Daylily Delights

After the flush of all the blooms in the garden at the end of May and beginning of June, things start to flag a little bit.  This is when my daylilies start putting on a show.  I love daylilies for several reasons:

  • They are super easy to grow–good for beginning gardeners
  • They don’t require any special fertilizing or watering (especially this summer of our never-ending rain)
  • Pests don’t bother them at all
  • They come in a wide variety of beautiful warm colors
  • They don’t require staking
  • They are perennials, so as they get bigger, you can divide them and enlarge your flower garden for free

What’s not to love?  Here are some of the ones growing in my garden right now:

Daylily 'Velvet Shadows'

Although this was advertised as being purple with a light throat, mine surely looks more burgundy to my eye.  In any event, this is a beauty.  This daylily stays quite short–it’s only about 12-15 inches tall, so it works well in a packed-out garden bed like mine, in a small garden or even in a container.

Daylily 'Fall Farewell'

I always thought the name of this daylily was a little off, because it blooms in July, rather than in fall, but nevertheless it has such gorgeous shrimp and yellow tones.  This is a medium-height daylily–mine is around two feet tall.  As you can see, my daylilies are not worried about sharing tight quarters in the flower bed with other plants–no fussy prima donnas here.  It grows well with the companion plants of ‘Marguerite’ daisies, nasturtium foliage and variegated sage.

Another look . . .

Daylily 'Fall Farewell' close up

Daylily 'Driving Me Wild' and companion plants

I got this next daylily several years ago at the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon plant sale.  I kind of got my wires crossed, in that I was looking for an iris called ‘Driving Me Wild’, but instead I saw the correct name but didn’t really pay attention that it was attached to a daylily plant.  It all worked out for the best, I think.   Other companion plants that bloom at the same time include the deep pink-flowered clematis ‘Princess Diana’, a blue delphinium, and pretty purple foliage from the purple sage, with seedpods of earlier-blooming columbine in the back.

Another look at this pretty daylily . . .

Daylily 'Driving Me Wild' and friends

Notice how well the shrimp-colored daylily goes with purple, and blue for that matter?  That is a good trick for mixing hard-to-mix shrimp colors into your mixed flower beds–add some purple and blue–opposites on the color wheel for great contrast.

Daylily 'Woodruff's Memory'

This daylily blooms a little later in July than the aforementioned ones.  It is also a bit taller than any of the others as well.  I’m not sure who Woodruff was–I get the feeling he was a WWII hero, or at least that’s what I think when I look at this lovely flower.

Another look . . .

Daylily 'Woodruff's Memory' closeup

They, whoever “they” is, said that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, or I suppose by its title, but as soon as I saw the name of this daylily, I had to have it . . .

Daylily 'Thai Ballet'

I especially like any of the rose and pink-colored daylilies, rather than the orange ones, and so I just love the color of this.  All of the pink-ish dayliles do have orange undertones, but they are not a harsh orange.  I grow this with a lovely buddleja, butterfly bush, called ‘Lochinch’ that I got from Joy Creek Nursery.  The shrub is so big, I couldn’t really get a good picture of them together, but here is a picture of the butterfly bush for your consideration:

Buddleja 'Lochinch', lavender flowering shrub on the left

This picture of the front of our house pretty much explains why I can’t get a good shot of the two plants together–I’d need to be hung from a crane to get them at the right angle!

So that’s it from my garden this week.  Leave a comment if you like–they are always appreciated!  Do you grow daylilies, and if so which ones?  Do you grow them by themselves or with other plants?  And don’t forget to visit the Garden Party.

Consider The Bush Morning Glory

I enjoy using a mix of annuals and perennials, as well as annuals that tend to reseed and come back each year, in my containers and hanging baskets.  There is one plant that my mother grows in her garden, and I have also grown it in mine that I’d like to recommend to you, and that is the Bush Morning Glory.  You usually won’t find these plants available for sale at a gardening center, and thus you will likely need to start the seed inside yourself, but it is not hard to do.  I buy my seeds from Renee’s Garden, a seed line that is usually available from Portland Nursery locally, or else you can purchase them online.  The particular variety of bush morning glory is called ‘Royal Blue Ensign’.

This year, I started my bush morning glory seeds indoors in Sunshine organic seed starting mix, under lights, on February 15th, and the seed germinated on February 22nd.  I grew the seedlings on under lights, giving them a half-strength feeding of Miracle Grow every couple of weeks or so.  I hardened them off in a protected spot starting on May 7th.  They were ready to plant outside in my containers at a small transplant stage by May 15th.  I saw my first beautiful blooms on them by June 24th. 

I love the brilliant royal blue, with the bright yellow and crisp white in the throat area–it sets a very nautical tone, and thus the name.  Here it grows alongside a little daisy-like feverfew, which echos its colors and diminutive size of bloom.

Here it is in a grouping of containers:

It snuggles in nicely with a red-with-green-edged coleus and nasturtium foliage in the back container, more feverfew, fern, a black mondo grass, and a ‘Midnight Reiter’ hardy geranium with my beloved chocolate foliage and lavender flower.

This is an annual that could work in a number of different color arrangements–imaging it flowing out of a pristine white urn, for example, or giving  patriotic flair to a bright red squatty container.  It could be used in containers set around a patio or balcony with a beachy theme–imaging it in a bright container near a water setting, like a lakeside cabin or even placed around a water feature.  All beautiful, and so is this favorite of annuals! 

Do you grow this annual in your garden, or remember seeing it in another garden?  How is your garden and containers growing this year–I’d love to hear in the comments.  And visit the garen party.


My $9 Birdbath

You know how you go to yard sales or flea markets, and something just calls out to you?  Well, that happened to me with a plant stand a couple of months ago.  Now, I didn’t really need another plant stand, but it was a good study metal one, and I picked it up for $9, which is pretty inexpensive.  I brought it home, and this is what I turned it into:

The new birdbath!

The individual components were:

The plant stand turned birdbath stand

A plain black metal plant stand.  Once I got it home, I realized that it would need a pretty big container to actually fit into the top of the stand, and once that container was filled with dirt and plants it would be heavy, and it seemed to me that it would tip over pretty easily, so I decided to repurpose it into a birdbath instead.  I didn’t want to spend any more money on this project, so I rummaged around the garage and found some paint, and gave it a coat of turquoise, so it goes with my other outdoor chairs and containers.

The birdbath pan

Then I looked around my potting shed for something that would work for the birdbath basin.  I’ve had pretty birdbaths in the past that have tipped over and the basin has broken, so I wanted something that could take a fall and hopefully survive.  What I found was a plastic container drain pan that I picked up at a yard sale a while back for maybe 50 cents, so I had that already as well, and it fit!  I made it a little more stable by adding a rock to the center.  I may splurge and get some of those polished glass stones in turquoise and clear color from Dollar Tree to go with the rock to add a little bling to the bottom of the basin when you look inside.

I like it, and I like that it was very inexpensive to make a cool garden accessory, as well as quite quick and easy to do.  I put it into the garden, and enjoy looking at it as I walk by daily on the garden path.

Birdbath with the Garden Fairy.

What is new in your garden–do share in the comments below.  Have you repurposed inexpensive items that now live in your garden?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments section!