Saturday, June 23, 2018

Awfully Flashy, Indeed

I did not, as I suggested recently, have to wait for my 'Heavenly Flight of Angels' daylily for the "next flashy daylily to come along."  In fact, two days later, it was the semi-awfully, but coincidentally named Hemerocallis 'Awfully Flashy' that captured my instant attention as I took Bella out for her morning wee.

Yes, despite my recent daylily mis-identification,  I'm pretty sure that this is 'Awfully Flashy', because it matches the spot on my plant map and, more importantly, because it matches the internet pictures I can find.  'Awfully Flashy' was a 1979 introduction by Monette and is described as a semi-evergreen diploid with 6.5" blooms of lavender pink blend and a green throat.

I stated my opinion that this daylily was named "semi-awfully" for a couple of reasons.  First, I couldn't resist the pun.  Second, while 'Awfully Flashy' may be flashy, it is certainly not awful. In fact, I'd argue strongly for it as a beauty.  'Fancily Flashy' would have been a better name.   I know that it is not the most modern over-bred, spectacular daylily available, but since I buy the majority of my daylilies as cheap divisions at plant sales, it's about as fancy as I grow.  The upper petals are deep pink, in fact almost fuchsia-pink, compared to the lower petals and they have a prominent lighter midrib and ruffled edges.  Best of all, that green throat has a sweet fragrance.  I'm always surprised by fragrant daylilies, as are undoubtedly some of you, because for some reason daylilies don't draw anyone to sniff them.  Perhaps we are simply put off by the prominent stamens in our way.  Perhaps we feel subconsciously improper sticking our nose in the daylily's business.  Regardless, put away your inhibitions and sample the fragrance of 'Awfully Flashy'.

Although I didn't know it, or have forgotten it, it is evidently "a thing," among daylily fanatics, to write short stories which use as many names of real daylilies as possible.  Maybe this winter, when I have more time, I'll give it a shot, but I'm not going to attempt it now, in the heat of summer, when new daylilies are opening for my pleasure with each new dawn.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Here's Why (Weather)

Given my post yesterday, some may have thought I was kidding about the weather here.  So, as further evidence, I give you these photos; taken last night around 8:30 p.m.   No rain was predicted, yet this front came sweeping in from our northwest and caught us by surprise.

A few minutes later, you can see that the main wall of the front is going to sweep just to our north (again!) and that the sun is now shining in the direct west. 

On the plus side, as the front went by, the setting sun and the back side of the wall combined on the southeast side of the house into a startling mix of perfect pastel color.

And finished off with a double rainbow to our direct south as the sun set.  Can't ask for more than that.

Except, of course, rain.  We got a sprinkle, enough to make the pavement look wet.  And that was all she wrote.  Wamego, the next proper town east, had a bit of a blow, with a few trees down.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Weather Wierdness

I'm normally "ProfessorRoush Proud" that I've become something of a weather guru to Mrs. ProfessorRoush and her friends.  So many years of reading the Kansas sky, smelling the air, and viewing the radar patterns have made me and those around me reasonably confident and comfortable that I can reliably predict the immediate weather patterns and their severity better than the internet or evening newscasts.   I frequently get calls or texts on summer evenings asking me if a friend should take shelter from a dark sky or whether they can go safely to sleep, ample evidence that my meteorological mastery has indeed been recognized by others in my circle. 

Not this year, though.   This morning, Mrs. ProfessorRoush texted me as she was beginning a trail walk with a friend to ask me if it was safe to go despite the dark northern sky.  A quick check of the radar and a look at the movement of the pattern and I told her to go ahead and take a hike.  You can see Manhattan in the screen capture at the right, 8:30 a.m., just at the southern edge of a storm that was moving straight east to west and just to our north.  Mind you, the hourly weather forecast for this zip code showed no rain chances here at all until evening. 

Within an hour, however, we had a pretty stiff downpour on the east side of town, so I knew the west side was getting pummeled.  And look at the radar.  At 9:30 a.m., these patterns were moving stiffly to the northeast.  The previous rain stayed put but moved a little east to touch us, and then a large storm formed south and west of Manhattan and headed directly our way.  None of the lower pattern was even a wisp of color an hour prior.  And, while it was currently sprinkling outside, the internet weather still showed no rain until tonight.

Mrs. ProfessorRoush was not pleased with me.  When I texted and told her there was more coming, she said "I wish you would have looked when I asked."  I think, I think, she just might have believed me when I told her that I had, but she also might suspect that I wouldn't be above a quiet chuckle, sitting in my nice dry office, wondering if her hairdo got drenched.  I'll vow here and now in print, however, that I know better than to pull a little prank at the whims of the Kansas weather.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Splitting the Pot

As a cheap son-of-a-gun frugal individual, ProfessorRoush was not entirely unhappy when the pot containing the  'Heavenly Flight of Angels' daylily that I was purchasing split down one side as I lifted it to carry it to the sales counter.  Yes, it served me with fair notice that the plant was pot-bound, but I also knew I could divide the $10, one-gallon plant and get two decently size plants for the price of one.  I also just couldn't, at any price, resist the combo of a 7" inch yellow spider daylily with white ruffled edges and a fragrance described, in tongue-in-cheek fashion, as "heavenly."   Everyone thinks they're a comedian these days.

And pot-bound it was, in spades.  I normally would divide a plant like this with an old serrated kitchen knife that I purloined from Mrs. ProfessorRoush for just such occasions, or sometimes, as I face a perhaps less dense clump, with simply a garden spade, but in this case I was not going to let pass the opportunity to try out the serrated side of the new Hori Hori hanging right there on my belt.  A few quick strokes of the 6 inch blade and I proved yet another use for the knife and saved myself a trip to the shed for my previous implement of destruction.  I might even surprise Mrs. ProfessorRoush and return the kitchen knife.  

We've been having some blast furnace 100º weather here, hot and sunny, but the beautiful blue skies that accompany the horrid temperatures keep my complaint levels down.  Mama House Sparrow also does not seem to have any complaints, incubating these pretty little eggs in the cool dense shade of our 'Ann' magnolia shrub, about 3 feet off the ground.  I startled the attentive incubatee Mom with my early morning weeding today, but she had returned to the nest the next time I checked, so all is well.

'Ed Brown' (not 'Cream Magic')
I'm actually welcoming the warm temperatures, for once, because we are beginning daylily season and I'd like something to go right this year.  The first few are blooming here now, and I took great pleasure in seeing this beautiful daylily open yesterday, for Father's Day.  My notes tell me it is Hemerocallis 'Cream Magic', although I can't find a picture on the Internet to visually compare it (see addendum below for correction).  The description, however, does match the official "cream flushed pink with greenish cream throat" description, so I'm reasonably certain this is the 1980 cultivar from Lenington-G.  'Cream Magic' is blooming with the 'Stella de Oro's' and a couple of other nondescript cultivars, so she's the "cream" of the ball right now.   Until the next flashy daylily comes along.  Such as my two new clumps of 'Heavenly Flight of Angels'.

Addendum 2018-06-19:  The daylily that I thought was 'Cream Magic', is actually 'Ed Brown', according to the latter's label at the K-State Garden, where I purchased my start and where it was blooming today when I also saw the real 'Cream Magic' blooming.  So much for interpreting written descriptions without photographs.  To straighten out my daylily maps at home is an impossible task.  The real 'Cream Magic' is pictured here, to the left, for Internet prosperity.


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