May 31, 2010

More Daylilies and a Visit to Sycamore

Some of these were not blooming yesterday when I made pics. Every day is a happy surprise in a garden with daylilies.

Silver Veil on the left; Fairy Tale Pink of the right.

Little Gypsy Eyes with a beautifully clashing self planted rose campion. The red daylily on the right might be Superlative, Kent's Favorite II or a red seedling. I forgot what I planted there with red pentas.

I am pretty sure these are Kent's Favorite II. I might be wrong.

Byzantine Emperor planted with Echinacea on the south side of the Oval Lawn.

Belinda's Dream Roses and Little Business daylilies

I found this video on You Tube. It was filmed by Bobby Baxter of Happy Moose Daylilies at the Daylily Farm of Tim Bell over at Sycamore, GA about a hundred miles from here. Tim Bell's Daylily Garden is one of many around here, but his is known as one of the prettiest.

Video by Bobby Baxter of Happy Moose Publications at the Sycamore Daylily Garden of Tim Bell.

All other flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia where Hemerocallis are a daily summer delight in the season. We were blessed with 0.8 inch of rain today.

May 30, 2010

On Becoming a Daylily Aficionado

After I showed some of my daylilies, Amy commented about not finding pretty daylilies at the big box stores. My experience with b.b. daylilies has not been good in some cases.

A big box bag is where I met Sammy. The bag was labeled as Ed Murray, a pretty modern red. Ed turned out to be Sammy Russell, a daylily from 1952. Still used in the landscape trade, Sammy is a pretty little brick red that blooms and blooms. I love Sammy, but I paid for Ed. Since then I've gotten what was supposed to be a pretty rose color and turned out to be the ubiquitous Stella D'Oro and another labeled Romantic Rose that is pale pink. Pretty, but not what the attractive packaging led me to believe.

Sammy Russell, a good little red since 1952.

From a box at Sam's Big Box, Byzantine Emperor, a good choice.

So, where to get daylilies? Local independent nurseries have pretty daylilies. Local members of the Hemerocallis Society hold plant sales. Every region of the US has chapters of the American Hemerocallis Society. Many of their members sell by mail order. Prices vary, but the quality of most is good. A bit of research is needed.

When I married, my MIL had pretty yellow daylilies that she called 'lemon lilies' and a beautiful dark red that she called 'red.'

When SIL was in college, MIL visited a cousin over in Tifton and brought home some newer varieties, including some of Miss Katie's own hybrids. The only one of those that remains here is 'Bride Elect,' a Peck hybrid  not yet in bloom this year. Along the way, I bought Fairy Tale Pink and Brocaded Gown with a long-forgotten bonus from 93 y.o. Miss Frankie who advertised in the Farmer's Market Bulletin. Miss Frankie made me dig my own.

Brocaded Gown is my favorite yellow.

Later I visited another grower in the same town who is online. I called and they had my order ready for pick-up when I arrived. They ship all over the country. I bought daylilies at a very good price at the local daylily club's sale. One of them was mislabeled but was still a good choice.

Siloam Ury Winniford while not what I bought is a great plant.

Some daylily enthusiasts pay big money for the latest hybrids with eyes, teeth, ruffles and flourishes. I'm happy with less expensive, merely pretty cultivars that have been around a while. One of my favorites was free. Miss Billie gave me proliferations from a pretty orange daylily that won the Stout Medal in 1959, Salmon Sheen. 

Salmon Sheen often has proliferations (little plants growing on the scape) that form roots and can be taken off and planted directly in the ground. I've often wondered how many generations away from common orange 'ditch lilies' Salmon Sheen might be.

Stout Medal winners are chosen by vote. They are chosen from cultivars that have won previous awards, usually daylilies that will perform well in all parts of the country. Daylilies are listed not only by name, but by hybridizer, size and whether they are evergreen or dormant types and some other characteristics. I look for hybridizers who grow in the South where conditions will be similar to mine.

Silver Veil, a Munson Hybrid

One other way to have different daylilies is to grow your own from seed. Hybridizing is a fairly simple process. I gathered bee-pollinated seed from someone's garden. She told me she'd tried planting seeds from her daylilies but they always turned out ugly. Hybridizers discard many plants before they find keepers. Here's the best one from my gathered seeds.

My daylily from seed. Garden name, Meet My Sister

Another source of daylilies is from the gardens of friends. Daylilies tend to multiply and gardeners are generous. This was one that my friend in Alabama thought was 'Joan Senior' but it was another mistaken identity. She sure is pretty. I'll give her the garden name of 'Kathy Senior.'

Garden name, Kathy Senior

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA where daylilies bloom and rebloom throughout the summer.

May 27, 2010

Roses, Lilies and Daylilies

I find color pallettes easiest when I use flowers from the same color family. The Rose Rose bed has roses from lavender through rose red to pink.

Belinda's Dream (pink rose) is on the end, Next is Double Knockout with
Pink KO slight to the rear out of sight, then the Lavender roses.
Little Business daylily is a good rosy red, not too tall forming a front border.
Algarve LA lilies are starting to bloom and Elodie Asiatic lilies are in bud.
All the roses are recovering from a rest after the first flush of bloom,
just in time to bloom with the lilies.

We went to Dothan today. Just west of Donalsonville, GA the median of highway 84 is filled with wildflowers planted by DOT. They are in drifts, much prettier than when they mixed the seeds. Moss verbena and  coreopsis were two I could be sure of, there are others. Moss verbena fell to the mowers on our highway last week, but it suffers mowing fairly well so it should come back into bloom.

I passed the garden centers of Lowe's, HD and Ace Hardware, buying only kink protectors to link together my new homebuilt soakers and more hose menders. Everything in a pot here has to go into the ground before I entertain the thought of buying more plants. Crotons at HD and Pelargoniums at Lowe's beckoned to me. Ace Hardware had daylilies, none as pretty as those already in the garden.


Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia where Gardenia fragrance floats on the breeze and the sun is hot, hot. Join us in a glass of iced Ruby Tea, dark and barely sweet.

May 26, 2010

Gardenias, May Blooms and a New Way to Water

It seems to me that June is the usual month for Gardenias but they started in May and are really opening fast.

Gardenias like a little shade. These are under an oak.

Blooms cascade down like a Gardenia bridal bouquet.
One of my sisters wore Gardenias for her second wedding.
I was 12.It seemed the most romantic flower in the world.

Vitex is starting to bloom. Buddleia does poorly here.
Vitex is a great substitute, forming small deciduous trees.
I forget the name of this dusky butterfly nectaring on Vitex.

 First Tithonia bloom in the garden.
These reseeded. I pulled some plants at the end of fall
and laid them along the edge of a bed.
Melampodium blooms behind it, another reseeder
for all summer bloom.

I was very pleased with the Duranta that I bought last summer. It grew as tall as me. It came back from the dead when the weather warmed this spring. I kept a cutting over the winter and planted it in the new Stump bed. Today I planted 3 more rooted cuttings. These are in the bed with Tithonia and Melampodium. On top the berm is lavender Lantana montevidensis.

Duranta cuttings, in the ground now.

DH is making soakers for me. I'm not good at making tutorials. They're made of ten foot sections of plastic pipe which fit nicely into the truck bed for hauling home. There are a zillion pieces of fittings and caps. One end has a connector like a female garden hose fitting.

Little holes are drilled every 6 inches the length of the piece. Two 6" pieces are cut off before the drilling and a T piece added on the end with capped 6" pieces at right angles to stabilize the soaker when it lies flat. We ended up with 9 foot soakers.

I've never been overly happy with any soaker hose and I've tried them all. Sprinklers leave me cold as well and we've had an abundance of those. These homemade soakers can be placed with the holes down, or holes up give a gentle rainfall to plants.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia where Gardenia fragrance floats on the breeze. Join us in a glass of iced Ruby Tea, dark and barely sweet.


May 25, 2010

Late May Favorites

Late May is a time of seed gathering as well as scattering. Papaver rhoeas awaits snipping off the tiny pods full of seeds as fine as dust, small in comparison to the earlier poppies. I just visited Kimberly's Garden in Paradise where she has hibiscus in bloom while mine is just reviving from the dead with leaves peeking out between last year's dead stems.  Kimberly showed Mandevilla and Periwinkles, just showing growth here.

The little garden around 'Little Gem' magnolia has
lavender pentas, Brazilian ruellia, begonias, Persian Shield and
'Little Grapette' daylily which is not in bloom yet.

Here's 'Little Grapette' bloomg beside a recycled rough concrete
walk-through in one of my long beds. 'Little Grapette' is a
good companion to 'Byzantine Emperor' daylily blooming now and
'Olive Bailey Langdon' which was invaded by a fire ant mound and is now struggling.

This heirloom gladioli was moved from an old house site
elsewhere on this place.  I know its name but I forget.

Speaking of heirlooms, here's 'Old Red' again. It's the staple of
the daylily garden, here for more than 50 years. Here it is
growing with Hydrangea, Larkspur and reseeded 
Salvia coccinea and gomphrena.  

This daylily is my very own, grown from seeds gathered in someone's daylily bed. She said when she'd tried planting them the results were ugly. This one turned out beautiful. Notice yesterday's bloom, which still looks good for a second day bloom. Usually they look like soggy socks.

I had a disappointment today. When 'Joan Senior' finally bloomed, it was mislabeled. It is a pretty peach color but not the near white I was hoping for.

Visit Simply Susan for more May Favorites.  I couldn't list all mine, we would be here all day. I must go water Gardenias. I didn't get to all of them yesterday. The ones that did get watered are bursting into bloom. Usually Gardenias are June bloomers here.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in hot, humid  Southwest Georgia where Gardenia and Magnolia fragrances float on the breeze. A breeze is always welcome here in summer.

May 23, 2010

Whites by Night

Sometimes I go out near dusk and take pictures. Sometime they turn out quite interesting,  particularly  white flowers.

White Crape Myrtles have commenced bloom.
The white Crape beds have yellow flowers.
I'll plant a rooted Salvia leucantha in this bed
to hide the ankles and later the maturing stems of lilies.

Pawpaws are blooming, host plant for Zebra Swallowtails.
Critters will eat the fruits that form as soon as they ripen.
I used a stylized pic of Asimina spp. for a new header.

Only slight chances of rain for the next few days.
I want to water every Gardenia bush. They are heavily loaded.

All flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia where Gardenias are opening daily and their fragrance floats on the breeze. Join us in a glass of iced Ruby Tea, dark and barely sweet.

My big afternoon plans are to mend the hoses with holes that Buffy chewed and water, water, water.

May 21, 2010

The Upper Garden: In the Pink

The Upper Garden has much high shade. End of March, it turns pink from azaleas. The rest of spring and summer, think pink. All the hydrangeas are blue because the soil is acid. I like blue hydrangeas so I do not attempt to change their color. On the outside of the Oval Lawn in the Upper garden a border of Salmon Sheen daylilies offers orange contrast to hydrangea blue. At the ends, on the north side and on the inside, pinks are the main colors starting with Spiraea bulmalda on each side of the entrance. Buffy and I transplanted echinacea to the north side this afternoon and planted out some rooted pink begonias.

The Cycad finally has new growth after winter damage.
It seems an eternity until the center cone grows into fronds.

The rest of the Upper Garden flows through orange to red in some of the beds as you move west. Parts of the Upper Garden are devoted to flowers that butterflies love. Pink pentas and Echinacea are on the east end.
Look closely. There are two little dusky butterflies nectaring.

At the west end, reds and purples attract butterflies too. I forget how it was that the middle turned orange, but Tithonia and cannas are featured.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia where Gardenia fragrance floats on the breeze and Butterflies have commenced to visit in 2s and 3s instead of singly. Join us in a glass of dark Ruby Tea with plenty of ice.

May 20, 2010

How to Garden, in 25 Words

This was an exercise from last year. It sums up my garden techniques except for propagation which is, "Here, stick this in the ground and it will grow," which I learned from Miss Billie.

How to Garden, in 25 Words

Stroll the garden daily.
Weed as you go.
Look at your plants.
Remove what's dying or overcrowding.
Water as needed.
Postpone planting until cooler days.
                                        -- Nell Jean

Here's why I stroll the garden daily, or twice daily or even thrice daily.

So as not to miss Inner View:

or Brocaded Gown:

and especially this Zebra:

Buffy and I planted hostas this morning.
Hostas do not do well here, but I've had these for years. Last fall I dug them and potted up to see if they'd think they were in a colder climate if they were in pots. They did come up earlier.

This afternoon we have watering to do. I noticed Castor Beans are coming up in the North Bed where Pride of Barbados is looking good. I have a seedling to plant of Pride of Barbados and some other bits of rooted things. My Nasturtiums have started to bloom, just in time for hot weather to take them out.

All flowers and text are from the Dotty Plants Blog in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia where Gardenia fragrance floats on the breeze and dogs passing in the backs of pickups bark to let us know they are there. Join us in a glass of fresh cool well water from the tap. Buffy likes hers from the end of a garden hose.

May 19, 2010

White Blossoms from the Night

As I made rounds this morning with a pair of pruners to lop off low hanging crape myrtle branches and ugly rose canes a Zebra Swallowtail butterfly dipped and floated as he searched for nectar. A sleepy orange was puddling where bare ground was still damp from yesterday's brief rain shower. A Spicebush Swallowtail nectared on Silene.

Pawpaws blooming, ample leaves for Tiger Swallowtail larvae.

'Little Gem' Magnolia perfumes the air of the upper garden.

These waxy LA lilies have little fragrance even at night.

All flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia where sudden showers run the gardener inside on summer afternoons and daylilies require daily deadheading to remove 'soggy socks'. Join us for a lunch of roasted freshly dug red potatoes, green beans with ham slivers and yellow squash.

May 18, 2010

Buffy's Big Adventure

We went to the Mayhaw Pond, Miz Willene and Buffy and I. The young mule across the fence in Mr. James' pasture came to see what we were doing. Buffy commenced to bark, running along the fence.

When she got to a hole in the fence big enough that she could slip through, she gave chase. Sudden Buffy was being chased herself by something bigger and faster, with thundering hooves! She circled quickly back to the hole she'd gone through. She spent the rest of the time we were there barking, but carefully on her side of the fence.

Text and pics are from in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA where mosquitos have suddenly appeared and the humidity is higher than the temperature, mornings. New daylilies and true lilies are appearing daily in the garden.

There was a light shower of rain this afternoon. We're trimming trees and bushes. Daddy Mack always said that low hanging limbs made him feel smothered. High shade is ideal for growing plants. They don't want to feel smothered, either.

May 17, 2010

Butterflies Returning by 2s and 3s

We had rain yesterday. Just as the last hose was dragged into place, thunder ran me in the house. I watched on Wundermap as the clouds came north. The total rainfall was 0.4 inch. At the hay field, there was 0.6 inch. Summer rain is a curious thing. It may be raining on your neighbor while you get a bare sprinkle.

Daylilies are blooming. True lilies are about to burst into bloom. Corn poppies and Larkspur persist, most noticeable display as we drive into the yard. Breadseed Poppy seedheads need gathering for fall scattering so dying plants can be pulled.

Loropetalum has taken over some of the true lilies, which are growing up through the foliage. I made have to do a little judicious pruning to show off the lily blooms. Eventually the Loropetalum may have to be pruned into small trees, not a bad thing.

Silene (catchfly) attracts Spicebush Swallowtails.
Butterflies are showing up in 2s and 3s. I saw a Monarch Saturday.

All flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia where Magnolia fragrance floats on the breeze and Whippoorwills call from the woods at night. Join us in a glass of iced Ruby Tea, dark and barely sweet.

May 15, 2010

True Lilies and Daylilies

These are the first true lilies to bloom, nameless Longiflorum/Asiatic hybrids. Buds are everywhere.

The peachy shades do well with blue companions like Hydrangeas and Stokesia.

This looked so sophisticated in the sun today, despite being an old, old daylily with no name. Three  blooms opened on one clump. They need yellow companions, maybe some yellow Zinnias.

Hot, humid, sultry day. Forty percent chance of rain tomorrow, 60% on Monday. I'm spot watering.

I'm working hard on getting all rooted cuttings into a home somewhere. White Caladiums are planted with 10 white Begonias to accompany them. There are 15 more little white Begonias, some I just bumped up into a bigger pot. Pink Begonias are begging to go out too. Begonias can stand drought so much better than Impatiens and rooted cuttings are easy to keep over winter.

If I was not so obsessive about sticking every little piece of something broken off into a pot of soil, I might finally catch up.

I can see that the violas I left for just a little longer are going to have to go. There are two rooted pieces of Indigo Spires Salvia waiting to go in the Salvia bed. Kniphofia at the ends of that bed are slow about  putting up a bloom stalk.

Butterflies are coming by 2s and 3s now instead of one at a time. I saw a Monarch today, or maybe he was a Viceroy. By the time I said, "Oh, there's a Monarch," he abandoned the Echinacea to a nectaring Swallowtail and was gone. I was holding a hose, not a camera.

Summer annuals need scattering. I see a single Purple Datura so far from the seed I scattered. One Cassia alata is up for fall bloom. Tithonia scattered itself where I just pulled up some stalks and laid along the sides of beds last fall. Melampodium and Madagascar Periwinkle are coming up on their own, as always. Zinnias and marigolds are waiting for planting, among others. Late Marigolds are as good as Mums in the fall for yellow and gold and orange.

I cut all spiderwort to the ground, save one clump. What a thug! It will put out new foliage and bloom again soon. Eventually it will need digging.

All flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia where the fragrance of Magnolias floats on the breeze and whippoorwills call from the woods at night. Join us in a glass of iced Ruby Tea. dark and barely sweet.

May 14, 2010

Blooms and Surprises

One of my fav natives, Stokesia is blooming. Soon to be accompanied by mophead hydrangeas and a daylily that clashed with everything until I gave it the blues.

Pink roses are everywhere in the settlement, I noticed. Running, climbing, rampant.

Roses with Confederate Jasmine, Crinum not yet ready to bloom, Cannas not yet in bloom and Liriope.

Tomatoes went in flower beds so I wouldn't have to dig a new bed for them. Here they're blooming with Silene and Calfornia poppies. An American Painted Lady visits the Silene.
Look! There's a little tomato, bottom right.

I Blog Here & Here too