Daylily Haiku Thursday | Reclaiming Focus

Oh, where has the last month gone?  I don’t think in the history of A Girl and Her Garden have I ever went three weeks without posting.  Especially Daylily Haiku Thursday.  But the last month has taken a special focus that has only allowed me to blog in my head, and not sit to gather thoughts and actually write.

I focused on a trip to visit the Northeast Arkansas Daylily Society at the end of April and even though the visit was accompanied by the fugitive chase in Boston and torrential rain storms – it was a real treat to meet more daylily fans.  Gail Rasberry whipped up a technologically-advanced meeting room at a college, complete with SmartBoard and dual projection screens.  All I had to do was give her the presentation; that was awesome.  Like many clubs, they had great food to eat in a sit-down atmosphere before the meeting.  I spent near 90 minutes talking about my travels to AHS National Conventions over the last five years (couldn’t fit a decade of them in one presentation…)  We had lots of good conversation and then raffled off a boxful of great cultivars I brought to share.  Someone went home with CONCRETE BLOND, OSTERIZED, GLORIOUS AUTUMN and several other good ones.  People like free daylilies that are still priced a bit uncomfortable for their pocketbooks. 
When I got home (I drove the 5 hours) there was no rest, as I was focused on playing host to the FABULOUS Nan Ripley of Walkabout Gardens in Iowa.  She was the featured speaker that night at the Greater St Louis Daylily Society!  Nan presented a “Hybridizing 101” presentation that will eventually end up as a premier presentation in our AHS Media Library.  The presentation is thoughtfully constructed – with information for both the novice and the expert.  Wonderful photographs explain complicated and confusing terminology and I loved the whole thing!!  Nan’s delivery style is light and direct and built for teaching about gardening.  You can hear the passion she has for making great daylilies.  I already grow her LOVE OF RUTH and WINIFRED ESTHER and LOVE OF DADDY OH; I hope to add a few more of hers next Friday at our massive club auction.  I think she’s sending 10 of her intros.  I can’t wait!  If you are looking for a fresh speaker with lots to share, I highly recommend Nan. 
No rest for the wicked…for our son turned 8 the following week and we planned a party for 45 at the martial arts studio where he practices Soo Bahk Do.  Followed by a huge afterparty sleepover at our house.  Let’s just say it was a ton of work and even more fun.  The rice krispie sushi I made was a hit.  (Cool Moms use Pinterest for all the BEST stolen ideas.)
When we woke up from a weekend of parties to celebrate 8, my husband was off to Detroit for several days, which makes work double for me because he does so much around here.  Carter and I were immersed in digging daylily orders, moving mulch, and doing lots of second grade homework.
As if we didn’t have enough parties, I planned a “Second Grade Sendoff” party for the four classes that will merge together at a new school next year for third grade.  I wanted to let the kids meet each other before the First Day next Fall – possibly easing the anxiety of such a big switch.  100 kids in the park doesn’t sound like a good idea on paper, but it was amazing and inspiring to see them bond so quickly, sign each other’s yearbooks and make plans to see each other in the Fall.  Kids are cool.
Daylily shipments are coming in almost every other day; all of the shipments I have received so far in 2013 have been spectacular.  No bad sellers so far this year!  I finally found AT JACK’S and JOSEPH’S COAT to add.  

AT JACK'S (Bruch Kovach introduction from Centerpiece Gardens)
This is northern-born and show-winning!  Here are two more of its awesomeness.

Through Facebook I was able to connect with someone who grew a daylily I have been looking for – BROOKWOOD JULIA SEMON.  This one has been very hard to get my hands on.  Even Leo Sharp (the hybridizer) wouldn’t /couldn’t share or sell a piece to me when I visited his garden in 2008.  Someone saw on Facebook that I was lusting after it and offered to sell me some!  Oh, happy day!  Here it is - flat, flat, flat.  And, oh, the fragrance!

Then there were the Kentucky Derby party (I donated a large basket filled with potted daylilies and garden tools for the silent auction) and two big plant sales and a skin issue for our Boston Terrier (vet visits required) and the skunk issue with our Golden Retriever (vet and groomer visits required) and then finally Tuesday night there was a terrible accident at the house we used to live in (now rent out) in Michigan.  Now we must deal with the challenges of being a “long-distance landlord.”
I needed to dig in the dirt before I was burying someone in it.  I potted up 18 daylilies and dug three orders.
I needed some retail therapy.  So I went plant shopping.  A few times.
A gorgeous Tiger Eye Sumac, some ‘Banana Cream’ Shasta daisies, miniature black eyed susans, several cool sedum, an epimedium (my first), two mini fothergilla, three ‘Caramel’ heuchera, some large pots of ‘Guacamole’ hosta (you can never have enough of this one), and two of the new ‘Big Bang’ series tickseed later, I feel better.

This is what Im doing with all that stuff - filling my new front landscaping with it!  Im going in shades of brown, orange and whites - with lots of green textures and native plants. (Bobbie Brooks, let me know your thoughts!)

Im tucking dozens of different sedums and creepers along my sandstone staircase....

And Ive even incorporated a small pond that will make for awesome atmosphere when enjoying the seating on the front porch...(see it behind the heuchera there in the pic below?  You can see the fountainhead staring at you, waiting patiently for placement.)

There is so much to do and so many possibilities. Mostly everything is still potted and being moved around daily- a game of Gardening Chess that I am happy to play. 

I have been having fun making choices as to which daylilies will be incorporated into the mixed planting.  I've promised to not make it "another daylily-focused bed" so I'm only choosing the best specimen for this area.  I've chosen MARGO REED INDEED, BOUNDLESS BEAUTY, SUNSET GRILL, SUN SCREAM, HOT CHOCOLATE, MATTHEW MARTIN, FOR CHOCOLATE LOVERS ONLY and JOSEPH'S COAT.  Here are two pics of the super-unique MATTHEW MARTIN.

It's been quite a KAAAA-RAZY few weeks here and I hope you are more happy about my return than you were disappointed in my absence.  I'm finally feeling my head above water and had to get some words out of my head (at least the ones fit for publishing!) 
Here are links to articles I have written about photography and photographing daylilies.  A few friends have asked me for extended thoughts on this topic, so while I gather my new thoughts, I will share with you these:


Looking forward to a weekend filled with family time, Mother’s Day, hole digging and smiling. 
No.  More.  Drama. (hey!  That’s a good name for a daylily…hmmmm….) 
Til next time!


Bethany Benton Art said...

What a lovely post, Nikki! The front bed is going to be fabulous! I am looking forward to the "after" photos. I recently incorporated some of my dayliles into a mixed bed, and even put some in a herb garden. I am really enjoying the mixed beds. I still have my collector bed in a place of honor though. I'm sorry you've had so much stress in your life lately, but I had to smile when reading your comment about having to dig in the dirt before you're burying someone in it. LOL I think all of us gardeners feel that way sometimes (as well as the need for retail plant therapy). I enjoyed my visit. All the best! :-)

Nikki Schmith said...

Hey, Soup!! My two biggest beds are "Collector Beds" as you say. I have tried to intersperse other textures and sizes for interest, but the focus remain the near 275 cultivars just in those two islands... This year should be a stellar year for most of the daylilies now that they have had one full calendar year in their current spaces. CANT WAIT! See you in Atlanta!


5 Most Visited Posts. Ever.

The Entire Vault

My New Podcast - Click Below!