Thursday, August 16, 2012

In Praise of Daylilies

One of the perennials to have come thru the drought with no great damage are daylilies.  That was to be expected, I guess.  But what I really love is this late blooming double orange variety.  It’s a vigorous grower – I got mine from a neighbour in Toronto who was throwing out a bunch he had torn from his front yard.  They start late and have many many flower buds so put on a show usually through August, even this year, with the early start.  Most of my daylilies I start from seed.  I purchased six plants over the past 10 or so years and try to cross breed them to come up with interesting colours.  I love the deep lemon yellows.  I also really love this pink Catherine Woodbury – it’s been in my Toronto backyard for about 12 years but I need to move it – possibly in September – because the Kousa Dogwood has grown so much my previously sunny garden is now either partial or total shade.

common 'ditch' daylily
Catherine Woodbury

Monday, August 6, 2012

from July 29...

dead Echinacea
More drought damage – these Echinaceas should be in full bloom.  Instead, most of the blossoms are stunted, petals a third their normal length. On others, the entire flower head has died off – at least the plant itself is not dead and if we continue to get a bit of rain these side flowers may bloom.

healthy Joe Pye Weed
deadish Joe Pye Weed

One of the saddest sites (along with the rudbeckia) is the Joe Pye Weed.  It should be in full bloom right now.  Instead, I have this:   Again, the stalks at least are green so I’m hoping all is not lost for future years.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

more on the drought...

On vacation, with no internet - this was written on July 28 s

healthy Compass Plant
deadish Compass Plant
Well the rain barrels are full again – they had a lot of rain here in the County the same time as it was raining in Toronto.  On a quick walkabout I can see most things survived that bit of drought, but a few not so much.  One compass plant looks like it was November – Compass Plants are native to the prairies; supposedly they can send a tap root down 20 feet or more.  Other compass plants on the property aren’t nearly as bad  – so my guess is there’s a stone shelf not too far beneath the soil surface here and the roots haven’t been able to penetrate or find any cracks to get down into, despite this being its 7th year in this location.  This theory would also explain why there’s standing water in this area of the field every spring after the snow melts – no where for the water to go.

deadish Black Eyed Susan
healthy Black Eyed Susan
The other major casualty are my Black Eyed Susans – almost everywhere on the property one particular variety is dead, dead, dead, although I can see new leaves coming up from the ground so I don’t think all is lost.  Just no flowers this year.  A different variety seems to have come through almost unscathed although that may have something to do with the location.