Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Some Don't Like Orange

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Here it is, already past 9 PM and I'm still trying to finish up something I started last night. Gail and Alex were away for the entire day and early evening and I worked at the nursery until almost eight. When I returned home, Karl the wonder dog made it very clear that he had been neglected so I let him ride shotgun as we drove out to the compost pile to unload a truckload of weeds and spent daylily flowers.

When we returned to the house, I opened and closed the refrigerator and freezer doors several times trying to figure out what would comprise dinner for me and Karl. In the end I gave Karl a scoop of dog food and I opened a box of Hoods New England Sherbet. The photo above shows what was inside the box. The flash against the box reflected but the orange sherbet in the middle served as testimony to the fact that some around here don't like orange. I do. I ate the balance of the sherbet but during the process I was reminded about customers comments about yellows and oranges. Gardeners either cannot get enough of them or there are already too many in the world and I have to listen to this being relived.

There are lots of nice oranges and you have to see them close-up to enjoy their beauty. There are probably more yellow and orange daylilies than any other color--just a guess. We have a large number so I'll share a few and you can make up your mind. The first is My Reggae Tiger, a good bloomer here with a nice bud count. Sometimes I think they go by too quickly.

Next is Rocket City, with strong ribs that define the petals. The color in this photo isn't that great because of it being a late shot.

Mauna Loa has an edge with a slight contrast as it ages through the day and a ruffle I like.

Kwanso (below) is common in ditches that abound in New England. I have enjoyed them for some time and have taken to collecting them. They seem to sell faster than I can collect them but that seems fair. Here I have them planted with some purple echinacea.

Bertie Ferris is a little orange which blooms very well and grows fast. I have been surprised this year with how many we have sold. The smaller size makes it a great border plant.

The next one is really more gold than orange. It is a nice mix but remains unnamed. It was part of a collection from Gilbert Wild many moons ago and I'd buy a hundred tomorrow if I could because it's four feet tall and has great substance. Here on the mountain I have it planted adjacent to an old bird house that's now completely covered with one of Alex's grape vines, an exercise in vineyard management that never got past vine number two.

Leebea Orange Crush is another that sells well for us. It seems slow this year but that's probably because the plant size is less than other available daylilies. I like the edge and the eyezone.

Orange Vols (that's right, Tennessee!) has been offered here for some time and has a great bud count and grows to 36". I have always liked it although some customers look at the name and stumble around for a while. All gardeners are not sports enthusiasts!

There really are tons of oranges out there and they deserve respect. They mix very well with a variety of companion plants and hold well in strong sunlight--something we haven't had much of lately.

If you come for a nursery visit, take a walk and compare these and other orange flowered daylilies. I'll bet you'll want to try some!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where a neighbor has seen a strange cat, tawny yellow, three feet long with a long tail. I remember when we were building the house here in 1989, a contractor mentioned that his brother had once seen a pair of cougars in early winter as they crossed frozen Lake Groton. Maybe, just maybe, there is a story here!

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George Africa
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