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Urban Safari: RDG Update – Day Lilies

The RainyDayGarden made it through the second heat wave without a scratch. In fact, the plants have not been this healthy for many years. We think the reason is the large amount of rain we got at the end of May. It must have really helped to establish deep roots during the Spring growth spurt. Whether that was the reason or not, we are happy to sit back and enjoy the show.

Like many people, we got our starter clumsp of day lilies from friends and/or family. In our case, one of the editors got it from his dad (who has been growing them for over forty years). The scientific name for daylily is Hemerocallis. The Greek word Hemerocallis is derived from the words meaning “beauty” and “day.” True to its name, each flower lasts only one day. However, as there are many buds on each stalk, and multiple stalks in each clump, the flowering period for a clump of day lily can be as long as a month.

What has started as one clump of about a dozen stalks has been split and spread all over the RainyDayGarden. There are currently hundreds of day lilies blooming at the same time. Over the years, we have added a few varieties to the mix, but have kept the colors mostly at the orange and yellow end of the spectrum. Now that we are going to entice some hummingbirds to visit, we are going to introduce some red ones to the collection.

To us, day lilies are about as perfect as a perennial can get. They take almost no care, require very little water, grow vigorously in all kinds of lighting conditions, and bloom for a long time. Oh yeah, they can easily be propagated. What more can any gardener ask for? Additionally, they make decent cut flowers.

Whether you want to line a walkwayadd color to a garden, or just fill in a difficult patch, there is nothing better than a lovely group of day lilies for the task…unless you are considering using cone flowers. That is an article for another day.

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