Kokopelli has Landed!

Kokopelli has made history as the first daylily bloom of 2018!  In Native American folklore, the Kokopelli turns winter to summer (and visa versa).  Today, Kokopelli brought thunderstorms . . . badly needed thunderstorms to our exceptional drought area.  Chilly, overcast.  When I first went out this AM, it was hot and dry, now it is cool and 60s.  I hope she brings more rain.

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Kokopelli was my first Ned Roberts daylily.  Now, my Southwest garden bulges with them. I have around 66 Roberts cultivators – most with southwestern names in my Southwestern Garden.  I have just over 75 cultivators in the Southwest Garden.  What bonds the is names from the Southwest US.  They live with some big yucca out in that garden, and a Kokopelli sculpture.

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Last year, I had about 15 different cultivators bloom in the Southwest Garden.  Not such a great rate out of 75.  That meant I needed to make changes.  My soil here is heavy clay with roots embedded.  We don’t get much rain, even on a good year.  So, that is when I started looking around and noticing that my potted cultivators did better.  Therefore, I dug up around 60 of the daylilies in the Southwest Garden, put them in better soil in a quick draining container, and buried the container.  Broke a rib and got sciatica in the process.

But, it seems to be paying off because I now have 20 cultivators in scape out there!  It is early in the season so I only have 8 scapes in all my other gardens combined.  Last fall, I had the elm tree that cast shade on the Southwest Garden removed.  I also added a soak hose watering system.  20 in scape by 6/3. . . I can’t believe my eyes.  It is the first time I ever had my first bloom from out there, too.

So, once the elm was a stump, I had to figure out what do with said stump.  I decided on a native garden.  It is raised on one side and slopes down so that the yucca that have been under the tree for years could be part of the new garden.  It has sage, Morman tea, ornamental grass, cactus, and several zeroscape flowers.  Today, I want to share photos of the current bloomers – neighbors to the Southwest Garden.  The new garden is the Hovenweep Garden.

 

 

PS – Next up is Orange Flurry – maybe tomorrow.  Who knows what a cool, rainy day might bring?

 

It’s Almost Daylily Season!

Maybe even tomorrow!  Kokopelli is busting at the seams – so soon, for sure.

It is interesting to watch the variables at work.  Last year, Kokopelli bloomed on June 21st.  Almost 3 weeks early this year.  Why?  Is it that she is in a buried pot?  Is it the new soak hose watering system? Is it the lack of one tree what was blocking light?  Is it the extreme drought that has been upon us since last fall (and winter watering)?   Is it just that she is older?  Who knows?

Kokopelli bud 6/2/2018

Last year, my new Lowes daylilies (Stella offspring) gave my first bloom.  Then, my old Stella,  Then Return a Smile.  My Stella offspring do not have scapes yet, but the other two have early ones.

Another big shift this year is 20 daylilies with scapes in my Southwestern garden . . . already.  Last year, I don’t think I got that many blooms all season.  So, something I did shifted the ecosystem . . . or the extreme drought.  Or, the plants are just more mature.  Or, a combo.  I vote for the latter.  Here are a couple of comparison shots – a year apart late May/early April.  Bigger plants!

Southwest Daylily Patch: End of April, 2017

Southwest Daylily Patch: Early May, 2018

 

Bets on a bloom greeting me tomorrow?

 

 

Daylilies teach living in the moment; Orchids teach patience.

Spring has sprung and today brought the first glimpse of summer weather.  My houseplants moved outside this weekend.  Well, most of them.  My daylilies are doing well.  Passersby often comment on them . . . even now, before the blooms.  No scapes yet, but I keep checking.

Magic Art

It has been a strange winter – we are in an extreme drought here in Southwest Colorado.  The Four-Corners is in an exceptional drought just south of us.  I didn’t shovel snow once all winter.  My strawberries and ice plant felt it.  I winter watered the daylilies at least once a month.  I’m hoping my blooms don’t suffer.  It will be a bad fire season.

Birthday Girl Catt

My last post was in the late fall about Santa’s Pants.  Unfortunately, that plant was one of my few losses this year.  After those blooms faded and I got my poinsettias to rebloom, I needed projects to get me through the winter.  I took on orchids.  Not just orchids, but learning about different types of media.  For some reason, I was drawn to water culture.

BlackCurrant Vanda

My first partial water culture plant was a vanda.  Man, I nearly killed that thing.  It lost most its roots and got stem rot.  I finally found a group dedicated to water culture orchids on Facebook.  From there, I watched YouTubes  . . . I got smarter.  My vanda is alive and putting out new roots, living on my porch now.

Hot Lips Cymbidium

 

I started trying phalaenopsis orchids in water culture.  Winter is a bad time to start cause old roots rot while they grow new roots that are adapted to water.  Only about 1/4 to 1/3 of the root goes in the water.  Oh, and I tried an oncidium in water . . . it flourished so now I have 3.  In fact, I have quite a collection now.  Three phals are from last year.  I currently have about 2 dozen phals, 3 dendrobiums, 3 oncidiums, 2 miltoniopsis, 2 cymbidiums, 2 cattleya, 1 common ground orchid, 1 paph, 1 phrag, and the 2 vandas.  Oh, and some very small baby cuttings of Pleurothallis sclerophylla, Masdevallia, Liparis, Bulbophyllum, and Coelogynes.

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Not all are in water culture.  I learned about growing in semi-hydro (lava rock with some water at the bottom).  And, I have a few around in regular wood chips or moss.  I love the way the roots look in a container . . . reminds me of a placenta.

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I like orchids for much the same reason that I love daylilies – big, colorful blooms.  Some of the species even have similar strap leaves.  Interestingly, neither species can produce a true blue flower.  What I find enticing about orchids is that the blooms last for months.  And, some species bloom year around.  Mostly, they bloom fall-spring, which makes them a good match for my summer daylilies.  They teach patience, though, as buds, roots and leaves take forever to do their thing.  Daylilies teach us to live in the moment because nothing lasts forever.

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I wanted to log in and start gearing up for blogging season.  I hope you enjoy my winter bloomers. Most will rest and grow new leaves and roots for the fall bloom whilst we enjoy the upcoming daylilies.  Do you prefer orchids or daylilies?

Sharry Baby