Saturday, January 19, 2008

My Friends, Hemerocallis

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A cold, clear morning here on the hill. It was one below when I got up at 5 and it's only moved up to three degrees above zero here at 7:30 AM. The sky above Peacham Pond is red suggesting the two fronts which are moving this way. Tonight is supposed to be 15-20 below zero. B-r-r-r-r!

Karl the wonder dog has already been out for a quick walk and now he is barking at a roving dog. He is very territorial and if he thinks he is being intruded upon, he lets the world know. It's nice to see that he is returning to his old self although I can't say I am enamored by early barking.

I want to finish up some thoughts on daylilies, one of our favorite flowers, by mentioning a few more and then talking about resources. As I have said, you don't have to spend a lot of money putting together a nice daylily garden. They work well with most perennials and don't require a lot of work. This one is Posh Design. It's not more than a couple feet tall but the 5 inch peach-rose blooms have lots of potential to combine in various settings.

Ruffled Valentine is now a thirty year old plant, first released by Gilbert Wild in 1977. The velvety red with a small yellow throat confirm many garden possibilities and it's inexpensive, multiplies well and just plain looks nice. Alex included this one in his collection many years ago and Gail and I can see why he chose it.

Up at the top of the page is Red Ribbons which was released in 1964. It's in the four foot tall range. The combination yellow-green throat on an 8"-9" flower makes it a stand out. Pricing has gone up instead of down over the years but this is a worthy addition to your garden. It's an evergreen type so late season frosts and early spring freeze-thaw cycles might make you wonder if you'll ever see it again but it actually does very well here.

Since there are thousands of daylilies, there are hundreds upon hundreds of growers and websites. We belong to three daylily listservs although many others exist. Basically there is only so much you can read and there's little sense belonging to a group if all you do is push "delete" all the time. Lately I have been doing a lot of deleting and less reading as it's income tax time and I have to get that responsibility out of the way.

There are two listservs from Yahoo Groups that I recommend. One is the daylily-spider list and the other is the daylily image list. If you sign up for a Yahoo account, you can go to or and sign up.

There is a list on the ICORS listserv that is maintained for hemerocallis growers and members of the American Hemerocallis Society. Just go to the ICORS list and scroll down to Daylilies and enroll from there.

There are many websites available which recommend other daylily grower sites. My favorite is Charlotte's Daylily Diary 2008. Charlotte lives in Quebec but just over the Vermont border so I am partial to good neighbors to start with. Her site is a treasure, is regularly updated, and has a Garden of the Week section which is very good.

Not nearly enough folks want to take the step from being interested in a specific plant to actually joining the national or international society which studies and promotes it. I wish that was not true. We belong to a dozen societies and can't say enough about the benefits. The American Hemerocallis Society
is about $20 a year and includes quarterly journals such as this one from 2004. This particular issue featured Ruby Spider and I was interested in learning more about a plant that gardeners want to buy faster than I have been growing it.

Time is flying this morning and Karl has reminded me it's time to go get the paper. Hope you'll give daylilies a thought and of course, take a look at our outdated, soon-to-be updated site Vermont Flower Farm and see what we grow.

From the mountain above Peacham Pond where I just missed a great picture of a red squirrel and a hairy woodpecker on the feeder at the same time.

Saturday greetings,

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener

1 comment:

NICK said...

You might like to check out our daylily and iris directory of 500+ flowers....we have some great pictures there. eg the Spider Miracle