Six on Saturday – Delightful Daylilies

After a sun drenched week interspersed with the odd thunderstorm, it started pouring with rain at around 9am this morning and as it seems to have set in, it’ll be a greenhouse afternoon for me! My star plant this week has to be the delightful daylily – it’s a hard working stalwart of the mid-summer garden and I just love its many varieties, here are my six:

The subtle hemerocallis ‘Catherine Woodbury’ with geranium ‘Patricia’

The vast colour range of the daylily varies from the subtle to the dramatic; from white through yellow, to pink to red, purple and crimson and so there’ll be one for any situation. In addition, the diversity of flower size and petal shape gives rise to a great choice – all tastes catered for!

This day lily has a small flower, just three inches in diameter (variety unknown!)

I tend to choose later flowering varieties and have just one that flowers in early June – it falls victim to daylily gall midge most years and so requires close observation to spot and remove affected flower buds before this pest spreads. I’m informed that this is a particular problem with early varieties and I certainly haven’t seen it on the July flowers.

The dramatic hemerocallis ‘Sammy Russell’

As the common name implies, each individual flower lasts just one day. Daylilies love well drained fertile soil, but will grow in poorer soil and even in heavy clay, but should be planted with plenty of garden compost and mulched each year in Spring. Large clumps are easily propagated by division in Autumn. I don’t cut the foliage back in winter, but do remove any dead or unsightly leaves.

Frilly and bright, hemerocallis ‘Passionate Returns’

Daylilies are available in most garden centres, however for a decent choice I’ve been looking at specialist nurseries. There are a few on line and I’ve seen one or ten varieties in their catalogues that I quite like the look of!

‘Golden Chimes’ is a graceful long stemmed plant

When deciding on a border scheme using daylilies it’s sensible to consider leaf shape and colour – I planted a crocosmia next to hemerocallis ‘Sammy Russell’, which resulted in too much mid-green bladed foliage and didn’t look good at all. Daylilies look fabulous planted amongst perennials with flat flower-heads such as achillea and also with dahlias and hardy geraniums, all of which have a variety of colours and a complimentary leaf shape. One successful combination I’ve achieved with a shrub is ‘Sammy Russell’ planted in front of cotinus coggygria purpureum – shown in the featured image.

Finally, a daylily I haven’t got – yet! I took this picture of hemerocallis fulva at Middleton Hall Gardens – the appeal to me is in its height and floriferous nature, a decent clump would look great in my hot border – the area of the garden that I find most challenging. It’ll be my next daylily purchase…

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10 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – Delightful Daylilies

  1. nancy marie allen says:

    Daylilies are truly a delight! I was happy to see “Catherine Woodbury” amongst your top six. It’s one of my favorites, too!


  2. Hortus Baileyana says:

    I saw Catherine Woodbury in a garden I visited last year and thought it was a lovely daylily. I’ve not managed to track one down yet. The one I grow is an unnamed orange variety. It was one of the few plants in the garden when we moved here, so I can vouch for it being completely rabbit proof.

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  3. Lora Hughes says:

    The variety of colours in your lilies is marvelous. I’ve inherited a huge corner of day lilies in my new garden & plan to relocate them around this autumn, so really appreciated your combo plant suggestions. Lovely Six.


  4. Chris Mousseau says:

    I also am a fan of Catherine Woodbury – my clump has travelled from house to house with me! I find the colour is deeper if it had shade in the afternoon ? Golden Chimes had been added to my Wish List -love the red streaks on the outer petals. What can I say about fulva? It’s called the ditch daylily here – seriously, it has naturalized and is the cheeriest announcement of summer all over.


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