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.

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.

The Pale Ones are Laughing

I had no premiers today. It is the time of summer where I am kind of burned out on blogging but there is enough still happening (26 cultivators today) that I am not quite ready to space to biweekly.

Coyote Laughs 7.17.20

I am starting to think about moving the daylilies to better buried pots – thinking I need to purchase the pots soon. Somewhat dreading the work – but know it will be an improvement. That’s fall thinking.

Winds of Love 7.22.20

I also decided to get some photo tiles of my favorite daylilies for the office. I think it with be my Ned Roberts spiders – but which ones? I decided I like the light ones that seem to be dancing or laughing – Winds of Love, Skinwalker, and Coyote Laughs come to mind. Darker ones – definitely Zuni Thunderbird. Aztec Firebird and Kokopelli would be high on the list. There are so many I love . . . I will have to see what the pricing is before I decide how many. But, for tonight – enjoy the pale ones who seem to be laughing . . . at me.

Skinwalker 7.22.20

A fairy tale, a classy lady and a skinwalker walk into a bar . . .

OK, maybe it is a bad time for a joke about bars. Or, not. I am, of course, really talking about my three premier blooms today.

Fairy Tale Pink 7.21.20

Fairy Tale Pink was one I picked up at a local nursery several years ago because I was bored with my existing blooms. The drip system has helped her – she got so dry in past years that her buds often dried up. She is in my sprinkler blind spot.

Classy Lady 7.21.1

Classy Lady . . . I think I got her on the Lily Auction with some other daylilies that I liked and wanted to get the most for my postage.

Skinwalker 7.21.20

And, oh Skinwalker! This Ned Roberts spider is the biggest, lankiest spider in the garden (well, the Southwest garden, anyway). I love the colors – and the tall scapes. It reminds me of a scarecrow.

Cheddar Cheese 7.20.20

That makes 122 cultivators so far (counting the 2 I missed on vaca). That’s 71%. And, we have a few more premiers in the future. Come on, 75%!

Red Hot Returns 7.20.20

Finales are Cheddar Cheese, Red Hot Returns, Prairie Blue Eyes and Route 66. See you all next year . . . at the bar.

Prairie Blue Eyes 7.20.20

It is time to start ordering the new pots for the Southwest buried garden soon. I will start by repotting the ones already in pots this fall. It is awful to dig into the clay soil and tree roots. I do not look forward to that part at all. But, it is the easement and I don’t want to risk loosing them to a busted water pipe.

Route 66 7.20.20

Fooled Me

Oh, daylilies. I was so clueless when I began collecting these circa 7-8 years ago that I did dumb stuff with them. I stuck them in shade with no water. I stuck them in the hard, clay soil. I put them in pots with no water source except when I remembered the watering can. It never rains here.

The mystery daylily that I almost killed but revived from seedling size. No idea on name so this year she is Nosferatwo because she reminds me a little of Nosferatu 7.3.20

A few years ago, it hit me that all I was doing was buying daylilies, watching them bloom for one cycle followed by watching them wither away. So, I put in irrigation and cut down trees. I broke a rib burying pots so the soil was more controlled. I put in more irrigation . . . and more, and more.

Stephanie Returns brightens the yard on her second day in bloom 7.3.20

I actually think I will have a decent bloom rate this year – and I think it is all in the water. Well, not all – but it is the desert.

Fooled Me

So, when I first xeroscaped portions of my front yard, I purchased 3 daylilies to be part of the design – Orange Vols, Lady Fingers and a cultivator named Fooled Me. The first couple of years, they all did fine. Then, Fooled Me started to fade. No bloom, shrinking (last bloom 2015). I know that spot gets dry. Two years ago, I put it in a buried put in the same place . . . it got bigger but no bloom. This year, with the added drip sprinkler, it bloomed – today, for the first time since 2015 -IT BLOOMED!!! I may know how to make daylilies fade, but I am also getting good at year-to-year resuscitation. NEVER GIVE UP!

Chokecherry Mountain 7.3.20

Other premiers today were Chokecherry Mountain – a Robert’s spider that reminds me a lot of Talon.

Route 66 7.3.20

And, my favorite early “Southwest name” daylily, Route 66. Roadtrip memories flood my mind when I see her. Love her classic colors.

Soco Gap in the gap between two big yuccas 7.3.20

Soco Gap – a big plant that was a bonus back when the Southwest garden was an experiment. I plunked the little fans in between two medium sized Yuccas thinking she was small. Well, she is a decent sized cultivator and the cactus have grown, too. No way I can dig her out and put her in a pot – but the Yuccas are likely pretty protective of her!

Purple de Oro 7.3.20

Little Purple de Oro also had a premier bloom. IDK how I ended up with her and she is likely one of my least favorites. I keep waiting to fall in love.

Early Bird Cardinal with her flag colored background 7.3.20

Tomorrow is the 4th and I hope for a big show in the yard because they will be my fireworks during the coronavirus year.

Mystery Solved

When I put in my Southwest daylily garden, I filled it with a lot of Ned Roberts spiders and other names that sounded like the Southwest in some way. I put most of the garden in about 4 years ago. I ordered from several different daylily hybridizers/gardens across the country. I planted them and labelled them.

Laughing Feather 7.1.20

Since then, I have dug most of them back up and put them in buried pots. I got new labels a couple of times – now they are metal. I made a map about 3 years ago – and it is pretty reliable except there are doubles of a couple and that doesn’t make sense because of how I organized them when I planted them.

Kiva Dancer 7.1.20

That brings me to today’s premier blooms. The mystery daylily that is a double of Kachina Dancer (bloomed yesterday) but in a different row and is clearly a different bloom – but same name on the label. So, what is it? Well, I also ordered Kiva Dancer about that time and looking at pictures from the web, I think that I just mislabeled the daylily. Kachina instead of Kiva. Anyway – she bloomed last year and I had the wrong name because Kachina Dancer had never bloomed before yesterday. That’s a long story, but Kiva Dancer (I think) had her first 2020 bloom this year.

Holy Sombrero 7.1.20

We started with yellow trumpets and today brought some showier yellow daylilies. Holy Sombrero is a very showy, big, ruffly bloom.

Cheddar Cheese 7.1.20

And, one of my older daylilies that is loving the place in the garden that I moved it a couple summers ago premiered today – Cheddar Cheese. I have a picture I painted of her in my room – one of my first paintings.

Heron”s Cove 7.1.20

Last, but never least, was a premier on Heron’s Cove. It was cold last night, so many of my blooms didn’t open right today. Hers is a little frumpy.

Here is a picture of Oh Erica from the American Daylily Society page

I have a request of my readers. I am looking for a daylily named Erica for my family section of the garden. I have both grandkids, my oldest daughter, my mom, my grandma . . . but I need to find one named Erica, like my youngest daughter. I like one called Oh, Erica by a hybridizer in Indiana named Bart Beck – but I can’t find contact. I also like “Erica’s Awake”. Anyway – if my readers know of any Erica named daylilies or how to contact Bart Beck – please leave a comment.

It’s tomorrow. I am going to bed.

Spikes or Waves

Ah, the talk of pandemics. Nothing like having a doctorate in nursing at a historic time like this. I almost wish I was back in biostats or epidemiology class right now.

The Colorado Kid 6.24.20

People debate if this is a spike in the first wave or a second wave. Hmmm, well, it reminds me a little of the epidemic of daylily blooms in summer. There are days with 8+ premier blooms (new cases) and days with only 1 or 2. Are the busy days waves or spikes within a wave? IDK that there is a right and wrong answer – but I would say the second.

Mauna Loa 6.24.20

Like the epidemic, we will see a peak and a decline after that. Fortunately or unfortunately, daylilies are seasonal. There will be no second wave during flu season . . . or Christmas.

Lady Fingers 6.24.20

So, today was a good day if you are into low numbers. I only had 2 premiers. Both are old daylilies from my early days of collecting these plants. Lady Fingers is one I got for my landscaping circa 9 years ago. It is simple yellow – but a spider, not a trumpet. I like the green throat.

Inwood 6.24.20

The other one from today is Inwood, who is having a better than average year. Her buds are healthy and she has more spikes than average. I was delighted to see such a pretty bloom. She reminds me a bit of Canyon Colors, who is having a bad year and I think it is because the grass is taking over her pot. As soon as her sad scape gets done blooming, I will dumb her our and dig the grass off of her roots.

Kokopelli 6.24.20

Fall project – I think I will start working on putting my Southwest Garden daylilies in better pots, like my daylilies out front. I think they are more protective against tree roots AND after my sewer issue last winter, I am reminded that my garden is on the easement. That means if the water pipe gives, the City digs. If they are potted, it will be much easier to deal with. I have them in pots, just not better quality ones. I may do half this year and half next. It will be way easier than digging them up the first time!

Ruby Spider 6.24.20

Anyway – We will see if tomorrow brings a peak, but I think it is all one big summer wave. PS – I have 32 folders of cultivators on my computer now – out of 171 possible. That’s almost 20% bloom rate. Less than 3 weeks since the first bloom. Let’s see where we are in a week. I should do a graph like the epidemiologists. Really.

Dwindle

Tonight, life seems right, again.  Or at least blogging seems right.  I ditched the S mode deal on the new 2 in 1 and now have straight windows 10 pro.  I can download a printer driver and Chrome.  That makes the whole computer more functional. I actually read a techie column that said it was a much more functional computer and didn’t loose that much speed or security by ditching the S deal.

PurpleCornDancer8.28.1.jpg

Purple Corn Dancer 8.28

So, my daylilies dwindle.  Today, it seems like the reality of season end is hitting.  Soon, there may be 0 daylilies some days . . . then most days . . . then all days.

FransHals8.28.1.jpg

Frans Hals 8.28

My mind turns to fall daylily work.  Nearly all effort now goes into building healthy plants for next season.  The little sprinkler system and trimming the plants back to encourage new growth.  I need to level and mulch the Southwest garden – well, at least level it.  As the earth settles from burying all those daylily pots 2 summers ago – well, there are some low patches and some plants that need their soil level increased.

RubyStella8.28.1.jpg

Ruby Stella 8.28

After that, I will see what, if anything, needs to be divided.  Maybe some fertilizer.

Then, the leaves come and I bury my buddies until March.  Leaves are pretty, but winter is bland.  The roads are slick.  The days are short.  And, daylight savings time comes.  I can’t wait to see what I can do with my air plants this winter!

Speaking of dwindling . . . this will likely be my last week of nightly blogs.  Weekly, then prn until the buds open, again.

Kokopelli has Landed!

Kokopelli has made history as the first daylily bloom of 2018!  In Native American folklore, the Kokopelli turns winter to summer (and visa versa).  Today, Kokopelli brought thunderstorms . . . badly needed thunderstorms to our exceptional drought area.  Chilly, overcast.  When I first went out this AM, it was hot and dry, now it is cool and 60s.  I hope she brings more rain.

Kokopelli6.3.1.JPG

Kokopelli was my first Ned Roberts daylily.  Now, my Southwest garden bulges with them. I have around 66 Roberts cultivators – most with southwestern names in my Southwestern Garden.  I have just over 75 cultivators in the Southwest Garden.  What bonds the is names from the Southwest US.  They live with some big yucca out in that garden, and a Kokopelli sculpture.

Kokopelli6.3.2.JPG

Last year, I had about 15 different cultivators bloom in the Southwest Garden.  Not such a great rate out of 75.  That meant I needed to make changes.  My soil here is heavy clay with roots embedded.  We don’t get much rain, even on a good year.  So, that is when I started looking around and noticing that my potted cultivators did better.  Therefore, I dug up around 60 of the daylilies in the Southwest Garden, put them in better soil in a quick draining container, and buried the container.  Broke a rib and got sciatica in the process.

But, it seems to be paying off because I now have 20 cultivators in scape out there!  It is early in the season so I only have 8 scapes in all my other gardens combined.  Last fall, I had the elm tree that cast shade on the Southwest Garden removed.  I also added a soak hose watering system.  20 in scape by 6/3. . . I can’t believe my eyes.  It is the first time I ever had my first bloom from out there, too.

So, once the elm was a stump, I had to figure out what do with said stump.  I decided on a native garden.  It is raised on one side and slopes down so that the yucca that have been under the tree for years could be part of the new garden.  It has sage, Morman tea, ornamental grass, cactus, and several zeroscape flowers.  Today, I want to share photos of the current bloomers – neighbors to the Southwest Garden.  The new garden is the Hovenweep Garden.

 

 

PS – Next up is Orange Flurry – maybe tomorrow.  Who knows what a cool, rainy day might bring?

 

It’s Almost Daylily Season!

Maybe even tomorrow!  Kokopelli is busting at the seams – so soon, for sure.

It is interesting to watch the variables at work.  Last year, Kokopelli bloomed on June 21st.  Almost 3 weeks early this year.  Why?  Is it that she is in a buried pot?  Is it the new soak hose watering system? Is it the lack of one tree what was blocking light?  Is it the extreme drought that has been upon us since last fall (and winter watering)?   Is it just that she is older?  Who knows?

Kokopelli bud 6/2/2018

Last year, my new Lowes daylilies (Stella offspring) gave my first bloom.  Then, my old Stella,  Then Return a Smile.  My Stella offspring do not have scapes yet, but the other two have early ones.

Another big shift this year is 20 daylilies with scapes in my Southwestern garden . . . already.  Last year, I don’t think I got that many blooms all season.  So, something I did shifted the ecosystem . . . or the extreme drought.  Or, the plants are just more mature.  Or, a combo.  I vote for the latter.  Here are a couple of comparison shots – a year apart late May/early April.  Bigger plants!

Southwest Daylily Patch: End of April, 2017

Southwest Daylily Patch: Early May, 2018

 

Bets on a bloom greeting me tomorrow?