The daylilies began blooming in late April in my Zone 7b garden. Peak bloom for us was the first week of June, and many are still blooming or reblooming. This is my favorite time of year, and I have been busy with daylily club events and AHS events. I finally found time to update my website with a ton of new photos, so don't forget to visit the galleries! In today's post I will feature some of the top performers from my garden this season.
Will Marchant, a very generous man and talented daylily hybridizer, gave me a clump of HEAVENLY ORANGE BLAZE (Gossard, 2009) last fall. I'm always thankful for free daylilies, but I had no idea this plant would put on a show like it has. Every day for over four weeks it was loaded with blooms. Like fireworks, it shot up and exploded with color. The scapes are tall and strong, and the brightness grabs your attention. This one is a keeper.
AMAZING MORRIS KIRBY (Herrinton-T., 2007) is living up to its name. I love everything about this daylily. It started blooming mid-May, and is currently reblooming. This photo (right) was taken just a few days ago. While many of the plants are suffering from the hot, dry weather we've been having, AMK doesn't seem to be phased. This small, 3.5" flower exhibits so many beautiful details. Look at the slightly ruffled edge. Notice the pattern on the sepals, and the light mid-rib. All these elements come together on a great scape with over 20 buds. I can't wait to see what this one does once it reaches clump size.
Talk about green! EMERALD STARBURST (Doorakian, 2004) is the greenest daylily I grow, and it stays green all day. Most of the other "green" daylilies I have fade to yellow around mid-day, but not this guy. The photo to the left was taken with my phone, and has not been doctored in any way. Great bud count and tall scapes make EMERALD STARBURST one of my most used plants for hybridizing this year. The throat extends so far, it nearly covers the whole bloom. I am working on getting that bright green color onto round form small flowers. With a little more recurve, you would nearly have an all green flower. (Oh, the possibilities!) ES sets pods like a champ, despite the drought we've had. I also have one of the parents, MALACHITE PRISM, but it does not hold a candle to its offspring.
This little powerhouse is SHINING MISSION (Netherton, 2014). Not just another yellow daylily, I can assure you. The perfectly formed, adorable 3" flowers begin opening the day before, and last over 24 hours. A small green throat highlights this bright yellow self. SHINING MISSION began blooming May 16th, and is still putting on a show with rebloom. While many of my small daylilies bloomed on short scapes this year (down in the foliage), SM consistently blooms above the foliage. All these factors make hybridizing with this flower a no-brainer. It sets pods easily, and I am so very excited to see what kind of kids come from this amazing plant.
I had the opportunity to meet Jim and Mary Netherton earlier this year, as part of my new job, AHS Region 5 Display Garden Liaison. These kind folks showed me around their garden, and invited me in to share stories. I really enjoyed my visit, and I leaned a lot! I would recommend if you haven't seen it, go visit Peace on Earth Daylily Gardens. They have some amazing seedlings in the works, so keep an eye out for upcoming Netherton intros.
SPACECOAST TIGERTAIL TANGO (Kinnebrew-J., 2010) is a very special daylily to me. It's not my favorite form, and it's not a diploid, but it did something amazing this year... Steven has been helping me grow daylilies for a while now, but he didn't catch "the bug" until he saw this flower. He absolutely loves it. He loves it so much, that when I told him I wasn't hybridizing with tets, he said, "Well, I'll just have to start hybridizing!" So this plant gets credit for inspiring a new daylily hybridizing program, and for this reason, it will always hold a special place in my heart. The colors are fantastic, and the eye is so unique. Steven is crossing it with other open form large tets, and large dark flowers. His taste in daylilies is very different from mine, so it will be interesting to see what he comes up with.
That's all for now, folks. In my next post I will focus on details and individual elements of daylilies that caught my eye this year. Until next time!