19 April 2008

daylily bed: almost a full check

Much accomplished today. B cleared more of “the bowl,” that is, the area behind the stone wall above the slope. It looks wonderful and neat. He says he has more work to do on the north end, but you could fool me. It’s gorgeous. You go, B!

For my part, I toiled on the weedy, old daylily bed. All are dug and cleaned off and in the garage for the evening. What looked to me like a half-a-day job turned into the whole day, with more to do tomorrow. Rather than give all of the daylilies away, we’ve decided to widen the bed, plant large clumps, mulch them to death to try to keep down the grass and what I think is wild madder (Galium molugo), and then see what happens. I’ll still have plenty to give to my friend Gina at work.

Here’s a “before” shot (click on the picture to make it larger). Pretty bad, eh? We think the bed was put in over an old stone wall somehow, so there are lots of rocks, as well as some timbers to edge the bed that have gradually rotted away. It has been almost impossible to weed it, because the grass and weeds have gotten entwined in the daylilies.

Once I began working, I realized how strong these daylilies are, and I had to admire them for dealing with the weeds for so long with almost no help from us. Each clump didn’t look very big at first, but after five hours of digging and separating them from the weeds, I filled 17 grocery bags full. If the bed were wider, and we were to get rid of the rocks and timbers that make weeding so difficult, this might be a very pretty garden.

Here’s an “after” shot of sorts. I say “of sorts” because I still have to widen and edge the bed and then replant everything. I hope I can accomplish this tomorrow. If I don’t get to planting them all then, I’ll just lug the grocery bags to the basement, sprinkle the roots with a little water, and hope for the best until next weekend.

Strong little daylilies!


  1. My, you did have a very productive day! Kudos to you -- the lilies will be gorgeous in clumps. :)

  2. Are these the common orange daylily (H. fulva) or hybrids? I know many people poo poo the common ones as almost weeds, but I love them and their tenacity. I'm also intrigued by any stories of how other gardeners deal with weeds. I'm trying to plant rather thuggish groundcovers that will literally smother the weeds without out competing desirable plants (this is to cover large areas, not just beds). You might be interested in Noel Kingsbury's New Perennial Garden.

  3. I have experience (and love) both types of daylilies. My experience with what we call "ditch lilies" (common lilies)is that they need distinct, and deep seated, boundaries. They can crawl beneath half-buried railroad ties! But, when planted in front of a lavender clematis... beautiful! :-) All daylilies are tough. (Iris take the prize, however! And that's a whole 'nuther story!)