Lost Touch With Reality

I had lost touch with Reality, but then I found it again.

Above: H. ‘Barbara Mitchell’

It began with the large, nearly one hundred different named cultivars, number of daylilies growing here in the Fairegarden, Hemerocallis ssp.

Above: H. ‘Pardon Me’

It was originally a collection, planted on the site of freshly ground tree stumps after the removal of a cluster of weed trees, early on in the big renovation project here in 2000. This area was dubbed the Daylily Hill. My neighbor had me dig a piece of each of her daylilies, twenty-five in all, with the name written on the plastic grocery bag into which each piece was tucked. They were duly marked when planted with fingernail polish painted names onto light colored bricks that were found at the back of the property.

Above: H. ‘Raspberry Rasper’

The polish wore off in a few months. The next labeling technique tried was copper tags, the name of each daylily etched carefully onto the metal with a ballpoint pen and stuck into the ground in front of each clump. These tags were much too small and were easily dislodged by digging squirrels and digging gardeners planting lilies and daffodils. The tags were also covered up with falling leaves and mulch.

Above: H. ‘White Opal’

Next up, the hideous white plastic tags with taller white stakes and a waterproof permanent marker. These are longer lasting, if unattractive but sometimes break off if stepped upon with a muckboot in freezing weather.

Last year, and some years earlier but with a major effort made in 2011, the daylilies were divided and moved all over the garden to better showcase their colors, heights and bloom times. If there was a tag found, it was placed in front of the center clump.

Above: H. ‘My Keeper’

If not in bloom, daylilies can be very difficult to identfy. Some reds, oranges and yellows are so similar, not to mention those peach and melon ones, names can be mixed up. A few years ago, a page was created for the blog with photos and identification, on the sidebar as Plants We Grow-Daylilies, or click here. It took some doing to get the daylilies cataloged, but once it was done, the pressure was off to try and keep all the tags with the proper plants. These four earliest posts were of great help. To view them, click here, here, here and here, and please don’t laugh at the titles. Things were moved all over, some without tags. Divisions were made and placement was decided by color and height, coordinating with what else was blooming at the time. Lighter colors were put into the darker spots, the better to be seen.

Above: H. not Rosie Meyer, you know how that goes…

Over the years, extra pieces were stuck planted out front in the center island by the street. This is a chaotic planting of shrubs, grasses and weeds, in full sun. Today I noticed a daylily blooming in this front catch-all bed that I had completely forgotten about. It was an unusual yellow with a strong greenish cast, purchased many years ago on a trip to Sunshine Hollow. The name of this daylily is Reality. I don’t need a tag to know this daylily.

Even though the soil is quite dry and the temperature is in the mid-nineties with a heat index of well over one hundred, Reality was dug up and replanted in a newly cleaned out bed back in the woodland area. We are now back in touch with Reality. Aren’t you glad? I certainly am.


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22 Responses to Lost Touch With Reality

  1. You have such a wonderful collection, I’m glad you’ve catalogued them all. And you have my favorite one – Dance Ballerina Dance – a split was given to me a couple of years ago by a dear gardening friend and I treasure it.

    Thanks Heather. I am so glad you have Dance Ballerina Dance. It is one of my favorites. I had to move it to the front of a bed because it is a little shorter than some of the others. It is blooming now, a ruffled melon color. A treasure, yes.

  2. What a dream all those daylilies! I have hundreds of them in my garden, most of them waiting to show me their first blooms after 2 or 3 years of preparation ( I have more than a hundred of my own babies ) so you can imagine they are one of my favorite flowers! Since temperature still under 15°c here, it’s not time yet, so it’s like a gift this morning to see yours and dream of weeks to come…thanks for these lovely and perfect pictures!

    Thanks Vert. What a joy that you have so many of your own crosses! Mine are just beginning to open and are making me very happy, looking for slight variations in color and form. We are in the thick of daylily season here right now, at least a couple of weeks early.

  3. Sigh….daylilies…I covet them all…my eyes feast upon them with a primordial hunger…kind of like Smeagol in Lord of the Rings….when I look upon them, I murmur “My pretties”. OK, I got that out of my system!
    Your pictures are beautiful. I certainly identify with your saga of finding a marker system that is both readable and durable. My husband came up with something that has worked great for the past 5 years. It involves using ultraviolet resistant labeling tape on a skinny metal stake. I made my first visit of the year to Champion Daylilies last week and , no surprise, did not come home empty handed!

    Hi Michaele, thanks. You’ve got it bad!!! HA I like that sound of your labeling system, might have to give it a try. I am losing track of who is whom after so much dividing and moving. We need to go visit Keith, too!

    • Regina Bunning says:

      Meander 1, I always enjoy reading your comments on Fine Gardening Photo of the Day and the same on here. Today I felt the need to reply to your post because you used the word primordial in your description of your love of all things daylily. I have a wonderful orange day lily that I coveted at a local grower for a couple of years. It’s name is H ‘Primal Scream’! Sounds like you need to add it to your collection if you don’t have it already.

      And Fairegarden, I love all your postings. I have lurked around the gardening blogs but haven’t posted much. I want to say Thanks for posting about starting a blog. It is something I have wanted to do but haven’t had the courage to “jump in”. I am considering it again??!!

      Thanks Regina, I appreciate your readership, whether you comment or not. Good luck with your blog and just jump right in! You won’t be sorry.

      • Hi, Regina,this is meander1 butting in for a minute. You are sooo right about Primal Scream bringing out sinful lust in a daylily lover’s heart. I tend to buy my daylilies when they are in bloom and I guess I haven’t crossed paths with Primal Scream when it was at its attention getting best. Next time I see one labeled as such, I’ll take that leap of faith! Heck, the name alone makes it a “must have”.
        And, please get the word out if you start blogging… I’d love to become a loyal reader. And, shhh, just between the two of us, doesn’t Frances take the most amazing pictures and have such a delightful writing style? What a treasure the Fairegarden blog is!

        Michaele, I believe Keith has Primal Scream, the name rings a bell as to one of the ones that I have looked at there. It might be one of the higher priced ones or it would be growing in my garden, as well. The name matters! And, thanks for those kind words, I do so appreciate you both!

  4. This post took a turn I didn’t expect. I thought you were going to admit defeat and give up on labeling altogether. I once planted a bunch of daylilies and wrote all the names on a paper map, then lost the map. I have never definitively re-identified some of them.

    Well that is what I was hoping for, Kathy, an unexpected ending. I have made so many maps, believing that to be better than labels, but then began moving and dividing the daylilies and forgetting to adjust the map and now I am trying to ID them from the old posts. The reds are especially hard to tell from one another.

  5. spurge says:

    Some problems to have are good problems – so many daylilies you can’t keep track of the names is one of them! Beautiful colors.

    Very true, Spurge. I am not complaining about having so many daylilies, just that my need to keep track of things is being stressed out. I am trying to zen about it. HA

  6. Keeping tags is a constant struggle. I thought the brick sounded like a brilliant idea, only to read your next sentence. Oh well. The daylilies I purchased have names…the pass-along ones, not. Since I have some wet areas (that daylilies love) I bought some this year where they said the names were mixed up….so who knows what beauties I will have once they bloom.

    Thanks Janet. I was disappointed in the brick idea, too. There are many passalongs here that had the wrong name attached, so I sometimes call them Non-whatever they name said they were. Your wet area will be a perfect place for the mixed up ones. One of my very favorite daylilies is a free one from the farm that had lost the tag. I call it Free Orange.

  7. Christina says:

    Gosh Frances, your day lilies are sooo… beautiful. I especially love ‘My Keeper’. I admire your diligence about keeping track of the plant names. It is so satisfying to know the proper name of a plant and very helpful, too, if you want to order more or someone is asking about it. Now can you tell me why I only have one lonely daylily in my garden struggling a way to small pot? At least I have to plant that one in the ground. Daylilies should do well for me here in my climate, too so maybe I should think of getting some nice ones in the future! Thanks again for inspiring me with your post!

    Thanks Christina. Aren’t they so delicious? I am doing the best I can with the names, but it seems like a losing proposition once I started dividing and moving them about. The need to be divided at least every five years and I have given many to family and friends. Do plant your potted one in the ground, and may it give you great joy.

  8. Layanee says:

    I know they belted out that tune with gusto. Loved hearing that song again and your daylilies are divine not to mention the clover. Only the lemon lily blooming here now although the dreaded school bus yellow stella is threatening. I will appreciate her qualities of color from quite a distance.

    Hi Layanee, thanks. I have been trying to pull all of those stellas out here, even I don’t like them, but you can never get all those roots so they keep coming back!

  9. cathywieder says:

    Your collection of daylilies is stunning!! That White Opal is exquisite! We have about a dozen, most of whose names were lost to us long ago (we know only the newest…). Such a gorgeous display!

    Thanks Cathy. White Opal is quite nice, none of the them are really white. The names are so hard to keep track of. I have them written down but am unsure about some of those reds, they are so similar and the even looking at the photos can be confusing. I do enjoy them, not matter if we know the names or not.

  10. Nell Jean says:

    Luv them daylilies, identified or not. I know most of mine on sight, except for the bright reds which all look alike to me except Byran Paul, who has a tiny white edge.

    Thanks Nell Jean. Your Bryan Paul sounds delightful, I have a red with a white edge called Comic Strip. It is one of the easier ones to identify, for sure.

  11. Jo Ann says:

    loved the daylilly blog. I have been experiencing a porblem in my zone 5 midwest garden with my daylillies. Many different varieties are planted but this year something strang is goung on. The leaves are all turning yellow and the plant i are dying back. very few blooms are appearing . In the past years they were very healthy and were a magnificent sight. Any answers? Has this ever happened to yours? Thanks for any feedback

    Thanks Jo Ann. Your daylily problem sounds awful! I am not very good at problem solving like that, you might contact your extension agent. I would dig them up and move them to another location. You can’t lose the daylilies!

  12. My Kids Mom says:

    Thanks for the final laugh. I wasn’t sure where you were going with that! I’m happily planting my gardens without regard to the names of anything. I may someday regret it, but I’m not good at remembering proper nouns, so I usually ignore the labels. If it looks good and it comes back, I’ll keep it.

    Thanks Jill. I was trying to be a little tricky here. HA I have been moving the daylilies to have the shorter ones at the front of the beds so they don’t get hidden by the taller ones. Then the tags get lost. It doesn’t really matter to most people anyway. I am trying to keep track, but seem to be losing the battle at this point.

  13. Carol says:

    When I first started my “Daylily bed” a few years ago, I planted several dozen without any regard for their height and now I want to remedy that. They are starting to get crowded so will start dividing them this year and will try to correct the height issue. I am looking forward to being able to spread them around in other parts of the yard – especially to those spots I can see from my kitchen windows. I love your blog and your pictures – they are so beautiful!!! Carol

    Hi Carol, thanks for joining in the daylily conversation. Your plan is exactly what I began doing last year, and the garden is much better for it. It did take another year for the daylilies to recover from being moved, but the payoff is happening now. Do it, you’ll be so glad. You definintely need to see them from your kitchen windows.

  14. What a great collection and wonderful work keeping the tags and names…mine are long gone and I wish i had kept them…I love the colors as they pop up unless the deer get there first.

    Hi Donna, thanks. I know the deer think of the blooms as candy. A local grower had deer jump the 10 foot electrified fence in our worst drought year to get into the greenhouses and devour the mother plants. Truly starving deer will stop at nothing, sadly for all involved. Enjoy your collection and maybe make up your own names to help you identify them better, would be my suggestion.

  15. Your daylilies are very photogenic. Pardon Me has a nice rich red to it.

    I’m compulsive about knowing the specific names of all of my plants, but some just get moved around too much. My blue Carpathian bellflowers got mixed together, after getting moved around about 4 times.One reason I like to know the specific varieties, is for when you want more of a specific one, or to recommend your favourites.

    Hi Northern Shade, thanks, so nice to see you! There is no flower here as photogenic as the daylilies, so much substance and color. I truly want to know the names of things for that same reason. The better to plan color strategies.

  16. Wonderful photos and great colours of those Day Lillies. You have a huge range to choose from. Here in the Uk it is getting easier to find different ones but variety is still lacking.

    Hi Green Bench, thanks. We are very lucky here in Tennessee, there are several large daylily growers within easy driving distance. We only buy them in bloom, to see what we are getting, bloom time, height, etc. There is great diversity. I hope the UK gets on the ball with offering lots of them. It is a puzzle as to why they don’t already.

  17. Gail says:

    Frances, I love them! Reality is wonderful, too:) Your photos are lovely…I have tried in vain to identify mine…and having a list of all their names has helped a bit…All those melons, peaches, etc do look similar and oh so charming. xxoogail

    Hi Gail, thanks. Trying to match the blooms of daylilies to photos and names is like finding a needle in a haystack. But they are all so pretty.

  18. A fun pun and lovely pics. You do do it so well! 😉 Jack

    Thanks Jack. Sometimes we need to take things lightly. HA

  19. Les says:

    I gave up trying to keep the names straight, but like you there are some I don’t have a tag to remember their names. Sometimes it is best just to enjoy the chorus and not worry about each voices name.

    Hi Les, thanks for visiting. Once I got a photo of each with the name, I kind of relaxed about keeping them straight. Those tags can break or get lost in the shuffle but I have a good idea of who is whom. Mostly.

  20. Lola says:

    Scrambled names or not they are beautiful. I’ve been trying to get some here. Some were here in the beginning but I have no idea what the name is.

    Thanks Lola. Keeping the names straighy has proven nearly impossible since I have moved them so many times, some accidentally. The page of Plants We Grow-Daylilies with photos of all of them helps me immensely.

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