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

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Entries in Prairie Blue Eyes (1)


Hemerocallis Prairie Blue Eyes

When I first saw the ad for a blue-ish looking day lily in a mail order catalogue, I could feel the acceleration of my heartbeat. At first, I was excited to stumble upon a cold-colored day lily. Then I became even more excited, this time with indignation, at the high retail price tag attached to it. At the time, I had not yet seen Hemerocallis Prairie Blue Eyes offered by any of my better-priced suppliers. Fearing that I might never stumble across it again, as often happens with unusual day lily varieties, I decided to splurge and placed my order at full price.  Another two years would have to pass before this variety would become available from local, more affordable, growers.

Like all other daylily fans that I received by mail, this one required three years of growth before it bloomed impressively. When it did, I was more than pleased. Although it did not bloom in the pure lavende-blue shade that I saw in the catalogue, [I never believed that a real day lily could be that blue, anyway] it did flower in a shade of lilac - blue, with an overcast of subtle pink. Those tones allowed it to blend in successfully with the palette of my English-spirit garden. However, as a dwarf variety, it showed best in the front row of the border.

Directly above is a photo of how the unnaturally-colored day lily appeared in the mail order catalogue. It was too blue to be true.

Now look at the above photo taken with my camera. Its automatic setting captured the flower with an intense pink cast that the naked eye cannot see. In the mid-day light of the real world, the pink is more subtle while the lilac - blue is more dominant.

This beautifully shaded day lily answers the prayers of English-style perennial gardeners who prefer hemerocallis that bloom in cool colors. Wouldn’t it be great if breeders developed a similarly colored variety that bloomed longer, or taller, or perhaps even later?