Thursday, July 1, 2010

Booms & Blooms 2010

Daylilies (Hemerocallis hybrids) are the stars of the floral show at Powell Gardens right now and are the featured flower for our Booms & Blooms celebration on Saturday (July 3) of this Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Daring Deception Daylily is a magnificent modern hybrid with ruffled and picoteed edge and a marvelous dark band on the petals and a contrasting green throat (flower center). All these floral attributes make quite a show! Daylily flowers each last only one day but many buds are produced on each scape (flowering stem). Some varieties now have multiple bloom times or are repeat bloomers later in the season.

Daylilies beckon at the entrance to the Perennial Garden from the trolley stop. We have more than 400 varieties on display: from varieties that are nearly 20 years old to new cultivars added last year.

Each day Jennifer Bolyard (Perennial Garden Senior Gardener) and volunteers remove the spent daylily flowers to keep them looking in premier shape for our visitors. Jennifer will be on hand from 3 p.m. until the Perennial Garden closes at 8 p.m. on Saturday for any daylily or gardening questions you may have. She is going to conduct a poll on which variety of daylily in the perennial garden is the visitor's favorite. Be sure to take a gander at all the daylilies, pick your favorite out and seek Jennifer to record your vote! I will report the favorite on the next garden blog.

Daylilies come in a variety of colors from white to nearly black. Ice Carnival Daylily is one of our good "white" daylilies. I took this photo this morning before it was deadheaded to show the older two flowers (left) which are pretty white and waning with the fresh creamier flower on the right. Many daylilies do fade some over the daytime and some even sunburn. We are happy that Bob McConnell owner with his wife Sue of McConnell's Plantland and regional daylily expert will be at Powell Gardens Saturday to sell daylilies and also answer visitor questions in front of the Visitor Center. I always ask Bob for his incredible daylily knowledge of which cultivars of daylilies are really great garden performers for our region.

Yellow Landscape Supreme Daylily has large, light yellow flowers and yes, is a great performer in the landscape.

Barbara Mitchell Daylily has more golden yellow flowers of large size and substance.

Condilla Daylily has vivacious yellow-orange flowers that have double the petals.

Copper Cannonball Daylily has super sized flowers with a coppery orange color that is quite intriguing and stands out among the rest.

Tomato Surprise Daylily is reminiscent of a ripe red tomato's color!

Jolyene Nicole Daylily is a good pink with ruffled petals of heavier substance.

Mokan Rose Daylily is a fine rose and hybridized by local daylily expert Bob Lennington (hence the name Mokan for Missouri and Kansas).

Rasberry Lehi Daylily (yes that's the spelling --not raspberry) is another good rose or raspberry red colored daylily.

Richard Connelly Daylily is a good transition from rose to red.

Scarlet Tanager Daylily is as vibrant as its namesake bird. I like how you can see the flowers are translucent (the light shines through the top middle flower). One really has to see daylilies in the garden in the intense post solstice, early July sun.

Hot Lips Daylily captures my attention in the red border every year. Its close to red flowers are heavily diamond dusted which gives it a sparkly sheen. Diamond dusting in daylily flowers is caused by tiny crystals in the flower's cells that reflect light: another reason to see these in person as the camera can't do it justice.

Satan's Dream Daylily is one of the richest fire red daylilies with a very nice contrasting green throat. With the thousands and thousands of cultivars, the names can be intriguing or bizarre and sometimes quite fun.

Bela Lugosi Daylily is a real dark red bloomer with some violet tones.

Africa Daylily is one of our darkest flowering cultivars. Be especially careful on selecting a dark one for your garden because so many of them really get bleached by our intense sun. Bob McConnell can help you with the best! I believe Jungle Beauty is one of our best dark daylilies. Be sure and look up the American Hemerocallis Society's website for all you need to know about this outstanding perennial flower.

Staff prepare the pontoon for the fireworks display on Saturday night. Come see the daylilies by day -- the Perennial Garden will be open until 8 p.m., then listen to the symphony until dark/9:30 p.m. when the fireworks display will top off your visit with colorful booms to compliment the colorful blooms of the garden. Happy Birthday to this great nation of ours!

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