Capturing A Blooming Daylily Hill-Without A Net

June 28, 2009 002 (3)
Did you know that daylily flowers bleed?

June 28, 2009 002 (4)
Neither did I.

June 28, 2009 044 (2) Since the beginning of daylily season every effort has been made to take a representative shot of the flower bed referred to as the daylily hill. Red Volunteer, Save Mine to the right and the bleeding daylily, Radiant Greeting to the left make for an eye pleasing combo. But they are only a microcosm of the whole hill. June 28, 2009 041 (2) Lasting but a day, these harbingers of summer provide a colorful view from the lower deck as the blossoms keep on coming. The sight gives us great joy, but why is photographing this area so difficult? Why don’t the images equal what the human eye views? June 28, 2009 065 (2)
Looking upwards through the echinaceas with the camera was tried.

June 28, 2009 049 (2)
Standing on the wall looking eye to eye with the echinaceas was tried.

June 28, 2009 056 (2)
Climbing the stairs to the garage deck was tried.

July 1, 2009 new camera 150 (2) Time is slipping by! The daylily season is drawing to a close. The effort to capture each cultivar for posterity has been a success, but an overall shot of the daylily hill has proven elusive. In desperation, the new camera, the Canon Powershot sx1 IS is brought out of the box. Lining up the mini tripod on the deck railing, getting the scene centered, clicking….and what’s this? Kitty walks right into the shot to rub against the camera clenching left hand. Good thing the little tripod allows for a small somewhat weak hand to hold on with the death grip. July 1, 2009 new camera 133 (2) Okay okay, Kitty, head scratching and acknowledgement of your existence coming right up. Lucky for you the new camera did not fall the ten plus feet to the gravel path below. There would be all heck to pay when The Financier found out about your shenanigans, even though you are being quite the performer just now. July 6, 2009 050 (2) Reading up about hybridization on the site of one of our favorite local daylily farms, Champions, we learned of diploids, tetraploids and ploidys in general. Click here to access that page. It seems the way to try for new and interesting colors, form and vigor with crosses requires knowing if you have a dip or a tet. Dip to dip or tet to tet are the only ways to get a viable seed. That information can be found on Dave’s Garden among other places. You must know the name of your daylily however, to be sure. Looking around the garden for likely candidates, we chose Dave Rhyne as the male and Heavenly Treasure as the female. Shown above is the result of a night of passion unrivaled in the universe…..oops, make that the dousing of the pistil with pollen from the stamens with the utmost care and plenty of snuggling afterwards. This pod will be tagged and watched until it dries and opens, revealing the precious seed within. It will be planted in a pot and placed in a protected spot until germination, possibly in the sunroom/greenhouse. Pretty exciting stuff.
The final installment of daylilies on parade in the Fairegarden, 2009 edition is awaiting two late bloomers now in bud. Once this sixth posting is published, all of the posts will be added to the Plants We Grow-Daylilies page on the sidebar. There were a couple that did not bloom, one that bloomed while I was out of town, two that I broke the stalk off and one that has disappeared without a trace. A tally will be made after the last bloom has faded and the season is ended until next year.


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39 Responses to Capturing A Blooming Daylily Hill-Without A Net

  1. Les says:

    I usually go out in the morning and deadhead the daylilies before I get in the car for work. Many is the morning I realize hours later that my hands have “blood Stains” on them from the daylilies. Fortunately the people I work with don’t think twice about it; theirs are usually similarly stained.

    Hi Les, thanks for visiting, you are an early bird too, it seems. I have stopped deadheading the daylilies completely. Not only are there too many to keep up with but tromping around the beds and the deadheading act itself have resulted in way too many broken buds. Not worth it to me. I can live with those dangling dead bleeding spent flowers with no problem. Like holes in the leaves from insect damage, the eyes just glaze over when something unpleasant is seen and it becomes invisible. πŸ™‚

  2. Sylvia (England) says:

    Frances, we all know exactly what you mean about taking a photo of a beautiful garden and the photo is so bland. I find this not only with my own garden but also with visiting gardens, which is made worse be the fact it is usually late morning to early afternoon. From posts and comments I gather this is worse this time of the year. But we are all gardeners and can see how lovely this scene is, if only we could visit. I think you take wonderful photos and draw beautiful pictures with words. I am trying to make my bed with a few daylilies look more like yours. You have a lovely combination of plants in daylily hill.

    Best wishes Sylvia

    Thanks so much Sylvia, you are too sweet. Whatever it takes to get an image that looks as pretty as the scene in real life, it is beyond my abilities. But it is fun to keep trying anyway.

  3. Janet says:

    Good morning Frances, I too have been bled on…usually my khaki capris!! Not only do the daylilies bleed, Spiderwort do as well. One of the dogs is gray/white/spotted/black (a Blue Merle) and he comes in with purple dye all over his nice white chest. Guess where he has been?

    Hi Janet, so sorry about that! I have noticed stains of various colors on my pants if I even venture off the gravel paths just a tiny bit to take a photo or just look more closely at something. Black is best!

  4. I found my thrill on daylily hill. Isn’t that how the song goes? I bought 18 new daylilies this past weekend at our local daylily farm… I’m into the spiders and UF’s!

    Hi Carol, how exciting! Now do be sure and keep those names straight. A chart with placement helps, but watch out for those random acts of daylily moving to get a better color combo or height adjustment. I have never been attracted to the spiders, until this year.

  5. Darla says:

    It is hard to capture the beauty of ones own garden in a photo to share. Other gardeners DO see what you see though…Beauty! I have heard that it can take up to 4 years for the daylily to bloom is this true?

    Hi Darla, thanks so much. In the ground, the seeds can take that long or longer. Reading and speaking to Keith, the owner of Champions, it can bloom in as little as one year if grown in a greenhouse with lots of fertilizer. I might give this special cross that attention just as an experiment. That is certainly not my usual modus operandi!

  6. Joy says:

    Frances .. what would a garden be without day lilies I wonder ? I have them lined up on the side of the house with the shared ally-way and I love them there : ) even without blooms the easy strap foliage makes it a wonderful green space : )
    I love seeing your pictures and I wondered if you were out this morning, I was at 5:45 ! LOL

    Hi Joy, thanks. I was up quite early today, Hazel touched my face with her wet nose for some reason at 4 AM. Makes for an early start to garden, lots of projects swirling in my head at the mo. As for a garden without daylilies? NEVER! πŸ™‚

  7. Darla says:

    I am curious for you to share this experiment and just how often you will fertilize without burning the roots. Hope it works out well. I love experimenting with plants.

    Thanks Darla, I will keep track once the seed is formed and the pod opens. Sometimes the pods just fall off without getting large. Lots of the daylilies here have pods, but they were not crossed by me. I might collect those seeds too, just to have a control group to judge the speed of growth and flowering. Fun, huh? πŸ™‚

  8. gail says:

    Good morning Frances! Even though the Hill is hard to capture, it’s lovely~~and the midwifery experiment is going to be fun to hear about….and eventually see. I especially like the view through the coneflowers, but then I am partial to them. I do believe that all the dayliles have passed their glory here….I am home…delays got us into Nashville at 10 PM last night! But I am ready to hit the garden to see if the daylilies have any blooms left! Have fun out there! The map looks like you might be getting rain today! gail

    Hi Gail, welcome home! So happy you are back, we all missed you in the blogdom. I do hope you have some daylilies left too. Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain, pretty please.

  9. Dave says:

    Great photo with your kitty! I can’t wait to see how your hybridization experiment works.

    Hi Dave,thanks. This sounds like something you could wrap your propagating crown around, doesn’t it? πŸ™‚

  10. gittan says:

    Frances, i have the same problem with some areas in my garden. It looks so great with the eye but can’t catch it with the camera. Really frustrating but i don’t give up ;P
    Now I have to go out and see if there’s any new daylily that have opend her buds today / kram gittan

    Hi Gittan, it does seem to be a common problem. Hope you have found some new daylilies to admire, ours are really over although some are showing signs of rebloom, but it is never as exciting as the first time around.
    Kram, Frances

  11. That one kitty photo looks like a shot out of an old horror movie “Giant Cat Stomps Japanese Maple!” Great photo of the daylily bleeding. They hold so much moisture that sometimes, bleed they will. I think you are the only blogger who loves daylilies as much as I do. I’m glad.~~Dee

    HA Dee, he does look like a giant cat, good one! Thanks for the kind words. Do you think maybe we love daylilies so much because they are such tough plants, like people who live in Oklahoma have to be? πŸ™‚

  12. tina says:

    I like the picture you took from atop the wall. It shows pretty well. The kitty sure is cute! Can’t wait to see you new daylily.

    Hi Tina, thanks, that is one of the best ones, even though it doesn’t show much of the daylilies. I am excited about the new daylily too. Hope it makes seeds that will germinate, that is step one. πŸ™‚

  13. commonweeder says:

    I’m not exactly ‘glad’ that you have the same problem photographing a large view of the garden, but I am comforted that a superior talent with superior equipment still finds the problem a challenge. Daylilies are just beginning here. And no, I didn’t know daylilies could bleed. I’ll be watching.

    Hi Pat, thanks, but superior talent??? Not by a long shot. If I knew anything about photography the new camera would not be such a mystery. I am just lucky with the old camera, woe to me if anything ever happens to it. Lucky you to just be beginning the daylily parade. We are at the tail end and I miss them already even though some are still flowering.

  14. I really think you have a “winner” with the photo of your kitty’s head. That’s an enticing floral path that makes you want to squint to see a little further! πŸ˜‰ I enjoyed the tour.

    Hi Shady, thanks. The kitty shot is the moneyball. HA The paths here are one of the best things about gardening on the hill, following the steps to see where they lead, no shortcuts! πŸ™‚

  15. Catherine says:

    I think this time of year it gets harder taking pictures. I notice that mine just don’t show how it really looks. I can tell it must be really pretty with all the daylilies blooming, and I think you did a great job capturing it. I think the cat walking through is hilarious. Our dog usually does that only it’s not her head in the picture πŸ™‚

    Hi Catherine, I think you are right for there are shots of this same space in spring with the daffodils in bloom that are quite nice. It really does look pretty in person. Kitty came so close to knocking the camera out of my hand, it was not funny at the time, but ended well. How funny about the other end of your dog, too! HA

  16. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    You have an exciting daylily hill Frances. I know that feeling of want with trying to get just the right shot. I like looking up through the cone flowers. I also like the cat’s eye view.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. Exciting is a wonderful word for a garden of any kind. The coneflowers are good companions to the daylilies, open before the daylilies begin and continuing well past their end. I need more of them. πŸ™‚

  17. Cindy, MCOK says:

    Well, even if the pictures don’t do it justice, your daylily hill is pretty danged spectacular! I’m still chuckling over Kitty’s intrusion into the pictures. Give her a little scratch behind the ears from me!

    Thanks, Cindy, you are too kind. Kitty says meow, but if you only knew how close he came to knocking my new camera off the deck railing you might not be so generous with the scratching!

  18. ~~Rhonda says:

    Frances, depending on which direction your hill faces, try some photos in the early morning or early evening. I find early evening light to be wonderful for picture taking at this time of year.

    Thanks for sharing your daylily photos. We, too, love daylilies. I always enjoy seeing other gardens with daylilies. Other gardens, period, but daylilies are extra special in my book. πŸ™‚

    I will be eagerly awaiting the outcome of your hybridization attempts! ~~Rhonda

    Hi Rhonda, thanks. The hill faces north, so the early morning light from the east gets the high side nicely. The west side, where the coneflowers and wall are is too bright as the sun sets, then is too dark, no happy medium. Daylilies in gardens are something we love to see as well, there is just something about those happy blooms that lifts the heart.

  19. Balisha says:

    I almost felt like I was intruding on the “night of passion :)” I like the fact that those pesky Japanese Beetles don’t especially like daylilies. Your pictures are beautiful.

    Hi Balisha, HA. It was full of passion, but the gardening kind! Thanks for the kind words. Those beetles are around here, I need to get the soapy water ready to give them a nice bath. πŸ™‚

  20. Rose says:

    So glad that Kitty didn’t knock over the camera, for her sake as well as yours:) It is difficult to capture a panoramic view of the garden, I’ve discovered, but I enjoy the different views of the daylilies anyway, even if they can’t show the whole picture. I’d better check out that website–dips and tets are new terms to me! Can’t wait to see the result of that unbridled passion, but I’m glad you kept this G-rated:)

    Thanks Rose, it was a close call. As for knowing about dips and tets, I think it only matters if you are hybridizing. We are most definitely G rated here. πŸ™‚

  21. Charlotte says:

    Yet another wonderful visual feast on your blog – just love it!

    Thanks Charlotte, glad you liked it. πŸ™‚

  22. Jan says:

    Every thing looks so good. You certainly have a lot of daylilies. Kitty is adorable. He looks like our Smokey, the first cat we ever had.

    Always Growing

    Hi Jan, thanks. We are good with daylilies, and yet are always on the lookout for more. HA Kitty is a handsome fellow, the mirror image of my husbands first cat too. We think he is a reincarnation, only smarter. HA

  23. This is so cool, Frances: I’m still weeks from coneflowers AND daylilies, and there are yours, blooming beautifully!

    Thanks Jodi, so nice to see you. Your garden must be beautiful right now, and we are heading into fall already it seems. Funny how that works.

  24. Beckie says:

    Frances, I know the feeling of not being able to cature with a camera what the eye sees. But we do the best we can and with yours, I can fill in with a little imagination-Gorgeous!! I love the different colors of coneflowers mixed in with the day lilies. Each shows the other off really well. Good luck with your hybridization. Sounds like a great project.

    Hi Beckie, thanks for that. At one time I thought the coneflowers *didn’t go* with the daylilies. Foolish, I know. I am so much smarter now.

  25. Lola says:

    Quite a lovely hillside. I like the one with kitty just popping in. Hope your experiment goes well & will be anxious to see how it goes.

    Thanks Lola, me too.

  26. Lola says:

    I forgot to say that I have never heard of day lily blooms bleeding. Why do they bleed?

    Hi Lola, I don’t know. Something about the darker color running when it gets wet?

  27. Jean says:

    Maybe you need a 3-D camera to capture the hill as you see it! I know what you mean though. I’ll take a larger photo of some part of the garden that looks pleasing to me but when I see the result, it just looks blah. I think it has something to do with lack of depth. There’s probably some technical way to deal with that but I’m still learning.

    I have one dark red daylily that also bleeds. It almost bleeds purple and I have to make sure I’ve got my gloves on before deadheading that one.

    So sad that your daylily season is almost over. And lucky for you and kitty that an accident was averted!

    That’s it, Jean! Duh! Yet another reason to look into a photography class. When tiptoeing amongst the flowers, my pants are often covered with assorted colors from pollen and petals. Black is a very good color to wear for gardening. Lucky thing for me and Kitty. πŸ™‚

  28. Robin says:

    I’ve not had much experience with day lilies and I didn’t know they bled.
    Cat’s do love living life on the edge don’t they? My cat makes me so nervous walking on the ledge. It doesn’t help that she’s clumsy either. Twice she has lost her grip and I saved her once while she was clinging on by a toe nail. Crazy cats! Gotta love ’em!

    Hi Robin, oh your poor kitty! Glad you were there to rescue her. It sounds like the dark daylilies will run their color after the bloom is done or when they are wet or both. Explains those streaks on my clothes. πŸ™‚

  29. lynn says:

    frances, that first photo is unreal!! I was just out mush-mummy-ing and the spent blooms on Scarlet Orbit stained my hands..amazing how saturated with color they are! I’m happy to see your daylily hill…have been waiting πŸ™‚ Looks like you may have room for a few more..heehee!

    Hi Lynn, thanks. There is always room for a few more. Loved seeing the place where you recently made some selections for yourself too. πŸ™‚

  30. Daylily IVF hmmm. I did that with pumpkin blossoms once with great success.

    Don’t know why they “bleed” but I know that there is extra color when a butterfly emerges and it seems like blood. Maybe the flower developed with extra pigment it didn’t need?

    Hi Jill, thanks for visiting. Crosses pumpkins, how cool! Thanks for that info about butterflies too, learned something new today. Maybe that is extra color, being wet really makes them bleed. After a rain sometimes there are spots on the dark ones that look like bleach stains. Interesting thought.

  31. I didn’t know that either. Kitty=pretty!

    It is very frustrating trying to capture your garden in a pic as details fall away. But, having struggled as you have to capture it, I do have some idea how lovely daylily hill looks like in real life.

    Hi YE, Kitty says thank you very much. He thinks he might be related to some of your bliss team members from way back. I like that, details fall away, to describe what happens with the camera eye. The daylily hill gives us so much pleasure, even when the daylilies are not in bloom. Lots of other things planted there as well. The tall phlox are coming into their fifteen minutes of fame right now. Stay cool my friend. πŸ™‚

  32. Cheryl says:

    Beautiful photos. I’ve planted all new beds in my yard this year, including Magnus echinacea after hearing everyone rave about them. They are stately, aren’t they?

    Hi Cheryl, thanks. You have made an excellent selection with that echinacea. The fancy colored ones are not as hardy, for me anyway, or as attractive to the pollinators White Swan is still a good white one too.

  33. Maybe some beautiful things, like your daylily hill, insist on being allowed to retain their mystery, Frances! I kind of like knowing that with all our technological abilities to capture and share, sometimes you still just have to be there.

    Bleeding daylily flowers is a new one to me – will have to check that out next year if my daylilies survive this summer – am more familiar with the purple-black ink released when snapping off faded iris flowers.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Hi Annie, thanks. It is so nice to see you. Yes, it would be a sad world if cyberspace was as good as the real thing. Someone mentioned excess color being the cause, maybe the same for the iris?

  34. I had to laugh at the kitty face in the Daylily photo, even though it was a near disaster for you. I can’t imagine why the Daylily hill is so hard to photograph, but then I have no large drifts of Daylilies. I grow mine as individual spots of color in the shade of summer.

    Hi MMD, it was funny, especially since it all turned out okay. Your idea of showcasing the daylilies sounds like a good one. The hill is steep, partly shaded and full of a large variety of plants besides the daylilies. Or maybe none of those things have anything to do with the difficulty. πŸ™‚

  35. How wonderful Frances to take a stroll around your paradise on earth, heavenly beautiful post.
    xoxo Tyra

    Why how sweet of you, Tyra, thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚

  36. Hi Frances

    Good luck with the Daylilies experiment. This is ‘proper’ gardening!

    Love Echinacea also. I like the original purpurea types best. Big ol’ central boss and reflexed petals:) proper gardening speak now, ha, ha.

    HA Rob, I am usually anything but proper in real life. I am just hoping the seed pod doesn’t shrivel and fall off like they sometimes do. I love the original types too, after having several flings with the new improved models. They do not measure up over the long haul like the straight pinky purple and whites.

  37. TC says:

    Hybridizing your own daylilies?? You are now an official “hemi-head” in my book. ;~P

    Thanks TC, I like that term, Hemi-head. Hope a seed forms and a flower blooms from this some day.

  38. Joanne says:

    I love the shot looking the echinacea in the eye.

    Thanks, Joanne. It is a good shot of the echinacea, not so good of the daylilies though. HA

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