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?

High, Hot and a Hell of a Lot

High, hot and a hell of a lot is a type of enema that nurses use to give more frequently than we do today. I had to learn about them in school many years ago. Suffice it to say you put a lot of water (with soap) in an enema bucket and hang it high so gravity does its thing. Oh, and make that water hot just to give it an extra twist.

For some reason the words came to mind when thinking about my garden today. Not enemas – but altitude, temperature and the number of cultivators I had today. Almost 60, again. So, the peak this year is more like the Grand Mesa . . . you get to the top but it plateaus for a while before it starts going down.

As far as new blooms today – I had two birds. Maybe I should have titled this “Giving you the birds” or something. These are both Roberts spiders.

7/8 Aztec Firebird – one of my original 3 Southwestern daylilies in my garden pilot. I had it, Kokopelli and Dream Catcher only the first year. Big lesson when I enlarged it is that where you water large surface areas, you attract lots of tree roots. I love the bright colors of the Aztec bird – she is a little late this year. The daylilies that thrived the most in-ground are pretty slow to bloom this year, whereas those that were being strangled in roots before bloomed early and lots.
Raven Woodsong – I love the color of this one.

And – while not a premier, Chief Four Fingers finally had a picture perfect bloom. The bugs got the early buds but it got better when I improved the water flow so the plant got stronger.

Chief Four Fingers perfect bloom (or close)

I painted another painting last night – Canyon Colors. I have put a lot of energy into my art business the last couple of days so I can get some inventory built up. I plan more than daylily paintings, but I am starting there because I have done more of them than anything else and it is a good way to get my skills back. Yesterday, I worked on lighting for the Art Cove. Today, I got tiles, oil paints, and canvas. Please follow my business page (link at bottom) for more info.

My Art Cove – back in business!

As far as finales – I may go to once a week because it is too confusing when I have 60 in bloom. Easier to do when I cut spent scapes once a week.

Click photo to visit our website

From Desert to Daylilies

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.

Purple Corn Dancer 8.15.20

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.

Purple Thunderbird 8.15.20

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.

Navajo Curls 8.15.20

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.

Purple Corn Dancer 8.15.20

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.

Mediocre

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.

My irrigation water basically comes from a system that feeds off the Gunnison – This is Blue Lake Reservoir, where we camped, and it looks pretty full so far.

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.

Santa’s Pants 6.28.20

I had some premiers today – perhaps I should start with Santa Claus – because Santa’s Pants showed up today.

Wineberry Candy 6.28.20

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.

Catherine Irene 6.28.20

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.

Early Bird Cardinal 6.28.20

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.

Dream Keeper 6.26.20

And, one finale while I was gone yesterday – Dream Keeper. My spring bloomers are hibernating. Seems too soon.

A nice cluster of Ojo de Dios today

It was a fun weekend camping and I need to hit the hay. Tomorrow, another day of novel pretty blooms to explore. Good night!

Catch 22

I swore I would not work putting pots in the Southwest garden again today.  I lost the bet with myself.  Because there was an area on the thriving side that looked sad and I was curious.  What did I find?  Lots of tree roots.  Even the daylily that I put in a half pot a couple months ago had roots growing up into the pot – but the daylily was doing better than without the pot.

CherokeeStar1.8.16.jpg

Such findings make me feel a little nauseated, really.  I made an investment in daylilies after doing a pilot out there.  All my pilot plants did (and do) beautifully.  So, I make a bigger garden spot there.  The problem is that I think the scale is drawing the roots.  In the pilot, I hand watered.  But, now I have to mass water and fertilize.  The half pot I dug up had roots woven around the outside of the pot in its exact shape.  They dominate.

WesternSandstone3.8.16.jpg

So, now I think I may have to do real garden pots (as opposed to nursery pots) out there, after all.  The reason is that if I cut big enough holes in the pot bottoms to protect from root rot, I get root invasion.  Catch 22.  The real (decorative plastic) pots that I used in the front garden have a second bottom piece to help with drainage – so I can have a large drainage hole and roots can’t really grow up into the daylily space.  Oh, I will work with the nursery pots for this year. But, I see the future.  I am feeling like a farmer now.

PinkandCream1.8.16.jpg

I also divided several more daylilies.  Little by little, the fall work is getting done.  I am really ready for a boring split shift where I walk the dogs downtown. I feel overwhelmed with daylilies.  Seriously.  Am I ready to be a farmer?

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Anyway, enjoy my blooms from today.  I’ll worry about the tree roots.

Double Helix

Today, I believe, brought my next to last NEW bloom for 2017.  Pizza Crust, a late bloomer that I added last year.  This year, a two bud wonder.  Seriously?

At any rate, I was taken back by how it looked like a twin to Western Sandstone.  Like, can you see a difference?  Pizzacrust3.8.11.jpg

So, curiosity got the best of me.  I thought that these two had the same DNA, and while their parents were not listed, they originate from the same hybridizer.  Ah, ha . . .  I think my eye does not deceive.

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Honorable mention goes to Cherokee Star, who put out a near perfect, velvet bloom today.

CherokeeStar2.8.11.jpg

Today was the beginning . . . of a weekend of daylily digging and putting in pots, again.  This time the Southwest Garden.  Only the bad side.  But, that’s over 40 daylilies and the digging is hard.  Tight space, tree roots and clay below the good soil that is now full of tree roots, too.  I have 17 done and like 25 left to go.  I think I will hit the hay early and get up early to start.  I would prefer to be done or mostly done by Sunday.  I still have divisions to do for friends.  This work actually makes me look forward to snow . . . kind of.  I do wonder if I will end up with decorative pots out in that garden, too.  I guess this is a pilot.  PS – I was digging up the daylilies out there to raise the grade of the garden at exactly this time last year.   Sigh.  It never ends!

Tomorrow, I think my Ugly Daylily will be in bloom.  That is my confused Amaryllis.  Life in the garden is always full of surprises.

 

Peace in the Garden

The garden was cool this AM when I got up to look what was in bloom.  I needed a fleece to stay comfortable.  The scattered blooms took forever to open.   Stella has returned, after 2 months of rest.  I got Stellas last year so that I would have blooms all summer, and it has been disappointing.  I probably need to divide more often.

Stella2.8.9.jpg

I like my big box Pink and Cream that has been in bloom much more frequently and is prettier – a nice offspring. It will need to be divided in the spring, for sure!

PinkandCream1.8.9.jpg

And, fun with flower photos is turning into dances with shovels.  Today, 8 more put in some sort of pot.  The Southwest garden is hard work . . . clay and tree roots.  And, odd shaped working space for digging holes.  So many left to go.  I have the worst corner done now. That’s a bit of progress.  Every time I think I have foiled my desert garden, I end up re-doing it a couple years later.  Because, when you add water and fertilizer, the natives want first dibs!

Somehow, this Gordon Lightfoot song has been going through my head all day:

There’s peace in the garden
There’s peace in the air
Peace in the sound of the river
There’s peace in the meadow
The sun shines like gold
And if she were with me
There’d be peace in my soul 

Tomorrow, maybe I’ll talk about the upward spirals from time with my daylilies.  I may have my first Western Sandstone tomorrow!