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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

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« A Very Creative Idea | Main | A Grove of Perennials Can Be Dramatic »
Tuesday
Aug112009

When in Doubt, Plant a Day Lily.

The above photo captures a perennial composition nestled between two slanted trees. Assorted varieties of Hemerocallis in shades of yellow, orange and red were selected for this planting. The arching growing habit of day lily leaves echoes the slant of the trees and the colors of the flowers illuminate a dark area of the garden. This location gets full morning sun but only part shade in the afternoon.

Hemerocallis were also used on this same property to punctuate empty spots that popped up all over the terrain. No matter where our gaze landed, we would find a day lily tucked in to the landscape to improve the view. This underscores the versatility of this perennial as an all purpose plant.

Wise gardeners will do their utmost to select unusual cultivars of day lilies to avoid the monotony of the orange tiger lily, although that is the only variety that will bloom for most of the summer. Consider selecting several varieties that bloom in each growing period, in an assortment of contrasting or blending colors so that one may enjoy a powerful display of color during June, July and August and sometimes September.

The day lily begins its showy blooming when many other perennials are beginning to wane. Their vivid coloration distracts from any unattractive areas of a property. They draw the eye towards them and away from everything else. Some designing tips about gardening with day lilies include combining them with ornamental grasses. The arching shape of their foliage works well with the fountain shapes of the grass. Another recommendation is to plant the same cultivar of day lily in several different locations in the garden. This helps to pull the garden design together. Repeated clumps of one kind of any plant makes a garden look unified and well designed.

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