Perhaps it is a bit premature to start my “between the seasons” chores. However, the best time to update my garden map was with several of the cultivators in bloom. It is funny what I forget when they aren’t blooming and look like a cross between grass and a spider plant. So, I printed off the old map and thought it would be a few adjustments. However, the garden grew and changed over the years and the numbering system was confusing – so I started from scratch.
Garden maps are great, though. You know what you have and what you don’t have. You know approximately where your cultivators are – so when that bloom you don’t remember pops up, you can figure out what it is (esp if you lost the label.
Anyway, back to the blooms – I had 3 very different premiers today.
Finales included a lot of big yellow-white flowers today. Sad to see them go.
Only about 36 hours until I head for New Mexico for a few days – to see a Truchas sunrise and visit Ghost Ranch – Oh, and drive the Enchanted Circle in the land of enchantment.
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!
Finales for today (if I didn’t miss one):
Let’s see what tomorrow brings. Today, I logged about 6 hours on daylily duty. How much time do you spend during peak season?
Today started with a parade and will end with fireworks. Must be July 4th, In between, I visited my daylilies. I think in July in Colorado (or the desert States) that we should call them 7-11 lilies, because after about 11 AM, the blooms start to melt. I mean, they literally look like melting wax to me. Our UV is just so high for them here when the humidity drops towards the single digits. Maybe that is why I take so many photos and paint the blooms. There is no hanging out with them all day because it is just too hot and I melt, too.
Anyway – I had 43 in bloom today, including 3 premiers. No finales today. Oh, and add Maya Cha Cha = who premiered yesterday but I missed her photo with the camera. I actually take pictures with both cell and camera. I post the cell shots to my Facebook page ASAP. That is a great back-up to the camera and helps me remember what is what if I get behind on camera shots. Maya is on the phone yesterday, but not in my computer library. I guess that puts us at 76, which is a patriotic number.
It is hard to believe only 40% of my daylilies have bloomed. I probably have a dozen or so without scapes so who knows if they will skip or be late? If they don’t bloom – that means we have 92 more premiers and our bloom rate will be 93%. That’s an A in my book. I am just waiting for water cost to shoot up because they declared a state of drought emergency in my part of the State yesterday.
I can’t believe it has been almost 10 days since my last post. That doesn’t mean that daylilies aren’t blooming – although I think peak bloom is going to be a week or so later than usual. Maybe the drought . . . maybe some late cool days in the spring?
All I can say is life is in transition, so blogging had taken a back burner while I continue my job (part-time), clean and organize my house (also put on the back burner too long), and start a business. It is 11 PM (or later) when I finally have time to blog, but my heart and soul need rest.
So, since my last blog on 6.12, there have been a lot of premier blooms! (Premier meaning first bloom of the season) and I have 120 in bloom or with scapes. Here we go:
That’s about 12 premiers since the last blog. 100++ more to go. What’s next? I guess we will see tomorrow. I would like to get back to blogging regularly, at least on Sunday. I feel like daylily season will come and go so quickly this year. The plants (mostly) appreciate all the work I did potting them and/or refurbishing the soil. A few are too crowded now and seem hesitant to send out a scape. Fortunately, I can divide and sell them this fall.
Speaking of which – please drop by my Art and Nature from the Hartt website to see what I plan to carry in my Etsy store. I have lots of begonias and coleus cooking now . . . and some succulents. I can’t wait to start making daylily art, again, too. I will clean my house first, though. Come visit us at this link – http://www.artandnaturefromthehartt.com
Wow! I haven’t blogged since school started nearly 2 weeks ago? I’m not really surprised. It’s overwhelming to be short of faculty and it never seems to stop. On top of that, there was my daylily repotting project 2 weekends ago (20 of 70 done) and camping last weekend. Twenty more this weekend.
I have four buds left – all Purple Corn Dancer. It is really winding down. With the drought – I hold little hope of rebloom, even from the yellow trumpets. So, why and I jazzed? Because there is LOTS of new growth in several of the daylilies I repotted two weeks ago.
The season shifts. Now, my daylilies are plants to be nurtured. This is a great time to put out a little growth because first freeze is still 5 weeks or so away and the days will be warm enough until mid to late October for the cultivators to grow into the next season. Then, will come the snow . . and mulching . . . and freezing temps. I won’t pay much attention to the daylilies – maybe genealogy and movies to pass the dreary hours of being reliant on my furnace for comfort. A few pots will move to the back porch for the winter- my barometer on spring is watching the porch lilies. Then, finally, the porch lilies have enough growth to move outside in late February and little by little the green appears. Then, it is time to sit on the porch, again – and hope for scapes to show soon. After that, three months of bloom season and heat. And, after that, the cycle begins anew. Let’s hope for a little rain and moisture in all of that.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My blog title came to me early this AM, as I tiptoed through my garden at 6-something AM before work. Titles come to me sometimes and they disappear into thin air by the time I sit down to write the blog . . . I just can’t remember what my early thought was.
But, today I do because it relates to the color of the blooms that stood out from my bedroom window as I did aerobics first thing after waking up. Golden Girls . . .
The first one I spied was Navajo Curls. She is yellow, but deep enough to have a golden hue. She is described as yellow-gold in her official listing. She is big and easy to see from the window.
Cripple Creek was in bloom today. Cripple Creek, Colorado is an old gold mining town. I am sure Ned Roberts had that in mind when he named her.
And, Golden Eclipse – a flower that is rust-red on the face side, but gold underneath with a gold eye. I see an eclipse in her. Do you?
I’ve had 52 Ned Roberts spiders bloom this year. About 40% of all my blooms. I don’t remember how many Neds I have total – 65-70? I had I had 61 bloom last year. Yikes – Dang drought. Oh, well, I had 40 in 2018, 13 in 2017, and 10 in 2016. So, my trend is still way up. I will have to show off my Neds one of these nights when I have the energy. They come from all over the US and are the pride of my garden. Might still be blooming in a month . . . we will see.
I had three charming premiers today, including one of my all-time favorite Ned Roberts spiders – Winds of Love. She always looks like she if floating on the breeze – probably influenced her name.
Kachina Firecracker also gave a first bloom of the year – She looks like Kachina Dancer to me. Cousins, no doubt
And, Nona’s Garnet Spider gave us a hello bloom today.
I did the counts of unbloomed with and without scapes. I believe we are at 117 cultivators that have bloomed now. I have a list of 16 more with unbloomed scapes – so that would come to a total of 133 or 78% bloom rate. That works for me – but it always bugs me why some don’t bloom (41 was my count). Navajo Rodeo, Cricket Call and Purple Grasshopper were big bloomers the last couple of years. Maybe I need to fertilize a bit more and refresh dirt if it has settled. The front garden had several that no-showed this year, but I just put the sprinkler in a few weeks ago, so maybe the drought was the issue. Maybe I will get some late scapes, too.
Last year this day I had 70+ in bloom. But, last spring was so cold that my earlier bloomers didn’t show until early to mid July – and the mid bloomers were going by then, too. 70+ is insane. I prefer the more gradual peak.
Humungous red spiders surviving in a drought. Something the opposite of itsy bitsy spiders in the rain. Plus, these spiders are daylilies.
I only had two premiers today, and 30 total blooms. The first premier is one of the daylilies that my pup, Kachina, is named after. Yep, I was planting my daylilies when I rescued her. Her name was Tina . . . so Kachina fit perfectly. Honestly, I think this is the only bloom I have ever had on this particular cultivator in 4 years since I planted. So, that is a real premier bloom.
The second big spider was one of my early mail order daylilies. I think it reminded me of Ruby Spider. This is probably one of the biggest blooms in my collection if you measure petal-end to petal-end.
The wind blew in cold and a touch of rain. It took forever for a lot of the blooms to open and they always look funky when that happens. But, the two big, old red spiders were wide awake.
I’m up to 50 cultivators that have bloomed now. That is 30% and it isn’t July yet. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
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.
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!
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 – 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 – A Robert’s spider with the coolest green throat and beautiful light yellow color. She lives up to her name.
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.
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.)