August Surprise!

Premier today that was a total surprise! You see, some of my big pots have 2-3+ different cultivators for decor. One pot originally had one called Dream Souffle- a Home Depot plant. It never bloomed, so I added Yellow Stella and Wineberry Candy. Over the years, I figured it died out as the others took over the pot.

I knew there was a scape with a couple buds. I thought it was Yellow Stella reblooming. What a sweet surprise. I’m sure the crazy heavy monsoon season brought her back. This is one of my best bloom rates and probably the highest bud count ever. PS I’m sure the new drip system and soil helped!

Doctor Doom

Today, we had a premier. One of the few left to bloom and a new one to my yard this year. Meet Dr Doom. This cultivator is in my family section because my daughter named her dentist Dr Doom – so it is in her honor.

Doctor Doom premier 7.30.21

The bloom is a double spider. Unfortunately, between the monsoons and sprinklers, the heavy bloom got waterlogged. The stem was just never able to hold it up right. Maybe the next bloom will look a little more perky.

What is left is Adios Albuquerque, Navajo Curls, and (I think) Painted Petroglyph (but it could be a fan of Purple Corn Dancer. I don’t see any other new spikes other than a couple of yellow trumpet reblooms in-process. I am going to replace a few daylilies in the front yard that just don’t do well in my yard. None of my tigers bloomed this year. Weird. Anyway – starting to plan for next year.

Truchas, Chimayo, and Ghost Ranch

When describing daylilies, most people talk about bloom season, bloom size, scape height, smell, etc. For me, I see places from road trips. I chose many of my daylilies because of their Southwest names, because that is where I go for my road trips.

Last week, I took a road trip through southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. My favorite hybridizer, Ned Roberts, lived in New Mexico and many of his daylilies find their namesakes in that State. When I shop for daylilies, I often get out the Google maps to see what it is named after. And, on this road trip I wanted to go new places and see things that I had never seen before.

I literally drug out the recreation map and looked for interesting places in northern New Mexico – because despite living not too far away, I know little about it (other than the 4-corners area). Anyway, I found something called the Enchanted Circle that sounded interesting and included Taos. The road between Taos and the highway east . . . well, there were two routes. I picked the High Road to Taos because there are two namesake towns on that road: Truchas and Chimayo

The next day, we visited Ghost Ranch, another daylily namesake. I had stopped there about 7 years ago on a road trip because of the daylily. It is a Presbyterian resort that is open to the public for hiking and other activities. It looks like home with the red sandstone. I stop not because I think it is unfamiliar, but because it is a daylily namesake! And, if any of you remember the old movie City Slickers, that is where it was filmed. So, if you have a Ghost Ranch daylily you be like me and think about that movie and the trail boss, Curly.

I have a bunch of premiers since my last post but I am drowning in vacation photos and daylily photos . . . it is going to take a few days to get the blog caught up. So, for tonight, lets look at the name sakes.

Truchas, New Mexico – A small mountain town on the High Road to Taos. I didn’t see a Truchas sunrise, more like monsoon over Truchas.
Truchas Sunrise 7.17.21 in my yard
Just a few miles down the road it Chimayo, famous for the Santuario de Chimayo. We didn’t see a moon over Chimayo, although I may look into camping here in the future. (the lead photo is also Chimayo)
This is Moon over Chimayo daylily from my yard last summer. She put out tons of new foliage this year, but no bloom. She looks a lot like Truchas Sunrise – probably why they are named for communities just a few miles apart. However, after the road trip, I think I won’t mix the two up any more.
Ghost Ranch is to the southwest of Truchas and Chimayo – an hour plus down the road and to the west. The land changes from Rocky Mountains to Colorado Plateau in those miles. So, the geography is distinctly different.
This is Ghost Ranch daylily from my yard this year. Distinctly different from Truchas and Chimayo namesake daylilies.

That is all for tonight folks. I am trying to stay adjusted to tent times and get to bed earlier at night. I will get caught up with the blog and the new blooms in the next few days. There are several – Skinwalker, Zuni Thunderbird, Desert Icicle, Purple Thunderbird, Cripple Creek, Glen Eyrie, Royal Palace Prince, Pizza Crust , , , I don’t even remember where I left off with the blog. I need to refresh my memory. Stay tuned!

Thanks for joining my journey!

Daylily Gridlock

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!

Ghost Ranch 7.12 – Big surprise because I have had issues keeping this one alive in my yard. This is one fan that is in a group planter – the first bloom since I added the second try. I am buying a couple more fans this fall. This is a Roberts spider and it’s named after a place we are going camping next week!
Hesperus 7.12 – A giant yellow spider that brightens my driveway garden.
Nosferatu 7.12 – A large, dark purple daylily that adds a nice splash of color.
Spirit of the Morning 7.12 – Another Roberts spider. I think he named her because she has no UV resistance. Gotta get out early with the camera to see her at her best. I love the colors.
Taco Twister 7.12 – Reminds me of yellow ringlets. This one comes later in the season (about now) but I still have early birds like Kokopelli with buds.

Finales for today (if I didn’t miss one):

Happy Returns finale 7.12
Bella Boo finale 7.12
Inwood finale 7.12

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. Today, I logged about 6 hours on daylily duty. How much time do you spend during peak season?

Schools of Daylilies

The end of July lurks, school starts soon . . . why does summer break end halfway through summer? I mean, it has only been 6 weeks from Solstice. I had 18 in bloom this pre-fall day.

Heirloom Heaven 7.30.20

My daylilies follow the academic calendar, mostly. My students graduated the end of May and the blooms started 6/6. Now, I have Heirloom Heaven as a premier, a steady and late-blooming mini daylily. I only have a couple premiers left to bloom . . . 3 maybe. IDK, maybe the monsoons will bring some August scapes.

Royal Palace Prince 7.30.20

I had a second premier today – Royal Palace Prince. I really don’t remember that one being a late bloomer. But, this bonus daylily is definitely on the late side this year.

Skinwalker 7.30.20

What’s left? Some cool Roberts spiders – Purple Thunderbird, Navajo Curls and Purple Corn Dancer all have scapes.

I dread return to work. No windows in my office and a bleak brick building with gravel around it. I will miss my dogs and my yard. I finally decided to spend a few bucks on photo squares of a few of my Roberts daylilies for my office. I need to get some of my summer camping trips, too – next paycheck. It is the best I can do right now.

Enchantment in the Garden

A spellbinding magic show that brings you delight and pleasure . . . that is what it means to be enchanted. New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment. I am perhaps less enchanted with New Mexico than I am Arizona because Western Colorado has areas that resemble New Mexico.

Yucca in a drift at White Sands National Monument

That said, I am enchanted by my roadtrips through New Mexico. The badlands are beautiful, and the cultural flavor is richer than Colorado – if you are into the Southwest.

The stark horizon at White Sands National Monument, NM

Last year, we saw different side of New Mexico at White Sands National Monument. It is a landscape so boring that it is enchanting. Non-colored sand with a few resilient plants poking their heads through.

This view reminds me of the ski slopes in Colorado – White Sands National Monument

The hikes are like marching through a very hilly sand box. My cats would likely like it better than my dogs, who considered it way too hot at 85 degrees. I had never seen dunes quite like these ones . . . enchanting.

Kachina, Sazi, and Maizzy feeling the heat at White Sands National Monument

So, my vicarious roadtrip daylily of the day is Land of Enchantment – another Ned Roberts spider. Last year was her first year to bloom in my yard and by golly, she does look a bit like the New Mexico State flag.

Land of Enchantment daylily – 2019

She was one of my early bloomers last year. She doesn’t have scapes yet – but I do have 15 cultivators with their weird claw hands being raised to the heavens in prep for a bloom.

Land of Enchantment daylily – 2019

I am nervous because drought years tend to bring early blooming but poor bloom rates. I try to keep up with watering, but I am not the same as a good monsoon. And, the monsoons are too late – it is really the March-May water that matters.

Land of Enchantment daylily 2019

I did put in a new drip system out in the walkway garden and the plants are bigger. So, I guess we will wait to see how enchanting this summer is in the garden. 2020 has brought my 65th birthday, a dead furnace, a broken sewer mainline and COVID-19. I could use a little enchantment.

Where is the Rain?

Today, we were supposed to get a lot of rain.  Maybe flash floods.  I wasn’t sure I would get any work done in the yard on split-shift, but I worked outside the whole afternoon. More on that in a minute.

Today brought 2 new blooms.  Royal Palace Prince was a bonus plant a couple years ago.  It has done better than some of the purchased plants.  It reminds me of Pick of the Litter.

RoyalPalacePrince1.7.19.jpg

The second new face for the year is Apache Uprising.  It is the second year for this one.  I like the red.  It reminds me of Baja a little.

ApacheUprising3.7.19.jpg

I also like this photo of some of my last near blues today – Blue Beat, The Colorado Kid, and Bluegrass Music.

BlueBeat3.7.19withCOkidandBluegrass.jpg

I don’t know about a later peak this year.  Bud counts down and buds dropping.  March was warmer than April.  And, we had the late May snow storm . . . then no rain.  Last year was better in the front garden.

I feel like I am freeing hostages.  Daylilies that are not flourishing, but could under different circumstances.  Buried pots in order for several in the front garden.  Today, Catherine Irene and Happy Happy.  Neither has ever bloomed here, and this is going on 3 years.  Others that need a transplant include Alabama Jubilee, Coburg Fright Wig, Navajo Blanket, Primal Scream, Lacy Doily, and Heavenly Curls.  All have had either extremely low bloom this year or have never bloomed.

When I dug up the two today, I was amazed at the other roots that were woven in with theirs.  And, in one case, an ant hill.  The whole front garden looks so dry.  I have the sprinkler on daily.  I need to get a sprinkler hose or something.  I wonder if eventually, all 100 plus of my in-ground daylilies will be in buried pots.  That makes me tired to think about it . . . but it worked well for the veggies.  Come on monsoons.  Where are you?

Tomorrow

Tomorrow comes my 400-mile trip home to daylily-ville.  And my pups and kitties.   I can’t wait to see what the monsoon rains have brought into bloom.  I hope my squash and other veggies survived.  It is hard to be gone during growing season.

Collage 2016-07-14 17_44_32.jpg

Today, I took a walk after dinner.  One of the few breaks from mandatory activities for work.  I found a little air plant.  I think live plants make cool souvenirs.  Maybe I really am turning into a gardener.  It is a grounding hobby in a world of uncertainty.

airplantSLC

The Rainy Season

The rainy season has come to my yard since I left for my business trip.  Monsoon patterns bring welcome relief to the arid high desert of the Colorado Plateau.  I am glad to hear of the rain, but afraid I will miss the blooms that it brings.  Only one more full day without my garden.

Last year on this day, there were a lot of pastels.  Judging by the scapes, my guess is that they may be in bloom now.  The pastels bring a special aura to the garden.  A very different flavor than Ruby Spider.  I can’t wait to see with my own eyes.

Collage 2016-07-13 16_07_21