Daylily and Coleus, together in pots

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.

What do you put in pots with your daylilies?

Would you like to have daylily blooms year round? Learn more about my daylily (and nature) art business – Art (and Nature from the Hartt

The calm before the Daylily Storm

Not much new today. 65 or 70 daylilies with scapes. No new premiers today. Some days, this is my favorite part of the season because everything is still a mystery and my other flowers don’t get lost in the crowd.

The heat is hot (we will reach 00 this week and are in exceptional drought. I still have daylily water, but the insects are bad.

I think the “but it’s a dry heat” doesn’t apply to daylilies.

Bromeliads: Lions, Tigers and Pups

It’s crazy that 6 months have past since my last blog. I’ve been inside with my houseplants all winter and now the daylilies are starting to push up from the ground. Although, it is a snow weekend, so I decided to do a little blog on my bromeliads.

I got into bromeliads a couple years ago after reading that they were good companion plants for aloe, snake plant and yucca because of similar shape.

Vriesea Hieroglyphica

The habitats are different, but they tolerate being potted neighbors pretty well. Broms are tough for tropical plants.

I live in the high desert of Colorado. The yuccas and aloe are close kin to our Native plants. The broms do OK outside in the summer shade if you add some humidity boosters. Sunburn can be an issue in our climate.

Bromeliads remind me of my Grandma Hartt. She had several. She got them from a plant store in Denver. The first ones I got were a tribute to her collection.

The problem with daylilies is that you learn about mail order plants. That’s cool, but makes for endless choices in shapes, sizes and colors. I’ve gotten several beautiful ones locally, but the online ones bring so much more variety to my collection.

I also love the unique patterns. This is what really makes my collection unique from my other plants. Lions, tigers . . . Very unique markings. I grow them for foliage more than the incredible blooms. BTW, they don’t die after blooming. These bitches give birth to pups. Hoping to sell the offspring on my Esty site in a few years.

Guzmania – commonly found in grocery stores

My colors now are more muted than summer. My broms will be happy for more sun, although the bugs move in. Bromeliads are pretty resilient even though spiders seem to enjoy hiding in them.

I love plants with colorful foliage. I need to update you on my begonia winter project at some point. I’m a creative. I think I just like color. My winter houseplant color raises my wellbeing in the cold, dark months.

Neoreglia High Voltage

Please enjoy my small collection of (now) high desert bromeliads. I should plan a follow up when they are in full color in the fall after the summer sunshine.

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.

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.

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.

Orange

My daylily counts are dropping into the teens. It’s OK, because I get kinda burned out with the camera this time of year. At peak, the battery needs to be recharged twice a week.

Orange Vols 7.28.20

I hit 130 different cultivaters for the year today with one of my most orange daylilies of the whole bunch. The orange is so deep and so saturated – it looks like my mural paint that is deep orange with a little yellow stirred in that shows up here and there. I do not know for sure which daylily this is because I put in in with the landscaping before I was paying much attention to names. Someone on a daylily page said it looked like Orange Vols – and it does, so I am going with that name.

Shape Shifter 7.28.20

Unbloomed scapes on not-yet-bloomed cultivators are down to a handful. Maybe 5 or 6. I might get an August scape or two – although often I don’t. That puts us at about 80%. Not low 90s like after the rainy spring last year, but not the 60’s I got before the pots and drip system. Speaking of pots, I have some nice ones for the buried Southwest garden in my Target online cart waiting for payday. I think if I do 20 a month – August, Sept, Oct – that is 60. I have 75 in that garden – some still need to be dug out of the mud, clay and roots, too – takes time. Probably 20 or so left to dig up that aren’t in cheep pots. I could leave them for spring.

Dream Catcher 7.28.20

Fall chores take over my brain. Soon, I trade my camera for a shovel.

Drip, Drip, Drip

I will say one thing positive about the pandemic is that I have spent a lot more time in my yard and patio doing projects that I have wanted to do for some time.

Dream Keeper 6.21.20

So, today I extended my side yard drip system to the upper part of my front flower bed. I am guessing there are 50 plants in that area – so it took a chunk of time. I was nervous to hook it up, but it works fine. My sprinkler system is great for the lawn, but not for the flower pots. It is just not enough. So . . . I will come back to drip systems in a minute.

Mauna Loa 6.21.20

First, I had several premiers. Mauna Loa is a pretty Ned Roberts daylily that I added last year. It is one of his older ones, but the color is still vibrant.

Petite Petticoats 6.21.20

One of my minis, Petite Petticoats, gave me a premier bloom today, too. I seriously almost missed her in a big bucket of minis.

Purple Many Faces 6.21.20

Purple Many Faces showed her face for the first time in 2020 today. Another colorful Roberts cultivator.

Return a Smile 6.21.20

Oh, and sweet Return a Smile. She was one of my very first daylilies and always makes me smile.

So, that is it for premiers today. Likely, this week, I will shift to premiers only. I have a couple honorable mentions today. I had 4 premiers this week that didn’t open right the first time. Now, they are back with their normal beauty – Kokopelli, Land of Enchantment, Jungle Queen, and Mildred Mitchell.

Kokopelli 6.21.20
Land of Enchantment 6.21.20
Jungle Queen 6.21.20
Mildred Mitchell 6.21.20

OK, back to the drip system. Last year, I put one in on the front part of the bed I did today. Again, it had a lot of plants and I was new at doing drip systems other than it a short line. So, I did it the same, and needless to say, the drippers at the end did not have enough pressure.

Funny Valentine 6.21.20
Indian Love Call

I decided to research it and you need to put the line in a continuous circle – so both the start and end of the tube connect to the tap. Earlier this spring, I went back and fixed the front so it worked correctly. And, I am seeing a difference in the plant health – we will see on bloom rate. So far, Stella is much happier. And, my poinsettias are in heaven!

Mesa Verde 6.21.20
Ojo de Dios 6.21.20

I don’t have either of the newer drippers on a timer – other than my brain. It is still a lot easier to crank the hose and do something else for 30-60 minutes that haul water to all those pots.

Saratoga Springtime 6.21.20
Happy Returns 6.21.20

I am wondering if peak will happen before my trip in 2.5 weeks. I know it will be busy with blooms. I just need to get away and have an adventure.

Stella de Oro 6.21.20
Stella Yella 6.21.20

Jewels and Corn Dancers

The wind was picking up the day we left Española and headed home through Northwestern New Mexico.  And, I wanted to visit one of the Pueblos.  We often track through Arizona, so this day would be our chance to take-in an experience in a modern day Pueblo village.

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Courtyard, Espanola, New Mexico

I was kind of bummed that they didn’t allow pictures, because from what I remember it was a mix of the old and new Pueblo Indian culture.  I remember walking several blocks with Maizzy to see the church.  The residents didn’t pay much attention to me and my old dog wondering around.

IMG_6339

Espanola, New Mexico

There were residential homes with jewelry sale signs in front.  I didn’t want to leave without some treasure from our adventure – and no pictures.  At first, this felt uncomfortable.  I remember wandering around for awhile before being brave enough to knock on a door.  I remember the nice gentleman showing me the jewelry in cases.  It was more expensive than I wanted – but I believe in supporting the culture.  And, they took Mastercard.  My Santa Clara necklace is still my absolute favorite Native American necklace.  It has been with me on a few job interviews!

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Santa Clara Pueblo Necklace

We were headed down the road, again, all too soon.  One thing I have learned in my research on the Santa Clara Pueblo is that they have a corn dances in honor of patron saint, Saint Clare.  They also have Comanche Dances in June.  I think immediately of two of my favorite Ned Robert’s spiders, Purple Corn Dancer and Comanche Princess.

PurpleCornDancer8.9.4

Purple Corn Dancer – 2019

Ned lived in Albuquerque – I wonder if he visited this place?

ComanchePrincess7.14.1

Comanche Princess – 2019

At any rate, I took another division off of Purple Corn Dancer last weekend – so I now have it in 3 places.  Comanche Princess is in two places – I got them in the same shipment a few years ago.

PurpleCornDancer8.24.1

Purple Corn Dancer with all petals curled under – 2019

Purple Corn Dancer blooms last most years – with the harvest.  Named for the corn dances.  We have Olathe Sweet Corn’s home town just 10 miles away – not Native corn, but I can understand having festivals to celebrate because we have one.  We use to have powwows here, too – I miss them so much.

PurpleCornDancer8.15.2

Purple Corn Dancer looks like a Corn Dancer in this picture

So, camping at State Parks is open but we should still stay close to home, take our own food, try to limit gas stops out of our neighborhood.  I’m old enough, I should hold off travel another couple of weeks, anyway.  After the students graduate . . . early June for a few days.  My photos give me wanderlust – I learn so much from travel.  I learn so much from daylilies, too.  How else would I know about Purple Corn Dancers?  Within every daylily bloom lies an adventure.

 

A Word About Mother’s Day

It’s not a super easy day for my. Mom is gone and my daughters and grandkids are pretty much completely out of contact. I love them dearly and miss them with my whole heart. I need to live my values. My mom taught me that.

My poinsettias, still in bloom, moved to the yard for the summer

For me, mother’s day is about engagement in my yard. It’s perfect for Corona virus. It’s perfect every year because it’s a family day. My veggies went in yesterday and my houseplants went out today – over 100 of them.

My cacti and succulents outside on my back porch.

Every year, rain or drought, I get a mom’s day bouquet from this tree. It’s always right on time.

My mom’s day tree in bloom today.

Life is what we make of it. I’m bone tired. But, it’s mostly a good tired. Tomorrow, I must Zoom. Happy Mother’s Day to all – even those whose children are no longer involved. Or, those who want to be moms or who have lost children.