Hi all – When it is Saturday and it hasn’t been the fun day that I planned. COVID had driven the world mad – and they seem to all be mad at me. So, how about a little Ned Robert’s daylily therapy? I fell in love with Ned’s southwestern named daylilies after finding Kokopelli on Lily Auction 5 years ago. I have a collection of 70 ish now. I am including a few from 2019 if they didn’t bloom this year. Comment with your favorite! Direct from Montrose, Colorado . . .
Maybe it is because last year we had the rain and we were officially not in a drought that makes this year seem mediocre. I don’t mean bad . . . I just mean a pretty good drought year. But, an exceptional drought year just the same.
There are a few cultivators that didn’t bloom last year that usually are reliable – I think it was the freezing rain that stopped them. This year, Navajo Rodeo and Papa Longlegs sit looking like tall grass. Maybe I need to get the new pots going this fall – maybe the tree roots are taking over, again. I mean – the tree is thirsty, too.
I had some premiers today – perhaps I should start with Santa Claus – because Santa’s Pants showed up today.
Wineberry Candy also had a premier bloom. She doesn’t fit my name theme at all, but I wanted a new daylily the day I saw her.
Speaking of name themes – another from my family garden had a premier today. Catherine Irene – named for my mom. She is a pretty little mini.
And, Early Bird Cardinal showed up for the first time. When I put the sprinkler (drip) system in a week ago, I wondered if I was on-time because her buds were so dry. But, they seem much happier with a little more water. Sadly, my porch drip system battery died and I didn’t notice – I lost some buds off of primal scream. Darn drought. We need monsoons.
And, one finale while I was gone yesterday – Dream Keeper. My spring bloomers are hibernating. Seems too soon.
It was a fun weekend camping and I need to hit the hay. Tomorrow, another day of novel pretty blooms to explore. Good night!
Today, it struck me that no series of blogs about the Southwest during Coronavirus would be complete without a mention of the Navajo. I love the Navajo culture – it makes my trips to the Southwest take on a cultural feel that is humbling. I have so much to be grateful for in life. And, I do envy their sense of family and community.
I was wondering if we could trace the boundaries of the Navajo Nation from various road trips. So, last year, we traced the New Mexico side starting at the Shiprock and down through the Bisti Badlands.
If we were to have headed due east after the Bisti Badlands the way the crow flies, would would trace the Navajo Nation boundary to Window Rock (the capitol of the Navajo Nation) and Fort Defiance. These are absolutely some of my favorite stops in Navajoland. I like to spend the night in Window Rock so I can spend the whole day taking in the scenery.
Then we would turn due south – if we were tracing the boundary. That would take us just south of Route 66.
And, then we trace west to the Northern Border of the Painted Desert at Petrified Forest National Park.
From there, you head due west, almost to Flagstaff. Then it is a turn to the North through Cameron up to Page – just east of the Grand Canyon.
You end up almost to Utah, at Page, AZ. That was a strange stop the year we went because they weren’t on rez time, even though everything surrounding the city was an hour later. We visited the famous Horse Shoe Bend near Page.
Then, you are up in Utah at the Glen Canyon Dam area – a favorite stop on our road trips!
Then, it is pretty much due east to Mexican Hat, UT. Very iconic Utah.
And then a bit further to Bluff, UT – we camped here last summer. It was a fun (but hot) spot to explore.
We approach home as we get to Hovenweep National Monument on the Colorado Border – this is absolutely a favorite spot and a place I plan to go camping as soon as we can travel more than 10 miles, again.
From there, the boundary heads South to Teec Nos Pos, AZ. They have a great trading post there.
And, we are almost back to Shiprock, where we started. I wish I could end the story here, but there are a few other favorite places that are internal to the Navajo Nation that we must visit. First, the infamous Monument Valley. This is just south of the Mexican Hat.
And, Navajo National Monument has great free camping and some very spiritual ruins.
The other route we frequent is 191 South – This is a good route to the Senora through the Four Corners area. I absolutely love Canyon de Chelly – it has the best red rock of any canyon I have visited.
With a stop at the Hubbell Trading Post on the way to Petrified Forest.
Sadly, Coronavirus has hit the Navajo Nation hard. As of tonight (5/9) they have nearly 3,000 cases and nearly 100 deaths. So, this blog is my tribute to this nation that is feeling the grip of COVID-19.
OK, back to the daylily blog. Here are my Navajo named daylilies. (I have a few, I wonder why?)
With this, I live vicariously through my daylilies while I stay safe at home. It is not the time to travel to Navajoland – but my heart goes there often. Now, I think of the reservation. I think of the poverty and the hardship that these people know. They lived a less hurried life, they honor their ancestors. I learn so much from my visits. With this, I send heartfelt thoughts of hope and healing to this spiritual land.
PS – This was fun, although a bit time consuming – I never really thought about tracing the border of the Navajo Nation through my trip photos.
August 1st brought a cool day with rain. School starts next week, work is buzzing. But, I tell myself, we are still 6 weeks from fall and the short day, cool seasons. August 1st is also Colorado Day. Colorado means red. So, since I have no new cultivators today (but still 50+ in bloom), I thought I would share my top 10 red daylilies. Here they are in no particular order:
What’s your favorite?
Only 40 something daylilies today and no Premiers. So, it leaves time to talk about some of my daylily categories. I have talked a lot about my Ned Roberts spiders. I originally started collecting them after seeing Kokopelli on the Lily Auction – I love the Southwest and had to have her (I got the bid)! From there, I added more = lots more. At first, it was all fully Southwest names. Then, I gathered some animal and insect names to my Ned collection. And, some stellar names. IDK, is Dancing Maiden a name from the Southwest?
So, tonight, I will show you my purely Southwest named daylilies – the obvious names from the Southwest. But, first, Mildred Mitchell had an extra petal today – a genetic flaw that made her look pretty cool.
OK – Here are my Southwest Ned Roberts spiders. (These are the ones that have bloomed the last two years. Mostly this year, except Kokopelli did not bloom this year – which is unusual).
Yesterday was our County Rodeo. I go every year. In fact, when I worked less in the summer and didn’t have so many dog duties, I went almost every evening to some event. The rodeo signals that summer is on the downside. I guess we are only 5 weeks into summer, but school starts in a couple of weeks or so. And, the daylily blooms drop off – which I only had 50+ of today. That is a drop off of 10-20.
Anyway – not a Premier, but Navajo Rodeo looked very pretty for rodeo weekend. I need to paint her this winter. IDK which Robert’s daylilies I want to paint the most – but there are a lot. By far the highest bloom rate of his cultivators. So many first blooms this year.
That is my segway to the Premiers for today. Only two. The first one is a never bloomed in my yard before Roberts spider named Dancing Maiden. She looks a lot like Aztec Firebird, except her shape is a little different. I barely noticed that she was from a different plant! I should have put her in a different place – but oh, well.
And, I got my first ever bloom on Sanctuary in the Clouds. I got this daylily for the woman who runs the animal sanctuary (Black Canyon Animal Sanctuary) where my dogs (and one cat) came from. I ordered this for her the year I adopted Kachina – so 2016. It came with lots of fans and I saved one. Anyway – finally, she blooms!
Tomorrow is Monday – so squeeze blooms between my workday! Better get to bed.
Life changes. This summer is so different from last year. Jobs, schedules, weather. So, I returned from Utah yesterday afternoon to an overwhelming thunderstorm that wiped out a lot of yesterday’s blooms. I decided to start fresh today, kind of. I leave for a work conference in Atlanta on Wednesday. Next Sunday, I can start my regular routine for daylily season. Lol.
So, a lot of Premier blooms (to me) today. Let’s start with my Ned Roberts spider collection:
And, the other Premier blooms:
That’s like almost 40 new cultivars since I left 9 days ago! Overwhelmed doesn’t say it with another trip coming up. I have no clue on bloom rate, but the cold, wet spring mostly seems to have helped.
Ok, that’s enough. Battery is dead. Several Finales while gone: Saratoga Springtime, Dream Keeper, Chama Valley.
If you are going to miss the start of peak bloom, Utah is a great place to do it. Also amazing colors.
The days grow August-quiet. It seems a dream that I had nearly 60 blooms per day just a month ago. So, today, we will do finales. And, then, a roll-call of my Ned Roberts spiders.
So, maybe if I do the Ned Roberts spider roll-call it will entice one more into bloom this year. My Ghost Ranch is a fall bloom, but I am having a rough time getting her to thrive here. Maybe some fish fertilizer? Our temps are still above average with little rain.
Ned Roberts Spiders for 2018 Season:
Out of interest, here are my Ned Roberts spiders that bloomed last year but did not bloom this year:
And, we had a few in 2016 that have not bloomed again:
I have around 64 of Ned’s spiders in my garden. I had 42 bloom this year or about 65%. Last year, I had 13 (about 20%) bloom. Marked improvement. All total, to date, I have had 48 (or 75%) bloom. That is a long way from 100%. But, marked improvement. I think some of the ones that bloomed in 2016 were put in that year (still flourishing from the nursery), struggled last year in the clay soil, and are recovering (growing new roots) this year in their pots. I am sure that the drought had an impact, as well.
So, for fun, here are the ones I have that have never bloomed (photos from the web):
We made improvements, but we have aways to go. That’s life
Wow – It will be August next weekend. The daylily peak has come and gone. The cultivators were in the teens today . . . a massive drop off from 2-3 weeks ago. It is funny how the first 3 weeks of June are slow progress, then it explodes, then it goes to just a few here and there for months.
Today, we had one new cultivator. Heirloom Heaven bloomed for the first time in 2018. She is an adorable late-blooming mini. She is my last unbloomed scape on a cultivator that hasn’t bloomed yet. This could be it. It seems like I usually get some August scapes . . . not many, but a handful. I don’t know with this drought, though.
And, I had a rude awakening last night – because Mount Echo Sunrise doesn’t look anything like Mount Echo Sunrise. I looked at her tag, and she has two. The other one says Moon over Chimayo . . . and she looks like that one. So, I assume . . .
Roll Call 7/23-29:
56 for the week . . . that is all! I bet we are down to half of that by next week.
It was a busy day for a Monday after the peak. 35 cultivators blooming today . . . that is a lot. Last year, I had 18 in bloom this day. In 2015, the number was 8. Maybe I was camping in 2016. Anyway, today we hit a total of 123 cultivators for the year – about 70% bloom rate. I only have a couple with scapes that have not bloomed . . . I don’t know if we will get to 75%. But was are sure ahead of 48% last year.
So – for today – two new babies. A first-ever bloom is Navajo Curls. I got her a couple years ago and she didn’t come back last spring. She was replaced in the fall. Worth it! She is another Ned Roberts spider – can you tell?
And, my old favorite brilliant orange daylily – Orange Vols – opened today. I put her in 6 years ago when I xeriscaped parts of my yard. I love to paint her!
Encores – Our first rebloom of the season! Indian Love Call came back for seconds.
Finales – Our last blooms today are below (unless they do encores). When it is the last Ruby Spider, you know the peak is waning. I’m kinda ready for those 10 or fewer blooms a day, honestly!