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Entries in hemerocallis (19)


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.


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.


'Leonides', a Golden Perennial

While visiting Jims Day Lily Farm in Ticonderoga New York, I was struck by the intensity and size of the cultivar “Leonides” with its large lush pure sunshine-yellow petals. I tried to capture that experience on camera but torrential rains were about to begin and I did not have time to adjust the settings or to take a series of shots that would have allowed me to select the best one. The camera seems to have shrunk the size of the petals. They are larger in reality than they appear here in digital life.


Jims Day Lilies

Jim and Joyce Shultz grow daylilies in upstate New York. While driving along a secondary highway, I came upon their lily farm because it sits right on the road. There is no way to miss it.The panorama picture above is one of several beautiful vistas of their lily fields. Naturally, as with all other amateur photos of gardens, these fields look much better when seen in person. There are many varieties of lilies to choose from as one meanders through the wide paths between the plantings. Individual cultivars are clearly identified by very large name boards that sit beneath each variety. If you plan to drive through upstate New York, it would be a worthwhile detour to visit this grower. Here are the coordinates:

Jim’s Day Lilies, 2213 Route 74,Ticonderoga, NY, 12883.    518-503-5065

I accessed this location from Interstate 87 at exit 28 where I picked up Route 74 towards Ticonderoga. Eastbound, it’s just past Eagle Lake, on the left side of the road.