12 July 2011

daylilies in bloom, 9 July 2011

Here's the daylily bed. It's about 30 feet long currently, but I think it might look really nice about 60 feet longer. Am I crazy? I am. I am insane.

My plan would be to intersperse at more or less regular intervals a selection of red, orange, and yellow daylilies that bloom early, midseason, and very late. Among the colors and forms I like are these three that are in bloom now (see below; would this be midseason?).

The first is blooming at about 50 inches tall. It's got very thin, grassy foliage, and the flower is washed out in the sun here, but anyway, it has yellow sepals and red striped petals. It's been blooming for about four days already. And there are plenty of buds to come. B and I like this one a lot. I've done some searching online, and I think it may be 'Caballero.'

The next is much shorter, about 28 inches tall in bloom. The flowers are a beautiful, deep brick red with a deep gold throat (the photograph here doesn't do it justice). I love it. It's cheerful and warm and small (one might even say it has a lot of spunk), and it's been in bloom for about a week now. Again, I did some Googling, and it could be 'Sammy Russell Red.'

And the last started blooming about two days ago. It's located at the end of the peony bed in the side yard. Currently it's being overhung by our huge Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle.'  The color is a deep burgundy (even though it looks more purple in this photograph) and it's about 55 inches tall in bloom. I think it might be 'Burgundy Star,' but I wouldn't swear on it.

Current daylilies (left to right): 'Caballero,'
'Sammy Russell Red,' and 'Burgundy Star.'
I realize I'll have to note when these go out of bloom, too. Hmmmm. Hope I remember to do that.

In addition to these strong colors, the daylily bed in its current configuration has some other plants with peachy or mauve blossoms. I'm not so crazy about the colors (they don't blend well with the ones I really like), and the forms of the flowers are broader, fleshier, and not the more-regular shape I prefer.

So . . .

On Sunday after church, I went over to Slate Hill Farm, which is about a three-minute drive from the center of Salem, New York, and told the owners, Craig and Mary Barnes, what I was looking for. I left $40 poorer and four daylilies richer.

Here's what I bought (and the images are from the Slate Hill Farm website): 'Campfire Embers,' a 1979 introduction by Stanley Saxton, one of the great daylily breeders (and a choral director, too; my kind of guy). This is a 30" tall plant that is in bloom now but continues for a long while, apparently. The flowers are a vivid, vivid, vivid scarlet red. Just gorgeous.

The next is 'Hyperion,' bred by Franklin Mead in 1924. This is considered a classic. It's 48" tall and a midseason bloomer. It smells wonderful (I don't know of many daylilies that have a fragrance, but then I don't know a whole lot about daylilies), and it looks beautiful blooming next to 'Campfire Embers.' When I asked the Barnes whether they preferred another beautiful yellow daylily, 'Kindly Light,' that blooms at around the same time and has thinner, more spidery petals to 'Hyperion,' they both said, "Oh, you want 'Hyperion' definitely."

For later in the season, I chose another yellow daylily called 'Sandra Elizabeth,' 28 inches tall, very late, with broader petals that somehow don't look overblown to me. It was developed by breeder Don Stevens in 1983. It's pretty wonderful.

The last is 'Autumn Minaret,' bred by Arlow Stout in 1951. It's another late one, huge (70") and a beautiful light orange, apparently, with red overlay. It's supposed to be fragrant, too.

New daylilies (left to right): 'Campfire Embers,' 'Hyperion,'
'Sandra Elizabeth,' and 'Autumn Minaret.'

A couple of others I didn't buy, but have put on my list for purchase from Slate Hill Farm another time are: 'Bitsy,' 'Scarlet Orbit,' and the aforementioned 'Kindly Light.' I figure I'll visit again in another few weeks and again a few weeks later and again later still to see what's in bloom throughout the summer. Three more I'd like to find are "Autumn Accent,' 'Princess Irene,' and 'Painted Lady' (Sydney Eddison considers this one her favorite).

It will take a few years for my four little plants to grow into big clumps that I can divide and replant, but, oh, what beautiful plants!


  1. I got three Autumn Minaret last spring. They came mail order, and still look rather small, but I'm hoping for something really special in the fall.

  2. Hi, James! I bought some nice big clumps (three fans apiece), and Craig Barnes trimmed the foliage back quite a bit and wrapped them beautifully. They're all planted in somewhat of a holding bed (in the chicken coop) until I can get the daylily bed dug a little more, but I may get a bloom on the 'Autumn Minaret' this fall, too. Or at least that's what Craig tells me.

  3. I am so glad you had the names under your pictures! I have lots of different color daylillies but had no idea they were each something different. Thanks!

  4. Hi, Shannon Marie! It's kind of fun to try and figure out what I've got so far as varieties are concerned. I may be right, and I may be wrong, but I feel like I've got a bit of an idea. I look for color first, and then I look for habit (height, date of bloom). If they match up somewhat with what's going on in my garden, I say, "Check!" and I move on to the next . . .