On occasion, I regret not having planted a broader array of daylilies. Not often, but today I’ve seen the tall, but otherwise ordinary, yellow flowered ‘Hyperion’ poking out from between shrubs in a garden up the street. Mostly, I would like to have the height of the flower and grass-like foliage, and not necessarily the too common yellow. Another neighbor has left the native, orange flowered Hemerocallis fulva (below) to spread through the drainage ditch by the road, and a week ago this was undeniably superb.
If you have visited these pages in the past, you’re likely to be aware that I am an incurable collector of plants. There are collections of too many trees, shrubs, and perennials in the garden, but thus far I’ve been at least somewhat immune to the charms of daylilies. Not that I despise them, for they work nicely to fill gaps between more favored shrubs, but daylilies are not so favored that I must have hundreds, or even dozens.
Once, there were more in the garden than there are today, but as evergreens spread I was not inclined to take even a few moments to transplant them to a sunnier spot. Every once in a while I miss the creamy white ‘Joan Senior’ (above) that was planted long ago, but eventually disappeared under a wide spreading cypress. More than once I’ve looked to see if there’s even a bit of her left, struggling beneath the cypress, but no, she’s gone.
The daylilies remaining in the garden are common, and ordinary, but they fulfill their purpose to cover an open space, and to flower unobtrusively without demanding any care at all. In fact, they must be sprayed monthly with a repellent to keep deer from nibbling them to the ground, but hostas and toad lilies, and many others in this garden must be sprayed, so this is done without complaint.
Quite by accident, one daylily that was destined to be lost has revived. A lone red flowered daylily (‘Pardon Me’, above, I suspect since it is the most common red) was crowded beneath a dwarf spruce that became less dwarf through the years. I don’t recall seeing a flower, and little foliage poking from beneath the spruce in recent years, but then the spruce was damaged in successive years by snow. After much agonizing it was decided the spruce must be removed (to the delight of my wife since it obstructed her view of one of the ponds now visible from the kitchen window). Without the shading of the spruce, ‘Pardon Me’ has spread and is now flowering, though now I’m concerned that my wife will demand that it be cut back so that it doesn’t flop onto the stone path.