African Garden + summer

Daylily Dissatisfaction
Hemerocallis 'Apollodorus': I think this one's a keeper.

Once there was a gardener who lived on a hill and had a sunny, south-facing garden. She saw some beautiful new daylilies, and it was love at first sight. So smitten was the gardener, that she joined the American Hemerocallis Society, planted loads of daylilies, and went to daylily shows. She could banter with the best of them about picotees, piecrust edges, diamond dusting. Then, she left the sunny garden and moved to a new house in the shade.

She brought her favorite daylilies with her, but it just wasn't the same. The magic had gone, but she didn't realize it yet. Then, one summer she noticed she had too many different daylily cultivars that all looked the same, so she dug up most of them and gave them away to good homes.

The years passed, she added a couple new daylilies to the mix, hoping to capture some of the old magic. The new daylilies were of the purple-eyed variety.

Hemerocallis 'Druid's Chant'

They were very pretty.

Fast forward to today. The gardener looks on her daylilies and no longer finds them pleasing. The problem is with the complex and changing colors of the blooms. The darkest, solid maroon blooms aren't jarring,

H. 'Grape Velvet'
End of July, H. 'Super Purple', with coneflowers and 'Black Beauty' lilies in partial shade.

but the others, especially the eyed-varieties, just don't sync with the rest of Squirrelhaven's summer blooms.

Hemerocallis 'Druid's Chant' looks awful with Phlox maculata

In the morning, the colors are just fine,

Hemerocallis 'Pink Lavender Appeal' in the morning

but by afternoon, they have faded to a sickly peach.

'Pink Lavender Appeal' the same evening

Just pathetic.

Then there is the issue of deadheading and the unsightliness of large, faded blooms.

One day after blooming H. 'Woodside Amethyst' bloom: do not adjust your monitor, it really does end up this color.

Because daylilies bloom for only a day (hence the name), deadheading must be done everyday, or the new blooms are marred by the sodden mess of the old. What is a gardener to do?

I could remove all the daylilies, but there isn't much else blooming in partial shade in July. Daylilies are extremely tough, shrugging off temperatures soaring to 100 degrees, and they are drought tolerant. Maybe I should rip out all the large flowered cultivars, or maybe just the fade-to-peach ones, and replace them with small flowered dark blooming cultivars, such as 'Little Grapette'.

Notice how none of the supposedly "purple" cultivars actually are purple.

I'm still searching for a happy ending to this story.

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Daylily Dissatisfaction + summer