It is an established fact I have too many daylilies, hemerocallis, for those who like a little Latin sprinkled about like good compost.
As one friend said with some derision after visiting my garden, “They are an obsession.”
Yes, they are. A sweet-faced obsession.
Last summer, I went with two friends, Laurie and Stephen to St. Louis for the AHS regional meeting. You couldn’t travel with two nicer friends, and we met up with our local club there. While I was snapping pictures, I didn’t realize it, but like Alice in Wonderland, I slipped and slid down the daylily rabbit hole. Carol from May Dreams Gardens reminded me of these dangers as she wrote about rabbit holes last week.
I took hundreds of photos, and one day a couple of weeks ago, I went over to the Lily Auction where I bought several new double fans. Most daylilies are sold as double fans which are two blooming segments. There are lots of great daylily farms, but alas, we only have one nearby, and it’s not even that near. Bob Scott has a nursery on a winding, rural road in the middle of nowhere (I can say that because I live in another corner of nowhere myself), and there are some up north near Tulsa.
So, for maximum daylily fun, I shop at the Lily Auction. May I also say, daylilies are not in the lily family at all, so I don’t understand why it is called the Lily Auction anyway. I do know going there is a bit like gambling because others want the same daylilies. Just think ebay with flowers.
I was down in the lily auction rabbit hole for a couple of weeks, and I spent way too much, but here’s what I bought, many based upon photos from last summer (along with some like North Wind Dancer I’ve wanted for several seasons.)
Ninja Storm (Gossard 2005), single fan of Unusual Form (UF or UFO) crispate. Wanted it for a long time. Must watch over it as it is only one fan, and I didn’t pay $100 for a single fan.
The Band Played On (Stamile 2007). Did you know Patrick Stamile and his wife, Grace, retired from hybridizing in 2009? Luckily, they sold their nursery, Floyd Cove, to another hybridizer. I have always loved Patrick Stamile’s pink daylilies. Many have a blue tint once difficult to find in a pink bloom. However, this one isn’t even pink.
Redheaded Hussy (Davisson 2005), double fan, semi-evergreen tetraploid. I saw it in a regional display garden and fell in love. Although not listed as a UF, it certainly looks like one. Oh, and yes, I know the comparisons are obvious because my hair is red. Go ahead and tease me. I can take it. (Grin.)
So Many Stars (Kaskel 2001), double fan, evergreen, large flower.
Wild Child (Salter 2001), double fan, semi-evergreen, tet, UF. Just bought it because I like the looks of it.
North Wind Dancer (Schaben 2001), double fan, diploid, won the Lambert/Webster Award for best unusual form daylily in 2007. I’ve wanted this curling, whirling, twirling daylily for a long time.
Guadalajara (Carpenter-J., 2004), double fan, semi-evergreen, tetraploid double. Normally, I don’t like doubles, but I saw this one growing in every display garden in St. Louis, and in every garden, it was fab. I also really like saturated colors, including orange, and this one has it all.
Orange City (Trimmer 2007), double fan of evergreen tetraploid. Often with Trimmer’s hybrids, you’ll see a large saturated eye or eyezone. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of it yet.
Boundless Beauty (Stamile 2005), single fan, evergreen, almost pure white with gold “flying loops” which are different from ruffles according to the hybridizer. I bought this one specifically because I love ‘Victorian Lace’ so much, and it has much of the same look. Very different from the spiders and UFs above, but I enjoy different types of daylilies in my garden. Note: look at all the buds in the photo. That’s another good reason to buy it.
I am also bidding on Apache War Dance (Thomas) and Red Thunder (Bell 1994). These are red daylilies which are a passion of mine, and I can get quite ridiculous about them.
Now is the perfect time to plant these beauties. Once it gets hot, you don’t want to plant them for fear of root rot. Later, you can plant more in September. Choosing which other plants will fill in around your obsession is another fun activity for a rainy day.
Swaying grasses are a favorite of mine as they hide the daylily foliage after bloom. Likewise, daylily foliage helps hide the dying foliage of daffodils and other spring bulbs.
Plant fans or clumps in good, well-drained soil with some amendments like shredded leaves or Back to Nature compost. Also, a bit of Milorganite sprinkled around will help them build up their blooming muscles.
Some daylilies are extremely expensive, and you can be sure if you pay $100 or more for a single fan, it will probably wilt and die. These are usually new cultivars, and like new car models, I wait a year or two before I purchase a new one. The price comes down a bit, and you know it’s a good model. That’s just my two cents worth, and many will disagree with me.
Daylilies also make great passalong plants when you need a little something to give your friends. Lucky you, if you’re a recipient.
Now, have fun planting those pretties.