A Native American and Her Horse

Today, the rain came. It is monsoon season. Sometimes you get rain, and sometimes it moves right past you. The moisture is good but it may make all hell break loose.

Today, however, the season continued at it’s slow pace. I had two premiers and a ton of fat buds.

Comanche Princess 6.26

Comanche Princess, one of my Ned Roberts spiders bloomed for the first time this season. She always looks like she is doing somersaults to me.

Wild Horses 6.26

To go along with the theme of a Comanche Princess, Wild Horses also made a premiere today. I actually googled both names together and got a lot of photos of Native Americans and their ponies.

Today’s boutique is dedicated to my beloved but estranged daughter, Erica. We haven’t spoken in 25 years or so. Today is her birthday. I hope she is safe, healthy, happy, and at peace. Happy birthday. I’m proud of you.

That’s all for today.

Slow Start and Creeping Bellflower

As my Facebook memories pop-up, I become aware how slow this year is as far as blooms. I have the same 4 in bloom as yesterday.

I counted 103 scapes yesterday and 111 today. So, I think it’s not far off. I’m still upset that so many of my new ones parished over the winter.

I wanted to talk a little about weeds. Creeping Bellflower is the nemesis of my front garden. I thought the pots would keep the things from spreading, but they also send seeds. This article has good info https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/campanula/removing-creeping-bellflower.htm

Photo of Creeping Bellflower in my walkway garden last year.

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.

The walkway garden today. Creeping Bellflower 90% gone.

So far, so good. I’ll keep you posted.

More Jaundiced Trumpets

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)

Dream Keeper 6.16.22

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.

Synchronous Seasons

It’s beginning to look a lot like summer! Today is 6/8. It was 8/6 when I wrote my last blog about daylilies blooming in my yard.

Saratoga Springtime premier bloom 6/3/22

Today isn’t the first day I had a bloom for the year. That was Friday – the same day we left on our first camping trip of the season. I sort of wish daylily season didn’t overlap with camping season. I always have to miss out on something. Last weekend, however, I did not miss out on the mountain wildflowers.

Stella de Oro premier bloom 6/7/22

I have actually been giving some thought to the blog this summer. I am going to simplify my photos and just use my cellphone – except maybe premiers or exceptional blooms. It takes way too much time to do photos of 60+ blooms/day on both cell and camera. I also want to include my other blooms around the yard somehow. And, I would like to spend more energy on providing gardening tips. Plus, some video.

Our wildflower hike on the Grand Mesa in Colorado

I retire next month – at least until I find part-time flexible work. But, I plan to spend a few months getting my Art from the Hartt (and The Midwife’s Nursery) business going. And, camping.

Colorado wildflowers on our hike

I bought several cool daylilies last fall to celebrate semi-retirement. They did horrible – and I bought from more than 1 reliable seller, so it is on my end. I fully lost 2, and have about half the others with one struggling fan. The ones doing well are also mostly one fan, but normal size. It was a dry winter followed by a cold spring. And, I didn’t winter water. Lessons learned. Perhaps the worst part is the name labels washed off the new plants so I have no idea what I lost and what is left, but they should all still have grower labels so I will do some digging and get new labels up.

Mountain wildflowers on our hike

Here is to a new season. And, my usual premier, Saratoga Springtime. I have ~30 scapes and it is going to be 90 degrees the next few days.

Why is it that wildflowers seem so tame compared to daylilies?

Welcome to summer!

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.