Take a ‘Honeymoon’!

Despite all the rain we had in June and July, lily season was spectacular this year. I had to stake up some of my lilies more than other years because soft soil and continuous pounding rain caused many of them to lean over, but thankfully not a single lily snapped off this year.

One of the new Orienpet cultivars I planted last fall debuted with an impressive number of flowers.

‘Honeymoon’ has very large, light-yellow flowers with a slightly darker center.

‘Honeymoon’ grows 4 to 6 feet tall. The plants thrive in full sun but they will also happily light up a part-shade area. And the soft yellow flowers would look lovely anchoring a cottage garden.

Those 9-inch flowers start appearing in mid-July. I cut some to bring inside for an arrangement, and they lasted almost 2 weeks.

‘Honeymoon’ has a light fragrance, and the plants are hardy in Zones 4-8.

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Up Close and Personal: Water Droplets

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The View from Back Here: ‘Brightside’ Shasta Daisy

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It’s War, Chipmunks!

The chipmunks have really crossed the line this time! Last year they dug up and ate just about every tulip bulb that I have planted in the last several years, and there were hundreds of them. In the spring even my species tulips (which varmints supposedly don’t like) were missing in action.

But the other day I noticed little tulip bulblets scattered under our dryer vent near a freshly-dug hole. That’s where a clump of red tulips (pictured above) has bloomed every spring for almost 30 years.

I considered these my miracle tulips. They grew in some dusty soil right next to the house. That soil probably has zero nutrients in it, and the area sits under a roof overhang and gets very little water in the spring and summer months. I’ve never watered that patch or fertilized it, but those tulips have popped up faithfully in that spot every year since we’ve lived in our house.

I covered up the hole and tamped down the soil with my foot, but the next day there was an even bigger hole and more bulblets. I fear my miracle tulips may be in the belly of a rodent. I put a heavy rock over that spot now. I hope it’s not too late.

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Roaming Petunias

My ‘Tidal Wave Cherry’ and ‘Easy Wave Lilac’ petunias like to meander out of their pots and through the lattice fence that surrounds our patio.

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A Bevy of Blooms: Daylily ‘Jersey Girl’

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In a Purple/Lavender Mood

My daylilies have put on a great show this summer. Some of my favorite cultivars are ones that showcase purple and lavender (and sometimes hints of blue) flowers. Here’s ‘Lavender Blue Baby’:

And this is ‘Swallowtail Kite’. It’s a very tall daylily at 44 inches, and it has a gorgeous watermark:

‘Stargate Portal’ is probably never going to win any “heavy bloomer” awards, but the flowers that do appear are a conversation piece:

And this is the lovely ‘Inquire Within’:

 

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My Favorite Orienpet Lily

When my ‘Belladonna’ (which means “beautiful lady”) Orienpet lilies start blooming in mid-July I barely get anything done because I’m too busy snapping photos of those gorgeous yellow flowers.

Unlike some of my other Orienpet lilies which can get as tall as 9+ feet, ‘Belladonna’ has stayed at a respectable 4 feet tall year after year.

The stems are sturdy and the flowers have a light, lovely fragrance.

I think one of the bulbs in my order several years ago was either an interloper or it mutated because it always sends up similarly-colored yellow flowers but with freckles (which I LOVE).

‘Belladonna’ grows from a bulb and is hardy in Zones 5-9 (although it has survived some intense winters in my yard without any protection, so if you’re in Zone 4 it’s worth the gamble).

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Up Close and Personal: Oriental Lily ‘Cherry Splash’

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Dianthus ‘Cherry Jolt’

Last year I grew AAS-winning Dianthus ‘Pink Jolt’ and loved it. The plants were well-behaved and such a refreshing burst of new color in mid-summer.

This year I sprouted ‘Pink Jolt’ again, but I also tried its sibling, ‘Cherry Jolt’. My camera has had trouble focusing on the flowers because they are so incredibly bright.

‘Cherry Jolt’ grows 16 to 20 inches tall with vivid, dark-neon-pink flowers. The plants grow 16 to 20 inches tall and nothing seems to bother them. My plants have endured more than 21 inches of rain in the last 55 days which is causing all kinds of problems in the garden, but ‘Cherry Jolt’ has shrugged off all the crazy weather, and the plants just keep on blooming.

I love combining pinks and purples, so I planted ‘Cherry Jolt’ in front of ‘Blue Horizon’ ageratums and next to ‘Milady Deep Blue’ asters.

 

 

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