Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Daylilies in the Garden

Daylilies or Hemerocallis have been the backbone in many gardens for a long time. They have been used not only for their beauty in the garden but also for culinary and medical purposes. Daylilies have been found in Chinese writings since 1000 BC.
Daylilies hybridize very easily allowing many new cultivars to be introduced every year. There are now over 20,000 registered Daylilies and with more being added yearly. With this many types of Daylilies and more new ones be registered every year, they needed to be organized. Daylilies are classified as Dormant, Evergreen and Semi-Evergreen and then they are arranged according to height from dwarf to tall. They are also classified according to flowering time, diameter of flower, flower color and flower patterns. Daylilies come in every shade of yellow, red, pink, purple and melon.
Daylilies prefer full sun. Daylilies with yellow or pastel colored blooms do much better with full sun (6 hours) whereas rust or reds do better in part shade conditions (depending on your zone) due to absorbing to much heat from the sun. Soil should be well drained but moisture retentive. Propagation is by division in spring or fall. Planting is best done in the spring.

To keep your Daylilies looking their best, remove damaged, brown or diseased foliage as it appears during the growing season. After the blooming period, deadhead the flowers and remove the flower stalk after all the flowers have bloomed. Do not remove flowers and stalks if you are hybridizing. Stalks should be cut within a few inches of the ground.

Daylilies can have some pest problems like thrips, spider mites, aphids, slugs or snails. The disease problems that Daylilies have are Rust, Crown and Root Rot, Leaf Streak and Spring Sickness.
If you would like to learn more about Daylilies visit the American Hemerocallis Society website in my links.

Happy Gardening!

The Creative Gardener

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Hosta Show

Several years ago, I joined the local Hosta Society. I wanted to learn more about hostas and this was a good way to learn from other more experienced growers. Every year they have a Hosta Show where you bring your very best hosta leaves and you compete with other members. I had never entered the show before but this year I decided to try. Many of the members have wonderful hosta gardens with hundreds of superb plants and I didn't think that my box store hostas where as nice as other members hosta plants. I was entering only for the learning experience and what a great experience it was. I did win some ribbons but I learned far more than I expected. I am already planning and really looking forward to next years Hosta Show.
If you would like to learn more about hostas, look for a local hosta club in your area or check out the American Hosta Society web site (see links).
Happy Gardening!
The Creative Gardener

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Blooming of the H. Ventricosa

It is that time of year when the H. ventricosa starts blooming in my garden. When I first started my garden, I didn't have lots of plants and any plant that was not wanted found a new home in my garden. I received lots of hosta ventricosa for the garden from a friend.
H. ventricosa is an older all green hosta that is not as exciting as the newer cultivars of hostas. It now is my favorite in the garden for the beautiful purple color of the flowers. When you have hundreds of this hosta in bloom it adds lots of color in the garden.

H. ventricosa is a tetraploid (having double the number of chromosomes of the typical plant). This is the only hosta known to come true from seed. Seeds are produced without fertilization by a process known as apomixis. This means you will have lots of seeds to grow more ventricosa and have a plant that is good for breeding other hosta cultivars. H. ventricosa grows as a mound and is consider a large hosta growing to about 22 inches high and as much as 50 inches wide.
When planted in a mass planting, it makes a great ground cover and looks stunning when it blooms. Ventricosa is an older hosta and one that you may have to special order to find. If you know someone who has this plant you can collect seed to start your own.
Happy Gardening and have a Great 4th of July!
The Creative Gardener

'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood

Years ago, I purchased a very small tree that was only 6 to 8 inches tall. It was a 'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood. It had beau...