01 August 2014

The joys of daylilies

 This is the time of year where I regularly have people saying to me, "You have something on your nose." It is almost always either true lily pollen, or daylily pollen, because once those beauties start to flower, I can't help but check for fragrance. (Beautiful Edgings)
 So, you know the difference between daylilies and true lilies, right? (I'll save lilies for another post). Daylilies have foliage that looks like wide, large grass, and flowers grow up on stems arising from the foliage. Each flower lasts for only a day, and the proper name for these plants is Hemerocallis, meaning beauty for a day. And daylily is all one word. (that's me being editorial). (Celestial Song)

I managed to successfully move a couple of daylilies from my former home to my new home, but mostly, I've been selectively purchasing new ones that I really, really like. Like this 'Mystical Rainbow', here with a katydid sitting on a petal. 
 Daylilies can be notoriously hard to photograph for accurate colours, between the time of day/lighting, temperature, soil composition, and the type of camera/lens you're using. I have some from last year that got mixed up due to a lost label fiasco (a long and complex story involving many snowstorms and the plow guy not knowing I had gardens where he was putting snow). So trying to id them from photos can be...frustrating. Happily this year I am putting labels into the ground by each cultivar, plus I've photographed them all AND am making a map of who is where. This gorgeous creature is 'Ruffled Storm', and the colour is actually pretty accurate--from my iPhone, no less!
 This is 'Orchid Elegance', one of my favourites. Depending on the light, the colouring can have more blue in the markings.
 This is not the biggest nor the showiest of daylilies, but it is one I have tried to get to flower for years. I've bought it at least three times before I got it again last year. It's called Siloam David Kirchhoff, named for a daylily breeder. More on the naming of daylilies momentarily.
 This one made the pilgrimage to my new home--it's called 'Timelord'. Perfect for a Doctor Who fan, which I most certainly am...
This is another much-wanted, much favourite, 'First Officer's Log'. (Think of Star Trek. Yes, that, too)
And this is the whimsically named 'Master Yoda' to further the geekiness of me. 
 I have a few oddities and fancy ones that just spoke to me, because of their colours or petal edges or size. This one is called 'Lava Spike'.
This is not the oddest or the fanciest, but I love it and was glad to replace it. It's called 'Inherited Wealth' and it's just so beautiful....
I took this photo the other day at Harbour Breezes Daylilies in Jeddore, NS, where I have bought many of my current cultivars. Those two flowers are side by side, but the one on the right is 'Webster's Pink Wonder' and the flowers are HUGE--13 inches across! Naturally, it came home with me and is happily planted, but not yet blooming. I'd say this weekend. 

And this is 'Pride of Canning', bred by the late Wayne Storrie of Canning Daylily Gardens. I gave a big clump of this to my friend Rob of Baldwin's Nurseries several years ago, before Lowell died, and he gave me back a clump from my original plant the other day. I am very, very happy to have this plant back in my garden. And while Big Wayne is gone, his partner, Little Wayne, continues to sell and grow daylilies. He has about 2000 cultivars now, which is kind of amazing. 
 Allan Banks of Harbour Breezes has bred and registered a number of gorgeous daylilies, including one for my friend, Rob Baldwin (as Robert W. H. Baldwin)
And one for me, 'Jodi DeLong' Which is a huge honour, and which is all the legacy, along with my son, my writings and my encouraging of you my fellow gardeners, that I need. 

These are some of my favourites--what are you favourite daylilies? 


  1. Your daylilies have an incredible variety in their colors, patterns and petal forms. I have only two, one all orange and one all sunshine yellow. Now I want to buy some more fanciful kinds. Your photos are inspiring me.

  2. I love the daylily named after you, and 'Orchid Elegance' and 'First Officer's Log.' My favorites in my garden include 'Custard Candy,' 'Startle,' 'Julie Fassett,' 'Blueberry Candy,' and 'Todd Monroe.' I also love 'Jungle Beauty,' 'Hush Little Baby,' and 'Planet Max.' I have LOTS of favorites! Loved your post.

  3. You have a beautiful selection of daylilies. LOve em...

  4. I have finally, after much encouraging by you and other bloggers, taken the plunge and got my first daylily this year. I purchased from Nancy at Red Lane Gardens here on PEI and can't say enough good about dealing with her. Really quick to respond to my email and plants in the mail instantly. I bought Hidden Strength and it's flowered already even though it's still just a small plant. I can see this becoming a favourite plant quite easily. So easy to grow and tons of blooms.

  5. What a treat to have a daylily named after you! I also have that pollen on the nose syndrome, especially since a number of my daylilies are nocturnal and fragrant. I'm starting to get that sad feeling that comes when the daylilies are past their peak and I start counting how many buds are left on some of my favorites. Fortunately, I have several late bloomers, some of which haven't even begun to flower yet and some rebloomers that are just starting to make their second flush of flower scapes. -Jean


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