Thursday, July 16, 2009

A flower's appeal is in its contradictions

... so delicate in form yet strong in fragrance, so small in size yet big in beauty, so short in life yet long on effect. ~Adabella Radici

(Cherry red and very tall)

Plant of the month. Thank you Tina at In the Garden for suggesting this topic. Usually it would be impossible for me to choose only one plant for an entire month. Not so this year. The daylilies are really outdoing themselves in this unusually wet July. I may regret this choice in a week. My volcano phlox is about to bloom and I can't say enough good things about this phlox. Toward the end of July another phlox, David, should be covered in snowy blooms. If at the end of July you see another plant or two spotlighted as the plant of the month, don't be surprised--I'm fickle;)

(One of my favorites this deep wine colored small plant.)

June has fled, but this year the weather remains relatively cool and wet. Record rainfalls recorded for the month of June and we experienced a record low temperature on July 7 when the thermometer stalled in the mid sixties. Unusual weather for a prairie state but beloved by almost every plant in my garden.

Many years ago I ordered a 'collection' of daylilies from Gilbert Wild. It contained about 15 varieties, pinks, peachy blends, purples, yellows, deep burgundies and cherry reds. Over the years they have been moved around and divided and their names are lost in the mists and the mud and the winter snows. These are all older varieties that don't rebloom. Even so, for a few weeks in July they take center stage.

(Kwanso with its triple tiered bloom)

Occasionally I'll give away daylily plant or division. Usually I just dig up another patch of grass and plant the surplus daylilies that have become too crowded. They are much less trouble to tend than grass, they have no serious pests or disease here. Breaking off the hundreds of spent blooms is the extent of the care they require.

The daylily season really starts in June with golden Stella outshining the summer sun and continuing well into July. Siloam Double Classic follows in mid June and it too blooms on into July.

(Siloam Double Classic)

(Prairie Blue Eyes)

In the last five years, I've begun to lust after the newer doubles and pie curst edged types, all rebloomers. First I added Siloam Double Classic, which is a fantastic bloomer. Night Embers and Moses' Fire came three years ago. The last two are red doubles and disappointing in my garden. Neither has a high bud count and the flower color is muddy on both.

I just placed my 2009 order with Wild for three new plants:

An almost white
single, Joan Senior,

(Gilbert Wild photos)

a bright yellow
double, Siloam Peony Display,

and Sabine Baur, a gorgeous peachy cream with a deep purple eye and heavy purple pie crust edging. Isn't she pretty. (Gilbert H. Wild Photos)

I'll have to wait until next July to see these bloom in my garden.

Last and certainly least, is my very own daylily born and bred on my farm. I'm not a daylily hybridizer, never even thought about trying to create a new variety. This was just one of those things that happen in the garden. In the midst of my Kwanza patch, where no hybrid daylily has ever been planted--up popped a creamy white single bloom (similar to Joan Senior which I ordered last week and never grew before). This has to be a daylily that started here from seed and wasn't noticed until it bloomed. So, since it's my very own, original daylily I'm going to name it Plain Jane;)