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.

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

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.