This time of year, it feels like daylilies are my life. I have had about 30 blooms in the garden for several days. Yesterday, we hit 40. Today, we hit 60!. It took me almost an hour just to photograph them – let alone photo editing and posting. Last night, I took a lot of photos of fireworks – It felt very similar in my garden today. A few pauses, but mostly lots of action. Do I think we are at peak – no. But it is getting closer.
Here are the premiers for today. Hang on – there are 10 (so about 80 cultivators have bloomed so far). Today, there were several of my favorite hybridizer’s blooms that opened (Ned Roberts). Daylily season is like Christmas . . . the peak is a little overwhelming. At the same time, it is like old friends who visit once a year.
Finales have started to add up a little, too. I missed Platinum Pink Palette Whispers. Today was the last of Funny Valentine’s show for 2021.
Wholly cow! This took all day. It’s 4:30! Hopefully, I got the bugs worked out of my back-up system so it doesn’t take as long tomorrow. I gotta get painting and get my business inventory going! Follow my business blog for updates, too.
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.
Well, today just about wraps it up as far as premiers in my yard this year . . . other than Purple Corn Dancer all my cultivators with scapes have bloomed. 2020 brought 134 cultivators (two while I was on vaca) to my yard or a 78% bloom rate. Last year, I had 162 bloomers, a 95% bloom rate, and a rainy spring. So, 17% fewer blooms this year. Spring brought a drought and long hours of Corona Virus adaptation for work. I didn’t get the drip system fixed until mid June and I paid for it.
My next to last premier this year is Navajo Curls. I love her plump yellow petals. She has sort of an odd name for a blonde daylily. I wonder what Ned was thinking when he named her.
Enjoy the other flowers. Tomorrow, it is back to work I go.
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.
Change of shift is obviously when one group goes home and another one takes over. Well, since I left on vacation last Wednesday, I have had a lot of premiers and finales. I am not sure how many of each – but I do know that I have 44 in bloom today and 21 are new since I pulled out on my trip.
I had about 400 trip photos to go through, so I haven’t had time much time to count finales. I do know I missed at least one and others I only saw one bloom.
Was it worth it? Oh, yea – Colorado is beautiful and it is good to get out of town. Of course, the downside is that I now worry about COVID. Oh, I masked and carried hand sanitizer everywhere – around my neck. That said, there are a lot of people wondering around Colorado and our cases are on the rise.
I’ve now had about 104 bloom (+/-) so we are at a 61% bloom rate. I’d like to get to 80%, but we will see. I am just going to list the 21 new bloomers (Premiers) in alphabetic order:
With 44 in bloom, I am still at peak. We will see what tomorrow brings . . .
I’m sitting in my tent, dosed in natural melatonin. There is cool air . . . It feels nice. Desert camping was hot all but about 2 hours a night. It will get down to 50 or so tonight. Good sleeping weather.
Purple Grasshopper 8.31
This shift also means only 3 blooms today. Honestly, it is a little bit nice to not have a million photos to take. But, I already miss the excitement of checking the garden for Premieres.
Frans Hals 8.31
Today brought travel to the 4-corners region. If you know Colorado, you know that means a drive over the San Juan Mountains. 10 k feet above sea level.
Ruby Stella 8.31
The largest city in the area is Durango and I wanted to see if their nursery had any nice succulents or air plants. The best route is over Red Mountain pass, which is high, curvy and no guard rail. I got vertigo and was sick for 2 days last time I drove it, so I take the longer route now. Adds an hour but oh well. I use to drive Red Mountain in chains in a blizzard at night. Those days are gone.
Animas River 8.31
So, I ended up with 2 bromeliads – one in bloom and one with 2 pups. I also got a small red desert rose (succulent) and another cool succulent. I was thinking of what I read about not having too much variety. The bromeliads are the same family as air plants so they bring familiar features.
My new baby red Desert Rose 8.31
I want air plants and succulents/cactus to be my core plants. The other major groups I’ll keep are orchids, begonias, poinsettias, amaryllis, calathea, African violets. I have a few others, but I’m giving a lot of miscellaneous plants away. Since you can decorate most plants with air plants, that should help blend things in together.
My white Desert Rose in bloom – taken a few days ago.
I have my new plantlets in the hatch covered by a blanket. The bromeliads are far from their natural habitat. The succulents won’t care. No clue what I’m doing tomorrow. It’s a nice problem to have.
So, my day job is busy, although the buzz of the term is settling down some. My evening job this week is tweaking the new drip system. Last night, it was staples and stakes. Tonight, I tried sprayer heads on a couple of the larger pots that were hogging water. I think the little sprayers will work better without a much water waste.
I can’t believe I still have 7 in bloom today. But, the buds become rare and every day I say goodbye to at least one cultivator for another year.
Purple Corn Dancer is in 2 locations and so she has most of her buds left in location #2.
Purple Corn Dancer 8.27
Frans Hals has maybe 10 buds left – +/-
Frans Hals 8.27
Purple Grasshopper and Ruby Stella have a handful of buds left.
Purple Grasshopper 8.27
I think both Navajo Curls and Cripple Creek have a bud or two left.
Navajo Curls 8.27
Purple Thunderbird maybe has one bud left (max).
And, then it ends. Except that I found one of my Lowe’s Stella hybrid rebloomers with a new scape. It only has a few buds, but it is still 90 degrees. So, my hope is that the new drip system might give me a few more reblooms. My stay of execution.
Ruby Stella 8.27
My poinsettias seem to be perking up – but it is not a good year for them. I need to start forcing the big ones so they can all cycle through the bloom closet.
El Desperado 8.27
I’m camping this weekend and maybe looking for succulents down in SW Colorado. Oh, and I mail ordered my first air plants. They should be here tomorrow. I was reading that too many varieties of plant detracts from all of them. I honestly am OK with having less and getting more air plants and succulents. All my super market specials make the place look cluttered . . . we will see. The long and boring winter is less than 4 months away. My stay of execution is only temporary.
It’s National Dog Day!!! Dogs and daylilies are my two most expensive hobbies. LOL. Well, my dogs help me garden to earn their keep. They take naps in the sun for me and chase off every other dog who dares walk past my daylily garden. My dogs have been sick a lot this summer, unfortunately. Maizzy, the larger, short-haired chi, is just senior and Sazi, the small long-haired chi, has disc disease and was paralysed in June. She slowly regains function – she is walking and running but lost a lot of feeling in her back legs. I do blame that for part of the fact that my yard is not at its best. Of course, they are a happy part of my camping travels and the best companions ever! Happy Dog Day pups!
Kachina, Sazi, and Maizzy at Monument Valley last month.
What bloomed for them today?
Purple Corn Dancer is doing yoga around her bud. I have a few more blooms to look forward to from her.
Purple Corn Dancer doing yoga 8.26
Royal Palace Prince is on the new drip line and opened his last bud today. Hoping for more blooms next year.
Royal Palace Prince 8.26
Mama Cuna also opened her last bud. She is so big and showy – I may see if I can divide her and put a couple fans up in the front yard.
Mama Cuna 8.26
Indian Sky – and I am not sure if she has buds left. Maybe. But, not many.
Indian Sky 8.26
Purple Grasshopper – this would be Kachina’s favorite. She loves to chase those things! (Kachina is the Terrier).
Purple Grasshopper 8.26
Ruby Stella – she is a champion bud maker this year and I have a few left to bloom.
Ruby Stella 8.26
And, as the blooms fade away, the weeds seem more noticeable. My front yard looks as gross as ever. Don’t plant grass on a hill in the desert. And, the daylilies can disrupt the sprinkler flow . . . which doesn’t help. I am thinking of thyme or sedum for part of it – and maybe ornamental grass. Thrilling to dig in this mud. Can’t wait. LOL.