I’m back, but only to catch up on finales since Sunday. Once school starts next week, it seems like the daylilies fade in my mind a little. But, this year I am semi-retired so hoping to stay a bit engaged. Last year, I did that huge 70+ buried pot repotting. That was 4 weekends of work and nearly ran into freeze. So, I suppose you could call that engaged.
This year’s project is to re-organize some of my less favorite/poor bloomers with some new cultivators. I just purchased Singing in the Sunshine, Irish Handshake, Ghost Ranch (more fans because I only have one), Off to See the Wizard, Memories of Oz, Sea Panther, Ruby Slippers, Blue Flirt, Wildwood Flower (mine died a couple years ago), and (maybe) another fan of Coyote Laughs (I am not sure the one I have is actually Coyote Laughs). That is 9 or 10 more, but I will be selling some of mine that I am eliminating. I also may do a big pot of leftovers – I have one that does great! I am amazed because it is soooo crowded.
I have several with only a few (if that) buds left. I think the closing daylilies this year will be Purple Corn Dancer, Navajo Curls, Purple Thunderbird and Adios Albuquerque. Will they last until September? Will there be an August surprise scape on a non-bloomer?
I’m a nurse and I have worked the last shift – in the old days that was 11 PM to 7 AM, although most places have gone to 12s, so it is 7 P to 7 A. When you show up for the last shift, there is still a lot that can happen. It is far from over. However, it tends to be quieter with administration and many of the departments (and physicians) asleep at home unless called. As a midwife, I generally preferred last shift births because it was less hectic.
I would say the same for daylilies – their cycle is more like the 8 hour day, but the first shift is slower than in nursing. These are the early bloomers, often yellow trumpets plus a few brave early bloomers. The second shift is crazy, especially this year. Many of the first shift stayed late and a few of the last shift showed up early. Hectic, yes. Now, it is clearly the late shift – time to gear down and savor the last few weeks of the season.
I am going to focus on premiers since 7.18, since I was on a camping road trip last week. I have had numerous finales during that time . . . too many. I plan to do a month wrap-up post at the end of the month with all the July bloomers and their bloom date range. It will take hours to put together.
Premiers (with date of premier bloom if known)
I now count 151 +/- cultivators that have bloomed this year. I have 3 more premiers (with scapes) coming. Occasionally, someone will through a brand new (not re-bloom) scape in August. One time, Santa’s Pants threw one in October. But, we can count on 154 +/- for the season. That puts us at about 86% bloom rate – one of our highest years. I need to look back.
From here on, the focus will be finales. There are lots so maybe I’ll just wait until the end of the month and tie it up there. IDK.
Wow! I haven’t blogged since school started nearly 2 weeks ago? I’m not really surprised. It’s overwhelming to be short of faculty and it never seems to stop. On top of that, there was my daylily repotting project 2 weekends ago (20 of 70 done) and camping last weekend. Twenty more this weekend.
I have four buds left – all Purple Corn Dancer. It is really winding down. With the drought – I hold little hope of rebloom, even from the yellow trumpets. So, why and I jazzed? Because there is LOTS of new growth in several of the daylilies I repotted two weeks ago.
The season shifts. Now, my daylilies are plants to be nurtured. This is a great time to put out a little growth because first freeze is still 5 weeks or so away and the days will be warm enough until mid to late October for the cultivators to grow into the next season. Then, will come the snow . . and mulching . . . and freezing temps. I won’t pay much attention to the daylilies – maybe genealogy and movies to pass the dreary hours of being reliant on my furnace for comfort. A few pots will move to the back porch for the winter- my barometer on spring is watching the porch lilies. Then, finally, the porch lilies have enough growth to move outside in late February and little by little the green appears. Then, it is time to sit on the porch, again – and hope for scapes to show soon. After that, three months of bloom season and heat. And, after that, the cycle begins anew. Let’s hope for a little rain and moisture in all of that.
Today was a desert drought day. Smoke from nearby wildfires clouded the air. Ninty degrees with single digit humidity. The desert – my cacti and succulents are loving it.
Today, I began the repotting project in the Southwest Garden. It wasn’t too bad – I got 15 done and have 5 more pots for tomorrow. I have lots more pots to order, but even $6 pots add up when you have several dozen daylilies.
I was thankful these were in cheep pots already because my soil is murder to dig in. There is an area in the garden that needs to have the holes dug but I aint doing that in 90 degree heat. Speaking of soil – the cheep pots did well at holding the new soil in but they all had tree roots growing into them. Our soil is mostly clay and silt (90+%) and has a very alkaline pH of 7-7.8. Daylilies like slightly acidic soil that has a pH of 6-6.5. They like slightly moist soil with some organic matter. Our clay soil is hard and dry with poor water retention. I have put several inches of topsoil in that garden circa 4 years ago and you would never know it – the clay wins.
At any rate – I have 3 bloomers left in that garden – Purple Corn Dancer (will be hanging around the longest), Purple Thunderbird, and Navajo curls. I am working around them so I don’t accidentally break a scape. It is amazing how the foliage looks so dry and the plants are shrinking back. I am not watering everyday due to work. Ugh – Monday is a 12 hour day. I miss working from home where I can run out and turn hoses on. The drought doesn’t care.
I had a dream about my daylilies last night. I sold my house and after I closed I realized I left the daylilies. The new owner said I could go back and get them. But, I was like on a country road looking everywhere for them. I will be glad when they are potted because they are on the easement. I think having the sewer guys almost having to dig up my neighbor’s easement to get to my sewer woke me up. The pots can be moved.
Oh, how the mornings have changed from a month ago. I was fresh off vacation and in the midst of the daylily peak. Now, my mornings bring a handful of color and an early drive to work. And, work is no vaca in the middle east a pandemic.
It’s hot, though. And, really dry with single digit humidity. Wind fires blaze. Record breaking temps are common. Too hot and dry for reblooming. Even yellow Punch isn’t trying for a comeback.
I got the first of the pots for you buried garden. Soil tomorrow. It’s kind of hot so I’ll start with just moving those already in pots to the better pots. I can’t dig tree into clay in this heat with a Graves flair.
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 . . .
The days are still hot and the monsoons didn’t last long . . . a couple of weeks, at best. I don’t have time to water except on weekends now. We could use the rain. I got a few shots before work today. I am exhausted . . . and it is only the second day of being back at work. My Purple Corn Dancer that is in the Southwest Garden has baby scapes . . . I will have flowers into September.
. . . For Last! Today came what I think is likely the last of the premiers of the season – Purple Corn Dancer. Honestly, one of my favorites! It is almost sad because Saratoga Springtime is cool enough, but not a favorite. Saratoga stars when my desire to see daylily blooms is the highest. Purple Corn Dancer is frequently the cultivator with the last blooms of the season. Funny, she showed up the same day Olathe Sweet Corn was shipped across the State!
All too often, I am sidetracked or just at a saturation with daylily photos. I guess it’s like how they say there are almost always more photos of the first born child.
I had 13 today and I am exhausted after my first day back to work in 5 months. I think I will just feature my Ned Roberts cultivators from today. Purple Thunderbird had a nice bloom, even at 6:45 AM.
It is interesting how daylilies look different throughout the day. Navajo Grey Hills looks like she is falling in space at 6:48 AM
Cripple Creek is an early riser and was bright-eyed for the AM photo shoot.
Desert Icicle actually looks really good first thing in the morning. She resembles Skinwalker first thing in the morning.
But, Shape Shifter is having a hard time opening her eye.
I had to wait to get Golden Eclipse until after work. Fortunately, it was a short work day (until 3:30) and some cloud cover, so she also looks decent.
Absolutely, some of my favorites still blooming. So much richer than the yellow trumpets of June. Now, to find time to savor them all.
Maybe a daylily blog is a weird place to talk about grief . . . but the daylilies are part of it. Friday the 13th of March was the day my life shifted. We put a traditional onground program online over the weekend. I had two enthusiastic brand new, full-time instructors to help me and I was super glad for years of online teaching experience.
It was weird at first . . . we thought it would end in two weeks 😉 The days were long – 15 hours. I was exhausted – But I made progress without the distractions of the office. The students got a little crazy and that was hard . . . but we got through and got the nursing students graduated in late May.
Once the warm weather came, I could eat lunch on my porch and enjoy my yard and daylilies. My pups got to be outside all day instead of cooped up in the house waiting for me to get home at 7 PM. We took evening walks and howled on the porch at 8 PM. I taught my disabled dog to use wheels and got my senior dog through two more treatments to finally clear her of infection. I got projects done around home – like painting murals and installing drip systems. Without the artificial need for an 8-6 with commute, my creativity came back. My energy got better.
Oh, there were the MA students who were in limbo with no clinical rotations who I had until the second week of July. But, I was surrounded by the other elements of my life throughout the journey. I guess I didn’t realize how much I missed them – how they fed my energy. Saturdays are not enough!
My camping trip came and went with only a few crisis – like one of my two full-time people resigning. Once I got home 3 weeks ago, I started feeling the grief. The daylilies would dwindle . . . and once school started, I would have no time for them. More than that, my life would dwindle back to a rut that is created by monotonous work in a small office with no windows and countless unforeseen issues to deal with, mostly alone. I am the only faculty with a doctorate in my institution – and 20 years teaching, 35 as a nurse – it is isolating to be so experientially separated from others. (The new college director is the second person with a doctorate.)
Tomorrow is my last day at home until mid October. Until the leaves turn my pups will be in crates by day. My daylilies will wonder where the camera went. I will become enmeshed in the endless tasks of the day and be too tired to want to walk into the house of hungry dogs at 7 PM. My dogs will become a chore in an all too busy day, again.
What is wrong with me, I think to myself? I really wanted to get away from a stay at home job because of the isolation. And, there are good things about this job. But, I am more engaged with my pups than my career at the moment. It has been a time of a lot of change for my program the past two years . . . a lot of change. And, I am responsible for way more than I want to be at this point in my life.
An online job beckons, again – and/or retirement. Maybe at the end of this school year. I am writing this blog to remind myself of this moment . . . of all the horrible and tragic things Corona Virus has brought to the world, it has brought me insight into my grief. I could step out of my rut and now I am having a hard time finding a purpose in returning.
I hope I have a new direction or at least attitude by the times the greens of the next crop of daylilies is born through the earth. Please enjoy my bloomers on my next to last day of freedom.
I will not forget the lessons of Corona. Perhaps the strangest part of all is that no one seems to see the struggle inside of me . . . . that makes the isolation 10 X worse. Thanks for letting me share with you.