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!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Time Flies

Well, here I am again, having promised to post more regularly and all of a sudden I look at the blog and realize that it has been over TWO WEEKS!!! Some promise. All I can do is apologize. I've been swamped. Between all of the design projects, a feature article for Fine Gardening, a perennials article for Tennessee Gardener Magazine, coordinating a major photo layout for Garden Design and filming 7 segments for Volunteer Gardener since June 1, I feel like I've barely had time to breathe! So, my blogging has been put on the back burner. Oh, and I leave in two weeks for the Perennial Plant Association meeting in Philadelphia and then move to my new place out in the country as soon as I return. I hope you'll bear with me.

Speaking of Philadelphia, I'm really looking forward to the PPA Symposium this year. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to attend the entire week of festivities like I normally do, but I am getting to fly up later in the week so that I can do all of the garden tours, do some good networking and visit with friends and comrades in the industry who I usually only get to see once or twice a year.

The trip is made all the more special this year because I haven't been up to the Philadelphia area in 17 years! During the summer of 1991 I was fortunate to be able to participate in the internship program at Longwood Gardens and that was the last time I was there. I'm looking so forward to seeing what has changed, what has stayed the same and what new and amazing things Longwood is doing in the world of public gardening. Also while we're there, we'll get to visit Chanticleer, a magnificent garden in its own right, and numerous other public and private gardens, as well as garden centers, retail and wholesale nurseries and much more.

After returning from the Philly trip, I head straight into moving from my current location (where I've been for 5 years) to a beautiful little farmhouse about 20 miles west of Nashville. I grew up in the country (okay, so it was a town of about 900--that's country!) and I'm really ready to get back to that life where I can really shut down and relax when I'm at home. (Famous last words.) Best of all, I get to garden again! My gardening has been somewhat limited in my current situation, but once I get moved, it's no-holds-barred! I'll be blogging about and posting pictures of the new garden as it grows and develops and you'll probably get tired of hearing about it, but I hope not.

I'm still going to try really hard to post twice a week, so please keep checking back. There's a whole lot more to come!