Daylily Gridlock

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!

Ghost Ranch 7.12 – Big surprise because I have had issues keeping this one alive in my yard. This is one fan that is in a group planter – the first bloom since I added the second try. I am buying a couple more fans this fall. This is a Roberts spider and it’s named after a place we are going camping next week!
Hesperus 7.12 – A giant yellow spider that brightens my driveway garden.
Nosferatu 7.12 – A large, dark purple daylily that adds a nice splash of color.
Spirit of the Morning 7.12 – Another Roberts spider. I think he named her because she has no UV resistance. Gotta get out early with the camera to see her at her best. I love the colors.
Taco Twister 7.12 – Reminds me of yellow ringlets. This one comes later in the season (about now) but I still have early birds like Kokopelli with buds.

Finales for today (if I didn’t miss one):

Happy Returns finale 7.12
Bella Boo finale 7.12
Inwood finale 7.12

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. Today, I logged about 6 hours on daylily duty. How much time do you spend during peak season?

Shift Happens

I am so excited to be ALMOST done with the buried daylily pots.  I have 48 done (in the Southwestern garden), 4 to go. Well, if you don’t count the 20+ that I am not potting this year.  I have to tell you that potting the front garden and potting the Southwest garden are day and night different.  One is an easy dig, pull weeds out, put in a pot, and easy dig to replace the pot.  The Southwestern garden is hard dig with root clippers, shovel, trowel.  I feel like a surgeon doing open heart surgery of something!  Seriously.  I dig enough heavy clay dirt and roots out of each hole to nearly fill one of the big Home Depot buckets (times 48).  Then, I bag it and have to dispose of it when done.  Fitting in nursery pots is harder than decorative pots because they are not tapered.  My carpal tunnel gets so crazy it feels like I am getting shocked.

I am hoping to see new growth on the transplants soon.  It seems a bit slow.  I will fertilize once I finish the last 4 pots.  This weekend . . . finished.  This has been the biggest garden project of my life, especially if you count the veggie garden.

Anyway, I had four cool visitors today.

Anasazi had a bit of a double bloom.


Heirloom Heaven bloomed her last bloom of 2017.


Passionate Returns continues to be awesome.  I honestly had no idea I would like these blooms so much!  Love the shape and color.


And, good old Pink and Cream, my big box re-bloomer still putting out new scapes.


The kids have returned to the bus stop on my running route.  Soon, there will be daylily-less days.  I still hope to have a few through the first freeze.  We are only 2-3 weeks away from putting the Amaryllis and Poinsettias into hibernation for winter bloom.  When the spring comes again, we will see if the pots really made a difference.  Shift Happens.

Catch 22

I swore I would not work putting pots in the Southwest garden again today.  I lost the bet with myself.  Because there was an area on the thriving side that looked sad and I was curious.  What did I find?  Lots of tree roots.  Even the daylily that I put in a half pot a couple months ago had roots growing up into the pot – but the daylily was doing better than without the pot.


Such findings make me feel a little nauseated, really.  I made an investment in daylilies after doing a pilot out there.  All my pilot plants did (and do) beautifully.  So, I make a bigger garden spot there.  The problem is that I think the scale is drawing the roots.  In the pilot, I hand watered.  But, now I have to mass water and fertilize.  The half pot I dug up had roots woven around the outside of the pot in its exact shape.  They dominate.


So, now I think I may have to do real garden pots (as opposed to nursery pots) out there, after all.  The reason is that if I cut big enough holes in the pot bottoms to protect from root rot, I get root invasion.  Catch 22.  The real (decorative plastic) pots that I used in the front garden have a second bottom piece to help with drainage – so I can have a large drainage hole and roots can’t really grow up into the daylily space.  Oh, I will work with the nursery pots for this year. But, I see the future.  I am feeling like a farmer now.


I also divided several more daylilies.  Little by little, the fall work is getting done.  I am really ready for a boring split shift where I walk the dogs downtown. I feel overwhelmed with daylilies.  Seriously.  Am I ready to be a farmer?


Anyway, enjoy my blooms from today.  I’ll worry about the tree roots.

The Longest Day

I love solstice because I like long days.  And, today was long with paid work and yard work.  My split shift was spent in my Southwestern garden.  I have two in bloom today, Papa Long Legs and Kokopelli. (Kokopelli is immediately below and Papa Long Legs is the second photo on this page). A spider and an Anasazi pipe player.  Funny names.


The strugglers got some attention.  In fact, turning hard adobe earth into a garden requires more attention than photographs of the fruits of the labors.  I have two brand new ones that have shrunken into small fans.  Like seedlings.  I think sometimes Southern daylilies go into shock with the soil, lack of rain, and dry air.  I lost a couple last year, and I have 4 currently in ICU, one in critical condition.


My new ICU approach is to cut the bottom out of a cheap plastic pot and use it as a buried container . . . bottomless.  Sort of a hybrid situation.  I am hoping it aids soil retention and keeps the soil more acidic, at least until they get started.  I also installed a sprinkler hose on the side that gets less water.  Boy, do I loose a lot of water with the regular sprinkler, and there are so many barriers between the sprinkler and some parts of the garden.  There is clearly one side where the plants are more anemic, and I think it is a water difference.  I guess we will see.

As for tomorrow, I think Jungle Queen will make a debut.  She came in the same order as Kokopelli – practice bidding on the auction.  It is interesting to look back and see what was in bloom this day last year.  Lots the same.  But, some of the Southern daylilies that I put in last spring bloomed pretty early due to being from another zone.  Not sure if they will bloom this year.  And, old timers like Early Bird Cardinal were putting on a show last year, but this year the scapes are still developing.  At the same time, I think I have more scapes total this year.  Bigger plants (mostly).  Lots of time and effort in making the ground more fertile in the past 12 months.