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

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Entries in day lilies (9)


More About Day Lilies

Magnificent Rainbow is a late blooming Day Lily that grows 18 inches high. Image courtesy of Hemerocallis MontfortThere is an explanation why there have been so many postings on this site about the Day Lily, or Hemerocallis. I have been rediscovering this plant all season long after years of deliberately boycotting it. Here’s why:-

One of my objections to this plant has been color. The varieties that I had originally planted were never true to promise and bloomed in shades that were either too insipid or too harsh. As time passed, I did not pay attention to the fact that breeders were developing new colors that might work for me. It has only been recently that I have started to notice them.

Another objection to this plant had been the fact that landscape architects overuse it in their projects. But now I understand why. After a garden has been professionally planted there is never a guarantee that it will always be properly cared for. Hemerocallis is one of several perennials that can outlive neglect and never appear messy.

The last objection is anonymity. For years, I hadn’t noticed Day Lilies that grew in other peoples’ gardens. Hemerocallis plants that bloom from early spring to mid summer, in a well planted perennial garden, tend to be overshadowed by plants that have more attractive flowers. However, the late varieties that bloom in August and September have less competition and therefore are easier to admire.

My renewed interest in Day Lilies was sparked when I began to take note of these late blooming cultivars. They can be vivid at a time of year when the garden is beginning to wane. I recently identified those varieties that work best in my color schemes and that are easily available to me. I will post those results shortly. In the meanwhile, move over, Stella d’Oro, and make room for your new cousins.


Stella d'Oro, the Ubiquitous Workhorse in the Flower Garden

A few months ago, I read an article by a respected gardener who dismissed Hemerocallis Stella d’Oro with disdain. That is an understandable attitude. This perennial is used almost everywhere and has become wearisome to look at. Stella d’Oro day lilies may be found in gardens located in supermarket parking lots, floral medians on city streets, and in private and public gardens.

With so many of these plants around, it is surprising how few people actually like them. Those of us who reference English gardens in our work tend to plant flowerbeds in colors of pink, blue and yellow. Gold does not blend well with that color scheme. Nor is it a preferred color choice for many people, including myself. But that doesn’t deter me from growing it in my garden or for planting it in clients' gardens.

Throughout the month of September, the number of blooming perennials continues to decline as plants go dormant. My garden ought to look boring by now but it doesn’t. The flower beds are filled with sunshine wherever Stella d’Oro day lilies are re blooming. At this time of year, I abandon my intolerance to gold and become grateful for having any color at all my garden. Re blooming day lilies, even gold ones, keep autumn at bay just a little bit longer.


Reblooming Hemerocallis

This is Hemerocallis Stella Supreme a day lily that is considered more floriferous than its cousin the yellow day lily Happy ReturnsMost day lilies bloom for a short while and frustrate gardeners who prefer to admire flowers for longer periods. As a result, breeders have been encouraged to develop day lilies with extended blooming time. A reblooming day lily may bloom with a flush of flowers in early summer, may take a rest and then rebloom again with another, but less intense, flush in August or September. Some reblooming day lilies will flower for several months.

This classification of day lily tends to be short in height and is more compact than other classifications of day lilies. Its flowers are also smaller and its foliage slender. The result is a neater look in the garden. Because many do not grow taller than 18 inches, day lilies in this category usually look best at the front of a border.

To achieve maximum flower output, reblooming day lilies should be deadheaded regularly and spent stems should be cut down as quickly as possible to encourage regrowth. Some cultivars of reblooming day lilies include Stella D’oro, Black Eyed Stella, Stella Supreme, Rosy Returns, Pardon Me, Ruby Stella, Purple D’oro, Apricot Sparkles, Happy Returns, and Joan Senior. Some nurseries may have inventory for immediate planting and online suppliers are taking orders now for fall planting.

New varieties of reblooming day lilies are under development but take several years to reach commercial viability. But of course, if you are a passionate perennial gardener who can hardly wait for plants to bloom, you already understand the meaning of patience.


Web Photos I Like

Kilmalu Gardens is an official American Hemerocallis Society Display Garden, situated in Mill Bay, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island, Canada. Shown here is one perspective of the daylily garden at peak bloom in July.


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