Saturday, May 23, 2015

THE DAY LILY SHOW

We were driving back from our morning walk around the lake when I happened to look at facetime and saw one of my gardening friends mention the annual Day Lily Show at Zilker Park. As we were close by and had never been before we decided to stop in. Maybe I could add to my own collection.


I heard the other day on the Chelsea Flower Show that day lilies are one of the easiest plants to hybridize. What fun it must be waiting to discover the color of your new plant. Judging by many of the lilies on display most are in the orange/yellow range of color but there are a few spectacular dark ones. Ten minutes ago I wasn't even thinking of day lilies and now I was on the hunt for a dark one like this one in the center or better still the one at the top.


I had already been forewarned that in order to get the 'unusuals' you have to be there when the show opens. I can imagine the doors opening and the crowd rushing straight to the sales table like the Harrods annual sale. Not my scene at all. I took a leisurely stroll around all the exhibits and then went into the sales room.


I did manage to find a dark red one. It was the only one left in the box so it was obviously popular and with a rather strange name "Passion District" Hybridized by Carr in 1997, this tetraploid stands about 28"tall with a flower 5.75" It is red with lighter red water marks and its parents were Midnight magic and Betty Warren Woods. I dare say that if my day lilies could talk among themselves there would be much complaining, not only about my not knowing their parentage but also their name. The only one whose name I can remember is Tiny Pumpkin.
My daylilies are all blooming so without further ado my Day Lily show.



Whereas the first two a tall, standing abut 24" this next one is much smaller. Less than 12" and quite obviously the pink layers of the flower are very tasty having been eaten by the snails.


And here is 'tiny pumpkin'. Tiny in flower only as she stand 24"


I call this a ditch lily. This common orange lily has a reputation for becoming invasive. In my garden I have had a problem even getting it to flower. It has been in the ground for at least 3 years and produced nothing but leaves. Maybe it has been spreading underground all this time and next year plans to make explosive growth. If so, it will join the long list of spreading perennials. For now I am more than happy to enjoy its May blooms.


All the hybrid daylilies were given to me by a colleague of David when he was working in Gonzales. The couple had a hobby farm and were breeding day lilies. They have brought joy to the garden every year for the past 12 years.

15 comments:

  1. They're all beautiful (even the munched one) but I love that coral pink one (4th from the bottom). I never cared much about daylilies until we moved into our current house and I inherited more than 40 clumps of a dormant variety I think is probably 'Sammy Russell Red.' Since then I've acquired a dozen more varieties on of my own. I think I'm addicted.

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    1. I think it would be an easy addiction. I once went to a garden where they had nothing but day lilies. Now that was a bit over the top. I do like them sprinkled here and there.

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  2. So pretty! I just love that dark pink one. I have a bunch of ditch lilies as well as other orange/yellow daylilies, which were given to me for free from other gardeners. They multiply like gangbusters here, probably because of all the moisture. (There are a lot of wetlands here.) I would love to get more pink ones, though, to match my gardens in the front yard better.

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  3. What a serendipitous find! My ditch lily has not bloomed for a few years so I moved it - twice. I either finally found it the right spot, or it experienced the weather it wanted, or some combination, because I've been watching with interest as a bloom stalk finally appeared. I can't wait to enjoy it in bloom, common orange or not, and frankly would be happy if it decided to take a little spreading room and multiply!

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    1. We share the same experience. My others bloom every year but this one has been shy. Glad I finally know its color.

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  4. These are all so beautiful. I plugged clumps of day lilies in everywhere when I planted my perennial borders. I know I'm addicted to them as I even love the look of the foliage!

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  5. Love your show. Daylilies are like potato chips. You get one, you need another and another.

    The dark one you admired at the show looks a lot like Dominic but the green throat is different.
    Your cream color daylily with the violet throat looks a lot like Blackberry Candy.

    Hybridizing is easy; bees do it, so can you. The trick is to find a great one in a group of dogs, all from the same parents.

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    1. Correction: Your Cream color daylily looks a lot like BLUEberry Candy. I get all those Dandy Candies mixed up in my mind.

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    2. You are right Jean it does look like blueberry candy. And so it shall be named.

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  6. I could never choose just a few--they're all so pretty.

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  7. Count me as another who doesn't know the parentage or names of my daylilies. Although at one time I mapped out those I planted in the front border, I lost my map and the names slipped from memory. I love them anyway, always such happy flowers :-)

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    1. Yes. I once had a piece of paper with the names. I don't find it very important to know them because there are so many these days and many of them are look-alikes.

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  8. So glad you stopped by the show! They got me on the daylily roundup years ago. And your daylily roundup at home is gorgeous!

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  9. Beautiful daylilies! I've killed a few, seems they need a little more love than the bearded iris. Do you have yours in full sun? How much water?

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    1. Yes, they are in full sun. Some get more water than others. WInter rain seems to be enough to make them bloom.

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