Monday, June 30, 2008

Ed and I walked through the daylilies at the end of the day. They are peaking!

Tucked into the Boxwood Collection here at the Arboretum, are a few other interesting smaller assemblages of plants; Tree Peonies, Narcissus, Daylilies, asst perennials. The Daylilies are just reaching their peak. This would be a good weekend to see them. Meadowlark Gardens, in Northern Virgina, also has a good collection of Daylilies, which, like Lynn (the Boxwood/Daylily curator at the USNA), they have chosen to plant on top of their Narcissus collection.

I go back and forth on daylilies; their flowers are undeniably beautiful and they come at a good time, that is when the high season perennials have gone by. But their foliage is so darned messy that I don't know where to put them. I used to insert them as accents, sort of deciduous flowering liriopes, into semi-formal or ever formal areas, but when the leaves go yellow, they do become eyesores. Nowadays I am more apt to treat them as cut flower plants and mass them along the sunniest back side of a house so that they can be appreciated without applying the daily cleaning and grooming that they would require in a formal front garden.

At any rate there are thousands of varieties and some of the flowers, see 'Ruby Spider' are..., well look at those flowers. In fact they are good cut flowers though they last only a day. I once visited a hybridizer when his plants were in full bloom and he had at least 200 individual flowers in "compound vases" in his living room. Cool display. And if the messiness still gets you, I have learned that it does no harm to the plant to cut it back to 6" or so after flowering; the foliage regrows nicely and stays clean for the rest of the season.

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