Aztec Firebird, that is. This was one of the first Ned Roberts spiders in my collection. Somehow, I found Kokopelli on the lily auction. I wanted a Southwestern named daylily garden so I had to have it. It was a little competitive but I wanted it!
I was new as a daylily collector back then and didn’t know much about how online growers worked. But, I quickly figured out enough to add Aztec Firebird and Dream Catcher to my pilot garden. It worked great having them out with the yucca as long as I watered enough.
I started upscaling. I enlarged the garden and planted a lot of daylilies the next couple years. Only 12 bloomed the first year. Ugh. A few died. I put tons of topsoil but when I dug one up to see what was happening, it was embedded in our adobe dirt that apparently swallowed the top soil like quick sand.
The other thing I found was tree roots crowding out the daylilies. This is the desert and they were hungry for the water I was applying daily. Eventually, I potted and buried all 70+ or them. I broke my rib pulling back on tree roots. The nursery pots didn’t do enough to keep tree roots out. So, I went to nicer pots and placed weed guard under each. And, this year, the bloom rate I believe will be the best ever. Welcome back, Firebird.
Here are today’s other premiers:
Adapting the desert to a daylily patch is a labor that love.
Indian Giver was a bonus plant I got probably 6 years ago. It had water issues the first couple of years, both loves being in a buried pot. It was a delight when it finally bloomed. I love the purple with white edges. I wouldn’t call it a mini, but it’s a smaller bloom. She had her premiere bloom today.
My other premier bloom was Happy Returns. She is a yellow, fragile Stella de Oro type daylily.
Indian Giver is an old expression for one party thinking they are being given a gift, while the other party thinks it’s a trade. When the second party realizes it isn’t a trade, they take back the “gift.” We would call it scamming these days.
Happy Returns means to wish someone a good day or happy birthday. It’s an expression of hope that the joy will return many times.
The paradox is in the meanings of the names. One is an expression of anger and discontent. The other of goodwill and optimism. It hit me as funny as I posted these to Instagram this morning. Purple and yellow are also opposite colors. I smile at nature’s hidden message.
The worst part is their roots look like pale daylily roots, and they grow right into the daylily root structure so it looks like daylily root. They grow tall and smother the daylilies.
This year, I’d had enough but was hesitant about herbicides. So, I decided to smother them back. I put down thick landscape fabric (including under each pot) and mulched over that. I bought about $200 in the round pot disks made of coir. Most my pots have those. My other invader is grass, so this should help that, too.
Jaundiced trumpets always start the daylily show. Screaming yellow jaundiced trumpets. It’s like a bad day in the newborn nursery, a little bit. And, since my last post, It has been pretty much the same two showing up to blow their hepatic little horns every day. Um, I don’t think bili lights are going to help them turn pink, orange, red, or purple. The warmth of the sunshine, however, is beginning to bring a bigger rainbow of color to my daylily garden. (Did I mention that I’m a nurse-midwife)
So, today my first Ned Roberts spider opened her eyes. Dream Keeper. Definitely not a jaundiced (yellow) trumpet. I love my Neds. My Southwest Road Trip Garden is moving slowly – only 20 scapes for 70+ cultivators so far. It’s that window where it could be the cold, dry, windy spring is just delaying the scapes or it eliminated them altogether. My other gardens have a higher percentage of scapes (unusual timing) but also get more water, so IDK yet.
Anyway, I mentioned I wanted to highlight a few of my non-daylily flowers this summer. So, here we go. Definitely, not all jaundiced trumpets.
I have exciting news! My Etsy Store is up and running. And, I am having a Fall Daylily Sale. I actually divided several of my Ned Roberts spiders. I have the following listed on Etsy for sale (link to my shop click here):
So, what have I been up to the last month? Starting my business on Etsy and working in nursing academic leadership 3 days a week. Some year, I am going to blog every day in August! I have Purple Grasshopper still in bloom – she was one of the first and will be the last. It is like she is on steroids this year.
Anyway, please visit my Etsy Shop for photos and more info on the daylily sale. It only goes until 9.11 due to the fact the freeze will get here in October. If the daylily you are interested doesn’t have a listing, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if I have it available. Growing in fairly small pots means I usually only get 2-4 extra fans when I divide.
I will be back with my end of month list of bloomers for August in a couple days. See you then!
Today brought no new bloomers to my yard and only 23 total cultivators in bloom. That sounds like late June (except we have better color variety in late July).
The peak is done and my garden looks empty. I grow my daylilies in the downtown area of my community and don’t have a back yard. So, when my yard looks a bit empty it feels like my entire home is less beautiful.
Last year, I tried an experiment of putting coleus in my boring driveway pots. They thrived so I took cuttings before freeze and replanted the new plants this spring. And, I added more – thinking I might be able to sell them. Well, they haven’t been too popular for sales (probably too late in the season). I also added some new ones to my daylily pots earlier.
Today, I took more baby plants from cuttings out and placed them in my front planters. This is a good time for the coleus because the heat is less intense. They add a different look to the planters and give the yard some extra color. I like them because they are true annuals, so they don’t try to take over the pot. Yet, they come in a ton of interesting shapes and colors. They require similar water and light as the daylilies. And, in the fall, I can take more cuttings to use next year. Maybe if I start my cuttings in February, I can sell them before the garden stores have a zillion.
. . . and dried up all the rain. And, I ended up with over 60 cultivators, again!
Rain is a rare thing here in Western Colorado. The US average is 38 inches of rain a year, we get 11 on a good year here in Montrose. The South, where many of my bloomers came from, gets an average of 45 inches or more. Rain is a good thing – it brings the temps down, too.
Today, we will get back to the high 80s and it is sunny. We are sunny here 245 days/year. That is 40 more days than the national average. My daylilies probably wonder what planet they landed on.
Anyway – I had 3 premiers and 5 finales. The output is higher than the intake, which means we are on the downside of peak but it hasn’t really shown in our bloom count yet. It is like hospitalizations vs positive tests with COVID. It takes a while for the change to show up in both areas.
Premiers . . .
Finales . . .
Weirdly, Bella Boo, Purple Mystic, and Just Plum happy put out blooms today after I said finale. It isn’t a rebloom, it is me missing a bud.
Next week is my camping road trip. I will only be out of the garden for 4 days. Honestly, I am ready to take some scenic photos and get a little breather from the garden. Yeez, though – my hedge needs to be trimmed before I go. I can tell we got rain.
I woke up to over 60 different daylily cultivator blooms today, again. I keep thinking that it is slowing down until I count the shots on my cell phone. So, if between taking the photos, posting the cell shots to Facebook, downloading/editing the camera shots, and blogging, I spend 5 minutes per cultivator (a conservative estimate) . . . well, do the math.
This year is weird because I made significant changes. I put my Southwest garden daylilies all in nicer pots with weed guard underneath (they are buried) to keep tree roots from destroying the pot. When I did that, I refreshed the soil with miracle grow plus their organic soil. It took weeks and a lot were really locked in with tree roots. I also refreshed the soil in all my front path pots – it had really collapsed over time. I added or improved drip systems in all areas that needed it. So, that is the positive. Oh, perhaps the biggest thing of all is that I am semi retired so have way more time to water regularly. My drip systems are not automatic.
On mother nature’s side, we are in a bad drought, again – it was a dry spring with a late, cold spell but little moisture. More like a fan got turned on high. We did have a little monsoon action for the week before the 4th of July. We are still somewhere between severe and extreme drought. And, that is an improvement from last month! It is hot with record breaking temps close to or at 100 degrees.
Put it all together and I have a lot of June bloomers that have scapes but haven’t bloomed yet, but my later bloomers are blooming pretty much on schedule. So, it is a bit of grid lock as the early birds are still in the intersections as the later blooms enter the scene. We are, therefore, still on the Grand Daylily Mesa (vs peak season) with 64 cultivators, with 5 premiers and 3 finales (so net gain of 2 in bloom).
Several of the premiers are Roberts spiders today – which is cool because we had several finales recently in that collection. Here we go!
Finales for today (if I didn’t miss one):
Let’s see what tomorrow brings. Today, I logged about 6 hours on daylily duty. How much time do you spend during peak season?
What an interesting year! Not only have I reached semi-retirement age, I am having an amazing daylily bloom year. The drip systems with miracle grow soil replacement paid off in spades. It is honestly overwhelming because it takes an hour just to photograph them. I spend about 5 hours a day (not counting the painting) on daylilies right now.
I would not call this a peak – because on 7/3 we hit 60. It has been in the 50s and 60s each day since. And . . . drumroll . . . today I had 63. Last year, I charted the peak and it was clearly one day at 40, the other days were 20s at best. Granted, I was on vacation the last 2 years this week, but I think the numbers are an accurate reflection of a short, less intense peak. This isn’t a peak, it is a Southwest Mesa – and a grand one, at that.
I had 6 premiers today. Laudy. Here they are:
That’s all folks! Off to paint some daylilies in the basement while the temps reach 100 today.
This time of year, it feels like daylilies are my life. I have had about 30 blooms in the garden for several days. Yesterday, we hit 40. Today, we hit 60!. It took me almost an hour just to photograph them – let alone photo editing and posting. Last night, I took a lot of photos of fireworks – It felt very similar in my garden today. A few pauses, but mostly lots of action. Do I think we are at peak – no. But it is getting closer.
Here are the premiers for today. Hang on – there are 10 (so about 80 cultivators have bloomed so far). Today, there were several of my favorite hybridizer’s blooms that opened (Ned Roberts). Daylily season is like Christmas . . . the peak is a little overwhelming. At the same time, it is like old friends who visit once a year.
Finales have started to add up a little, too. I missed Platinum Pink Palette Whispers. Today was the last of Funny Valentine’s show for 2021.
Wholly cow! This took all day. It’s 4:30! Hopefully, I got the bugs worked out of my back-up system so it doesn’t take as long tomorrow. I gotta get painting and get my business inventory going! Follow my business blog for updates, too.