The Mascot has Arrived!

Today, I didn’t feel semi-retired. I had a meeting until noon and then more meetings to set up for the next few days. It’s interesting work, but likely won’t change the outcome.

I ran out quickly before the meeting started to photograph my blooms. It’s definitely daylily season. I was almost late to the web meeting.

I went out later and found my blog mascot, The Colorado Kid, had a bloom on a short scape that I missed this morning. I hate being rushed in the morning this time of year.

At any rate, several premieres to add to 2021. My drip system and repotting is resulting in mostly happy plants. There are a couple that are too crowded. I’m thinking of putting little red flags in the ones with no scapes. I’ll pull them is I see a scape. At the end, I’ll have the non bloomers marked and can make adjustments for next time.

6.23 – Lady Fingers – one of my early xeriscaping landscape plants
6.23 – Land of Enchantment is a daylily that lives up to her name.
6.23 – My blog mascot – The Colorado Kid. She looks better earlier in the day.
Red Riddle – another unmarked cultivator originally from my backyard garden.

Several more are very close. Hopefully, the hint of rain we got this evening will bring some blooms.

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.

Mediocre

Maybe it is because last year we had the rain and we were officially not in a drought that makes this year seem mediocre. I don’t mean bad . . . I just mean a pretty good drought year. But, an exceptional drought year just the same.

My irrigation water basically comes from a system that feeds off the Gunnison – This is Blue Lake Reservoir, where we camped, and it looks pretty full so far.

There are a few cultivators that didn’t bloom last year that usually are reliable – I think it was the freezing rain that stopped them. This year, Navajo Rodeo and Papa Longlegs sit looking like tall grass. Maybe I need to get the new pots going this fall – maybe the tree roots are taking over, again. I mean – the tree is thirsty, too.

Santa’s Pants 6.28.20

I had some premiers today – perhaps I should start with Santa Claus – because Santa’s Pants showed up today.

Wineberry Candy 6.28.20

Wineberry Candy also had a premier bloom. She doesn’t fit my name theme at all, but I wanted a new daylily the day I saw her.

Catherine Irene 6.28.20

Speaking of name themes – another from my family garden had a premier today. Catherine Irene – named for my mom. She is a pretty little mini.

Early Bird Cardinal 6.28.20

And, Early Bird Cardinal showed up for the first time. When I put the sprinkler (drip) system in a week ago, I wondered if I was on-time because her buds were so dry. But, they seem much happier with a little more water. Sadly, my porch drip system battery died and I didn’t notice – I lost some buds off of primal scream. Darn drought. We need monsoons.

Dream Keeper 6.26.20

And, one finale while I was gone yesterday – Dream Keeper. My spring bloomers are hibernating. Seems too soon.

A nice cluster of Ojo de Dios today

It was a fun weekend camping and I need to hit the hay. Tomorrow, another day of novel pretty blooms to explore. Good night!

I Have My Droughts

I left the new sprinkler system on too long – I got on a video meeting and totally forgot. I am sure I will have the water bill from h@## this summer. Why??? Because see the map below – the darkest red is an “exceptional drought”. The blue circle is my home region. It is a drought year, and getting worse each day.

Image from www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu

It’s the kind of year where there are less scapes and more buds that just turn brown and fall-off. Two years ago, we were probably in worse shape at this point . . . and that is why I started to think about more drip systems. I mean, mine are DIY but they do the trick to make the ground moist. Even if they cost more than mom nature. Water now . . . before the restrictions!

Ruby Spider 6.23.20

I had a few premiers today. Let’s start with Ruby Spider. While I always liked daylilies, she is the first one I looked forward to every year. She is the first one that had her own unique flower-ality.

Primal Scream 6.23.20

Primal Scream – I had to have this one early in my daylily days because of the name! I got this sad, inexpensive fan that took a couple years to bloom. Then, the garden store sold me something they labeled as Desert Flame – but I am 99.9% sure it is also Primal Scream. So, I have one on the porch that is big and blooming.

Mount Echo Sunrise 6.23.20

Mount Echo Sunrise – A Robert’s spider with the coolest green throat and beautiful light yellow color. She lives up to her name.

Mystery Daylily – “Nosferatwo” 6.23.20

Then – one of my mystery daylilies that were dying in a garden I put them in before I was into daylilies. They were little seedling sized things. I noticed that about the same time I realized my potted daylilies were 2-3 X the size as my in-ground babies. So, I put them in a pot together not having a clue what was what. I think this may be Nosferatu but I really don’t know, so she is called Nosferatwo for now.

Indian Love Call 6.23.20

I have my droughts that it will be as high of a bloom rate as last year. There are some cultivators who are still small and scapeless. These poor babies came from down South – daylily land. Here they are in the stinkin’ desert doing their best despite their droughts. (I had 21 in bloom today . . . let’s see what tomorrow brings.)

Drip, Drip, Drip

I will say one thing positive about the pandemic is that I have spent a lot more time in my yard and patio doing projects that I have wanted to do for some time.

Dream Keeper 6.21.20

So, today I extended my side yard drip system to the upper part of my front flower bed. I am guessing there are 50 plants in that area – so it took a chunk of time. I was nervous to hook it up, but it works fine. My sprinkler system is great for the lawn, but not for the flower pots. It is just not enough. So . . . I will come back to drip systems in a minute.

Mauna Loa 6.21.20

First, I had several premiers. Mauna Loa is a pretty Ned Roberts daylily that I added last year. It is one of his older ones, but the color is still vibrant.

Petite Petticoats 6.21.20

One of my minis, Petite Petticoats, gave me a premier bloom today, too. I seriously almost missed her in a big bucket of minis.

Purple Many Faces 6.21.20

Purple Many Faces showed her face for the first time in 2020 today. Another colorful Roberts cultivator.

Return a Smile 6.21.20

Oh, and sweet Return a Smile. She was one of my very first daylilies and always makes me smile.

So, that is it for premiers today. Likely, this week, I will shift to premiers only. I have a couple honorable mentions today. I had 4 premiers this week that didn’t open right the first time. Now, they are back with their normal beauty – Kokopelli, Land of Enchantment, Jungle Queen, and Mildred Mitchell.

Kokopelli 6.21.20
Land of Enchantment 6.21.20
Jungle Queen 6.21.20
Mildred Mitchell 6.21.20

OK, back to the drip system. Last year, I put one in on the front part of the bed I did today. Again, it had a lot of plants and I was new at doing drip systems other than it a short line. So, I did it the same, and needless to say, the drippers at the end did not have enough pressure.

Funny Valentine 6.21.20
Indian Love Call

I decided to research it and you need to put the line in a continuous circle – so both the start and end of the tube connect to the tap. Earlier this spring, I went back and fixed the front so it worked correctly. And, I am seeing a difference in the plant health – we will see on bloom rate. So far, Stella is much happier. And, my poinsettias are in heaven!

Mesa Verde 6.21.20
Ojo de Dios 6.21.20

I don’t have either of the newer drippers on a timer – other than my brain. It is still a lot easier to crank the hose and do something else for 30-60 minutes that haul water to all those pots.

Saratoga Springtime 6.21.20
Happy Returns 6.21.20

I am wondering if peak will happen before my trip in 2.5 weeks. I know it will be busy with blooms. I just need to get away and have an adventure.

Stella de Oro 6.21.20
Stella Yella 6.21.20

Drip, Drip, Drip

The weekend draws to a close and my to-do list for yard stuff didn’t get as short as I hoped. I haven’t done 8-5 x 5 days a week (away from home) in nearly 20 years. I feel it every day.

Cripple Creek 8.25

I spent the morning watching orchids and (other than a haircut and a grocery run) spent the afternoon finishing up the new drip system for the front garden.

Purple Grasshopper 8.25

It works, although I had to crank the pressure up. And the drip tube doesn’t fit very tightly on the timer, so it drips. It’s not auto, though, so I can set it for an hour or two, then shut the valve off. But, it could drip for a bit and be ok.

Purple Corn Dancer 8/25

I think that’s why the poinsettias stopped growing. I watered a lot more last year when I was home. The sprinklers just don’t get deep enough. Hoping for a growth spurt before freeze. We have maybe a month.

Frans Hals 8.25

My knees hurt from being on the pavement so much. And, I don’t want to get as exhausted as last week.

Ruby Stella 8.25

I teach Pharmacology at 8 AM. I guess it’s drip, drip, drip with students, too.

Black Eyes and Twirls

Today, two brand new faces joined the yard.  I am most excited about Twirling Pinata.  It’s a new Ned Roberts spider that I added last fall.  I just love the curly ones!  The color is nice, too.

TwirlingPinata3.7.18.jpg

The other one joined this spring after a trip to the nursery in Grand Junction.  The name caught my eye – Black Eyed Susan.  I like the color of those flowers.  And, the daylily version does not disappoint with the rich golden yellow-orange.  It has a LOT of buds, too. It was an early addition, so I think it is happy here.

BlackEyedSusan3.7.18.jpg

The blooms continue at a steady pace.  I am disappointed so many are dropping buds.  In continuous improvement, we make changes at a rapid pace to improve outcomes.  Daylilies are slower.  I can try adding more water or fertilizer, but the die have been largely cast for the year.  I’m at 35% bloom.  If all bloom with scapes (help me out here insects), then it climbs to 45%.  I am sure I will get a handful of late ones to add.  Maybe 50% for the year.

At some point, you go from having a few daylilies in your yard to being a hobbiest/collector.  For me, I think that happened at about 50.  In a way, it becomes more work at that point.  There is an art and science that you have to learn.  Most do better in pots here, a few prefer the ground.  Most all prefer the drip system on my porch.  Some areas get more sun.  I have a ton of work to do on those who didn’t bloom for the next cycle.  But, will it work for next year?

Life goes on, and the years we have left with the flowers shrinks.  Heaven help me, I will be at 80% bloom long before I run out of time.