22 July 2009

Dazzled by Daylilies


I met a lovely woman the other day while I was out poking around a couple of nurseries. She confessed that she didn't particularly care for daylilies. I suggested that she take some time in the next week or so and get to Canning Daylily Gardens during their official open garden week (though visitors are welcome anytime, it's just that they're heading into peak bloom shortly) and see if she didn't change her mind about that. I think she'll find that there's more to daylilies than the ol' ditchlily that we all know and (mostly don't) love. Take 'Pride of Canning,' above, which was bred by Wayne and Wayne of Canning Daylily Gardens. What's not to love about this happy lovely flower?


There are somewhere in the vicinity of 60,000 named daylily cultivars. Gardeners love to collect them, breed them, crossbreed them, swap them with others. They've come a huge way in the past thirty or forty years, and now you can get daylilies in every colour but blue, pure black and pure white. Some come close to black and white, though. And most have fascinating watermarks, contrasting edges or throats. How about 'Roses in Snow'?


I have dozens of daylilies, and some of them have no names. I was given them by friends, or bought them from someone's garden, or (ahem), managed to lose the labels, in some cases. I'm sure someone recognizes this beauty, but I cannot find its label, remember where I got it, and haven't a hope in hades of figuring out which one it is by myself.

Although I have a number of solid-colour daylilies, I tend towards those with contrasting centres, like this 'El Desperado,' which is one of my favourites.

And this 'Destined to See' was destined to come home with me from the moment I saw it in a catalogue or a magazine. It's a bit of a slowgrower, but worth it when it blooms.

There are a few daylilies with double-names that are quite similar, and I get them hopelessly mixed up. I know I have 'Always Afternoon', 'Daring Dilemma', 'Classic Caper' and 'Daring Deception'... but which is which? This is 'Always Afternoon'-- I think!

And this is 'Night Beacon', which shows up really, really well as the daylight fades. You can see why.

'Smugglers Gold' is one I particularly like, although it sometimes gets blotchy when we have a lot of rain. My daylilies are just starting to open, however, so I'm hoping that the weather will settle down a bit before they get blooming in earnest.

This striking beauty is called 'South Seas' and I really like its unique colour. It's also fragrant, if I remember correctly. This time of year finds me walking around with yellow staining on my nose, as I MUST smell all the daylilies to see which are fragrant.

Remember I said breeders were getting closer to getting a real white daylily? Wayne and Wayne gave me 'Swiss Mint' a few years ago, and it's not only nearly white, it's wonderfully fragrant.

Designer Jeans lives in my butterfly garden, and something about it reminds me of butterflies.


And to wrap up this ode to daylilies (the first of probably several I'll do this summer), here's the wonderfully striking 'Malaysian Monarch.' Isn't it wonderful? I'm waiting patiently (or not) for ours to all pop into bloom. And then i'm going to photograph each of them exactly where they are and then see if Wayne and Wayne can identify them all. Then I'll label them all. Maybe.

19 comments:

  1. Jodi, I, too, am dazzled by daylilies; in fact, I've had a serious case of daylily envy for the past month seeing so many beauties on different blogs. Yesterday my friend Beckie and I travelled to a nearby daylily farm, which we had just heard about. Oh my, I was bedazzled and overwhelmed by all the color! I came home with six, but would have gotten more if I had had room for them. I picked some similar choices to yours, though none quite the same--not surprising, considering all the different varieties:) I am definitely going to have to look for "Destined to See"... or something like it--it's gorgeous.

    Now if I could only grow poppies like you...

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  2. Jodi, I was going to tell you that Rose and I had spent an ahfternoon at a daylily farm, but see she has just beat me to it. :) We had day lily overload as we looked and smelled and yes, got pollen on our noses and everywhere else.

    Yours are gorgeous! I love Roses in Snow, Destined to See, and Malasian Monarch. But oh my, that Swiss Mint is a must have. It would look fantastic mixed in with my new Orange Slush.

    Can't wait to see some of your other varieties.

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  3. These are truly wonderful pictures! I love lilies - have you seen the ones I saw in France last week? Only posted one entry so far as I have been short of time, but will be posting more before I leave for India at the weekend - couldn't believe my eyes!!

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  4. Jodi, I have a few daylilies probably about 12 different varieties. But if I had a larger garden I would grow more, they are beautiful and so easy to grow. Mine are nearly over now but I find the leaves make a useful green in the garden long before and after they have flowered.

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

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  5. Jodi girl those are beautiful ! I can't imagine having a garden without a few tucked away some where in it. They fill my trouble spot wonderfully .. the ally way between our house and our neighbor's house .. it is coming along nicely but I am so glad I filled my side foundation full of these little wonders !
    Great post : )

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  6. I like my ditch lilies--they're they only lilies I have! Are these the kind that you can eat?

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  7. Daylilies were the first plants I took a chance on ordering from a catalog...many years ago! They were my first plant love! I was never able to have as many as i wanted~~there just isn't enough sunny space to make them shine. Smuggler's Gold could be called daffadil delight...that's what it made me think of...Like Becky...there are a few in your garden that would round out the colors in mine perfectly...Now I shall have to find more space...how to move that limestone bedrock! Have a wonderful day in the garden~gail

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  8. Absolutely beautiful, jodi! You've really got some gorgeous colours. How wonderful they must be when they're all in bloom together.

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  9. Oh this is a post close to my heart. I love me some daylilies! Just beautiful, Jodi!--Randy

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  10. Your daylilies are beautiful. My lilies have come and mostly gone by now. I have to admit that I'm one of those people who like my orange daylilies. They bring fond memories of my mother and they serve their purpose to fill in a ditch.

    I have a calico cat that thinks she rules the house and at 20 pounds she's almost big enough to do just that. She is, in fact, a very well behaved kitty. I have a picture of her on my blog.

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  11. Oh, I want the light one with the purple center and trim. The daylilies mean high summer don't they?

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  12. The sheer number of cultivars makes it almost impossible to ID a particular plant unless you have a rough idea of what it is. There are so many look-alikes. You have a great selection of Daylilies. My favorites are 'Destined to See' & 'Malaysian Monarch.'

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  13. I'm sure you could convince many about the beauties of daylilies with your words and pictures! Before reading your post, I never knew there were any fragrant daylilies either.

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  14. I love daylillies, and you've pictures some fantastic varieties. I'm drooling over that purple one. Lovely!

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  15. I am trying to inventory mine. I have way more day lilies than I thought I did. love your pics.

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  16. Oh yummmm, I can't wait for a white daylily. Swiss mint is close enough for me.

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  17. Lovely daylilies Jodi - I have only decided to get a few daylilies last year - so I am always interested to see what folk are growing.

    'Destined to see' is charming - I will have to look out for it here in the UK
    K

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  18. I love daylilies. And even one with fragrance? A dream! Nice pics. My 'Plum Perfect' just finished blooming here in N. Cal.

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  19. Jodi -- I particularly love the night beacon and Malaysian Monarch, and the El Desperado are so striking. Ours are about done blooming here. I have one ditch lily in bloom, that's it. It got so hot so early that they've all but given up, so I really enjoyed looking at yours. Keep em coming!

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