Gardening Articles: Flowers :: Perennials
Fancy Daylilies (page 2 of 4)
by Dorothy J. Pellett
Favorite Color Companions
Because daylily bloom time can be variable, the best companions are foliage plants and flowering annuals that provide steady compatibility throughout the season. I planted 'Indy Charmer' next to 'Pewter Veil' coral bells (Heuchera) where both receive more than a half-day of sun but are shaded by woods from the hottest afternoon sun. Both thrive in these conditions. By late July and early August when the daylilies bloom, the coral bells' leaves have assumed the same lavender-purple hue as the daylily blooms. New ruby- or purple-leaved coral bells such as 'Montrose Ruby' or 'Plum Pudding' could also create such color schemes. In warmer climates, however, they need more shade than daylilies do.
For an exuberant variation on matching a daylily's eye color to companion plants, place a brilliant gold and maroon daylily like 'Siloam Jandee' or 'Bold Tiger' behind purple or burgundy petunias or Verbena canadensis 'Homestead Purple' and gold dwarf marigolds. This verbena produces deep purple flower clusters all summer, and its lacy leaves contrast with upright daylily foliage.
Summer-blooming vines on a nearby fence or trellis can also contribute color. Flowers of 'Goldflame' honeysuckle (Lonicera heckrottii), which are pink on the outside and ivory yellow inside, match the blooms of 'Siloam Ethel Smith' daylily. I like to plant mixed nasturtiums in front; some will match the pastels of the daylilies as they weave their hues into the tapestry of the garden.
Eyed and Patterned Daylilies: Multiple Choices
Classifying daylilies is nearly as difficult as classifying snowflakes. Both have six segments (except for double flowers, which have more) and innumerable variations. Choosing from the hundreds of named eyed and patterned daylily varieties can be daunting. Each year, the American Hemerocallis Society conducts a popularity poll among its members in 15 regions. (For a list of winners, see its Web site, www.daylilies.org.)
The following list is a good starting point; it includes some of my favorite varieties as well as recent AHS award winners. Listings are organized by flower color and size (miniatures are less than 3 inches across; small are 3 to 4-1/2 inches across; large are more than 4-1/2 inches). Also noted are plant size, foliage habit, bloom time, and major awards. The highest award given by the AHS judges is the annual Stout Silver Medal.
Boldly Contrasting Colors
'Bibbity Bobbity Boo': deep purple flowers with wide black eye; 18 inches tall; semievergreen; early to midseason with rebloom. Donn Fischer Memorial Award in 1998 for best miniature.
'Black-Eyed Stella': yellow-gold with a burgundy eye; 13 inches tall; deciduous; early with rebloom. All-America Daylily Selection Council award in 1994. Grows from Canada to Florida.
'Broadway Pink Delight': ruffled pink with red eye; 16 inches tall; deciduous; early to midseason with rebloom.
'Siloam Jandee': gold with maroon eye; 24 inches tall; deciduous; early to midseason.
'Dark Eyed Magic': cream with a large purple eye; 22 inches tall; deciduous; midseason.
'Dragon's Eye': pink petals and very large, bright rose eye; 22 inches tall; semievergreen; mid- to late season.
'Pandora's Box': creamy petals and bright purple eye; 19 inches tall; evergreen; mid- to late season with rebloom; fragrant. Annie T. Giles Award in 1987 for outstanding small-flowered variety.
'Cherry Eyed Pumpkin': orange with a bright cherry eye; 28 inches tall; semievergreen; very early with rebloom.
'Custard Candy': creamy yellow with maroon eye; 24 inches tall; deciduous; early to midseason with rebloom. Stout Silver Medal finalist in 1998.
'Rumble Seat Romance': bright yellow flowers with a purple eye; 22 inches tall; semievergreen; midseason with rebloom.