Sunday, July 28, 2013

In Defense of Daylilies

When it comes to daylilies, it seems that you either hate 'em or love 'em.  Okay, so this is one plant that you can both love AND hate, depending on the season.  Honestly, how can you not love the myriad of colors and forms that these easy perennials come in?  When they're in bloom, they can be absolutely breath-taking, complete with fragrances that range from subtle to intoxicating.  Some aren't fragrant at all, but each has something positive to bring to the garden palette.

I've got exactly 50 different daylilies here and I imagine I'll acquire a few more over time.  There are a couple that I'd like to take out for various reasons.  Some have that awful issue of yellowing foliage once they've bloomed and I hate that.  A couple of them aren't that outstanding in color or form and they don't hold up well when it rains, so I think that out they'll go.  With over 60,000 different daylilies out there, I don't need ones that have "issues."

Here are some of the daylilies that have bloomed or are blooming at Our Little Acre:

'Frans Hals'


'Hush Little Baby'

'Toy Cameo'

'Primal Scream'

'Prairie Champ'


'Czar's Treasure'

'Selma Longlegs'

'Flore pleno'

'Buttered Popcorn'

'Siloam Double Classic'


'When I Dream'

'Cherry Chapeau'

'Swirling Water'

'Wild One'

'Cherry Lace'

'El Desperado'

'Big Smile'

'Alabama Jubilee'

And my very own, that I registered and named (and Lana Wolfe hybridized):

'God Winked'


Unknown said...

They are gorgeous, Kylee. I get a little tired of photos of orange daylilies, but I love the unusuals. I get heartsick when I think of how many I left behind, but I did move three cultivars here, and I have picked up about a dozen more, including the splendid 'Mildred Mitchell', which I am utterly besotted with. Like you, I have no patience with the badly behaved or boring ones, but there are certainly plenty of exciting varieties to choose from.

Brent Kryda said...

Daylilies, for such an ordinary, ubiquitous plant... see, there I go. I think the problem is that they are just everywhere. They are sold in all the big box stores, they are a feature of landscaping nearly everywhere in one's line of sight, and for those of us who like a challenge, they don't cause much of one. Three growing things really get overused in my opinion: Daylilies, Colorado Blue Spruce, and Hostas.

The funny thing is, they are also great because they are easy to grow. Like the hostas, they can also come in a tremendous amount of varities. Like the spruce, they really are beautiful and can stand out in a landscape regardless of how common they are. The last feature has been an ongoing article of mystery for me this summer, as I keep having people ask me (when they find out I have a green thumb) just what Stella D'Oro daylilies are and where on earth to get them. Yes, people who shop at Walmart or the Home Despot at least once a week still ask such a question!

This all said, I now love hostas (because of their variety and conveniently tropical looking foliage), I view blue spruce as an opportunity to create a faux-Rocky mountain native landscape feature with alpines and too many columbines, and I find myself browsing the clearance section for end-of-summer cheap daylilies. I think any gardener can find new love for them under the concepts of looking for beauty and variety (thus rarity), and the third selling point can be something I am currently all about: finding the wild type originals in habitat over across the pond.

Excellent article! Some of those reds...

--Ana-- said...

I love daylilies...all of them.I love the smell and colors. If I could I would have a garden filled with them but I have only one cause my family complains that they "stink" and that they get headaches from them :( This pictures are amazing. My favorite is El Desperado it has amazing petals.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Oh so true Kylee. I love em. I don't have too many because I don't often get to a daylily farm where I can see what is new and different.

CommonWeeder said...

I love daylilies. There are so many beautiful colors! And our Daylily Bank is one of the successes of our garden. We don't even mind when there is just foliage - the Bank never needs mowing anymore.

RobinL said...

You can count me on the wishy washy side. The flowers are lovely in bloom, but otherwise I can't stand how the foliage looks! I gave away all that I had, and I don't miss them at all. LOL

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