Drawn to Daylilies - The Classic Cottage Flower


When my property was seriously flooded with high ground water a few years ago, one of the things I learned was that daylilies are one of those sturdy perennials that will live through a lot of standing water for months at a time.
Although they are not technically native plants (my usual choice of perennials) the common daylily came originally from Asia. Most of the day lilies in my Zone 5, lean and sandy soil garden were given to me by my gardening neighbor and that’s just too much of a good deal to pass up.
Daylilies are easy-care bloomers and come in many great colors and petal shapes. They can also survive drought conditions and as I found out heavy water conditions too. They flourish with adequate water and endure extreme winters – many of the gardening challenges we have here in SW Michigan.
While I haven’t seen a daylily I do not like, my favorites by far are the historic varieties, like spiders and two-toned colored petal combinations. I’ve learned through study that the historic varieties are taller and more resistant to pests and more overall vigorous. I’m lucky enough to have a number of those historic cultivars in my garden.
Another fun fact I learned through trial and error is when I needed to get them out of our vegetable garden plot quickly in order to get the vegetables planted, I threw them into the woods in a clump on top of the ground and the in a year or three, not only have they survived, they bloomed! Little by little I have transplanted them throughout my garden for splashed of color everywhere you walk.
My current collection of daylilies spills out of boarders and beds and comes in many colors and combinations and gives my garden beds bursts of color and long foliage. I dig them up and divide them every few years, give them homemade compost in the fall and they thrive.
Each day as I walk through my garden I deadhead the spent blooms and cut off the empty stems and toss them into the compost bin. In the fall I cut them back to a short clump. This work keeps me connected to my plants during the colorful blooming season and beyond.
They love the sun but also bloom in the shade. It’s not hard to like plants that are this pretty and forgiving and when they are all in bloom it is a sea of color in my yard!
The only challenge I have not overcome is the battle of the daylily eating dear. Apparently the blooms are a delicacy to them. When a sticky product called Dee-Vic was still being made I put a blob of it on paint sticks and the deer mostly stayed away. But unfortunately it is no longer being made. There are sprays but when one has 2 /12 acres of garden and lives in a state where it rains every few days this kid of product just does not work for me.
I’m trying soap on a rope tied to a stick this year, praying and so far in mid-July the soap is working as good deer deterrent.
daylilies garden cottage flower, flowers, gardening
Like a burst of fireworks daylilies are the star of my July garden.
Daylilies look wonderful mixed in the cottage garden bed.
daylilies garden cottage flower, flowers, gardening
A burgundy and yellow two-tone striped heritage daylily found in my garden.
daylilies garden cottage flower, flowers, gardening
Spider shaped lemon yellow heritage daylilies are like a burst of sunshine on a cloudy day.
daylilies garden cottage flower, flowers, gardening
This deep red heritage daylily with a golden center and golden stamens are a personal favorite of mine.
daylilies garden cottage flower, flowers, gardening
These yellow scented daylilies are the first to bloom in my June garden when all others are still budding.
daylilies garden cottage flower, flowers, gardening
A close up of the more modern daylily of rose and yellow is more rounded than the heritage version and has overlapping petals.
daylilies garden cottage flower, flowers, gardening
This is a circle bed of deep pink daylilies that surround a crab apple tree on the entrance walkway to our country home.
daylilies garden cottage flower, flowers, gardening
A closer view of pink mass of bloom adds a cottage touch to our SWMI garden bed.
daylilies garden cottage flower, flowers, gardening
daylilies garden cottage flower, flowers, gardening
This simple and subtle pale pink bloom with slightly ruffled edges is my second favorite bloom.
daylilies garden cottage flower, flowers, gardening
Daylilies look lovely in the garden bed mixed with other flowers are well as in masses alone.
daylilies garden cottage flower, flowers, gardening
A modern version of lily that comes from a bulb rather than rhizomes.

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