Tag Archives: daylilies

After Vacation

Stephi Gardens

After a wonderful beach vacation and some college tours, we’re finally back home. As expected, the weather has been crazy while we were gone. The temperatures were just about average, but rainfall was almost double the normal amount. Included in this total was a single storm that dumped almost 2 inches of rain in under 2 hours and knocked out our power for almost 15 hours. Nothing like being on vacation and getting the call that the basement is flooded. Thank goodness for friends who went above and beyond to help.

So how did the garden fare? Quite well actually. With the fairly constant rain and average temperatures (and in some cases even a bit below average), I came home to a bit of a jungle. The last few years, by July we’ve been struggling with hot/dry conditions and the plants begin struggling. Not this year! I think I’ve had the sprinklers on once and that was just to test the system. Here’s some after vacation shots…

Many of the flowers are in full bloom and flourishing with the moderate temperatures and plenty of rain.  Although, I did miss most of the asiatic lily’s blooms.  They are mostly finished for the season.


Notice how beautiful the creeping thyme looks (Problems with Creeping Thyme).  Still waiting for the hummingbirds to find my flowers and feeder.

Stephi Gardens

The Purple Rooster Bee Balm is still blooming and attracting bees.   But now the accompanying Jackmanii Clematis and Pardon Me daylilies are also blooming.

Stephi Gardens


Stephi Gardens


daylilies and Russian sage

With all the rain , this garden is doing well despite the change from full shade to full sun.

annabelle hydrangea

The sunflowers have become gigantic!  Before we left they were probably only about 4 ft tall (see Before Vacation), now they are easily 7 ft-8 ft and attracting lots of bees.


The vegetable gardens are flourishing, but need some attention to prune back some of the wildness.

Stephi Gardens


Stephi Gardens

I have a nice bunch of bush beans to harvest.

bush beans

The lettuce is still hanging in there. My idea to plant them in the partly shady corner of the garden has paid off.


First time for cabbage and they’re looking great.


Cucumbers were slow to get going, but I’ll have plenty soon enough.


Zucchini and summer squash are plentiful.  Hoping to get some small tender ones harvested before they turn into baseball bats (see Giant Zucchini).  Somehow I’ve lost the garden markers labelling the squash varieties, so it’s a bit of a mystery what all the different squashes are.


So, overall, I’d say everything fared pretty well this year (definitely better than the basement).   Looking forward to the continued blooms and vegetable harvests!

Me and my giant sunflowers!


A View of the June Garden-Front yard

Yesterday, the backyard, now on to the front yard…

This is the area of biggest change.  In preparation for new construction, all the trees next door were taken down in early April.  We knew this was likely at some point (see Problem Areas) and had tried to plan ahead.  This garden contains arborvitae, annabelle hydrangeas, hostas and some annuals.  It went from almost full shade to full sun.  So far so good.  

Stephi Gardens

Under an Autumn Blaze Maple, we have some burning bushes, hostas, and daylilies.   

Stephi Gardens

Also some Columbines that have travelled from the backyard.

Stephi Gardens

This was another problem area where nothing seemed to grow under a mature maple.  I was happy to see the hostas I planted last year came back nicely.  When I split some more, I’ll add them to continue to fill in the space.  We are a little worried about the health of this parkway maple. It’s pretty old and showing a lot of signs of being unhealthy.  But it’s still standing, for now.

Stephi Gardens

On the other side of the driveway, a few years ago a rather large maple fell down in a wind storm.  We replaced it with this Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor) that has finally seemed to take off after it’s brush with cicadas its second year.   Underneath are more densi yews, Russian Sage, daylilies and a burning bush.

Stephi Gardens

Back up to the house, there’s an awful lot of green since the Korean Lilac and Judd Viburnum have finished blooming.  The yews are a bit overgrown and the Rhododendron in the corner a bit spindly.  This may become the next area to fix up.

Stephi Gardens

The yews took a bit of a beating this winter and will look fine after a trim.  The boxwoods and hostas are new last year and make a nice addition to the area (although the one hosta looks a little big for the space).  A little sprucing up and mulch and this area will be good to go.
Stephi Gardens

That’s most of the garden spaces that I write about and toil in.  Hopefully this summer will bring perfect garden weather.


First Day of Spring in Chicago

As I came home from Northern Michigan on the first day of spring, it was clear I was heading south by the disappearance of snow and the warming temperatures.  By the time I arrived home, my car thermometer had risen over 25° into the balmy 50’s.  Of course, my yard oddly always has the most snow left out of anyone on the block, or for that matter, the last 100 miles of the drive.

stephi gardens

But, there are definite signs of spring to be had.

The daffodils are popping their heads out!


The sedum looks healthy and colorful.




The White Oak is finally losing it’s leaves as buds begin to form.

White Oak

Moss is bright green and plentiful on the north side of the house


I’m puzzled by the emergence of day lilies and thankful that the hostas have not followed suit.  More cold, unseasonable weather is approaching and I’d hate to have too much frost damage.


I’ve also noticed the House Finches and Robins have started to return, although they’ve been very shy around the camera.  This time of year, I love wandering about the yard seeing what’s new.  Every day brings a change somewhere.  It is pretty muddy, so too early to really get much spring clean up done.  Are you seeing signs of spring in your yard?

Bu then, as a reminder of how far behind we are, here’s a shot from last year on the same day!  Soon, I keep thinking.



Daylilies: Part 2

Some close ups of the daylilies in my yard. I’m still working on the identification part, so if I have something wrong, or you know what I can’t find yet, please let me know!
I realized that part of my identification problem was thinking that the daylily was the wrong color. For example, the Catherine Woodbury. I searched for the longest time under peach daylilies, but it wasn’t until I searched for all tall, traditional bloom types that it popped up. They were under lavender, so I went back out and sure enough, there’s the lavender. As the flowers are fading it becomes even more striking. I’m trying to use that trick with the 2 species that I’m still not sure of.


Strawberry Candy and Russion Sage


Strawberry Candy


Going Bananas


Going Bananas


Purple D’Oro


Purple D’Oro


Purple D’Oro


Catherine Woodbury


Catherine Woodbury


Catherine Woodbury

Royal Palace Prince

Royal Palace Prince

Royal Palace Prince

Royal Palace Prince


unknown-late blooming


unkown–late blooming

Same unknown as previous picture. Mixed with Bee Balm

Now that I’ve spent some time studying the daylilies in my own yard, I’ve been noticing all the different daylilies around me. In the neighborhood, parking lots, storefront gardens–I’m surprised at all the varieties that I never noticed before.