Daylily Haiku Thursday | Eliminate the Mediocre...

Ode to Spring (where ever you are...)

oaks ignite, shapeless
blowing crazy water falls
feeble cocoons hum.

H. 'Crystal Blue Persuasion' - the first time I ever saw the fabled flower. 
It was on my first visit to the old Daylily World in Florida.

I have been holding on to an excerpt from Michael Bouman, a daylily friend from Missouri, for just the right moment.  I read a lot of posts from a lot of people on daylilies.  I follow over 40 blogs on the topic, belong to two e-mail robins and get 20+ publications on daylilies each year.  In the midst of all that information and opinion, this particular quote from Michael I have been marinating on for quite a while.  Here is his piece of brilliance and how it relates to this sparkling photo of H. 'Crystal Blue Persuasion':

"Wishing doesn't make an ugly flower look like its catalogue photo. Bad color ruins the garden experience, so it's best to bite the bullet and deselect expensive plants that are not as beautiful as the best you grow. Eliminate ugly. Purge mediocre. Allow space between plants for their beauty to have an effect. Don't glut yourself or your visitor with aesthetic overload. Visit an art gallery and notice the space between paintings or other objects; then take that approach in your daylily garden. If there is no negative space in your garden, you're defeating beauty and nurturing something beastly."
This I believe to be the most spot-on advice for designing with daylilies.  Quite often, the daylily addiction causes gardeners to add more and more and more daylilies, creating a cacophony of bloom, color, shape and size.  I get it.  I'm afflicted, too.  And while this methodology is wild and wonderful and allows the gardener to feel free - it does always seem a bit "off."

I have this problem, and the gorgeous photo in today's post is reminiscent of my problem.  I have come to realize that maybe I am in love with photos I take of beautiful blooms in other people's gardens, and I should keep some of my daylily choices for my digital collection, and not my terrestrial collection.  H. 'Crystal Blue Persuasion' has been purchased four times, and each time it has perished in my Michigan winters.  I keep buying it because I think I'm trying to recapture the breathtaking moment I had when I first saw the flower.  There are so many daylilies languishing in my yard because they don't like this climate.  They don't look like photos in catalogs, and they don't look like examples I have seen of the same flower in others gardens or in my own photos.  I counted 16 daylilies last night in my collection that should stay in my digital collection and not in my garden.  (scroll back up and read Michael's words again to reinforce the message...)

Today, and only just now, I realize that I fell in love with the photo of a particular daylily - and I don't need to grow it to continue to love it.  Like H. 'Crystal Blue Persuasion,' a flower that at first sight literally took my breath away, it is best loved in this photo, and not as a struggling plant in my Michigan garden. 

I must let it go, so I will purge it and I will feel good about it.  Promise.



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