Daylily Blog | 5 Deadly Daylily Sins

<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.

Try it!


dj said...

This is lovely, thank you!
dj- Duluth, MN

Di DeCaire said...

Your writing and excellent photography sparkles. The observations you make remind me to think it all through again, but this time on different levels.

Nikki Schmith said...

dj- You're welcome! Glad to hear from you! :0

Di - HOWDY! Thank YOU for your awesomeness at 'Methodology' on smugmug!


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