Poinsettias in the Bloom Closet!

Poinsettias are a sign that the holidays are just around the corner. I started collecting them a few years ago when I was a starving sixty-something doctoral student. I bought a pretty orange one and babied it because it was a luxury to buy a plant back then.

That plant bloomed all winter and flourished all summer. However, my first experiment in making a bloom closet that fall didn’t work out so well. The poinsettia bloomed, sort of, but was horribly leggy and didn’t survive winter #2.

I’ve gotten better with them. Trial and error. I have two that I’ve had going on four winters. I got a couple more the next year and, again, last year. Well, actually I got more than that, but lost a few along the way. I lost both of my orange ones from last winter to the cold spring.

I have 4 in bloom and one that’s still in the bloom closet. I have two still recovering from the cold spring that I’ll bloom in a couple of months.

How do I rebloom mine? Well, forget all the advice about putting it in a closet by night and a sunny window by day. I’m way too forgetful. But, I have a plant closet in my basement family room that has plant LED lights on a timer and a blackout curtain closed all the time, except when I water.

It’s year #3 for the closet and my poinsettias thrive down there. Once they bloom, they come upstairs for several weeks u til they start dropping leaves. Generally, they go back into the closet until May, when they sit in my front yard and get sprinkler system rain every day.

It’s hot and dry, but the poinsettias do fine. This is the first year that they have struggled a little. They are euphorbia, after all- just like my 6 ft pencil cactus.

I bring them in and put them in the bloom closet just before freeze. I have blooms by late October or early November. Have you ever rebloomed a poinsettia? Meanwhile the drought has returned and I need to winter water the daylilies during Thanksgiving break.

H2O

Water, the giver of life.  Usually.  I watch Hurricane Harvey and think of my days living in Galveston, Texas.  Eighteen years ago?  Where did the time go?  Well, anyway, those days taught about having so much water that it becomes life threatening.  Tonight, my thoughts are with those affected by the storm.

 

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Coral Taco

 

I live in the desert, so our rain is never close to what they get on the Gulf Coast. Generally, my daylilies beg for more water, not less.  Still, I hold my breath as I try both pots and a drip system in the Southwestern garden.  I worry that they are too dry.  I worry that they are too wet and going to get root rot.  I have 3 makes of pots out there, too . . . so one may be OK and the other not.  In the spring, I will put them all in plastic pots with drainage inserts = that should also keep the tree roots out.  If they all survive the storm.

 

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Passionate Returns

 

Water.  Life giving.  Most of the time.

 

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Yellow Punch

 

Fall Blooms and Roots

Time flies . . . it has been a couple of weeks since I posted.  A lot has happened. I am less than two weeks away from my doctorate.  And, I believe I have a full-time job in my future. A couple cultivators are still in bloom, and I have new roots in the ground.  Perhaps returning to school is like planting new roots.  You give them water, soil, sunshine, and fertilizer.  Then, in time they bloom.  Blooms are like jobs – the reward for the TLC given to the roots.

Today’s blooms were Heirloom Heaven:

 

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Heirloom Heaven – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

And, Red Hot Returns (with less thrip damage than before):

 

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Red Hot Returns – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

As promised, here are the Painted Petroglyph roots from a couple weeks ago next to the photo from a few days ago:

Progress toward that 2017 bloom.  Like submitting an assignment . . .  it takes time.

Fall is here and my attention is turning to my winter indoor blooms.  My amaryllis bulbs and poinsettia need to go dark soon.  I got a new mum, Thanksgiving cactus, and designer begonia.  My Gerber Daisy is in bloom, as is my azalea. Oh, and those geraniums.  They tend to be my winter bloomers.   I will probably blog about those some over the winter.

I’m also working on my fall daylily fertilizing program.  My re-bloomers ran out of steam this year, so that is a sign that they need more nutrients.   I have added some great Ned Roberts roots to my Southwest daylily patch – Glen Eyrie, Adios Albuquerque, Twirling Pinata, and Truchas Sunrise.  I got extra fans (as bonuses) of Echo Canyon and Desert Icicle that will thicken up my existing plants.  My Navajo Rodeo roots are booming this time.  And, I think I am already getting my spring daylily order planned.  That paycheck will be great to feed my daylily habit.

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 ????

 

 

Back to the Drawing Board

Going back to the drawing board is both literal and figurative for me this day.  And, when you are a creative, drawing boards can help generate positive emotion.

When I buy daylilies with southwestern names, I usually am attracted to names like Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon – places where I have been. With Ghost Ranch, I put the cart before the horse.  Or, the daylily before the trip.

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Oh, the name sounded southwestern, and it is a Ned Roberts bloom, so I Googled it.  Much to my surprise, this place called Ghost Ranch was just over in my neighbor, New Mexico.  At first, I saw it said no dogs.  But, I did call the morning we were driving through that area on the road trip.  Dogs, sure!  Just bring a leash.

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This is a beautiful place that is the subject of Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings.  It is clearly on the Colorado Plateau – I knew as soon as  saw the rock structures.  The only downside was that we got there during the beginning of a good size windstorm, so hiking was not as fun and the light was rather muted.  At any rate, here is Ghost Ranch on Ghost Ranch . . . my drawing board.

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Ghost Ranch was the only new bloom today.  I had 10 different cultivators today.  Nice little smiles, each.  My last Blue Beat, though.  See you next year! No, wait.  See you when I break out the Christmas present paint.

 

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From R to L: Top Row – Classy Lady, Fine Time Lucille, Desert Icicle, Blue Beat, South Seas.  Row Two: Primal Scream, Lullaby Baby, Ghost Ranch, Marque Moon, Mini Pearl.

 

 

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!

Singing the Blues

Today, all three of my near blues (with scapes) were in bloom; Blue Beat, Mildred Mitchell, and The Colorado Kid. (Sounds like a rock band.) They have all bloomed before this year, so I highlighted them in todays garden collage.  I did want to share a large view of Blue Beat before the first rays of sun hit her.  Very blue-looking!

 

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

 

The other photo I really like from today is Jungle Queen.  I caught the first rays of light on her pedals.

 

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Jungle Queen – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

I had two new blooms and neither looked as healthy as I would like.  Bugs, heat, water issues, etc.  Who knows?  They are pretty flowers and hopefully they will have their true colors shining through very soon.

Zuni Thunderbird – a neat Ned Roberts spider that I put in the new garden last fall.

 

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

 

And, Inwood – a beautiful flower with a frompy first bloom.

 

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Inwood – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

Below are the bloomers for today.

 

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Left to Right: Top row – South Seas, The Colorado Kid, Blue Beat, Mildred Mitchell, Soco Gap. Second Row: Inwood, Jungle Queen, Mini Pearl, Purple de Oro, Early Bird Cardinal. Bottom: Zuni Thunderbird.

 

Before I sign off, let me just say that I am writing this blog to share my experiences being a daylily hobbiest in the desert of Western Colorado.  The soil is clay, so I have learned to amend it with good soil and water crystals.  They help hold the moisture in – and I had my best garlic harvest ever after adding them to the mix.  However, there can always be too much of a good thing and the crystals can harbor root rot is the drainage isn’t good,  The last week, Colorado Kid has been fading.  Today, I threw out the rotten dirt and cleaned up the roots.  Hopefully, I didn’t over correct.  It’s hard for humans to get the right balance of moisture in a place where mother nature falls short.  And, that is the adventure.  (RIP Navajo Rodeo – I am not sure what got you but something did 😦  )

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!

Southwest Spiders in the Garden

I find spider daylilies mesmerizing.  Something about the shape, the twists.  Each bloom is so unique.  Not that I don’t love the traditional shapes.  But, there is something about a spider in the garden.  And, I don’t mean the insect kind that live in my rock garden this time of year.

Today, another new Ned Roberts bloom: Winds of Love.  It was a bonus plant that came with some others that I bought from the Lily Auction from a seller named Floota. At first, I thought it didn’t belong with the Southwestern named ones.  But, then, I remembered those spring desert windstorms that blow the warmer weather in each year.  You know, the ones that formed the Grand Canyon?  Well, they can be serious show stoppers if you are on a road trip.  But, what about reframing them to mean something more positive?  Cognitive behavioral therapy for weather.  So, Winds of Love is in with the other Southwestern named blooms.

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Winds of Love – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

I also played with the macros feature on my camera more today.  I got some cool close-ups of today’s blooms – all are Ned’s daylilies.  So, sit back, relax, and enjoy.  PS – I am writing this as I wait for a 5PM job interview.  It’s a bit too early to start preparing.  It’s weird to interview via the web, so I need to vacuum 🙂  Blogging about daylilies is the BEST way to stay focused in the moment. Well, next to taking photographs and painting them, that is.

Here are my three beautiful spiders of today up close and personal:

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Winds of Love – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

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 Kokopelli – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

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Black Ice – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

OK, and one more of Kokopelli from a little further back.  The first bloom had some issues with color, but this one is gorgeous!  So perfect.  Can’t wait to paint it.  I love the colors! It almost has a hint of blue between the yellow and pink . . . OK, light purple.

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Anyway, about time to prep for that interview.  I need a job after graduation so I can pay for my daylily habit 🙂  Well, actually, it is a really cool job.

That’s all folks!

Black Ice on a Summer Day

Black ice reminds me of winter roads in Colorado.  I live rural and often have had a hefty commute to work.  Black ice is why I prefer to be off those roads by sundown.  And, it has caused me to fall on my face walking the dogs a few times, too.

Today, though, Black Ice brings positive emotion.  I love this new addition to my garden!  First bloom today.  It looks like black velvet to me.  And, it spilled pollen down it’s front peddle.  This is another Ned Roberts creation that is in my new Southwestern garden.  Black Ice may not remind everyone of the Southwest.  It does me.  I live here.

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Black Ice – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

Other blooms are Early Bird Cardinal (That yard flag in the background has a red cardinal on it and next shot, I will untangle it for the photo.  Those colors are very close!)

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Early Bird Cardinal – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

And, huge old Ruby Spider!

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Ruby Spider – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

Lastly, poor frail Electric Lizard’s last bud (for now).  I am cutting off its fans to see if it will thicken up.  I am hopeful for a couple more blooms this year.

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

I have a bunch of buds that look nearly ready to bust.  Wild Horses, Mesa Verde and Saratoga Springtime look the closest.  It looks like more Black Ice is on the weather report for tomorrow (or soon), too.  I can’t wait.  It’s better than an Easter Egg hunt every morning!