Three

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.

Winds of Love 7.19.20

Kachina Firecracker also gave a first bloom of the year – She looks like Kachina Dancer to me. Cousins, no doubt

Kachina Firecracker 7.19.20

And, Nona’s Garnet Spider gave us a hello bloom today.

Nona’s Garnet Spider

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.

The southwest corner of my Southwest Garden today 7.19.20

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.

Lovely Ladies

As I download, upload, and edit photos every night, I try to think of some meaningful focus for this blog.  Tonight, I am tired and what strikes me are the lovely lady names of some of today’s bloomers.  They all look like they are dancing to me, too.

Classy Lady caught my eye first thing!

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Classy Lady 8/6

Dancing Maiden is getting some great, flowing blooms now.

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Dancing Maiden 8/6

Rosie’s Red always adds such color to the front garden.

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Rosie’s Red 8/6

Nona’s Garnet Spider is doing morning yoga.

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Nona’s Garnet Spider 8/6

Maya Cha Cha is always an eye-catching gal ready to meet the day with a smile.

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Maya Cha Cha 8/6

Lobo Lucy is a fine redhead.

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Lobo Lucy 8/6

Black-eyed Susan shines on.

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Black-Eyed Susan 8/6

And, Ruby Stella is a non-stop bloomer this summer!

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Ruby Stella 8/6

The top photo is Spirit of the Morning, who woke up dancing a beautiful ballet.

And, amidst my flourishing daylilies who have not been bug sprayed or fertilized all summer due to my busy schedule are my Christmas plants.  My baby amaryllis bulbs of 3 years ago are sending up spikes now!  But, my poinsettias still look like they are frozen in early June.  New leaves, but small.  I started fertilizing . . . but I usually bring these in late August to start the bloom cycle and these guys are nowhere close to ready.  Well, one is big and full.  Two are small size but not pigmy.  Three are pigmy.  What to do with them if they don’t correct in the next few weeks???  Was it the cold spring??? And, oh, the fall daylily chores start to cross my mind – maybe move a couple that haven’t bloomed or add a front garden drip system.  A gardener’s mind is always dancing.

 

A Good Day . . . in the Daylilies

Today started with an email from one of my resilience websites.  I have seen this before – but it is still as beautiful.  I wish I had the patience for time-lapse of these blooms.  If you want to feel a little positive emotion and wonder, give this a few minutes.

So, here are my weekend miracles. Frans Hals:

 

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Frans Hals – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

Orange Flurry:

 

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Orange Flurry – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

Red Hot Returns:

 

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Red Hot Returns – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

Stella:

 

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Golden Stella de Oro – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

Not bad for late August. PS – I could have sworn that Heirloom Heaven bloomed yesterday but no photos – I must have missed it somehow.

Today brought a light application of Mir-Acid. (Miracle Grow for acid loving plants).  My soil here is so basic that it won’t change. The base in the soil quickly neutralizes the acid.  The iron is bound at that pH, so it can’t be absorbed.  Anemic daylilies.  Mulch, manure, peat moss, acidifiers can all help.  They probably won’t change the pH for long (if at all), but they do boost the availability of nutrients.  The joy of living in an ancient sea bed. It’s trial and error.  I am grateful for the lessons of my garden.  It makes me feel like a hands-on healer, again.  A good day.

 

Prepping the Daylily Beds is a Bunch of BS!

So, first there are the first fans of spring.  Actually, other than my garlic and spring bulbs, one of the very first signs of spring in my yard.  Then, there come the scapes followed by peak bloom season.  And, then the lovely late bloomers signal time to start preparing for another cycle.  I think of the Native Americans and their focus on the changing seasons.

I did have bloomers this weekend.  So, I will show those first, followed by the tale of BS in my garden.

Tiger Kitten only produced two buds.  This was a one fan root last summer. It’s making progress.  Can’t wait for next year!

 

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Tiger Kitten – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

Stella, of course, was here with me all weekend, in both yellow and gold.

 

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Yella Stella – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

 

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Orange Stella – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

And, Orange Flurry lit up my smaller zeriscape garden in the rocks.

 

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Orange Flurry – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

So, here is my Ned Roberts Southwest spider garden that I put in this spring.  The first two pictures are before.  It is of note on the second photo that the earth no longer comes up to the top of the bricks.  PS – I would have done a higher raised bed, but the yuccas won.

 

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Ned Roberts Southwest spider patch (before) – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

 

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Note the level of the soil and mulch within the bricks.

 

Here is the after picture.  Probably no different to most people.  The difference is that the earth is now back up to the top of the brick.  Because daylilies are funny about planting depth, this meant raising the grade of the garden by first loosening up each daylily, putting the growing medium underneath, and then surrounding each cultivator with the medium.  It reminds me of the tale of raising Galveston Island several feet after the 1900 Great Storm.  They did it one structure at a time, too. It took all afternoon yesterday.

 

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Southwest lily patch (after) – a lot of work for something that looks pretty much the same.  Just ask the daylilies, though, it has been a weekend of prep for a new season.

 

Today, I filled the gaps with the remaining medium because the daylilies were all in mounds after being raised.  Sounds easy enough, except I was mixing up a concoction of steer manure, compost, peat moss, water crystals, soil acidifier, and time release fertilizer.  Oh, and given that I tromp around pretty hard with my camera, I also added some little stepping stones so the soil could stay fluffy.   I think my motivation is not only the anticipation of the blooms (a type of savoring), but also the number of little gardens that I see on my dog walks that have gone untended.  I think how cool the initial intention was . . . . but it is long gone.   This Colorado Plateau is a different ecosystem than the South.

I read yesterday that with plenty of water, amendments, and the right amount of fertilizer you can get 2-3 x as many blooms.  Might as well give it a shot.  For tomorrow, we will talk about grass weeds vs daylily sprouts.  Maybe someone out there can help me with that issue!!!

 

Chameleon

I had a chameleon when I was  a kid.  It is a curious thing how they can change color based on their surroundings.  Funny little lizards.

Speaking of lizards that change colors, I posted a week or two ago about my first Electric Lizard bloom.  It was early, and pretty anemic looking.  I asked the daylily growers and was advised to fertilize.  And, so I did.  It lost some of its buds, but today it did send out another bloom.  And, the colors have changed to deeper tones with more variation.

So, for review, here is what the photos on the web look like:

Electric Lizard

And, here was my first (very pale) bloom:

 

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Electric Lizard – Early June 2016 – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies

 

And, here is today’s blossom:

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So, it looks pretty frail but the color is definitely darkening.  The frailty may be partial because it was just after sunrise (5:30 AM) and it had barely opened.  I don’t get up anywhere near that early usually, but today I had an out of town conference for my doctorate clinical hours.  By the time I got home, it had poured rain, and the blossom was withered.  I think I will have another bloom from this one tomorrow.

After that, I am cutting the foliage to the ground to see if I can thicken it up a bit because even the fans look anemic and undersized.  I did use slow release fertilizer plus a slow infusion of high-bloom Miracle Grow.  It is obviously perking up some but has a ways to go before it looks like photo #1.  I like the blooms that are picture perfect.  But, I also like the feeling of being a farmer.  I like experimenting to see what helps the flowers to flourish here in the high desert of the Colorado Plateau.  I think of the Anasazi and wonder how on earth they grew corn and squash in this hard clay soil with so little rain.  No garden soil, no water crystals, no hose.  If they can do it, so can I.

Tomorrow, in addition to another Electric Lizard, I think I will have a Ned Roberts Black Ice bloom.  I want to send a photo to the grower because she sent an awesome bonus plant despite my small order. I believe I may have a couple other new faces tomorrow.  Before they open their buds, I must close my eyes.  What a very long day.