The hummingbird migration is complete. Two weekends ago I had one straggler at my feeders. In a day or so she would be moving on. A hint of fall is in the air. The leaves are starting to show their autumn colors. With the lack of rain trees are quickly loosing their leaves. My birch trees have completely shed their leaves. However, one of my Pink Lady apple trees was confused with the crazy weather we had and had a spring bloom in October. My saucer magnolia bloomed again just before the frost. The last of the daylilies are finishing their re-bloom. The sedums are showing their red signaling that fall is here.
I have a little over 450 varieties of daylilies and you won’t find a Stella de Ora among them. The first group of daylilies I purchased was one of those buy this group of 100 special. Problem with this type of offer is that many are mislabeled, and some really aren’t a nice daylily in form. Some were named by the grower and never registered. Since I’ve gotten more into the connoisseur varieties instead of the plain Jane ones, I’ve been culling several to get the number of varieties down and the quality up. When I order a daylily these days the first thing I look for is a re-blooming variety. Early hybrid daylilies had a week or so bloom and then nothing until the next spring. Now varieties are being develop that have another blooming cycle. When looking to purchase daylilies look in the description for Re or RE. This indicates that the variety is a re-bloomer. Among some of my very late re-blooming daylilies this year were My Ways, Paper Butterfly, Charming Ethel Smith, Cradle Song, Savannah Debutante, Joly White Giant and El Desperado. My Ways, Charming Ethel Smith, and Cradle Song were still blooming at the end of October, even after a couple of frosts.
The amount and quality of re-bloom (which is also true of the initial bloom of any daylily) depends on the soil condition, amount of water and fertilizer. You starve something and have it in hard clay; it gives you a puny bloom cycle.
During the early spring heat wave and dry spell, I dug up several clumps of iris and daylilies which needed to be divided and planted them in pots and stored them under the large hackberry by the creek. I also purchased a number of plants last fall which were potted due to the rock hard ground and little rain. This meant daily watering during the near 100 degree temps we had. Now they have to get back into the ground before the cold weather hits.
I had several beautiful weekends and spent the time moving iris and daylilies out of and into my Deshler High and Auburn sections. During Auburn’s games I listened to the game on my head phones while working and recorded it on my DVR for later viewing. When Auburn scored a TD or INT, I would scream and jump up and down and the hooligans would come running. My neighbors don’t need to watch the game to know how Auburn is doing. I moved orange daylilies and blue iris into my Auburn section along the driveway. I now have Tuscawilla Tigress, Bold Tiger and All American Tiger daylilies in my Auburn University section. Daylilies Scary Mary (the name is the reason I got it), Raspberry Star, Rosie Meyer, Red Twister, Stargate Angel, Velvet Widow, Wine Delight, Black Cherry Blues, Indian Giver, Vanilla Frills, Tribute To Mike, Humble Heart and a double red called Fires of Fuji went in my Deshler High School (cardinal and white) section on the opposite side of the driveway. Prince of Darkness Celebrity, Giant Red Peonies and iris Sweeter Than Wine also went into my Deshler section.
Now I need to mulch everything before the rain comes back and the weeds start emerging again.
In my Born in the USA section, I have American Revolution, Empire Strikes Back, Forty Second Street, Sticky Fingers, American Bicentennial, Pearl Island, Shortening Bread, Making Double Time, All American Chief, Making Double Time, and America’s Most Wanted daylilies, iris Millennium Falcon, Starship Enterprise, City Slicker and Jitterbug, Mount Saint Helens Azalea, Singing in the Rain peony and Cheatin Heart hosta.
Hooligan Blackie continue her remarkable recovery from surgery. She has been on a tear after field rats, mice and moles and has been digging post holes everywhere. Patches and Levi were doing transcendental napping. Saturday while planting some Snow Queen Oakleaf Hydrangea along the dry creek, Hooligan Patches kept bumping me with her nose. When I asked her what her problem was, she looked toward Blackie digging a huge hole next to the trunk of one of my bald cypress. After I yelled at Blackie to stop, Patches looked so smug. That smug got even bigger when I petted her and told her she was a good girl for being a tattle tail.
Check out my last Grit magazine blog post: Tuscumbia history and haunts trolley tour.