bloom, even at 6:45 AM.

Navajo Grey Hills 8.5.20

It is interesting how daylilies look different throughout the day. Navajo Grey Hills looks like she is falling in space at 6:48 AM

Cripple Creek 8.5.20

Cripple Creek is an early riser and was bright-eyed for the AM photo shoot.

Desert Icicle 8.5.20

Desert Icicle actually looks really good first thing in the morning. She resembles Skinwalker first thing in the morning.

Shape Shifter 8.5.20

But, Shape Shifter is having a hard time opening her eye.

Golden Eclipse 8.5.20

I had to wait to get Golden Eclipse until after work. Fortunately, it was a short work day (until 3:30) and some cloud cover, so she also looks decent.

Absolutely, some of my favorites still blooming. So much richer than the yellow trumpets of June. Now, to find time to savor them all.

It’s almost a wrap!

Well, today just about wraps it up as far as premiers in my yard this year . . . other than Purple Corn Dancer all my cultivators with scapes have bloomed. 2020 brought 134 cultivators (two while I was on vaca) to my yard or a 78% bloom rate. Last year, I had 162 bloomers, a 95% bloom rate, and a rainy spring. So, 17% fewer blooms this year. Spring brought a drought and long hours of Corona Virus adaptation for work. I didn’t get the drip system fixed until mid June and I paid for it.

Navajo Curls 8.4.20

My next to last premier this year is Navajo Curls. I love her plump yellow petals. She has sort of an odd name for a blonde daylily. I wonder what Ned was thinking when he named her.

Chaco Canyon 8.4.20
Hesperus 8.4.20

Enjoy the other flowers. Tomorrow, it is back to work I go.

Mama Cuna 8.4.20
Navajo Grey Hills 8.4.20
Royal Palace Prince 8.4.20
Ruby Stella 8.4.20
Shape Shifter 8.4.20
Skinwalker 8.4.20
Treasure of the Southwest 8.4.20

Grief and the Lessons of Corona

Maybe a daylily blog is a weird place to talk about grief . . . but the daylilies are part of it. Friday the 13th of March was the day my life shifted. We put a traditional onground program online over the weekend. I had two enthusiastic brand new, full-time instructors to help me and I was super glad for years of online teaching experience.

Chaco Canyon 8.3, 20 (blooming since 6.25.20)

It was weird at first . . . we thought it would end in two weeks 😉 The days were long – 15 hours. I was exhausted – But I made progress without the distractions of the office. The students got a little crazy and that was hard . . . but we got through and got the nursing students graduated in late May.

Chorus Line 8.3.20

Once the warm weather came, I could eat lunch on my porch and enjoy my yard and daylilies. My pups got to be outside all day instead of cooped up in the house waiting for me to get home at 7 PM. We took evening walks and howled on the porch at 8 PM. I taught my disabled dog to use wheels and got my senior dog through two more treatments to finally clear her of infection. I got projects done around home – like painting murals and installing drip systems. Without the artificial need for an 8-6 with commute, my creativity came back. My energy got better.

El Desperado 8.3.20

Oh, there were the MA students who were in limbo with no clinical rotations who I had until the second week of July. But, I was surrounded by the other elements of my life throughout the journey. I guess I didn’t realize how much I missed them – how they fed my energy. Saturdays are not enough!

Heirloom Heaven 8.3.20

My camping trip came and went with only a few crisis – like one of my two full-time people resigning. Once I got home 3 weeks ago, I started feeling the grief. The daylilies would dwindle . . . and once school started, I would have no time for them. More than that, my life would dwindle back to a rut that is created by monotonous work in a small office with no windows and countless unforeseen issues to deal with, mostly alone. I am the only faculty with a doctorate in my institution – and 20 years teaching, 35 as a nurse – it is isolating to be so experientially separated from others. (The new college director is the second person with a doctorate.)

Navajo Grey Hills 8.3.20

Tomorrow is my last day at home until mid October. Until the leaves turn my pups will be in crates by day. My daylilies will wonder where the camera went. I will become enmeshed in the endless tasks of the day and be too tired to want to walk into the house of hungry dogs at 7 PM. My dogs will become a chore in an all too busy day, again.

Purple Thunderbird 8.3.20

What is wrong with me, I think to myself? I really wanted to get away from a stay at home job because of the isolation. And, there are good things about this job. But, I am more engaged with my pups than my career at the moment. It has been a time of a lot of change for my program the past two years . . . a lot of change. And, I am responsible for way more than I want to be at this point in my life.

Ruby Stella 8.3.20

An online job beckons, again – and/or retirement. Maybe at the end of this school year. I am writing this blog to remind myself of this moment . . . of all the horrible and tragic things Corona Virus has brought to the world, it has brought me insight into my grief. I could step out of my rut and now I am having a hard time finding a purpose in returning.

Shape Shifter 8.3.20

I hope I have a new direction or at least attitude by the times the greens of the next crop of daylilies is born through the earth. Please enjoy my bloomers on my next to last day of freedom.

Skinwalker 8.3.20

I will not forget the lessons of Corona. Perhaps the strangest part of all is that no one seems to see the struggle inside of me . . . . that makes the isolation 10 X worse. Thanks for letting me share with you.

Purple T-bird

No, I don’t mean a wild looking old car.

Purple T-Bird Car (google images)

This was a camping weekend – and, like it or not, the last weekend before school starts. I had a frightening encounter with a drunk driver on the ride home. Not awful, but it coulda been.

Purple Thunderbird 8.2.20

We got home early afternoon. With temps in the 90s with high UV, my blooms were pretty weathered by the time I took pictures. I had one premier – Purple Thunderbird. That leaves only a couple of Roberts premier spiders to bloom in 2020. Purple Thunderbird is a big flower. Her scapes are short in my yard, though.

Navajo Grey Hills 8.2.20

I also noticed that the weathered coloring makes Navajo Grey Hills look, well, grey. She is decidedly purple in the morning.

Shape Shifter 8.2.20

I ordered my first round of improved pots. I need to get soil and manure for the transfers. Might start next weekend and work around those still in bloom – a number that dwindles daily.