A Kansas Country Garden: 4 Reasons to Love Daylilies

The highlight of my summer garden has to be the daylilies (whose botanical name is Hemerocallis). Vivid splashes of color alternating with soft billows of pastels give beauty and substance to the garden. There are lots of reasons to love daylilies. Here are four reasons that I love daylilies.

Each flower lasts only a day. 

If I could only have one daylily, it would probably be orange.
Yes, that is something to love about this flower. That simple fact compels me to stroll through the garden each day and see, really see and cherish what is here today. It will not be the same tomorrow. Such beauty! So short a time! "Consider the lilies," said Jesus (Luke 12:27) and though the flowers he was referring to might not be quite the same as what grows in my garden, his advice is always worth following. True, there will be more blooms as each stalk has multiple buds, but tomorrow today's blooms will be faded and shriveling. Daylilies are mini-prophets whispering to us, "Embrace today. See it! Appreciate it! Tomorrow cannot be known, but this moment can."

A pale yellow daylily glows in early morning.

Daylilies are tough and resilient.

A Kansas garden will test any plant. A few years of drought and high temperatures followed by frigid winter has taken its casualties, but for the most part the daylilies soldier on. Let me hasten to add that their floral display was not outstanding during those days, but the plant itself stayed alive and multiplied. They were holding back, waiting for a year like this one when the rains have come with delightful regularity and the temperatures have been mild. Now they are showing me what they can do and it is glorious!
Perhaps my favorite which blooms next to the sea lavender..

I am beginning to see the benefit of giving daylilies extra water during their blooming season. I tend to hand water with a hose, concentrating on new plants getting established, but will need to make sure that the daylilies also get enough water to thrive.

I have this peach colored hemerocallis for many years.

 

The options are endless. 

From the original bright orange daylily plant breeders have expanded the colors and forms of this flower to an amazing array of over a thousand registered varieties. 

First year in the garden for this brilliant scarlet daylily.
In my garden colors vary from pale yellow to a deep scarlet with a few in the purply-pink and salmon family. Some petals are more than one color. The flowers  may be single, double, or spider and you can see from the photos that the petals themselves vary in length. I love the simplicity of the single petals, but truly they are all lovely. 



Multiple branches on the scapes mean more blooms.
A succession of blooms begins in June and continues through July. It is quite possible that there will still be daylilies blooming in August as several varieties have only begun.
In the background you can see both tall and low varieties of daylilies. Allium are in the forground.

Heights in my garden vary from a low of about 12 inches (other gardeners may have some shorter) to some that tower over three feet tall.

 
After the rain rosy daylilies thrive.
 

There's plenty to share.

If there is one thing daylilies are good at, its multiplying. Each year you can expect the clump to be a little larger. Eventually they will need to be divided. This is where the generosity of gardeners comes in because divisions are often shared. It is also a fine plan to use these divisions to fill in and expand your garden. My plan is always to have the same plant variety in at least two locations.


This is a low growing miniature variety.
I cannot recall ever having purchased a daylily plant. Perhaps there have been a few. However, most have been gifts. Thank you, dear friends (you know who you are!).  I am always happy to send my extras to new homes in others' gardens. (Check with me next spring if you're interested.) Of course in the spring all the foliage looks alike and there's no telling which variety it might be.


Stella D'Oro daylilies bloom next to the sweetly scented Phlox.
Because so many of my daylilies have been received as gifts I have no idea the name of each cultivar although truthfully even if I had once had a plant label it would likely be misplaced by now. The Stella D'Oro variety is the exception and has to be considered an outstanding cultivar  because it blooms early and sometimes blooms again.


I really do prefer the simple single petaled orange daylily.

If I have a "least favorite" flower it would have to be double orange variety pictured here. It is no doubt a case of "familiarity builds contempt" for this is the variety planted beside the vegetable garden and along the path to the barn and it continues to show up with irritating regularity in various spots of the flower garden. 

There's always room for one more daylily plant.
 Yes, there is lots to love about daylilies. You may have other reasons to love them, too. One thing for sure, if you have a country garden in Kansas, you need to have daylilies!













5 comments:

  1. I share your love of day lilies. The double orange are the easiest to grow in my garden - but who wouldn't love them for that! I hope you enjoy my photos of them.

    http://alittlesliceofeden.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/high-summer.html

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    1. Sarah, I checked out your garden and it is lovely! Where do you garden?

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  3. Wow! The pictures you shared of those gorgeous daylilies made me love them even more. Having different kinds of those in your garden can relieve stress and will bring a refreshing feeling to anyone. Thanks for giving us a glimpse your beautiful flowers, Bev! All the best to you!

    Geneva Brooks @ Bayside Just Because

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    1. Thanks, Geneva! Gotta love those daylilies!

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