Monday, July 21, 2008

An Oldie, But A Goodie!!!

It's a bittersweet day in the garden today. The last blossom of the season has opened on Hemerocallis 'Hyperion' and today is the last day that I will get to enjoy its joyful beauty until next summer rolls around and we get to dance our dance all over again. 'Hyperion' is my favorite of all of the daylilies. No, there are no eyezones or watermarks or ruffles or diamond-dusting on the petals. No, it doesn't re-bloom later in the season. And no, it's probably not going to win any gold medals at any shows, at least not in today's shows. But don't think for one minute that it's a slacker.

Since its introduction in the late 1920's 'Hyperion' has set the standard for daylilies, especially the yellows. What it lacks in modern breeding it makes up for ten times over in hardiness, vigor and outstanding performance year after year after year. It's also tall, slender, beautifully proportioned and fragrant, to boot! The lemon yellow flowers open in what seems to be an endless display of color for at least 6 weeks and in a really good year, close to two months! One of the things that I love most about 'Hyperion' is that the fresh flowers actually open in the evening, so as the current day's flowers are fading, tomorrow's flowers are opening. The soft yellow color glows in the evening garden when most other daylilies have long since bowed their heads and wait for tomorrow's sunrise to open again.

'Hyperion' is also the perfect height--a beautiful mound of very slender, almost grassy, green foliage about 18" tall that provides the perfect backdrop for the lemon yellow flowers which open atop 36"-40" tall stems. That puts them right up there where you don't have to bend over to breathe in their exquisite, citrusy fragrance!

My original clump of 'Hyperion' came from my Aunt Sally, my great aunt on my father's side. She was a fabulous gardener and played an extremely important role in my life as a young gardener, always encouraging me to learn more and sharing her own knowledge with me whenever she could.

That original clump of 'Hyperion' still grows in my mother's garden twenty-five years later--never divided, no special attention--returning year after year with its spectacular show. Now that's what I call a plant deserving of a place in every garden!

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