The Strangest Flower Ever!

Lifesavers. You know the little addictive, brightly colored circle candy? Well, when I saw this odd flower with the name Lifesaver cactus, I just had to get one. I ordered online in August and put it in a south window. It’s near my purple LED boost light, too.

I can’t decide if it’s pretty or weird. It reminds me of Saguaro cactus blooms- the weird wax look.

Then, I got to thinking about some of my other cactus blooms this summer. I was so busy chasing daylilies that I likely didn’t post many of these.

Yucca bloom after a wet spring in my yard.

Pincushion Cactus flower.

White Desert Rose bloom.

Easter Lily Cactus bloom.

Rebloom on my Easter Cactus.

Thanksgiving Cactus bloom.

Orchid Cactus bloom.

Cactus flowers are stunning things. There reproductive parts look like a universe in and of themselves. Or, a chorus of ballet dancers. They don’t ever last long. Maybe longer than a daylily. Or, not. But, I have to admit, I’ve never seen anything quite like this Lifesaver bloom.

Lifesaver Cactus

I’m hopeful that I’ll see more cactus and succulent flowers this winter while the daylilies reat.

The Company They Keep!

Sorting photos of daylilies . . .  People ask me how I keep them straight.  Well, I don’t always but I generally do OK because I have some systems to help.  First, I have a garden map that I created a couple years ago.  It is awesome, it has circles for each daylily in my Southwest Garden with the color of each daylily.  And, they have letters/numbers.  You can look up the letter/number and see the daylily name with a photo.

The other system is metal markers that have paint pen on them.  Want to know a little secret – if you spray them with engine spray after you paint the name on it stays on for years!!!

So, if one system fails, I have the other.  As I go through old photos, though, there is a system that works even if it has been a while since you took the photo.  Well, look at the company it keeps.  I look for landscaping or other plants.  I look for other daylilies – what is the backdrop.  Usually, I can figure it out.  I did make a couple mistakes on Treasure of the Southwest (confused with Soco Gap) that I need to go back and fix.

It feels good to be sort of caught up.  But, I realize how different this year is as far as photography.  Previous years, I took my phone photos to post on Facebook or if I didn’t have time to download from the camera.  I used the camera to get multiple shots of each bloom – especially new blooms and last blooms.  This year, both the cell and camera only have one photo of each cultivator/day except in a few cases.  That means if the daylily was blooming during my trip, I may only have a photo or two of it for the whole year – half a dozen max.

Perhaps I can enjoy snapping a few more photos now that the trips are done and I have my photosystem for the year up and running.  I had 65 total, today.  The peak is still with us.  Anyway – not quite so many Premiers today.  Here they are:

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Apache Uprising 7/22

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Marque Moon

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Red Hot Returns 7/22

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Zuni Eye 7/22

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Oh, and my amazing Easter Lily Cactus bloomed today.  Like daylilies, the blooms only last one day.  Enjoy each moment for it will never return.

The Stages of Daylily Obsession

Today, I got a package with daylily roots from one of my favorite places –Shady Rest Gardens.  Well, Doris always sends huge fans . . . and she included some extra fans of two that I ordered.  Two of the ones I ordered were to thicken up some of mine that shrunk in the Southwestern garden.  So, it becomes too much daylily for the pots.  I divided both the new ones into two and put the existing small ones with the smaller division of the new ones.

 

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Pink and Cream

 

So, now I need to make room in the front or side yard for the extras.  I am giving away a couple that I have doubles of to make room.  And, so it begins . . . which to keep and which to give away?  Is variety better than focusing on favorites?  I have a feeling this problem could get worse before it gets better.  In a way, though, it is nice because you can see how the same cultivator behaves in different conditions in your yard.

 

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Yellow Punch

 

So, I decided to come up with some stages of daylily obsession:

  1.  You consider daylilies the perfect perennial enough that you favor them when you pick out nursery plants for your garden.
  2. You start noticing more little things about the daylilies you pick . . . like size, shape, and name.
  3. You decide to have daylilies as the dominant plant in at least one garden.
  4. You discover that roots are a cheaper way to fill the space, with more selection.
  5. You discover the auctions and find several reputable daylily root nurseries.
  6. You start to favor some type of bloom or hybridizer.  In my case, it was the Southwestern names of the Ned Robert’s cultivators that caught my eye.
  7. You realize there are billions and billions of the type you want . . . you start collecting. You have to make fairly major garden revisions to host so many.
  8. A year or two later, you have all the ones you want.  They need to be divided and find new homes. It seems weird to have too many.
  9. (I am not here yet) You become a hybridizer and/or farm them to sell.

 

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Coral Taco

 

Oh, it is my mom’s 100th birthday today.  I wish she could be here to see the Easter Lily Cactus blooms today.  Like daylilies, they only last one day.  I love all their biological features.

 

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Easter Lily Cactus

 

Few things are more stunning than daylilies, but . . .

I have had a busy weekend revamping my back porch.  This is the place that my evergreens spend 3 months of the winter.  Spring and fall are temperate in the south-facing fiberglass lean-to style porch.  So, why not have a place to sit and pretend it’s spring?

At any rate, when I did get a chance to go get some pictures of flowers, I was focused on a gorgeous bouquet of Ruby Spider and Return a Smile, when something caught my eye.  It was a bloom on my Easter Lily Cactus.  I brought it home from the Senora a couple months ago.  It’s bloom buds fell off in the colder weather – but I guess we are Senora hot now.

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New to the yard for this year (and doing much better than last year) is Strutter’s Ball.  A common daylily, but still a favorite big purple-red bloom.

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With my work schedule this year, I am sticking primarily with new blooms for photos.  I had 7 varieties in bloom in the yard today.  I take photos, but don’t have time for posting more than I do.  So, please enjoy these two beauties.

PS – I named my back porch the Senora Room!