It’s Poinsettia Time

Almost Christmas. Thank goodness because my poinsettias started blooming in early October! I didn’t plan it that way. My new bloom closet just worked super well. I think the purple LEDs trigger blooms quickly.

So, yesterday I was visiting the town of Ouray, CO and came across this unusual poinsettia for my collection. The shopkeeper called it a pin cushion poinsettia, but my Google search said valentine poinsettia. Either way, it looks like roses from a short distance.

I now have 7 poinsettias, all in bloom. Two survived for 2 years, three were additions last year, and this year, I added 2 more. They get big, so this many won’t fit in the bloom closet at once. I’ll have to stagger the bloom force dates or set up a different space. Poinsettias get big – a benefit in blooming splendor but not space in the house.

I want to show you my other six blooms. I should preface this by telling you that traditional plain red blooms don’t speak to my creativity and curiosity, so I’m on the lookout for unusual colors and shapes.

My oldest ones are survivors from 2 years ago when I went on a poinsettia shopping spree. I had 14. Two survived. I added boosted lights all around my windows last winter and wow, what a difference. These two are different shapes and sizes. Both pink. I don’t know names (like I do with daylilies). Here they are:

Last year’s additions included one with variegated leaves and red blooms (I’m not happy with the cat for nibbling off a few leaves):

And, one with green leaves and variegated blooms (this was my only Christmas gift last year):

I added this pink/white one last Thanksgiving:

And, this year, I added another orange one. My first rebloom success was an orange one, but it didn’t survive the second winter:

So – What’s my trick with rebloom? Well, let’s start with bloom season and go through those steps.

The bloom season starts late fall (unless you put them under timed lights earlier) and runs through early spring. I like reblooming mine because I like watching the blooms get bigger every week until they are nursery sized.

The big, colorful blooms last several months. However, usually by February they start dropping bottom leaves. When they start to look straggly (or when I’m tired of the Christmas look) they go back into the bloom/grow light closet. This seems to give them the needed energy to make it through to late spring. I’ve had them begin the spring growth cycle under the lights. That’s good, because prior to the light, warm area, I lost 90% of my plants late winter/early spring.

I live in the high desert of the Colorado Plateau. Our winters are cold and my windows get cold at night. This is great for getting orchids to rebloom but deadly for poinsettias. So, mine are all several feet from the windows with boosted light of some sort. I repot if needed in April.

Then comes May. Mid-May sometime, my poinsettias move outside. I have one on my drip system and the rest outside where the sprinklers hit them every day. They often have a colored brack (bloom) or two left, but not many bottom leaves. I slowly cut back the branches to 6 inches. Once I see new leaves forming, I cut more.

It’s amazing how resilient these plants are – mine were in a fairly sunny spot and we had single digit humidity with windstorms. They were just glad for the warmth, I think. Our temps still drop under 50 some, but at this point, I don’t get wilting like I do on short, cold winter days.

Once the new leaves start coming quickly (mid-June), I begin pruning and shaping for the next year. They are in growth phase, so the more you clip the more they branch. More branches mean more blooms. I usually get busy with my daylilies at this point, but I do try to remember to fertilize every couple weeks.

I brought mine in last August this year and put them in my bloom closet. The closet has 2 overhead purple LED fixtures. I think I paid less than $50 a piece for these on Amazon. Those are surrounded by light fixtures with a mix of white LED plant lights and plain CFUs (curly lightbulbs). I set my timer to come on at 8 AM and off at 6 PM. I have blackout curtains that stay closed all the time until all the plants start to bloom.

I like this set-it-and-forget-it arrangement a lot – it’s a keeper. But I set an alarm in my phone to remember to water twice a week. I forgot once this year and lost some bottom leaves. The big thing is total darkness more than 12 hours a day. I add a second black out curtain and this is a basement room, so all other lights are out at the same time.

And, the bloom cycle begins, again.

I’m nervous about next summer, as we are still in exceptional drought. I don’t know about water restrictions but I do know these guys need daily water when it’s hot and dry.

As for the daylilies, I’m worried about drought damage. I had health issues late summer/early fall, so didn’t keep up with my watering schedule. I need to start winter watering today so the plants go into spring at their best. I’m wondering if I’ll loose some. My evergreens come into the porch today (not heated), too. I didn’t mean to drop the blog so quickly, but health took priority and I had no blooms after August this year.

I’ll be back with my amaryllis and orchid blooms off and on this winter.

The Sun, and the Rain, and the Daylily Roots

When it comes to places to live, I stay on the sunny side.  This place west of the Divide and east of the desert is not the habitat of daylilies.  They are go-getters, though.  I have only lost one or two of all those that I put in last year.  Some act pretty shocked for a bit.  Like, hey, we aren’t in Georgia anymore, Toto.   So, below is my city’s annual precipitation from city-data.com – we are a couple standard deviations below the mean.

And, below are the sunshine days.  Here, we are close to a couple standard deviations above the mean.  Desert daylilies.

The downside of this climate, along with the very base ph, clay soil, is that it is nothing like the natural daylily habitat.  It is trial and error.  And some stuff you don’t get to see the results from for a year.  And, so, today I finished putting my mulch concoction on my main flower garden cultivators.  We will see if this helps.  Not that I did poorly this year, but Stephanie Returns didn’t return.  In fact, she only had one scape.  She is not the only one who is below her mean.  So, let’s hope this mulching is more than just a load of BS.

A few blooms to go with the calluses, sunburn, and bug bites.  Two of my last three Pizza Crust buds:

 

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Pizza Crust – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

And, my Stellas.  Yeez, I wish those gals could help with yard work.

 

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Yella Stella – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

 

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Golden Stella – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

PS – Heirloom Heaven is close – and has another brand new scape.  Hopefully, the mulching won’t hurt these little buds.  I think Red Hot Returns is very close, too.  Tomorrow ????

 

 

Daylily Blooms Last Forever!

Perhaps it is the blog.  Or, perhaps it is painting with my granddaughter a few days ago.  And, maybe it is because I want to keep peak season alive all year.  At any rate, I broke out the paintbrush in an attempt to keep my last Zuni Thunderbird alive forever.  It was fun.  And, it’s been 9 months since I painted one of my cultivators.  That’s too long.  So, I got my fix.

 

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Zuni Thunderbird – Painting by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

Frans Hals appeared for the first time since 2014.  I like this older daylily so much that I bought one online only to discover that I had one in my yard from the years when I wasn’t quite this addicted.  I like bi-tone daylilies – I think that they are stunning.

 

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Frans Hals – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

Other blooms today in my thinning garden included my last Marque Moon:

 

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Marque Moon – Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

Pizza Crust:

 

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Pizza Crust – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

Apache Uprising among the Prickley Pear:

 

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Apache Uprising with Prickley Pear Cactus – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

And, Orange Flurry:

 

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Orange Flurry – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

My mind is shifting to fall.  I’ll be a doctor in a little over a month.  I hope that there is a bloom on the day I give my presentation.  That would rock.  If there isn’t, I will still wake up to my favorite blossoms.

A Classy Lady Comes to Town!

Ah, now I think, perhaps, the season of blooms is slowing down a bit.  At least as far as having a new cultivator every day or so.  But, hey, today I had several plants with three or four blooms at once.

But, hold on!  I did have a new girl today.  Her name is Classy Lady.  She was one of my fall auction purchases, along with Electric Lizard, Kokopelli, and Quilt Patch.  It looks like Quilt Patch will be my only non-bloomer this year.  I like this bloom – it has a shape like a gymnast.  And, a nice color to match.

 

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Classy Lady – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

Now, for my multiples – Marque Moon, Zuni Thunderbird, and South Seas.  The only down side is they burn buds fast this way.

 

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Marque Moon – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

 

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Zuni Thunderbird – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

 

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South Seas – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

And, today brought another visit from the monarch butterfly.  This time, she chose the Mexican Daylily (Shellflower).  I got several photos – the center of the collage is my favorite.

 

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From L to R: Top Row – Chorus Line, Lullaby Baby, Pick of the Litter, Lime Frost. Row Two: Classy Lady, Mexican Daylily with Monarch Butterfly, Thin Man.  Bottom Row: South Seas, Marque Moon, Stephanie Returns, Zuni Thunderbird.

 

Thank you, garden, for the therapy.  Great positive emotion to get me through a Monday. Only 5 months until Christmas.  I have a ton of painting to do this year 😉

First Frost! (and 26 daylilies)

No, it’s really 88 degrees.  It would be warmer if the monsoon clouds weren’t providing some shade.  No real rain yet, but cooler than the last few weeks.  In fact, cool enough for frost.  Well, Lime Frost.

When I arranged daylilies last summer, I put plant labels and entered each location in my software.  However, it doesn’t really sink in what is where until they bloom and then you remember to color.  So, when I was checking for buds last night, I was surprised that Lime Frost looked full-term.  This is booked as a very  late season bloomer, but it is still mid-July.  Oh, well, we had Desert Icicles so welcome to our delusion of cold weather.

 

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Lime Frost – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

Another brand new face is Autumn Jewel.  This was a gift plant – this spring.  A later gift plant, even.  I love the bloom.  It is a relative of El Desperado. It’s slated as another late bloomer.  But, here it is anyway.

 

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Autumn Jewel – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

Fine Time Lucille is another brand new face today.  I ordered her last summer when I was first learning the online order thing.  The name sold this one . . . I have been humming the song all day.

 

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Fine Time Lucille (with Primal Scream) – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

And, Skinwalker showed up in my Southwestern garden today . . . these first blooms are sometimes a little rough looking.  Hoping for more soon from this one!

 

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Skinwalker – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

Of mention is that Electric Lizard, having been fertilized, put in another pale bloom.  I now wonder if it has too much sun.  I am getting some more fans at a summer sale, as I think it would look better a little fuller.

 

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Electric Lizard – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

So, here is the collage with all 26 blooms.  I tried for rainbow order, as I had both a near-blue and a green in bloom today.

 

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From L to R: Top Row – Baja, Indian Love Call, Ruby Spider, Thin Man, Soco Gap.  Second Row – Orange Vols, Primal Scream, Aztec Firebird, South Seas.  Third Row – Mini Pearl, Mayan Poppy, Pick of the Litter.  Fourth Row – Skinwalker, Electric Lizard, Dream Catcher, Lullaby Baby.  Fifth Row – Lime Frost.  Sixth Row – Blue Beat. Seventh Row – Stephanie Returns, Prairie Blue Eyes, Return A Smile, Fine Time Lucille.  Eighth Row – Blackthorne, Zuni Thunderbird, Purple de Oro, Autumn Jewel.  

 

As peak lingers, I begin to think of next year.  I want to do more work with the Southwest garden.  Maybe some compost or manure around each plant.  Loosen the soil around the roots and add the amendments.  That area has been sterile of plants so long, it probably could use some bio additives.  Pots, yes, some need to be relocated.  Others need pebbles in the bottoms.  It will be fun moving them inside the porch this winter – the evergreens.  I have had 57 different cultivators bloom so far this year.  Next year, 100 by this time!  Let’s do it!

The Monarch Has Landed!

Today, I continue the wait for news.  I worry some, and know that my daylilies will pull me back into the moment. I step outside, with camera in hand (and a queezy stomach) to admire my days blooms.  I work it from the porch to the west edge of the walkway garden.  Then out to check some of my pots and the xeriscaped area before going out to check on my Southwest named Ned Roberts garden.  I am almost done, but decide to stop for one more shot of South Seas next to Primal Scream.  Routine.

And, then, I spot it . . . a large Monarch butterfly on Thin Man.  I quickly take my PowerShot out of close-up mode and attempt to focus on the distant flower.  The Monarch was flower-hopping.  From one to the next.  I got a few good shots . . .  in others, she seemed intent in hiding from me.  Here are my favorites.

 

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Monarch on an old Orange Vols bloom – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

 

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Monarch in the South Seas – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

 

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Monarch on the Orange Vols – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

The only new bloom for 2016 today is Baja.  For some reason, this is one of my favorites each year.

 

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Baja – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C  Hartt

 

Of note, my other Primal Scream bloomed.  The one that was labeled Primal Scream (and not Desert Flame).  This was one of my <$5 fall sale daylilies.  It struggled with insects when I planted it.  I was unsure if it would come back in the spring, let alone bloom.  But, her it is.  The bloom is smaller than on the new nursery-bought plant that I thought was Desert Flame.  But it is a different location and year one for a smaller fan.  What do you think, same flower?  (Today’s bloom is on the left.)

Today’s collage is by garden area.  The top blooms are in my walkway garden.  The middle ones are in the xeriscaped area of my front lawn.  And, the last ones are in my Southwest named daylily (mostly Ned Roberts) to the West of my house.  Sadly, I believe we have seen the last Ruby Spider for the year 😦

 

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From L to R: Top Row: Mini Pearl, Chorus Line,  Prelude to Love, Primal Scream.  Second Row – Baja, South Seas, Thin Man.  Third Row – Indian Love Call, Lady Fingers, Fooled Me.  Bottom Row – Dream Catcher, Zuni Thunderbird, Aztec Firebird.

 

I wonder what blooms today’s monsoon will bring tomorrow?  Hopefully blooms of news!

And, the Peak Goes On! (In Colorado)

I walked out the door to over twice as many blooms as yesterday.  Twenty-one!  So, we are continuing to climb to the apex of the season.  Interesting that in this bouquet that there are no new cultivators.  So, what to talk about?  Perhaps what the sun does to color in daylilies.  I am no hybridizer, but I was a printer at one point much earlier in my life.  I learned about color then . . . additive and subtractive.  

It is my understanding that daylilies don’t have genes to make blue.  So, the near blue flowers are a mosaic.  Additive color is what I use when I paint my blooms.  It is easy compared to subtractive color . . . which is done with light and filters.  If I was issuing a somewhat educated guess, I would say this must be a subtractive process.  

So, here is my stunning Blue Beat before the rays of sun hit it directly: 

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Blue Beat – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

And here it is just 5-10 minutes later, as the first rays of sun found its pedals: ( It shifts from blue, green, and light pink to peach, yellow, and purple).  I would love to hear a hybridizer’s take on this!

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Blue Beat – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

I had a lot of cool spiders today – Ruby Spider, Thin Man, Aztec Firebird, Zuni Thunderbird, and Desert Icicle.  Here is one with Ruby and the Thin Man.

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Ruby Spider with Thin Man in the distance – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

Also, three out of five in my family garden are blooming today: Here are all three: Isaac (grandson), Mini Pearl (Minnie Pearl – grandma), and Stephanie (daughter).  The colors are nice together.  Maya Poppy (for granddaughter, Maia) is going to blend right in.  Hopefully, soon.  Catherine Irene, momma’s namesake, looks like it is waiting for now.

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All in the Family from L to R: Isaac, Mini Pearl, and Stephanie Returns – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

So, here are today’s 21.  Busiest day of 2016 so far.  At least until I start trying to paint all of these for Christmas presents!  Oh, help!

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In alphabetical order from L to R: Top Row – Aztec Firebird, Blue Beat, Desert Icicle, Early Bird Cardinal, Isaac.  Row Two – Lady Fingers, Mesa Verde, Mini Pearl, Pick of the Litter, Prelude to Love, Purple de Oro. Row Three – Razzamatazz, Return a Smile, Route 66, Ruby Spider, Soco Gap, South Seas.  Bottom Row – Stephanie Returns, Thin Man, VooDoo Dancer and Zuni Thunderbird.

 

So, I am ready for a nap!

Twin Firebirds

Today was much less overwhelming than peak day yesterday.  Every bloom was a return.  However, the bloom(s) that caught my eye were twin Aztec Firebirds. There is something about two blooms together, facing the same direction.  They look like dancers.

 

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Aztec Firebird – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

The name brings to mind Aztec Ruins, an Anasazi site close by in the Four Corners.  I need to superimpose these blooms on the ruins picture from my spring Southwest road trip this spring.  They are awesome ruins, just like the blooms.

 

 

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Aztec Ruins National Monument – Photo by C. Hartt

 

Since I have no new blooms, I will highlight a couple of other Ned Roberts spiders in bloom today.  Desert Icicle is a beautiful bloom.

 

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Desert Icicle – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

And, poor Zuni Thunderbird was invaded by thrips and looks like it has reverse measles.  I did some photo touching with it to make it presentable.  One thing about having over a hundred cultivators – you begin to learn the work of farming daylilies.

 

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Zuni Thunderbird in enamel – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

So, here is the collage for today.  Some really nice blooms, all in all.

 

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Left to Right: Top Row – Just Plum Happy, South Seas, Desert Icicle, Lady Fingers. Row Two: Chorus Line, Ruby Spider, Soco Gap, Lullaby Baby.  Bottom Row: Purple de Oro, Aztec Firebird, Zuni Thunderbird.

 

 

Welcome, Pastels!

When I think of daylilies, I often think of the huge, bright blossoms that I love.  This morning, though, I found a stunning bouquet of smaller pastel blooms.  They provide a nice contrast in the garden, for sure.

The lightest one is Lullaby Baby.  I almost miss it every year.

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Lullaby Baby – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

Mini Pearl – the one named for my grandma! She is new to my yard this year.

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Mini Pearl – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

Then Chorus Line – an old favorite.

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Chorus Line – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

And, this sweet Ned Robert’s bloom – Desert Icicle.  Man, I could use an icicle in this Colorado desert today!

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Desert Icicle – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

Isaac may be a little brighter yellow than pastel, but nice small, simple blossom.

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Isaac – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

And, Blue Beat came into the world of the Colorado Plateau today.  This is a very nice near blue color – I am really pleased at the color it produced.  It is a first year for this one.  I would call it pastel tones, too.

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Blue Beat – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

The collage today has one of the pastel/small blooms next to the traditional blooms.  It creates a bit of a stiped appearance.

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From L to R. Top Row: Blue Beat, Jungle Queen, Chorus Line, Lady Fingers. Row Two: Lullaby Baby, Return A Smile, Desert Icicle, Ruby Spider. Bottom Row: Mini Pearl, Mildred Mitchell, Isaac, Prairie Blue Eyes.

I believe that is 37 different cultivators that have bloomed so far this year.  I have 20-30 different ones with scapes right now.  It looks like I may go over my 50% goal. (I have 130 +/- in my yard. I’m addicted!) I have not given up on the ones without scapes yet.  I love the late bloomers!

All in the Family

As I typed in this title, I actually Googled to see if there is an Archie Bunker daylily. Fortunately, my search didn’t find any such flower.  The title of this blog is because I want to talk about a section of my daylily garden with names from my family. Because today Stephanie Returns returned for 2016.  My oldest daughter is a Stephanie, too. And, she returned to Colorado the year that I came across this cultivator at the local nursery.

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Stephanie Returns – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

Following after mom, my Isaac daylily is close to a first ever bloom in my yard.  Definitely tomorrow.  Isaac is also my 3-year-old grandson’s name.

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Isaac bud – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

Mini Pearl was my grandma’s name, and I have a daylily by the same name with scapes, also added last year.  Interestingly enough, there is a daylily named Catherine Irene which is also my mom’s first and middle name.  I am still waiting on that one to send scapes.  I have Mayan Poppy for my granddaughter, Maia.  It also has scapes.  I have a couple more to add in that section – I am waiting to see what space looks like after the first year.  But, it is already a very special section of my garden.  Right by my front door.

Other new faces for today are Razzamatazz, a pretty little purple bloom that I have had for a couple of years.

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Razzamatazz – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

All-in-all, I have 12 full blooms and a very ready-to-bloom bud of Isaac.  Today, I mixed-it-up and made the collage in alphabetical order.  Lots of yellows and purples today.

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From L to R. Top Row: Canyon Colors, Indian Love Call, Isaac, Lady Fingers. Row Two: Mesa Verde, Mildred Mitchell, Purple De Oro, Razzamatazz, Return A Smile. Bottom Row: Ruby Spider, Soco Gap, South Seas, and Stephanie Returns.

I have had 32 different cultivators bloom so far in 2016.  That is somewhere around 25% of my daylily collection.  I am hoping for 50% this year, because so many are new.  And, the ones for $2 often take a couple years to bloom.  My long-term goal is 80% per year.  Time to quite, though, cause I am thinking like a doctor.  And this is my get-away time.