Post last updated: October 10th, 2018
Aegean Temple (Valley of the Daylilies) and Strawberry Candy (Ryder) did not bloom this year. Seductor (Smokeys) did but I didn’t happen to photograph it. The daylilies from Smokeys were from their bargain basement so they weren’t full-sized plants and few bloomed.
This was my first foray into purchasing “named” daylilies. In other words, daylilies that have been registered with The American Hemerocallis Society. I ordered ten registered daylilies, received three different bonus daylilies (two registered, which I liked better than my choices, and one unregistered seedling). I spent $78.22 on the daylilies and $45.20 on the shipping. Those babies are heavy!
I found The American Hemerocallis Society’s daylily database very helpful in giving me facts about the daylilies I wanted – scape (bloom stalk) height, bloom size, blooming season (8 categories), foliage type (evergreen, dormant, etc.) and bloom habit (diurnal, nocturnal, etc.). I was disappointed that they often do not have photographs of the older, more affordable daylilies. I can afford $8 for a double fan but not $150 to $300. Most of the places I shopped sold daylilies as “double fans” which gives you enough of a “clump” to fill a garden spot.
While I paid attention to whether or not the daylily was a rebloomer and to scape height because I didn’t particularly want giants in my garden, I still messed up. I wanted the Autumn Minaret because it was an affordable “spider” daylily but overlooked the 66″ scape height. With the Punk and Siloam Baby Talk, I overlooked the bloom size – very small at 2.75 and 2.5 inches, respectively. On the bright side, these daylilies with small blooms have shorter scapes and shorter plants which will make them great for stuffing in front of taller perennials. Interestingly, I found that the published bloom size is not always accurate.
I also found color inaccuracies. Sometimes the daylily color on the vendor website did not match the daylily database or what I saw blooming in my garden. I suspect a lot of the inaccuracies have to do with the variations in soil around the country and the need for the daylily to have time to “adjust” to new soil and garden conditions. I would now recommend that you search the web for a photo of the named daylily you are considering. If you see the same color showing up by several different photographers, that is probably the real color. The photos I found on the web matched what I had in my garden. Keep in mind that business photographers have access to photo editing programs that allow them to change the clarity, vibrance and saturation. Any one of those settings can improve upon a daylily from what you would see in the actual garden setting.
I bought some reasonably priced, really permanent, green plastic markers from Valley of the Daylilies. The writing area had a rough, sand-papery feeling with hundreds of little grooves. I used a grease pencil to write “Dune Buggy” on a marker and when I contacted him for the name of the red daylily he sent by mistake, I found that I could not get the grease pencil off the marker. I soaked it in bleach and everything else under my kitchen sink to no avail. All I managed to do was fade the grease pencil.
I really want more daylilies but shipping puts a hole in my budget. My veggie garden didn’t do well this year because of the weird weather. Maybe I’ll buy the cheap veggie seeds for next year so I can have more daylilies. Sound like a plan?