}

July 21, 2011

Update Your Garden - Make-overs,even with plants


Classics and bargains are fine, but just like fashion, sometimes we all just end up in a rut - even in gardening. Just for example, treating your garden just as you would treat your home decor, or even your closet, is not a bad idea, for all of us sometimes need a make-over. It's so easy to end up with a garden that looks like everyone else on the block, after all, you all shop at the same stores. Just remember - most if not all retail garden centers order their stock from exactly the same wholesalers, and there aren't many. There is nothing wrong with the proven winners of the world, but sometimes, you need the awesome accessory, and you just ain't gonna find it at the Gap. You need the specialty store, or even better, directly from the designer themselves

This is particularly true with the flower of the moment here in July, the lilies. If you drive off on this hot day to your local garden center, you will find 5 gallon pots of Stella d'oro Daylilies, 2 gallon nursery pots of Asiatic lilies and even some fragrant OT's or Oriental Trumpet crosses that have been recently introduced ( like the super awesome Conca d'Or - and there is nothing wrong with any of these proven winner-type plants, but.....oh, there are so many more that may never make it to your store until they are tested, micro-propagated and marketed, which can take years. These new winners, especially those introduced each year by specialty breeders  are THE lilies to try. Why not grow this season's beauties, long before they make it to the ready-to-wear mass market nurseries?


THIS ORIENTAL - TRUMPET CROSS IS CALLED SWEETHEART - YOU WON'T FIND THIS $5 BULB AT YOUR GARDEN CENTER, BUT YOU CAN BUY IT ONLINE.


You will always need a foundation of classics, bargains, good-deals and every-day plants, but why settle for a Stella d"Oro daylilly when you can have the hottest daylilly of 2020? ( not that there is a 'Hottest"but there are many hot new varieties each year).

Trumpet Lilies, Lilium longiflorum and crosses between the giant, fragrant mid-summer Oriental lilies and Trumpet lilies are all the rage. Order lily catalogs now ( mine from B&D Lilies just arrived), and just see what you could have - don't settle for everyday ready-to-wear lilies, the 'couture' ones are sometimes even cheaper. 

STELLA-D'ORO MIGHT BE FINE, BUT THERE ARE FAR BETTER DAYLILIES TO TRY. HEMEROCALLIS, OR DAYLILIES ARE NOT TRUE LILIES, BUT JUST AS VALUABLE AS SUMMER FLOWERING PLANTS. LOOK FOR NEW VARIETIES LIKE THIS, FOR YOUR GARDEN INSTEAD OF SETTLING FOR MASS-PRODUCED VARIETIES ( THEY'RE NICE TOO, BUT WHY NOT EXPLORE DEEPER AND LOOK FOR MORE UNUSUAL FORMS?).



'LITTLE GRAPETTE', A SMALL-FLOWERS PURPLE DAYLILY, AND ONE THAT LANDSCAPE STARCHITECTS LIKE  PIET OUDOLF FROM THE NETHERLANDS, KEEP ON THEIR MUST-HAVE PLANT LISTS. 



'INDIAN SUMMER' IS A SWEETLY SCENTED ORIENTAL CROSS, THAT GROWS FROM A BULB AND ALL TRUE LILIES DO, EMIT'S A FRAGRANCE THAT WAFTS THROUGH THE EVENING GARDEN THAT IS RICH AND SPICY.

SOME BETTER GARDEN CENTERS MAY HAVE NEWER INTRODUCTIONS OF TRUE LILIES, LIKE THIS 'CONCA D'OR 'ORIENTAL/TRUMPET CROSS WHICH IS IN BLOOM TODAY IN MY GARDEN, LOOK FOR THESE STRONG GROWERS THAT GET BETTER EVERY YEAR WITH MORE BUDS AND TALLER STEMS.



One of the best reasons for joining any plant society, is for the information you receive from the experts. For example, as any Daylily breeder or collector what daylily ( Hemerocallis) they think is the best, and most likely, it isn't available at your garden center yet. Heck, it probably won't be there at all, or at the very best, it will be there in 5 -7 years once the breeder micro-propagates it if they can get a business partner in Holland or Germany interested in marketing it.

So,just as with our fashion why settle for everyday - off-the-rack when you can have couture at the same price?

THE ABOVE IMAGE IS FROM THE GILBERT WILD NURSERY SITE - SPIDER FORM DAYLILIES ARE CURIOUS FORMS OF DAYLILIES.


Starting with Daylilies or Hemerocallis, let's see what the American Hemerocallis Society  feel is worthy.....Check out their site here. Look at the Stout Medal winners for each year, or join, and get their four color journal and look at amazing photos of award winning or new crosses, many of which you can order from the many mail order sources in the back.

Choosing Daylilies can be a very personal thing, one may want fragrance, or extreme ruffling, or an awesome color, or extreme height ( I have one that is 6 feet tall), or a spider-flowered form - all of these may never make it through the rigorous evaluation that most commercial plant retailed put plants through, but some of the finest garden plants never make it to market - they must be obtained from breeders or private growers. Plant societies are sometimes the only places where you can link to these sources, or ask other growers. For a real bargain, try this breeders mix of rejects from Gilbert H. Wild and Son.



Be sure to check out the David Hall winners, I like to compare my collection to this list, it's been fun to see how many of these are not available anywhere except from specialty growers. Why settle for the the Gap, when you can have Gucci? There are other winner lists too, and I know many do not have links to images from the name, but use your Google skills for that.

Are you a daylilly grower or breeder? Please share your favorite varieties that you feel may never be found at a big box store?

The same goes for other plant societies, so don't limit yourself to you local nursery. Daylilies are not true lilies, they are Hemerocallis, but true lilies, those that grow from bulbs are even harder to find - especially the finer varieties. The North American Lily Society can point you to the finest lily nurseries or sources, even auctions if you join a local chapter. This is the season for Lily shows, look for one in your area and bring a digital camera to take photos of the name tags - later, order these varieties, surely you will never find them at retail.

Do you love Hosta? Then you must check out the American Hosta Society, a very active group, and the best source if you want to find some incredible Hosta for your collection or garden. Be sure to check out the Popularity Pole winners. Use this list as your wishlist, if you want to cheat ( and if you want to impress your neighbors!).


4 comments :

  1. Oh, how i love lilies!! I have bought every type of the new and exciting Orienpet lilies. I have some of them posted on my blog right now. They are my favs. Great post!

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  2. One of my fav Stout Silver medal winners is •1959 SALMON SHEEN (Taylor 1951). It might be old, but it still makes a show and blooms a long time, as does Brocaded Gown which won in 1989. A nameless red from the 1950s is my longest blooming, best all around daylily.

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  3. Oh, I do love Brocadedf Gown. When I first joined the AHS, it was on the cover of one of the journals, but I remember that it was $50.00, and at the time, I could not afford it. Must search it down! I will now need to search out Salmon Sheen! The color sounds perfect for my garden.

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  4. This is peak for daylilies. I keep a Google map of specialist nurseries at:

    http://tinyurl.com/NE-daylily

    I particularly recommend the first one, Harmon Hill Farm in Hudson, NH, as it has a spectacular 3500 varieties and most of them are very recent introductions.

    The daylily flower show is tomorrow, Saturday the 23rd, at Tower Hill Botanical Garden. See: http://www.nedaylily.org/ I'll be speaking there at noon.

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