Monday, December 23, 2013

Icy dreams of new plants, and photos of old ones

Ohhhhhh, BAD Janet!  I have gone and bought more daylilies, this time from the Lily Auction!  Heeheehee........  you know I don't feel the least bit guilty!

I got Sir Blackstem, an unusual one that I've wanted since I first read about it.  The upper parts of the scape are just about black, and the sepals are dark brown, so the buds seem nearly black, too.  

Also got Give Me Eight, to replace one I had ten years ago, but lost.  And got Crafted By Hobbits, for my Middle Earth themed garden... and North Wind Dancer, a Stout Silver Medal award winner (2011).  Soon, I'll have a garden just for the SSM winners, though I may never acquire them all.  These won't be sent to me until mid-to-late spring, but I can certainly blog about them, if not brag about 'em!

So ... today I went out to the yard with the camera, because I saw this and thought it lovely:

                                                                    ......... and ..........

They are ice-covered garlic chive seeds!  I thought they had a poetic loveliness about them.  Most of the seeds/pods have dropped off, but several have lingered, on their stems.  Quite elegant, in my opinion.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Well, all of the late scapes with buds are now collected and residing in a pretty pitcher in the kitchen.    I have no idea if they will bloom, but suspect that the most developed of them will.  The alternative was to play Temperature Roulette with them, and last night was very chilly.  I had a little bit of frost on part of my windshield this morning.  Not complaining, since this is overdue for my area.   Frosts can arrive as early as late September, and by now we've had the killing frost -- some years, even a bit of snow!  I've loved the extended warmth we've had this autumn, but when chill is in the air, gardeners beware! LOL!  

So, for the next few months, I suppose the only photos I'll post will be older ones.  But that should suffice.  

I'm already thinking about where I'll move this and that, these and those, and how I'll clean out this section or that one.... and yes, I'm already browsing the daylily websites and the Lily Auction to get ideas for next year!  Hopeless, maybe.  But not buying!  

The scapes look a bit sparse in their vase/pitcher, and because I'll be trimming them from the bottom periodically, I don't want to shorten them.  So, I won't take a photo. 

Oh, who am I kidding?  I won't take a photo because I'd have to clean the kitchen that would show in the background, ROFL!  ;)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Well, here it is the 20th of October (in New England!!!) and I have daylilies trying to bloom!   Here are pics taken early this afternoon, in my gardens.  They're not fully open, due to the chilly nights, but we usually have a partial if not killing freeze by now.  (Knocking wood that I'm not making one happen tonight...)  

Here are my brave, plucky bloomers:

 JANET BENZ, above ---

I have posted about these before, with their data.  Yes, they're not great, but considering everything, they are still a joy to see!  Says something about perseverance, doesn't it? 

Others that have recently bloomed and still have buds, are Little Bob, Happy Returns (of course!) Dance Ballerina Dance, and a No ID mystery red that I suspect could be Rambo.  But I cannot be certain at this time, and might never be.  But it is a handsome red!

I just don't have the heart to remove the buds, even though the little ones surely won't make it to open.  I could still pick the scapes and see what blooms indoors, in a vase.  Yes, I'll likely do that very soon.  I hate to drain the plant of its strength when it needs to put nutrients back into the roots for the winter.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Well, the other two recent purchases have bloomed, and went all out in their gloriousness!  (Is that a real word?)  I now have some nice photos of Janet Benz and Dance Ballerina Dance.  

In doing a bit of research, I have found that DBD has been bred to a huuuuge number of times.  It has 258 registered child and grandchild cultivars!  Amongst these are three that I have already:  Little Isaac, Merlin's Magic, and Sunset Boulevard.  Also, one of its parents is Round Table, which I also have.

I should really investigate the lineage of my daylilies better; I suppose it won't make a lot of difference in breeding, should I ever try to do that seriously, but it might.  Anyway, one bad characteristic of DBD was that it has trouble opening after cool nights.  Apparently, it doesn't pass this trait on to its children, or it wouldn't be used so extensively for breeding.  This photo was taken in early October, after some very cool nights. Tell me it isn't gorgeous just the way it is, after cool Maine nights!  Yes, one is incompletely opened, but looks worse at this angle.  These two blooms were on a fused branch, if that means anything.

                 DANCE BALLERINA DANCE, by Peck, 1976  Midseason, 24" x 6", Tet

The other I have pics of is Janet Benz, and I was very impressed with her as well.   She seems to be extremely photogenic.  As gorgeous as she is, I think her photos came out even better -- could that be possible?   The hardest part is selecting one photo out of three good ones.
Oh, and get this: not only is it a rebloomer with extended bloom, it's nocturnal and VERY fragrant!  The sweet fragrance was another reason I bought this, in addition to her pretty face!
One of her parents is Tetra Barbara Mitchell;  I have the diploid version of Barbara Mitchell, if I'm not mistaken.  Close enough for jazz?

Both of these plants still have buds!  I don't know how long they can hold out in the chill of October, but I can hope for a few more blooms, along with My Complimentary, in bloom today.  I have a few more that are doing rebloom, or at least trying to throw up one last scape.
Hey, imagine these two beauties combining their fantastic genetics into a beautiful offspring!  Hmmmmmmm..........

                              JANET BENZ, by Benz, 2000, Midseason, 28" x 6", Tet

Oh, and to finish up the season like a REAL daylily addict, I bought three MORE daylilies, at a different local nursery.  Hey, who can pass up a daylily sale, right?  I purchased Alpha Centauri, Marque Moon, and August Frost.  While in the greenhouse making my decisions, I looked up each one I was considering on my iPhone.  I usually have the Tinker's Garden Database as the first site that comes up when I go to the internet on my phone.  There were photos of each plant on the stick labels, but I got more info.  August Frost is a VL bloomer, though it wasn't blooming when I bought it.  I need more Lates and Very Lates!  Alpha Centauri is a Fragrant, and Marque Moon is out of Admiral's Braid, which I have wanted for years, but still don't have.  MM is beautiful, a Mid-Late, and also Fragrant, so it will do nicely, for now.  Also, it has four-way branching and a bud count of 40!   There will be no photos of these three until next year, I'm afraid.  They're bedded down for the winter, and waiting quietly for their blankets of snow.

Now, each morning, I just stroll through the sleeping plant rows, and pull the occasional weed, making plans for next year.  I got so much done this year, but it was NOT enough.  There is so very much more to do to make these gardens look their best.  Great thing about gardeners, especially those with perennials, is that we believe in the future!  We invest in it!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Yesterday, I stopped at a local nursery where, last spring, I had seen a daylily I wanted to add to my collection.  Not a favorite, but it's a Stout Silver Medal winner, from 1998: Strawberry Candy, by Stamile.  Back then, I'd promised myself that if it was still there in the fall or late summer, when I stopped for the sales, I'd get it.  If it was meant to be, it would happen -- if not, then it wouldn't be there.  They had ONE left!  Yaaaaayyyyyyy...  I got seduced by three more lovelies, who were blooming (repeat blooms; none of them is a Late season bloomer) at the time.  Damaged one bloom of Janet Benz (by Benz) on the trip home, so will have to wait until another bud opens.  Missed the photo op on Dance Ballerina Dance (Peck) but got a shot of the buds... look at them all! Wow, for a late rebloom!

I'll get a pic of these when they bloom; it should be warm enough for the rest of this week to coax them to open up.

Strawberry Candy has no scapes nor blooms; that's OK with me.  It can save its strength for next year.  The last is My Complimentary, by Kamensky.  It's more pink than this, but I just took the photo in the late afternoon, and it's shady in that spot, too.  Hence, the color is more blue-shifted.  This too has quite a few buds.

I was surprised to see some others in bud, most notably my old reliable, Happy Returns, happily returning, again and again.  I've a  red NOID (No ID) that decided to come back for an encore, so I'll work on that mystery again.  Today's blossom was a bit ratty, but there are more buds that may have a chance to open if the weather holds.  

In the meantime, I'll share a photo of the little zinnias that are gracing a part of one larger garden.  I thought they'd be tall, but these cute little guys are just as wonderful.  The drabness of dying foliage needs that punch of supreme red!

Have a pleasant Tuesday evening!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

So very sorry not to have blogged lately!  My computer has been a naughty little brat, and down much of this summer.  Got a fair bit of gardening done, though!  The less time I spend on the computer, the more I have to spend outdoors!

Here are a few late blooming babies:

DUBLIN ELAINE, Joiner, 1988, Midseason, 32"x 5.5", re.
I don't think this pretty creature has ever bloomed truly midseason for me.  It's always a shade later, but perhaps that's because until this year, it was always in a shady area.  After division, I put some back in its original spot, and the rest into some sunlight.  That would be the ones pictured above.  I have a special purpose for one of these: to commemorate a very dear kitty named Lady Elaine, whose ashes will be resting in my gardens soon.  She was my friend Jean's cat, and I was privileged to know her and be liked by her.  A lovely flower for a lovely kitty. 

PEACH HALO (VT), the Darrow family, not registered, Late, 40"x6".  
I never get a lot from this one, again likely due to the shady area.  It will be moved next year.

OLALLIE MACK, Darrow, 1978, Very Late, 12"x5" 
I have had problems keeping this one alive, in the past.  This planting is up closer to the house, where there is more shelter for all the plants there.  It has been praised as a good VL bloomer in one of my books.  This one went in this spring, so it's just getting settled in.  I'm simply pleased that it has graced my garden with a few blooms at all!

AUGUST FLAME,  Woods, 1967; VL, 38"x5"
I'm getting quite fond of this one, already!  SMACK!!  In-your-eye color, in September!

FLIGHT OF DOWN (VT), the Darrow family, unregistered; Late, 30"x6.5"
This plucky little sweetie bloomed its last bud open for three days!!!  I'm very impressed!  I don't expect this from Flight of Down all the time, of course.  But it's a lovely bloom and it has HEART!

I took many photos with my phone, and still not sure how to upload pics from the phone to the blog.  I may be able to get around it somehow.  Other late bloomers have been Autumn Minaret, Late Late Show, and one that is still blooming (incredible!!!) is Pumpkin Time.  If I can dig up pics of these, I'll post those soon.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I do have a few lovelies to share with you, and OH! NEWS!  I was blessed with a visit from my cousin's "kid", whom I haven't seen for decades, not since she was a little girl.  She's a grown woman now, and I'm very proud of the fantastic human being she has become.  She walked around my gardens with me, and though only the Mid-Late blooms (some of the last Midseason blooms were still standing up to be counted, yaaayyy!) could be viewed, she seemed to enjoy the tour.  She has recently purchased a home, and wants to garden!  I'm willing to share any or all of my daylilies, over the course of time, with her.  But only some can be shared this summer, as I'm not dividing everything. Also, I took no photos that day (should at least have taken some of HER!) so all photos are from previous blossoms, or blooms since that day.

She showed a lot of interest in these:

                              LOVE GLOW, by Stevens, 1981, Midseason, 30" x 6"

YANKEE CHARM, by Sikes, 1991, Mid, 17"x5"

HAKUNENSIS -- This is a SPECIES daylily.  No human being bred it; this is Mom Nature's work!

                         SCOTTISH FANTASY, by Moldovan, 1996, Midseason, 28" x 5.5"

SPIDER MIRACLE, by Hendricks, 1987, Midseason, 32"x 8.5"    (This one is a polytepal.  That is, an occasional anomaly of 4 petals plus 4 sepals, totaling 8 instead of the usual 6.  This particular bloom had passed by the time she saw my gardens, but I have this photo of Spider Miracle in my files.)

JANICE BROWN, by E.C. Brown, 1986, Early-Midseason, 21"x 4.5"  Stout Silver Medal.  (This did not bloom Early-Mid for me, but it is a rebloomer.  Maybe it got its calendar mixed up?  I do occasionally get daylilies that simply do not bloom when the databases say they should, though they are otherwise healthy and happy.  This Lovely was wet from the rain, when she was photographed.)

       WICKED WITCH, by Moldovan, 1980, Mid-Late, 24" x 6" (It's actually a fair bit darker than this pic shows.  Nice, rich, dark red/near black.  Might have been too sunny that day for photography.  Sometimes color is truer on overcast days, but I can't just wait for that.)

WHITE TEMPTATION, by Sellers, 1979, Midseason, 32"x 5"  (These are some new ones that duplicated an older planting I thought was lost, instead of replacing it.  It lives too!  These haven't achieved that 32" height yet -- not this year.  It's a beautiful "near white", nice and clean.  It's a "nocturnal," which means it starts blooming at night!)

OK, there were several more that she admired, and I think she truly liked all she saw blooming that day.  Many plants had taken the day off, as it were... had buds, but none open that day.  I won't be digging/dividing all of these this summer -- and possibly some not even next year -- but she is welcome to all of them, eventually.  I'll send her a few plants later this month, and more in the spring.  Then we'll see what needs division, and when.  By then, she will have visited again, I hope, perhaps a different part of the summer.  Then she'll see different plants in bloom!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Looks like the patch I was hoping to "lasagna" and over-winter just won't wait.  I  have far too many clumps that desperately NEED to be divided, and no place to put them.  I'm clearing out a whole garden area near the back steps to be an herb garden, as an old farmhouse truly should have.  But first the vinca I put there years ago, must be annihilated.  Oh, I won't put poison in there, of course!  But I'm hoping to smother the bad stuff if I can cover the bed entirely with newspaper, etc.  Unfortunately, I do have three herbs and two hostas already there, so I'm not sure if I'll eradicate the vinca or not.  It is terribly invasive... and RUDE.

Anyway, that means getting all the daylilies that are there OUT.  They'll need division, and a new place to grow.  Not sure how many there are, in that one small spot, at least a dozen.  Lots of daffodils, too.  Once they are all out, the plan is to leave that fallow for a year, and dig out any new strays. Hmmm... and keep the cats out of there, too!  Ew....

So far, I have moved Bone China (this spring, actually; it bounced right back!) Siloam David Kirchhoff,  and Lilting Lavender.  Two mystery plants *could* be Give Me Eight, and one of my own babies from 2003/2004.   Some others to go will be: Ruby Spider, Dark Star, Linda, Black Cherry, Lona Eaton Miller, Lady Neva, Vesuvian Blackout, Black Plush, Super Goddess (I think) maybe Temple Goddess, maybe Abiding Goddess, one that kinda looks like Siloam Merle Kent, but I thought I'd put it elsewhere, years ago.  Fingers crossed that Feisty is alive, being crowded by Linda.  Not at all sure about one mystery plant, but I'm hoping it's Olallie Star.  Sometimes I find original labels/tags that help identify a plant, once I've dug and lifted it.  Otherwise, I'm guessing as best I can with databases, and my own good-but-not-perfect records.  I got sloppy about that after a couple of years. (BAD Janet!)  I keep hoping more of my own records will turn up, like jotted notes on odd scraps of paper, or notebooks I don't remember.  It's happened!  Late Late Show will be the last one to move, I suppose, since it is yet a long way from its first blossoming.  I'll wait until all blooms are spent on each before moving them.

Here are a few of the daylilies that have been or will be moved from The Corner Garden, just northwest of the back steps.

RUBY SPIDER, by Stamile, 1991, Early, Dor Tet, 34"x 9".

LADY NEVA, by Alexander-Moody, 1970, EM, Sev Dip, 42" x 9" (Not tall at this time.  This one was bought as a replacement for the one I'll have to move soon, not knowing the original was still alive.  This one is too young to be 42 inches tall, and the original is too stressed.)

 LATE LATE SHOW, by Kennedy, 1986, VL, Dor Dip, 28"x5"  (This doesn't look like the pic in the Tinker's Garden database.  But I have nothing else that would qualify.  This is truly VL- Very Late)

 SILOAM DAVID KIRCHHOFF by P. Henry, 1986, EM, Dor Dip, 16" x 4"

 BLACK PLUSH, by Connell, 1955, Mid, Ev Dip, 32" height (bloom dimensions weren't given when registering daylilies, way back that long ago.)

 MYSTERY daylily that looks a lot like SILOAM MERLE KENT, but I can't figure out why it would be in that garden, when my records show it was intended to go into a different one.  If not SMK, then... what is it?

This is the "Corner Garden" in question, taken last year.  The very tall one is LINDA.  Much of this is already cleaned out pretty well, and a few bloomed this year that did not bloom at all in 2012. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hmmm... I didn't get back here "tomorrow," that is, the next day after the last post entry.  But I have been out in the gardens EVERY day, even when busy with something else, if only to check for FFO's.  Have solved a few more mysteries, but some will simply have to wait until next years' bloom.

Here are a few pics, as promised, of this year's acquisitions.  I'm pleasantly surprised that so many of them have bloomed so soon!  I did get a few replacements that turned out to be duplicates, as the originals weren't dead after all.  Silly me!  But I'd rather have too many of a daylily than not enough!

By the way, I never get the very expensive, newer cultivars.  For the same amount of money, I can get many of the older ones, so as long as I still have room to plant them, I shall likely stick to my policy of getting only the older, less expensive ones.  But put together, they make a gorgeous show in my yard!!!

                                   AGE OF AQUARIUS, by  Moldovan, 2001

                              BRANDY ALEXANDER, by Kirchhoff, 2000

ELF CAPS, by Hudson, 1977 (This tiny cutie was out in the rain, before getting its portrait taken.)

OLD KING COLE, by Moldovan, 1995 (I got this to represent one of my cats, Cole.  Someday, I shall have a theme garden for all my animals.  I have already begun calling it "The Petting Zoo, " and I have a very good idea of where I'll put it.  Old King Cole is already there!)

DANDY DAVE, by Lynn, 2001 (Got this to represent my grandson, David.  I also got one called, "New King David," which was planted in another section, but will be moved to this spot, next year.)

 OLALLIE CAROL, by Darrow, 1981.  (I have two Carols to be represented by this lovely bloom; a very dear friend, and my cousin who passed away this spring.  I got two fans, and they'll go in separate theme gardens, so I hope they increase quickly!)

 CRIMSON PIRATE, by Sass, 1951 (An old variety, yes... but still quite good looking.  And I'll have a Pirate garden, next year!  I already have several cultivars collected for it: Blackberd Pirate, Barbary Corsair, Black Pearl, Pirate's Promise, and this one.  There are many more registered cultivars with pirate-y names!  I have a few others that could be squeezed into the Pirate garden, such as Shark Bite, Mynelle's Starfish, Daring Deception, and Ocean Rain.  Not exactly keeping "to the code," but close enough.  The code is more like Guidelines, anyway.... heh heh heh .....)

 DOLL HOUSE, by Wild, 1975. (This was a replacement, but if the original still lives, I have not seen it bloom as yet.  I'm glad I have this one!)

KINDLY LIGHT, by Bechtold, 1950.  (I have wanted this one for years!  Yaaayyy!  Got it! --  Ooops, just noticed that this photo is sideways!  Forgot to turn it in the files.  Looks the same though, except for the stamen direction.  Use your imagination, LOL!) 

Well, that's it for today.  I have many errands to run this morning, and all the other usual things to do.  First though ... a trek through the dewy grass (must change shoes first!) to check for FFO's.  There are very few to be seen now, but I've managed to find at least one each day.  ::knocking wood!:: 


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Omygawsh!  Has it been that long?

Due mostly to computer problems, but also time spent playing in the gardens, and researching "lost and found" daylilies, I have not been posting to the blog!  The computer seems to be OK, and it's now PEAK bloom time!  I have taken a few photos, though, and can share with you on this very rainy morning.  This is the first morning since I started going out to check FFO's ("First Flower Open" of any given cultivar, record the date and know when to expect it in the future) that I have not been able to.   It's still morning, but only for a bit over an hour.  Well, they'll keep, I think. 

I have had the delightful gift of surprises this summer... several cultivars I had assumed were dead and gone have popped up to say, "Hello, here I am!"  Some of them I had the opportunity to replace, so there are more of them here than I had ever expected!  Among those are Isaac, Alien, Mynelle's Starfish, Lavender Lilac Mist, and Custard Candy.  Yesterday, I identified Black Cherry -- had completely forgotten I had that -- and was aghast last week to identify Jim Jim, a treasured one I had thought years ago was gone for good.  Finding it alive was truly a gift.  Many in the Arthurian themed garden are now making themselves known, but along with that knowledge, there is the uncertainty of the survival others.

The gardens are fairly dancing with color now, and I'm running out of room to put divisions that must be made by summer's end.  A few daylilies that have survived but are not faring well in their original locations must be moved too.  The Hemerocallis Fulvas and Kwansos will be my "canaries in the coal mine" to test for new areas that I am unsure the others will survive in (a little low and soggy in the spring).  Not sure anything will kill those, but I have more than enough to spare. 

 BLACK CHERRY, by Douglas, 1945, M.  Dor Dip, 36" tall (no bloom width given)

 JIM JIM, by Hansen, 1990, M. Sev Dip, 22"x 5.25"

 ALIEN, by Belcher, 1987, EM. Dor Dip, 23"x 6"  (Yes, it's supposed to look like that! It's called a "UFO", or Unusual FOrm.)

HEMEROCALLIS FULVA, and friend.  I couldn't resist posting this -- I've been seeing the buggies getting drinks from deep inside the daylilies after it rains, then dries out everywhere else.  A common "ditch" daylily, but I've been seeing them all over town, elegantly gracing the homes they belong to, just as they did a century ago. 

MYNELLE'S STARFISH, by Hayward, 1984, M. Dor Dip, 20"x10"

LAVENDER LILAC MIST, by Munson, 1994,  EM.  Ev Tet, 24"x 5"

Of course, many more new blooms are still mysteries.  I had thought a blossom from each plant would solve all the mystery identities, but sadly, that isn't quite true.  Yes, many have been identified!  But sometimes, my incomplete records (though quite good, they aren't perfect) just aren't up to the task, and even create new puzzles that I had thought last year were solved.  Last year, of course, I was wrong -- so this year, I am wondering just how right my corrections are!  Still, I'm doing the best I can, and making a lot of progress.  These enigmas are just bumps in an otherwise good road.  I'm grateful that my records are as good as they are, and try not to kick myself over lapses that happened years ago.  I'm determined now to do better by my gardens, keep the invasive species at bay, and keep records as close to perfect as I possibly can.  If it comes to a point when I cannot, I hope that I'll know enough to stop entirely.   I'm trusting that such a day is still long off in the future.

I'll post some pictures of this year's newer acquisitions, tomorrow.  Meanwhile, try to stay dry!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Nothing new blooming in the garden today, and it looks like only Witches Wink will make it again, for tomorrow.  But each day I notice more and more budded scapes (stems) emerging from their leafy clusters!  For now, I'll simply toss in some of my better photos from the past, how's that? 

"Pink Super Spider", Carpenter, 1982. Midseason, 32" h/ 10"w.  SEV DIP 

"White Tie Affair" Peck, 1984. Midseason,24"h/5.5"w.  DOR TET

"Strutter's Ball", Moldovan, 1984.  Midseason, 28"h./6"w.  DOR TET

"Fairy Tale Pink" Pierce, 1980.  Midseason, 24" h/ 5.5" w. SEV DIP   Stout Silver Medal, 1990