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.


  1. Hi VW

    It's only through various blogs that I've come to appreciate Daylilies. All the most amazing cultivars seem to be raised in the states.

    I'll stay tuned.


  2. Well-deserving of the name! I'd certainly bloom with a Big Smile if these were in my garden.

  3. Hi VW~~ Oh goodie. It's getting closer. I'm waiting patiently. 'Big Smile' is fantastic. Such intricacies and variations and color melding and fragrance too! It looks like something from the tropics. I'm going to make a note to check out Bloomin' Designs. And of course now that I've had the appetizer, I'll be back for the main course.

    Stay cool!

  4. Yes I will be back to see your other daylilies.
    This one is fabulous.

  5. Beautiful! I can't wait to see the lavender ones. I don't think I have ever seen one in that color.

  6. They are lovely VW...all ruffled and diamond dusted watercolored flowers...gail

  7. What a pretty one, I had no idea how many there were either until recently. I can see how people get hooked on them and start a collection.

  8. VW ... These are beauties .. Sometimes I think we appreciate them more when we don't have so many .. I have Apricot Sparkles and wow ! it truly does sparkle in the light : )

  9. Hi VW, wowee zowee to Big Smile! Your collection sounds wonderful and I too look forward to seeing them. Thanks for the link love too. :-)

  10. Oh, I found my favorite! I just may have to look Big Smile up. What a beauty! I fell in love with Wally from seeing it on a garden forum, and found it at Daylilies by the Pond. I was pleased with the plants they sent me, and they are farther north than me, so I knew the plants would be hardy here.

  11. Hi VW,
    Just wait for next year's Big Smile! I think more people stop when they see it than any other daylily in our gardens.
    Like all daylilies, it has its own personality - it does take a couple of years for it to really show off, and the first blooms each season are pale compared to mid-season blooms. So, you might give it a few years before dividing, to enjoy the mature blooms, plus it is a little slow to multiple, at least until it becomes established.
    Thanks for visiting with us,

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