Thursday, April 29, 2010
lost in a daydream...
bursting! stretching! recurving!
as we were before.
H. 'As We Were' (Peck-Sellers 1992) A stunning, orange-throated daylily that is tightly recurved and has a very high bud count for me. Worth seeking out and adding to your collection.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Oh! Oh, happy day!
Boxes upon arrival-
the season is here!
Today's haiku is dedicated to the happiness I was greeted with yesterday - a pile of USPS Priority packages on my porch. Daylilies filled all of them and I couldnt stop smiling as I opened each with great anticipation. Thank you to Cindy Dye, Herbie Phelps, Mary Jane Meadows and Garden Fantasies for the great shipments and gifts. You must visit the above mentioned websites. Each one of them have something unique and very special to offer the daylily collector. Make sure you check out the "Products" on the Garden Fantasies site. They also have some killer daylilies for sale. Cindy Dye was kind enough to put a copy of the "Modern Daylily" magazine in my box, and although I had seen it, I thought it was real cool of her to include it with her orders. Nice touch.
I ordered her H. 'All Creation Sings' and am really looking forward to seeing it bloom here in Michigan. Here it is on a garden tour in Wisconsin. Don't you love the color combination and wide, golden edge? If you look close at the picture, you can see the metallic accents on the edge of the petals - a stunning example of a fancy edge. Another great quality is the orange, slightly pinched throat. I hope it pinches here in Michigan, too.
I am expecting about another dozen or so boxes of daylilies in the coming weeks and I am working at a fairly comfortable pace getting the beds ready for their arrival. After an overnight soak in water, the plants are going right into the ground. I think its the first year I won't have an army of potted daylilies waiting for a home...
p.s. the Creative Floral Arranger's Guild Meeting today went quite well; I'm glad I went and plan to go again next month. I learned so much in just two hours. Priceless, practical knowledge.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Right now Im busy planning for the 2010 class of containers in the garden of the girl. These photos are some of my past plantings. I use these as a diversion from the daylilies...so for those of you who thought I didnt do anything but daylilies, here is a nod to another obsession - container plantings.
There are so many options it hurts my brain. I cannot resist a cute pot, a unique what-not to stick in the cute pot, or a new "spiller" plant that will go well in a container. This striped teacup planter was the best end-of-the-year find ever at $4 (although it did break away from its saucer this year and Im not sure I'll reuse it yet...) The tall terra cotta chimney flue seen above is my favorite new container accessory. The builder's supply near my home sells them for $8, and I love to use them in my beds to elevate the color from the foliage plantings.
For the most part, I compose all my container plantings on the spot at the garden center or farmers market. I have been known to take my planters to the farmers market in the red wagon just to remind myself what I'm shopping for. This also keeps me from overbuying on the annuals if I can see what pots they will go in...
Although I have 15-20 different containers each year, I try to keep a common thread in them all; tying them together across the landscape. One year it was copper "swirlies" that I made to accent the pots. Another year I used all terra cotta pots. Most recently, I have leaned toward using some of the same types of plants in all of the containers in some way. Two of my favorite container "musts":
- Coleus. Of any kind. The more the better. Large, small, upright and spilling...this plant is versitile, forgiving and a colorful must.
- Sweet Potato Vines (Ipomea) Variagated, chartruese and deep purple, these are a must, too.
One year I got totally out of hand with the container plantings and they almost took over the entire deck. You may remember this photo from this post. This is at the height of my container addiction and just before my intervention. ;) I do love the containers because I can move them around as other perennials bloom out, or as holes in the garden appear - screaming for a burst of instant color. Plantings rich in colors and texture can brighten a spot, hide a hole, or change the focal point in an instant.
Remember most well-designed containers have three elements - a tall, a medium and a spiller. In Ikebana, these are referred to as the Shin, Soe, and Hikae. In the Sogestu School of Ikebana, shin, soe, and hikae are the terms for the 3 main pieces of an arrangement. Shin is the longest branch, and represents heaven; soe is the medium branch and represents man; and hikae is the shortest and represents the Earth. Read more about Ikebana design on this cool blog.
Incorporating all three of these structural design elements into your container plantings is sure to please even the toughest garden critic.
Speaking of design, wish me luck for tomorrow...I'm attending my first local Arranger's Guild meeting in an effort to improve my design skills and I dont know anyone who will be there. I wonder if they will mind the party crasher...
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
10:06 AM day lily, daylily, daylily blog, daylily meeting, designing with the daylily, exhibiting daylilies, flower show No comments
Spring has kicked into high gear here in Michigan. I have been extra busy with my son and husband, spending quality time with them as the weather breaks and we stretch our winter-laden brains for sunlight and energy. The to-do lists are long and the days are still short, so it is a task all in itself to decide what to do in the garden each night. The house and sidewalks have been washed, and the lawnmower was started for the first time last night. Most of my woody bushes have been pruned and are bursting with tiny green sparkles of life. The daylilies are growing by leaps and bounds each day as I rush to get them divided and replanted before they get too big for a quick recovery. So far 30 pots are ready for the plant sale on June 12th. I started a "honey-do" list for my husband, which includes little jobs like replacing motion lights, repairing and staining the sandbox, and repairing some chain link fence posts that our Golden Retriever has shaken loose. The jobs are endless. But, this year, I am taking the time to enjoy these prepartory tasks, and not look at them as means to an end. After all, I'm not sure there is "an end" in my garden.
These two butterflies photographed in my garden last year are little reminders that we are part of a larger gardening team. It's a team of humans, who try the best they know how to provide a beautiful landscape that is enjoyed by many living things beside ourselves. I'm inspired today because I see a real change in my attitude about preparing for bloom season. It is very refreshing to be happy with small steps of progress and enjoy the path I'm on today, instead of thinking about the end result. The small creatures that visit my garden, like the two friends in these pictures, are living jewels - accessories on the wardrobe of my outside life. This morning the robins sang before the sun came up, the squirrels chased each other across the back lawn and a plump earthworm squirmed on a rock near the fountain.
It was a life-filled morning in the garden.
In daylily news, I was honored to be a speaker at the Dearborn Garden Club this week, a club founded by Clara B. Ford almost one hundred years ago. Of course we "talked daylilies," but a super bonus was a connection I made with a member of the Dearborn Arrangers Guild, and the invitation I got to attend their meeting next week. These are serious floral designers, some of whom have travelled to Japan to learn the craft, who can surely help me become a better designer and hopefully recover from the colossal rookie failures in designing with daylilies I had last year. I'm planning on entering two different shows with my daylily-dominant designs this year. That's one more show than last year, and I am confident the results will be better. It has been fun to stretch my boundaries and try something new - even if I wasn't overly successful the first time around.
Keep trying, little butterfly, keep trying.
Friday, April 9, 2010
3:56 PM collecting daylilies, color inspiration, day lily, daylily, daylily blog, daylily haiku, unusual form daylily No comments
lilt like butterflies
new daylily love
Seeing H. 'Kings Golden Treasure' (Rasmussen) for the first time in Chris Petersen's Long Island garden is the first time I can remember being moved by an unusual formed daylily. From what I remember in the summer of 2006, this daylily sold out and is still fairly rare to find today. I would like to try it here in Michigan if anyone happens to have any to sell or share!
Jamie Gossard's H. 'Heavenly Curls' is a luscious combination of form and color. It is distinct, quiet and stunning in a garden that is lit by moonlight. This one stays open late into the night for me and I enjoy that very much. I do most of my weekday gardening in the evening since I still have a non-gardening "day job," so flowers that stay open into the night are a bonus to me!
If you are interested in daylilies that open in the evening, or stay open into the night, look for daylilies that have "NOC" or "Nocturnal" noted in their registration statistics at http://www.daylilies.org/DaylilyDB/ This link takes you to the American Hemerocallis Society Daylily Registration database, where you can look up the names of daylilies to read more about them.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
There are lots of angels among us, but they are especially present in the daylily community. Sharing ideas, time, sweat, pollen, plants, and laughter is part of what keeps us coming back to daylilies, and keeps us feeding the cycle of sharing with others. There aren't many people who "do daylilies" alone, or who have caught the daylily bug without the help of another hemaholic.
While enjoying the sounds and sights of my spring garden this weekend, I recalled several angels in my own daylily universe.
I remembered visiting a friend here in Michigan in about 2002 who was moving to warmer climates and said to me - "Dig anything you want. Better to go to you than the new owners!" Wow. She had more than a thousand varieties, and I was like a kid in a candy store. (Seriously, who hasnt dreamed of hearing the delicious words - "dig anything you want.") She wouldn't take a dime from me for the carload of new and vintage daylilies dug that day. Almost ten years later, I still have many of those and count them among my favorites. (H. 'Fresh Start' and H. 'Brookwood Wow' were two I got that day.)
I remembered Harris Olson, who was the quintessential daylily man and also the same man who endowed the current Harris Olson Spider Award through the American Hemerocallis Society. He maintained quite a daylily collection at a local church and sold clumps by the armload to eager daylily fans. He taught me how to dig and divide daylilies using a pitchfork. It was my first hands-on learning (not to mention I had stopped by the church in my "work clothes" just to look at the daylilies and ended up digging in my high heeled work shoes!)
I cannot think about generosity without thinking of Martin Kamensky. His 2009 Englerth Winner (and several other of his seedlings and introductions)grows in a prominent spot in my yard. Receiving this gift from Martin truly did bring tears to my eyes. He is a golden gem of a person who has spent decades with daylilies and daylily people. His story is as unique as his accent. Some of you may have seen his garden during the 2002 AHS National Convention and some more of you may see it in 2011 on the Region 2 Summer Garden Tour.
I laughed when I remembered a picnic at Judy Davisson's house, where I admired a huge four-foot wide hosta clump and her husband dug it out for me on the spot and loaded it into my car. I had to drive almost an hour with the trunk open - it was THAT big. How generous of her (and Glenn!) It still grows in my garden.
I thought about friendly faces at daylily meetings who allowed me to share a table with them when I didnt know anyone and everyone seemed to know everyone else. Now I make sure everyone has a "seat at the table" at daylily events if I notice them.
I thought about the hundreds of garden owners, who over the last 12 years or so have allowed me (and thousands of other folks) to invade their personal space and tour their daylilies.
I thought about stumbling upon my first daylily friend Delores Bourisaw and her little table at a craft fair in the early 90's selling daylilies. If it weren't for her entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to talk to me kindly about daylilies, I may not be where I am today with my gardening passion.
Think about your gardening angels today and send some good vibrations about them into the bright, sparkling spring skies.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
cool Spring calls out to my soul -
I spent that last two evenings in my own garden - playing in the dirt by the bright light of the full moon, clearing away winter debris, and planning for this season's floral explosion. Yesterday my husband unloaded a quarter-ton of top soil / compost mix from my mulch-mobile, and the neighbors came out to chat about what grandiose plans I had for this year in the garden.
Here are a few photos from the recent past of garden tours in other people's green universe.
It is quite a brave thing to allow hundreds of fellow daylily and gardening enthusiasts into your yard with their pens and paper and high expectations. Looking at my newly clean dry erase board in the garage which tracks my garden life for the year, it seems I will see about 25 gardens across the country this year. This includes the National Convention in Georgia next month, the open gardens and tour gardens on this years regional tour, and personal visits I have planned to some of Region 2's AHS Display Gardens and friends gardens.
Currently I'm gearing up to finish the plant markers for this years new purchases, wash terra cotta pots from last years use, and clear off the autumn sweet clematis. The clematis grows from starts brought to Michigan from my grandmother's original plant. I estimate her plant was planted about 90 years ago, so I am thrilled I still enjoy it in my garden. It also always blooms on my grandfather's birthday, so it is a double sweet memory. (Special off-topic recall of my grandpa Rudy: he had traditional "brylcream hair," popular with many men his age in the early 1970's, and as a young pretend beautician, I always loved to comb it crazy ways and make him "into Elvis." He was so patient.)
April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go.
~Christopher Morley, John Mistletoe