Wednesday, February 5, 2014
An adorable friend posed a question on a daylily-centric email robin today. She asked,
"What brought you JOY in your daylily garden last season?"
I thought this was such a fun question and it made my brain feel good to think about it. This is H. 'Carolina Pink Pinwheel' by Gene Tanner at Browns Ferry Gardens. It was certainly one of my first thoughts when I thought about joy.
This topic is right on time, Kathleen. (who, if you don’t know her, EXUDES joy!) See her gardens here.
The most-influential daylily that comes to mind when I think of 2013 summer joy is GOD SAVE THE QUEEN from Mort Morss. So much going on in that daylily. It is so photogenic and puts on a display like no other modern cultivar that I grow.
Some days I would just walk by the clump and shake my head at its awesomeness. The height, the color saturation, the teeth, the eyezone, the size of the bloom, the strength of the scape. Man. LOTS of positives.
The near-equal runner up for materializing my summer joy is TRUFFLES MILANESE by David Kirchhoff. Insane substance, enormous bloom size, color tone, fragrance...super joy! Here it is:
I have mentioned this daylily about a bazillion times since it bloomed last July. I just counted 24 "keeper" photos of it in my 2014 files. If you don’t think you like doubles, or don’t have one of David's modern truffles - invest in this one. It adds a dimension to the garden that most other doubles don’t. It is clearly a double and makes no apologies for its "extra." It was 100% double, with more buds than advertised.
The extra joy in these two cultivars is that they are both dependable. Consistent. None of that waiting for a good hair day kind of stuff that so often comes with new and hyped daylilies. You know what I mean, right? The new cultivar you buy that has 8 buds and 6 of those open marred somehow and you just happen to be at regional the two days it blooms nicely?
Yeah, those. Ahem.
I don’t have that problem with these two cultivars. Every day (and lots of them) the blooms and bouquet are amazing.
Daylily World gets the stable ribbons for MOST JOY in my 2013 season. WIN and PLACE. Thanks, David and Mort.
Here are some of my Honorable Mentions:
H. 'Godiva Jam' by Judith Weston
H. 'Margo Reed Indeed' by Jim Murphy
H. 'Dragon Fang' by Jamie Gossard
H. 'Balloons Rising by Megan Skinner
These are daylilies that brought me joy in my 2013 season. They are shining examples in a large collection of also-awesome daylily specimens. Thank you to all the hybridizers who strive to bring JOY to the world. You can bet the flowers you produce all have a little piece of you in them!
Thursday, January 30, 2014
2:09 PM day lily, daylily, daylily blog, daylily haiku, daylily meeting, daylily photography, learning something new, something to ponder, TERM 3 Comments
This is the 2011 Summer Meeting for AHS Region 2, held in Troy, Michigan.
We coordinated an off-scape show during the opening day of the event and invited all our travelling guests, and local club members to bring in their blooms. The result was HUNDREDS of blooms in the hotel hallway that captivated the attention of all our visitors.
We used ACTION and SPECTACLE to make this a successful event. The mass display (length and width) of daylilies brought the spectacle. The spectacle was the "Wow. That is a boatload of flowers. Wow." Some folks cant get past this level of interaction. That is where they stop. The spectacle is how we draw new daylily lovers in to the black hole of daylilydom.
The ACTION came in though the organization of the show. By displaying flowers by like color and/or form, viewers are able to connect with the display on a more personal level. They find themselves drawn to highly-saturated blooms, or extra large blooms, or miniature flowers, or heavy-substanced faces...whatever makes their heart sing. Remember this post?
There is no better way to determine what type of daylily-lover you are than by attending a daylily show. On July 6, 2014, there will be an accredited Daylily Exhibition Show in Springfield, Illinois at Washington Park Botanical Gardens. Mark your calendar right now. It's the state capitol, tons of stuff to do and totally centrally located by highway from a lot of cities around our region. More details coming later. You can also check here for other shows across the country. That page will be updated as shows are officially scheduled for 2014.
Friday, January 24, 2014
2:37 PM collecting daylilies, day lily, daylily, daylily blog, daylily expert, daylily haiku, daylily photography, hoarding, learning something new, tales of yesterday 3 Comments
<posted January 23, 2014> This is the daylily, H. 'Blonde On The Inside.' It was created by a hybridizer in South Carolina named Heidi Douglas of Browns Ferry Gardens. This is a fairly new introduction and has only been in my collection for one full year. One of the "extras" I love about Heidi's daylilies is dreaming up my own stories about where she gets the names she uses.
Here we are touring some gardens in southern Ohio last summer. Heidi is on the far right of the photo (Mandy McMahon from Silver Creek Daylilies is above me and Kimberly McCutcheon of Pretty Petals is on the left of the photo.)
Spring seems so far away looking at our sun kissed faces in this photo.
Sigh. These ladies are part of my gardening tribe. I love them so.
Anyhoo, I assume you are a daylily fan of some sort if you have read this far.
Your collection expands and contracts like a smooth breath and your winter dreams of dirty adventures in your garden are stirring your cabin fever.
You are crawling the internet looking at new introductions and new sales. You are checking off your wish list from 2013, and vowing to not add to it in 2014.
You're getting weak. Your wallet is getting lighter. Your dream board for your garden is getting full and the plans get more grand as the snow piles up outside. Your Pinterest garden-related boards are overflowing with awesomeness.
Although gardening and playing in the dirt is therapeutic and not meant to be stress inducing, it sometimes is for the specialized gardener.
Burnout happens quickly.
Resentment creeps in (and so do weeds.)
You look for the nearest place to hide and what used to be your greatest passion becomes your latest bane. (I think you could apply this overwhelming sense of "do" to anything really - parenting, scrap-booking, stamp collecting, live-action role-playing....)
Maybe if you keep in mind the following 5 Deadly Daylily Sins (that I just made up) as your cabin fever reaches its' peak, your Spring can start off not feeling so "behind."
1. Forgetting that daylilies are FUN. You got into daylilies because you had an emotional reaction to some aspect of them - hybridizing, collecting, photographing, exhibiting, etc. Ask yourself if you are having fun. Answer yourself honestly and if your answer is "no," take out a sheet of paper and write some reasons you are not having fun. Local club politics? Cost? Lack of inspiration? Too much work?
2. Being unrealistic about your time and space. As much as you (and I) would like to, you cannot have them all. There are almost 80,000 registered hybrids and hundreds of people hybridizing for new ones each year. Not recognizing and accepting your own limitations (personal and spatial) will greatly reduce your fun quotient. (see sin #1.) How many can you properly care for? A collection of 200 well-cared for and well-grown specimens will speak more loudly than 600 struggling fans. Repeat after me: "I am not a daylily hoarder. I am not a daylily hoarder."
3. Ignoring the BIG PICTURE of your garden. I like Google Earth. I can zoom in and zoom out using satellite images of our planet. Here is my neighborhood in Worden, Illinois - a village of just 900.
In my mind, I try to have this birds' eye view of my garden. And then I zoom in a bit. And then zoom in a bit more. And a bit more. What am I noticing as I get closer? Are all the plants basically the same height? Do most of them carry the same "weight?" Are there differing textures? Varying planes of sight? What does the whole say of its pieces? Is the garden a beautiful sum of its parts, or is it canvas without focus? If the garden does not have diversity it has to work a bit harder to make your heart sing. (see sin #1.)
4. Resisting change. Change in our bodies, change in our interests, change in our gardening friends, changes in the environment, change in our hearts.
Your garden is a growing, living tapestry of your life - as it is and as it has been. If you're frustrated about what your garden IS, do not be afraid to change it. (see sin #1)
Personal example: I worked hard to sculpt and plant the raised beds in my new garden in Illinois. See the below pic for one of the island beds. After a season of visitors and caring for this garden, it was clear that this bed really needed to have a path through it. For two seasons, I cussed the fact that in order to navigate the garden I had to walk around the large island, but I was resistant to dig out the plants necessary to create the convenience.
This is the island in mid-June last year.
Finally, last fall in an act of defiance and frustration at other things in my gardening life, I just started digging out the plants to make way for the path.
Up came clumps of established daylilies, echinacea, sedum, veronica, lamb's ear! I potted up all but one clump of those daylilies and passed it all on to other gardeners. It was a big deal, since some of those plants were awesome show-winners and it was a very photogenic planting. But that is what it was. And although it didn't really neeeeed to be changed, something nagged at my view every time I saw that area of the garden despite how much I liked the plants in the area.
Long story short - listen to the twinkling garden-fairy voices in your head. It's liberating to simply accept what the garden WAS, WHAT IT IS and now to allow it to be WHAT IT CAN BE.
5. Obsessing about the wrong things. Briefly, anything that does not bring you happiness is the wrong thing. A really smart lady once said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." The choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility and if you are choosing to allow envy, gluttony and nasty vibes in your garden, well, you reap what you sow. This I know.
I hope these little life lessons I've learned in the garden can help you enjoy your garden more. Sometimes it is hard to love our limitations. But it sure is more fun when you can take yourself and your garden less seriously and allow yourself to have a bit of fun.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
6:47 PM day lily, daylily, daylily blog, daylily expert, daylily photography, daylily specialist, flower photography, new thoughts, something to ponder 4 Comments
Now here is a picture that is ABOUT the daylily, H. 'Special Candy.'
Those are two very different photos of the same plant on the same day with the same camera and photographer. The first photo was taken later in the afternoon; the second one was taken first thing in the morning, while the dew was still undisturbed. Look how the pollen sacs are still closed tight in the morning and in the afternoon they are full and fluffy.
While the first photo captures the basic details of this daylily, shows its basic shape, coloration and positioning, that's about all it does. I don't FEEL anything when I look at that first photo.
BUT, when I see the second photo, my eyebrows raise a bit. The corners of my mouth turn up as my eye follows the deep plum edge and falls into that green throat. This photo is ABOUT H. 'Special Candy.'
Setting up a photo ABOUT something takes a little practice. Here are some of my personal thoughts on taking pictures that evoke emotion:
- See the photo through your viewfinder or on your LCD screen as you would be looking at the photo.
- MOVE AROUND when taking the photos. Crouch. Bend. Look up. Stoop. Lean. Repeat.
- Find one focal point when you are setting up the photo. Move your eye out from that focal point and try to keep out distracting background stuff that takes your eye away from that focal point.
In this photo above, what do you think my focal point was? Yep! The green throat.
Now look at the top photo. Where is the focal point? Don't try too hard. There isn't one. That's part of what makes this top photo just a photo OF H. 'Special Candy' and not really ABOUT it.
Now, THIS photo is also of the edge of one of the island beds. Notice right away the bloom of H. 'God Save The Queen' staring at you from the photo.
Even if you don't know what H. 'God Save The Queen' is, because I told you it was the focal point of the photo below, you now know for sure!
Thursday, January 2, 2014
4:12 PM buying daylilies, day lily, daylily, daylily blog, daylily expert, daylily haiku, daylily photography, daylily picture, daylily specialist 7 Comments
H. 'Boundless Beauty' introduced by Patrick Stamile
Blue over the lack of blue in my garden in the daylily H. 'Blue Desire.' Culling this one out. :(
The point is to make the collection of daylilies you covet as concise as possible. De-clutter it, if you will. Even if you have acres of land, an explosion of mediocre daylilies may be adding to your stress and lack of enjoyment in the garden.
Give yourself a bit of green rejuvenation in 2014 and cull that collection!
Til next time...
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Oh, 2013. A tradition for me is to do a "changing of the guard" for my wall calendar on New Years Eve. Regardless This allows me to feed my unhealthy need for Sharpies and organization in the same activity. Paging back through the ink-stained pages of the 2013 calendar, I feel super-pleased at how the year ended up.
If this was the last full year I had on the planet, it was a darn good one.
We continue to be so grateful for the blessings we experienced in the garden, around the garden and because of the garden in 2013. I shared 38 haiku and over 300 photos this year. There are another 1200 great photos you haven't even seen yet from 2013. Wow.
Whether you are a quiet observer of my adventures or an outspoken friend (NO PAM) you are the most awesome part of my adventures and I'm looking forward to sharing another year with you.
In 2014, I'm already scheduled in Nashville, Milwaukee, Virginia, Springfield, St Louis, Asheville, Wisconsin (again!), Michigan and Indiana! I'm wishing for another healthy and happy year for all of us.
Be nice, y'all. It's easier.
See you in 2014!
Thursday, December 19, 2013
11:51 AM AHS, day lily, daylily, daylily blog, daylily expert, daylily haiku, daylily photography, daylily picture, distinction, learning something new, schmith, something to ponder 2 Comments
<posted December 19, 2013> I don't pretend to know what the right daylilies are, but I do know of several daylilies I grow that aren't widely grown or widely chatted about on various public forums. But they should be.
I think of them as hidden treasures in my collection.
One of them is today's haiku picture and it is H. 'Empire of Desire' by Richard Norris of Ashwood Daylilies. It is a HUGE bloom on tall scapes that really has a lot of different points of distinction. Of the many yellow-daylilies-with-relief-sculpting-and-green-throats registered today, this one is top of my list. Let's start at its core - the bright lime green throat, representing the jealous "heart" of this empire. The deep carving, casting shadows on the wide, supple petals, heavy presence...the ironic, innocent-white edges...you get my drift (a la Fifty Shades of the Daylily!)
That's how it goes in my garden.
I don't grow a single daylily that doesn't have a story. It comes from someone special or its hybridized by someone I admire or I first experienced it somewhere memorable or it carries the name of a memory I want to often revisit...a real connection. My friends who aren't gardeners like to walk the garden with me to just hear the tales of the plants that live here. It's a living scrapbook.
That's how it is with most daylily gardeners. We connect our gardens to our inside lives, to our other lives, to the lives we once led or the ones we are destined to live someday.
I thought I would show you some other photos of daylilies I think are worth a try. These are daylilies with special distinction. Some connection.
Another one from Richard Norris' H. 'Remembered Kisses.'
This daylily feels masculine. Its strong and purposeful always has just the right amount of motion to make it stand out above others in this genre. The raspberry-red edge is consistent and interesting. The feathered edge of the eye zone provides even more interest on those vanilla segments. I love the interplay of colors in the throat of this daylily, too.
On what other plants in your garden can you use such adjectives!?
Visit Richard's website, see his 2014 introductions! If you want a list of other recommendations from him, let me know. Seriously!
Here is H. 'Texas Beautiful Bouquet', hybridized by Josie Bomar and registered in 2007. It is a DORMANT plant, which is good for my mild climate and for gardeners in warm and cold climates.
The magical swirl of color in this bloom gets me every time. It has classic pie-crust edges and unbeatable substance. Another huge point of distinction for this one is its FRAGRANCE. Its mesmerizing. The buds also start to open the previous day, so you get this nice ballet as the buds crack open. You can see that in the below picture. And the bud count is not to shabby, either (its higher than its registration data reports.) I love this plant.
Then there is H. 'Tornado Chaser' (seen below.) I love the long petals that allow for great color and movement. Look at those curls! The color of the lavender band breaks just where the petal cannot stretch anymore and is forced into a spiral of curls. It is never unwieldy and it is always beautiful. Kimberly has some gem daylilies. One of the daylily clubs I belong to is placing an order for her 2014 collection for our club auction. I cant wait to see what she sends along a bonuses - she's always generous with club orders.
The green throat stays all day, and I enjoy that very much. It is planted right next to my own introduction, H.'A Thousand Sweet Kisses.' These two blooms below are having a conversation in the garden on a rainy day. I wish it were me and Kimberly instead of just our two introductions! Check us out...
I can't count how many times I have said the two words 'Truffles Milanese' this year. It was probably the most talked-about daylily in my garden. This picture says it all.
It is clear, clean, erect, strong, consistent and it smells reaaaaally good. (I'd insert the easy pun here, but I'm afraid it wouldn't pass the censors.)
I sold out of it this year to visitors alone. Some blooms were over 8". By the end of bloom season I would walk by it and just shake my head. Ridiculously amazing. You need to call David Kirchhoff right now and order that one.
The next hidden treasure is Herbie Phelps' H. 'Unforgettable Wonder.' Herbie sent this to me years ago in a trade for H. 'Matchless Fire.' What a great trade! This one has a saffron-colored base that is very appealing among yellows. I love the ultra-crimped edges. If you get really close, you can see a gorgeous gold filigree sewn into the edge.
Another double I could not get enough of this summer was H. 'Cockspur,' - seen below and registered by Missouri's own Bob Tankesley-Clarke.
My fab BFF Nicole in Michigan gifted this to me years ago. She always knows what I will like; she has a sense of crazy in her taste, too. I love the veining. This bloom pulsates with color (especially the bright yellow throat) and it stands very tall in the garden. It also bloomed 100% double, which means each bloom that opened was double. Not all daylily who say they are double do that, sometimes they misfire and only show one layer of petaloids...
So, with Christmas and New Year's approaching, you should search out one or more of these cultivars for your own collection or to gift to someone else so they can add something to their "living scrapbook" with memories of YOU!
I still haven't decided what will be the one new intro I buy for myself this Christmas season....stay tuned!