'Tis daylily season again. In the depths of summer, from the end of June until the end of August, each day brings a cascade of color among the 60 or so hemerocallis I grow. Between prodigious amounts of deer repellent and broadcastings of Milorganite, the deer don't visit, though I see them crashing through the woods on their way to the pond below.
And so it is that I stand on my deck in the early morning, watching the color rise from the backyard garden. And of course, I'm out most evenings, bucket in hand, deadheading the daylilies.
I grow big daylilies, tiny daylilies, yellow, white, pink, orange and most every other color of daylily. Shown above is my all-time favorite. It's big, strong, very purple, and performs well in semi-shade. I've had it for years and it's been in several different parts of my yard. Now it graces the edge of the patio garden, where it's easily seen and admired from the screen porch, the deck and the patio. I lovingly count the buds each spring, and tenderly put the plant to bed each autumn. What's the name, you might ask, of such a wonderful perennial?
I haven't a clue.
I wish I did. Once upon a time I knew what this beauty was called. But because I didn't label it, or write down the cultivar, I can't purchase more of it, nor recommend it to friends and clients.
And herein lies the lesson for today. As my garden mentor, Paul Young, keeps telling me, labeling is essential. He labels each and every one of his thousand hostas. Though time-consuming at first, I know it's not a great big deal to choose a labeling method, but just like deer repelling, one must do it regularly. Whether one writes on wooden popsicle sticks, or orders fancy enameled mini-signposts, label as soon as you acquire a new plant and replace that label as needed.
Then, and only then, can you be sure of what you're growing. We gardeners always think we'll remember what we've planted.