Monday, August 9, 2010


It's been a tough season in many parts hereabouts. Too much heat and not enough rain. But this is the type of year when gardeners find out what are keepers and what are tossers. Among the former category for me are daylilies.

I developed my super-special deer repellent (see my book, Mentors in the Garden of Life, chapter 15) in response to white-tail deer's depredations on my daylilies. If applied regularly, the concoction works perfectly, and I now grow maybe 40 different cultivars of DL's, which give me thousands of blooms from late June until (usually) late August. This year things are ahead of themselves due to weather, so the beauty pictured here is among the last.

My backyard garden is often viewed from above, from my screen porch (see chapter 2, Mentors in the Garden of Life), where the flowers and foliage of the large hosta, astilbe, hydrangea, roses, etc. look quite good, if I do say so myself. I grow all colors and sizes of DL's. Pink, purple, apricot, white, red, lavender, and so forth. Don't ask me most of their names....I've not always been diligent about labeling. Lately I've been better, yes, but there's a bunch of orphans.

Once one is down on the grass paths that wind their way thru the backyard gardens, the weeds & problems are obvious, but I like to take visitors first to the porch and deck, so they can take in the full effect of the floral carpet spread below. The signature is the gazebo, framed in different seasons by different flowers.

Back to daylilies, which have scoffed at the drought of '10. With their tuberous roots, they store water; it takes a real humdinger of a scorching summer to cause them pause. Though bad this year, I've seen worse.

So my advice is to control the deer, and then indulge in daylilies.

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