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The Daylilies Are Coming! The Daylilies Are Coming!

July 5, 2013

first flower boothbayTwo days ago, the weather front that had been draped across the map just south of Maine lifted north and, as it did, the rain stopped, the sun came out, and the warm, humid air to our south began streaming into Maine. And, as though on cue, my first daylilies began to bloom. Stepping outside on Wednesday morning, I found the first flowers on three different daylilies: the early reblooming varieties, ‘Boothbay Harbor Gold’ (above) and ‘Happy Returns’ and the common orange daylily Hemerocallis fulva (below).

first flower happy returns first flower fulva
By the next morning, one more variety, an unnamed large gold flower, had tried (not entirely successfully) to open its first flower. partly opened gold
multiple happy returns By today, the first three daylily varieties to bloom were each sporting multiple flowers.
multiple boothbay multiple fulva

The warmth and sunshine also encouraged several other plants to bloom, including the first astilbes (‘Cattleya’ and ‘Bridal Veil’) and the hybrid coreopsis, ‘Full Moon’ (shown here with the flowers of Geranium x ‘Brookside’).

astilbe blooms full moon first flowers
daylily buds3 I love the sweet anticipation of this time of year when the daylily season is just beginning. I know from experience that within a week of these first daylilies opening, about 10 different varieties will be in bloom – with more than thirty additional cultivars to follow.Each day, as I peer into daylily foliage around the garden, I find new flower scapes forming. And buds like these provide the promise of what is to come.
daylily buds1 daylily buds2
24 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2013 6:57 am

    I wish I could send you a little more humidity from down here. 🙂 But, the day lilies are really beautiful in your garden and mine.

    • July 9, 2013 9:15 pm

      LOL, Judy, we had plenty of humidity once that front lifted north — dew points in the 70s. Everyone is grateful that they went back down to the mid 60s in the last couple of days, and they’re promising us low temps in the 50s by the weekend. I can sit out and enjoy the garden in the humidity, but I’m waiting for the cooler, dryer weather to get some serious work done.

  2. July 6, 2013 9:49 am

    We had a similar shift to warm sun, though it is still quite humid here. Our daylilies are not quite ready to pop, but they are getting there.

    • July 9, 2013 9:16 pm

      Jason, It’s been humid here, too — at least by Maine standards. I’m surprised that my daylilies opened before yours. As of today, I have 9 varieties in bloom.

  3. July 6, 2013 11:26 am

    Exciting times, Jean! Enjoy them! 🙂 And keep sharing as we sink into grey winter..

    • July 9, 2013 9:18 pm

      Jack, One of the things I love about gardening is that it doesn’t matter how many times you have experienced some event (like the arrival of daylily season); it still delights anew every year. Time for me to repay the favor of all the color you provided for me during our winter. 🙂

  4. July 6, 2013 3:32 pm

    How lovely, and particularly knowing this is just the start!

    • July 9, 2013 9:19 pm

      Cathy, Once the daylilies pass their peak, every new bloom is bittersweet — but right now it’s just pure joy.

  5. July 6, 2013 9:44 pm

    Boy it has been hot, humid and wet and I have been waiting for the daylilies…they are now popping out finally. i think of you each year when the daylilies start.

    • July 9, 2013 9:21 pm

      Donna, I have a friend who doesn’t like daylilies; she considers them “too fussy” because they need daily deadheading if you want them to look neat. I consider the time spent walking through the garden each day to marvel at the new flowers and pick off the deadheads a cause for delight.

  6. July 8, 2013 9:07 pm

    Sounds like the perfect start to summer. Didn’t realize you had such a large collection. Must be quite the sight when they’re all open. My orange daylilies are just buds yet but I expect them to start showing off any day now.

    • July 9, 2013 9:25 pm

      Marguerite, I do consider the peak of daylily bloom as the peak of my summer garden. I only have one plant of most varieties because rather than planting large drifts of the same flower, I like to group plants with similar looking flowers whose bloom times differ. Of the 10 varieties in my Blue and Yellow border (arranged in three groups), 3 are in bloom, 2 look like they’ll begin to bloom in the next few days, and the rest are in earlier stages of bud development.

  7. July 8, 2013 11:27 pm

    I suffer from daylily envy! – As I do every year when this season comes around…

    They look wonderful, and I really must get some more. What is your favourite variety?

    • July 9, 2013 9:30 pm

      Oh gosh, Soren, that’s like asking which child you love best. I have many favorites. Happy Returns is a favorite because it blooms early and often; Boothbay Harbor Gold is a favorite because it evokes sunrise over a deep blue lake when it blooms behind the blue Tradescantia. H. fulva is a favorite because it is a flower associated with summer since childhood. Alna Pride, Hyperion, and a simple yellow flower whose name is not known are favorites because they have such a wonderful scent. Mae Graham is a favorite because it is such a clear pink — and I could keep going :-). Each has something special to recommend it.

  8. July 9, 2013 7:14 am

    I love daylilies, I tried last summer, but was not successful and now with the moving to a new home and gardem is late, so I have my portion of daylilies through your post. I will need extra time to catch up with your blog, it’s been quite busy with the moving but now it comes some serenity to dedicate to blogs

    • July 9, 2013 9:32 pm

      Lula, I didn’t realize you were moving again. Happily (at least in this climate), daylilies are not flowers that take a long time to get established and bloom. I have bought and planted daylilies while they were in blooming, and they just kept on opening flowers without missing a bit. But, by all means, enjoy mine until you can get your own.

  9. July 9, 2013 1:02 pm

    I love your Daylilies Jean. I particularly like Happy Returns the lemon coloured blooms are extremely like one in our garden which I didn’t know the name of..

    • July 9, 2013 9:34 pm

      Alistair, Happy Returns is a favorite of mine, too. It is similar in size and habit to Stella D’Oro, but I prefer its shape and color. (I sometimes refer to this one as the “energizer bunny” of daylilies because it just keeps going and going until frost. (It just occurred to me that you may not have Energizer brand batteries and “energizer bunny” adverts in the UK, and the whole reference may make no sense to you. :-|)

  10. July 9, 2013 2:38 pm

    Jean, after years of fighting deer for daylily blossoms I now have mine planted in a fenced in border. The rich warm colors scream SUMMER! I love how trustworthy they are … always blooming even in the most hideous heat.

    • July 9, 2013 9:38 pm

      Joene, A friend of mine in the Appalachian foothills west of Gettysburg — where the size and voraciousness of the deer herds I think rival yours in Connecticut — got so tired of her daylilies being browsed down to the ground repeatedly and never blooming that she finally put a deer fence around most of her garden. I, too, love how reliable and trouble-free daylilies are.

  11. July 9, 2013 4:14 pm

    Hi Jean, I can almost hear the enthusiasm in your voice with this post. It’s made me want to have a stand or two of them but sadly, there’s no suitable place left they could be put in the garden so I will have to miss out, but I am content with a little bit of the happiness that these plants give you, to rub off on me.

    • July 9, 2013 9:39 pm

      Sunil, I’m happy to share the daylily love.

  12. July 12, 2013 3:20 am

    So it seems you are a Day Lily addict as well as geraniums Jean! They are really lovely, and I think I will be looking out for the lemon one “Happy Returns” over here. My day lillies are the standard orange variety and some others would add to our borders I think.

  13. July 14, 2013 6:07 pm

    Your daylilies are beautiful – sadly mine are usually eaten by deer before they flower

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