Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: Hot June

Hibiscus My Valentine grows to 48", but it's still pretty short in my garden.

Hot and humid are the watchwords for this June Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. Daylilies and grasses don’t mind though I do when I go out to weed the garden. The air is so heavy I can hardly breathe. From just deadheading today’s daylilies, I’m soaked in sweat. Deadheading requires very little exertion so you can tell how humid it is.

Hemerocallis Nancy Ann Kinnett
Hemerocallis Nancy Ann Kinnett

I wrote that paragraph yesterday. This morning I awoke to raindrops pelting the skylights above my bed. The rain didn’t amount to much, barely a trace, but it did bring down morning temperatures. I am grateful.

Hemerocallis 'Navajo Pony' has a wonderful eyezone and a beautiful green throat.
Hemerocallis ‘Navajo Pony’ has a wonderful eyezone and a beautiful green throat.

Since June is always about the daylilies in my garden, I’m going to try to show you some of my newer cultivars this year. This is the ninth year of the blog, and while gardens do change, they stay pretty constant unless you have a building project under construction. I have a lot of good strong colors in my garden, and I’m now trying to add daylilies with a certain Je ne sais quoi. I specifically chose many with patterned eyes and eyezones. Hybridizers are doing a lot of work with eyes, and they are coming up with fantastic patterns. Of course, they are always trying for blue eyes because blue is the one color daylilies don’t feature.

Hemerocallis Raspberry Goosebumps in front of my purple chairs.
Hemerocallis Raspberry Goosebumps in front of my purple chairs and Orange Rocket barberry.

Working a lot of daylilies in the landscape with other plants takes skill. I remember years ago pondering the photos of a lady named Barbara. I don’t know her last name, but she was one of the most skillful landscape designers I’ve ever seen using daylilies. I used to pore over her photos–this was before blogging–and try to capture the essence of why her garden and photos were so beautiful. She was quite clever echoing daylily colors, with the eyezones of one daylily matching the color of another daylily self. Barbara removed her photos from the Internet years ago, but I still sometimes dream of them. My garden is only a hazy mirror of her skill.

Hibiscus My Valentine grows to 48", but it's still pretty short in my garden.
Hibiscus My Valentine grows to 48″, but it’s still pretty short in its second season in my garden.

Not only is color important, but also texture. Daylily foliage looks like rough grass, and clumps take up a lot of space, so you need to weave in texture that is feathery and light, or substantial. It’s important to have larger leaves so the whole garden doesn’t look like it’s going to float off the planet, or just be messy. My garden can look very messy and overgrown if I’m not careful. So, I add sturdy plants like true lilies, perennial hibiscus, shasta daisies, Phlox paniculata and others. Then, I also plant ornamental grasses and echinacea to blow in the wind. Movement in a garden is important too, don’t you think?

Hemerocallis 'Wild and Wonderful' with echinacea echoing the daylily's patterned eye.
Hemerocallis ‘Wild and Wonderful’ with echinacea echoing its patterned eye.

If you can find the cultivar ‘Wild and Wonderful,’ you should buy it. I don’t think it’s that expensive anymore, and it blooms prolifically with huge bouquets of flowers. Although it doesn’t bloom over a long period, it is fantastic while it does.

Hemerocallis Webster's Pink Wonder
Hemerocallis Webster’s Pink Wonder

Another large wild daylily is ‘Webster’s Pink Wonder.’ It truly deserves the name because, when blooming, it stops people in their tracks. It also wins at daylily shows because is very large and unique.

Side border with Cheyenne Spirit echinacea and daylilies.
Side border with Cheyenne Spirit echinacea and daylilies.

I used to grow mostly dark daylilies. While I still love these, I have moved on to some of the pinks. They are quite special. One of the great difficulties in hybridizing was pulling the peach out of our pink daylilies. Hybridizers have been very successful in recent years. ‘Pink Lemonade Party’ is very pink. It’s a short daylily though.

I love this shot of Hemerocallis 'Pink Lemonade Party' because it is hiding in the ornamental grass.
I love this shot of Hemerocallis ‘Pink Lemonade Party’ because it is hiding in the ornamental grass.

H. ‘Elegant Attire’ is peachier than this photo shows, but it’s a beauty with nearly perfect form. It’s also a shorty for the front of the garden bed.

Hemerocallis Elegant Attire
Hemerocallis Elegant Attire

Below you can see what I’m trying to accomplish in the garden. I’m not very happy with it this year. I don’t know why. Maybe because the rain made all the perennials go gaga, and they are crowding each other out. The poor daylilies are having a heck of a time. It could also be that leaving the garden for a couple of weeks I didn’t get to cut everything back and give the daylilies more sun.

Back garden bed with daylilies, ornamental grasses, native plants and crapemyrtles.
Back garden bed with daylilies, ornamental grasses, native plants and crapemyrtles.

It’s still pretty. I guess. I promise I’m not searching for compliments. I’m truly not happy with it.

Half of the back garden from its center point.
Half of the back garden from its center point. See the red daylily? Behind it is ‘Little Joe’ Joe pye weed. I need to move that this fall. It is taking over that bed.

I’ll leave you with a couple more daylilies I’m enjoying today. That’s the thing about daylilies. Everyday is a new one with new flowers. I could go out there now and see different ones in bloom. The garden is always a surprise and a joy from day-to-day. See, now I sound a bit happier. Ha!

Hemerocallis Apache Beacon
Hemerocallis ‘Apache Beacon’ is a lovely red UF. I like this daylily a lot because it holds up its flowers nice and strong.

H. Apache Beacon‘ is a UF Crispate. Don’t you just love how its petals and sepals curl at their very edges? Mine does have a bit of thrip damage on some of its flowers, but nothing in life is perfect so I’m showing it anyway.

Hemerocallis 'Land of Our Fathers'
Hemerocallis ‘Land of Our Fathers’ in front of a vitex in a side border. I think the color is exquisite.

Oh, and here’s a true lily. Daylilies aren’t true lilies, but this lily is wonderful. Longfield Gardens sent ‘Kaveri‘ to me last summer, and I love it. Thanks Longfield!

'Kaveri' Oriental-Asiatic hybrid lily
‘Kaveri’ Oriental-Asiatic hybrid lily

That’s all I have for GBBD. I hope yours was great. After I deadhead the daylilies this morning, I’ll sit and read my favorite blogs. Ciao!

 

 

Hot forecast and sunny days

'Conca d' Or' - Orienpet Hybrid Lilies are much more beautiful in person than online.

“Is it hot out here or what?” I ask as I fan myself, and sweat drips down my face.

Bill says, “Is a twenty-pound Robin fat?”

It’s hotter than Hades in Oklahoma. Not as hot as 2011, but hot enough.

Back garden at the end of June, 2015. It's all growing so well.
Back garden at the end of June, 2015. It’s all growing so well.

Good thing daylilies like hot weather. They may melt in the afternoon, but tomorrow is always another day, and another bloom.

Hemerocallis 'Ruby Sentinel' next to the deck. 'Ruby Sentinel' is an older and inexpensive cultivar.
Hemerocallis ‘Ruby Sentinel’ next to the deck. ‘Ruby Sentinel’ is an older and inexpensive cultivar.

Much of June was full on sunshine, but a cold front came through Friday night, and we cooled down to 85F. I’ll take it over last week where the humidity made me feel as if I were living in Houston in August.

Hemerocallis 'Freewheelin'
Hemerocallis ‘Freewheelin’

My daylily club did a local garden tour on Saturday, and my garden was part of the tour. I worked hard to get things tidied up. Actually, my whole family worked hard, and Kari came out and helped twice too. It takes a village to keep a garden tour ready. Things have never looked better. If I haven’t already enticed you with photos to join the daylily club, what will it take? I’m ready to make house calls if I must.

Silphium perfoliatum, cup plant, so named because the leaves form little cups for pollinators after a rain.
Silphium perfoliatum, cup plant, so named because the leaves form little cups for pollinators after a rain.

My visitors seemed taken with Silphium perfoliatum, cup plant which will be covered in yellow, daisy-like flowers in a few weeks. Its sheer size, already over six feet tall, and sturdiness make people stand in awe. The other thing they loved was the monarda, which is pretty spectacular this year. I don’t know the cultivar. I thought it was ‘Pardon My Purple,’ but PMP is a lot shorter than mine. I haven’t a clue, but the photo is below. Do any of you have an idea?

Not sure about the name of this monarda, bee balm. Anyone have an idea?
Not sure about the name of this monarda, bee balm. Anyone have an idea?

The garden is in full glorious bloom. I added a border, and I put soaker hoses on it with a timer. I can’t keep up with the watering otherwise. Drip irrigation is much more efficient than trying to hand water anyway. I added two Vitex agnus-castus ‘PIIVAC-I’ PPAF Delta Blues™ chaste trees to this new border because of some information from my dear friend, Beth Teel, of Tulsa. Beth uses vitex branches to make small supports for her plants. The limbs of the trees are very pliable and can be bent into various shapes and even made into wattle fencing. Beth also has a new gardening blog, Green Country Gardener, if you want to check out another Oklahoma gardener. Delta Blues™ is beautiful and blue. Blue is so hard to find in the garden.

Hemerocallis 'No More Tears' is a good attitude to adopt when gardening.
Hemerocallis ‘No More Tears’ is a good attitude to adopt when gardening. Of course, the name refers to Rev. 21:4. It’s one I hold onto when I lose someone I love.

Gardeners are the original, eternal optimists. As an example, I dug up four more roses this week. I’ve lost count of how many I’ve lost to Rose Rosette Virus, but I think these four bring the current year’s total to twelve. Still, I keep thinking of all the shrubs I want to grow in their places. My garden is ever more diverse, and I must admit that the shrubs I’m choosing are easier to keep than my precious roses. I still miss the roses though.

H. 'Concorde Nelson' (Reeve, 1998) is a total favorite. Good daylilies don't have to be expensive if you own older ones too.
H. ‘Concorde Nelson’ (Reeve, 1998) is a total favorite. Good daylilies don’t have to be expensive if you own older ones too.

Not only is it daylily season here, it’s also the beginning of lily season. Just check out the beauty shots of ‘Conca d’Or’ at the top of this post. I have three other lilies blooming too. There is nothing easier to grow than true lilies, and orienpets are dramatic darlings. They grow very, very tall so they will need some support. You can use a stake and twine, or just prop them up with these metal blossom supports. Sometimes, I use two per lily depending upon how big it is. Probably not the most efficient way, but it seems to work.

These plant supports make great supports for tall Orienpet and trumpet lilies.
These plant supports make great supports for tall Orienpet and trumpet lilies.

That’s all I have this week. I have harvested two tomatoes. Yay. Please let me know what’s blooming in your garden too. I love to hear.