Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Best Laid Daylily Plans

My, how often the best-laid plans of mice and gardeners succumb to the realities of life!  I really thought I had it set up perfectly this year, my latest attempt at the acquisition of cheap, perfect daylilies, but alas, I failed again miserably in the execution of said plan.

I always look forward to the first weekend of September, because it promises the Daylily Society sale at the local farmers market. Thus it appeals to my miserly gardening pocketbook.  But in the past, I've come to the sale completely unprepared, choosing daylilies because the name sounded nice or because the description of the color seemed promising, only to later find myself disappointed once again that "melon" was orange, and "peach" was orange from more than two feet away.

But this June, I made a special effort to visit the local indoor mall during the annual Daylily Display, an event at which the local Daylily nuts...err..uh...enthusiasts display their prettiest daylilies during the height of the season.  These people are pictured in the dictionary next to the term Addict Enablers, in this case the addiction in question being my incontrollable need to grow the newest daylily varieties.  Several of the evil Hemerocallis pushers are local breeders who also exhibit their latest creations at the Display.  Unlike my previous visits to the Display, however, I came prepared with pad and pen, writing down the names of what I considered to be the choice 15 to 20 varieties. 

When I got home, I even went one step further and typed up the list while my memory was fresh, in lieu of my usual policy of relying on my mostly illegible handwriting and failing memory come September.  I also purchased, for the bargain price of $10.00, an annual membership in the Flint Hills Daylily Society, which entitled me to attend a pitch-in dinner and have first choice at the daylilies for sale on the night before the big public September sale.  I couldn't miss this time.

Well, I did miss.  Work intervened and I didn't make it to the pitch-in daylily dinner, nor to the Extension Master Gardeners bimonthly meeting on the same night.  Desperate, I went first the thing Saturday morning to the sale, armed with my list of delicious names such as "String Theory", "Red Hot Mama" and "Bella Donna Starfish".  And they didn't have any of those varieties for sale.  Oh, some of them had been in the sale the night before, but they had all been snatched up by my fellow FHDS fiends.  So I resorted to looking at the pictures compiled by color of each variety, a time-consuming activity, and I missed several other beautiful cultivars while doing so.  There was even a special table of "expensive" daylilies, some divisions as high as $10, and I failed there as well, looking at the names and then looking at the pictures, and then finding the ones I wanted snatched up before I could decide about them.

But, I guess I did okay in the end.  I came away with 12 or 15 varieties (see the picture above), generous clumps for $5 to $7 dollars apiece that were actually often three small divisions in each clump, leaving me with 35 or 40 new daylily starts for $99.  And such pretty names and colors too. 'Apple Tart'.  'Butterfiles in Flight'.  I'm just sure that the highly touted melon and peach daylilies I purchased won't look orange this time.


  1. Yes best laid plans seem to usually fail. But So glad you were able to get such a nice pile of strong plants

  2. I love my daylilies but they did not do well this summer...maybe I should move them?

    Good luck with yours!
    I am your newest follower and would love for you to follow me.
    Have a wonderful day!!


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