July 20, 2009
Mugshots: Daylily Preview with 'Big Smile'
The daylilies are blooming around my yard, and I have been diligently snapping pictures for later mugshots posts. I don't have as many cultivars as Frances at Fairegarden (she's at 70 or 80, I think). But I am planning future posts with pictures and observations about my 8 pink, 7 peach and 3 lavender daylilies. I just have to wait until they all bloom and I can get pictures of them.
The beauty in these pictures is 'Big Smile', a daylily with 24" tall bloom stalks (scapes) that is listed as a late season bloomer but started putting out its 7" wide blooms at the beginning of July. I purchased it by mail from Bloomin Designs in August 2007, and it didn't bloom that year. In 2008 the blooms weren't as ruffled and the colors were paler. In fact, I was rather disappointed with it and considered giving it away. Perhaps the best blooms come from more mature plants, as they have been spectacular this year. I can't wait until I can divide this plant into three and have a big mass of them blooming their heads off.
Each flower is like a work of art, and their soft fragrance reminds me of lilac blossoms. You can see that the colors in the blooms vary from day to day. Cooler weather seems to cause more intense coloring.
I had no idea that daylilies offered such extravagent flowers - and fragrance - until a few years ago. Most people are only familiar with the wild orange types, the ho-hum cultivars available at garden centers or the common Stella d'Oro (which I grow for its early and prolific blooms, even though the individual flowers are plain and nearly every yard in our neighborhood has a few of them). I find myself drawn to full, ruffled flowers on shorter plants. I hope you'll return to explore some of these beauties with me over the next month or two.