I blogged about this plant last year and wasn’t going to do so this season, but when I went into the garden this morning and found not one, not two but three flowers had burst into bloom over night, I couldn’t resist a pic:
The large-flowered hemerocallis hybrids truly are showstoppers, for all that the individual blooms last only a day. Even in a small garden such as mine I feel they’re worth the space: from mid-Spring onwards I’m waiting excitedly for the flower stalks to appear, then for the buds to fatten day by day until they finally burst open in dramatic and opulent fashion, so the interest starts well before the actual flowering period for me. Add to that the fact that they suffer very little from pests and diseases, propagate easily by division and perform well in a variety of soil types and situations and you have a winner for my money!
Always the earliest hemerocallis to flower in my garden is H. lilioasphodelus:
I grow it by an east-facing fence and it seems to do fine even though it often gets somewhat overshadowed by a honeysuckle growing behind it.
The flowering period is rather short – about 3 weeks, give or take – and it’s probably not the best use of space in a small garden such as mine, but I keep it because it is very well-behaved (maintains a nice, tidy clump and never outgrows its area), keeps its foliage in mild winters and, best of all, has a lovely fragrance to go with those cheery yellow blooms. I’ve also never known it to suffer pest or disease problems, which is a big plus in my book.
It’s easy to propagate by division in spring or autumn (preferably spring) and has few requirements other than a reasonably fertile soil that doesn’t dry out too easily – a drop of water during a dry spring might be necessary to ensure flowering.
So there it is: nothing spectacular, but early summer in my garden wouldn’t be quite the same without its fleeting golden trumpets, so I won’t be replacing it any time soon…
Things are a-changing in the borders.
The last Hemerocallis “Egyptian Ibis” flower came out today, so with Georgette Belden having finished a couple of days ago, that’s my large-flowered day lilies done for this season.
I still have a couple of buds left on Luxury Lace, and a scattering on Lemon Bells, but they will soon be gone too.
Stella de Oro will keep the hemerocallis flag flying for a while longer, though; it disdains to spend its effort in one glorious, three-week blaze preferring to eke out the display at a much more sedate pace throughout summer. I’ve spotted four or five more flower stalks on their way, so I’ll be enjoying those for a few weeks yet.
I’m also starting to say goodbye to my tree lilies (they are scent-sational while they last!), so it’s a good job that other players will soon be along to fill the stage, including Aster frikartii “Monch”, Aster “Little Pink Beauty” and several of my newly-purchased phloxes and pinks.
I potted on part of my second batch of diascia cuttings today, the unimaginatively named “orange”. I took 7 cuttings and all have rooted, so I’m going to be overrun with diascias before too long! If they grow quickly enough, I suppose there might be a sliver of a chance that they could be planted out in sheltered ground in late summer and left to overwinter, but probably not. I’m somewhat doubtful that even the parent plants will be hardy enough to withstand outdoor UK winter conditions, let alone new young plants with fledgling root systems. I expect I’ll keep some in the coldfame and some indoors – hedging my bets as usual!
My tuberous begonia cuttings, taken a week ago, still look healthy. It’s too early for them to have started rooting, but even knowing that, I still can’t help wanting to give them a gentle tweak in passing, just to be sure, ya know? Patience is not one of my virtues.
I’m continuing to harvest the odd french bean, but the plants are getting seriously devoured by slugs and snails now: if you step outside at night you’re almost deafened by the steady rasping of the little blighters in every corner of the garden. I’ve put some pellets down tonight, but they’ll probably get ignored in favour of my tasty beans. Grrrr…
Pretty flower, rubbish plant…at least, it is in my garden.
Probably my fault, though. I’ve been allowing it to get crowded by an old bergenia, and overshadowed in the spring by some fairly rampant Solomon’s Seal, so I’ve hardly been giving it the best chance.
I’ll move it this autumn, give it a bit more elbow room and some freshly-manured soil and see if I can’t do better than one flowerstalk with a couple of buds!
I really want it to justify its place because it’s an elegant plant, with its peach blooms held high on slender stalks. It also starts flowering a little later than my other hemerocallis varieties, which is useful. Hopefully it will repay me if I put in a bit more effort, because unfortunately, I don’t have the space for passengers…
So, the very day after my first “Georgette Belden” flower opens, along comes the first “Egyptian Ibis” – thoughtful of them to take it in turns!
Like Georgette, this is another whopper of a bloom, over 7 inches across at its widest point, and is borne on a thick stem that easily supports its weight: thinking about it though, it’s probably just as well that the flowers open only one at a time with a fair gap between each, or the poor thing would probably collapse!
Also like Georgette, Ibis is painfully slow to increase in my garden. Three years since planting, it has two fans but only one flower stalk, though to be fair, that single flower stalk has 13 buds on it, which seems a commendable effort!
In truth, I’m probably not giving either of these plants the optimum chance to perform as space is very limited and they’re jostling for room with several other perennials and a small spiraea: I may have to make some tough decisions next winter if I want to get the best from them.
In the meantime I’ll continue my regime of regular watering in dry weather and a once weekly feed of Miracle Gro, and enjoy the (limited!) show…