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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Friday, June 04, 2010

Daylilies of June

Would you be excited to know that two of my Irish great-grandparents were married in Worcester, Massachusetts in August of 1873? Not even if I used a photo of Rudbeckia 'Irish Eyes' as a come-on? That's what I thought. Annieinaustin, rudbeckia Irish Eyes
Would you be eager to read about a great-grandmother from the other side of my family whose previously unknown sister Verona suddenly appeared in a record? Could comparing the endurance of immigrant farmers' wives in Michigan to the endurance of violas blooming in Austin heat turn genealogy into gardening? Annieinaustin, yellow violas
I'll bet such tidbits of family history could interest other gardeners at some times of the year...

but not when it's June in Austin and the first tomatoes have turned red-orange! With threatened highs of 100°F this weekend, tomato season may end before it ever gets going... Annieinaustin, tomato plate

Attention must be paid when 'Royal Wedding' sweet peas refuse to stop opening fragrant flowers in spite of weeks of heat, climbing high on the obeliskAnnieinaustin, Royal Wedding Sweet peas

I love how they've artistically twined and arranged themselves against a background of 'Little Gem' magnolias Annieinaustin, sweet peas and magnolia
The travails of the ancestors must wait while I bemoan the way insect-chomped leaves on 'Belinda's Dream' make the rose look more like 'Belinda's Nightmare' Annieinaustin, Belindas nightmare
And even though the leaves on 'Julia Child' have been julienned, this shrub rose keeps blooming Annieinaustin, leaf damage Julia Child rose
How can anyone resist the flower-laden, bustling growth of Mexican oregano/Poliomintha bustamanta - its lavender-tinted blooms positively glowing in sunAnnieinaustin Mexican oreganoOr resist the way heat can put the lips on 'Hot Lips' Salvia?Annieinaustin, Hot Lips Salvia
I can't keep from smiling at the sight of coneflower gentlemen on parade with zaftig daylily-ladies on their spindly armsAnnieinaustin, daylilies and coneflowers
When it's daylily time in Austin the experienced gardener knows that Hemerocallis means beautiful for a day, and taking photos cannot be postponed. This week Lori's old-fashioned ditch lily/Hemerocallis fulva and the small yellow 'Happy Returns' were out of bloom. The ditch lily blooms just once a year, but the 'Happy Returns' should have another flush of flower scapes this summer, depending on the weather.

Some people (like onetime Austinite Jean) have moved into a house where daylilies already grew in the garden but mine got here because I brought them, bought them or a division was bestowed upon me by a friend.

Pam/Digging gave me a start of 'Best of Friends' a few years ago. I divided it last year and was surprised to see how different the petal color looks in each bed. I'm not sure if it's sun, soil, fertilizer or a combination of factors that is responsible, but the plant that blooms in afternoon sun looks like this:Annieiniaustin, Best of Friends daylily in sun

while the plant that blooms in afternoon shade looks like this: Annieinaustin, Best of Friends daylily shade

This small rebloomer was bought in Wisconsin long ago - I couldn't leave 'Pinocchio' behind in Illinois:Annieinaustin, Hemerocallis Pinocchio

A hybrid bought last year called 'Devonshire' made it through last year's drought and has three bloom stalks this June Annieinaustin, Triangle bed June 3Its large flowers have great substance but you'll have to ask someone like Rock Rose or MSS of Zanthan whether they really look like England's famous Devonshire Cream! Annieinaustin, Hemerocallis Devonshire
An old, old passalong daylily with scented flowers that open in late afternoon is Hemerocallis citrina - looking especially dramatic this year with sufficient moisture to pump up the burgundy-leaved cannas in the background. We had 1.1 inches of rain on Wednesday evening - very welcome! Annieinaustin, Hemerocallis citrina w cannas

'Prairie Blue Eyes' traveled with us from Illinois, too - the more fashionable daylilies seem to be the fancier cultivars but my heart belongs to the plainer, green-eyed flowers like this one.Annieinaustin, Hemerocallis Prairie Blue Eyes

And here is the the little rebloomer from Illinois that I cherish most - a descendant of 'Stella d'Oro' going by the name of Annieinaustin, Vi's apricot daylily Hemerocallis 'Vi's Apricot' - a memory of a wonderful friend.Annieinaustin, Daylily Vi's Apricot
Last year there were still daylily flowers for Garden Blogger Bloom Day on June 15th but this year? Maybe it's a good thing they had their photos taken today.


  1. Love the tie ins between genealogy and gardening! Some Stella d'Oro daylilies are blooming in my garden along with the ditch lilies. I also just saw the first bloom of one of my spider-type day lilies open yesterday for the first time.

  2. Stella is blooming here and all over town. It won't be long and others will follow. I thnk it is interesting that you know when and where your great grands married. Wouldn't you love to know more about their lives?. Your poor roses may have tattered leaves but their blooms are beautiful.

  3. My daylilies are just beginning to bloom. I can only hope they look half as lovely as yours. I need to do more work on my genealogy...but as you say summer is busy with gardening!

  4. Wow, i didn't realize you had so many daylilies. i love your geneaology stories. If i ever need a new name,i am going to use Verona, okay?

  5. It is sweet music to hear you speak of both ancestors and daylilies, Annie. But that red tomato deserves a standing ovation, Bravo! :-)

  6. Annie, all your day lilies are lovely, and you have so many! Those tomatoes look tasty. Mine are coming in good now, too. Looking at yours reminds me I need to stop and pick up some good bread and mayo so I can make tomato sandwiches for dinner. Hoping we get at least a couple more weeks before heat puts brakes on tomato season.

  7. I prefer the coloring on the afternoon-sun 'Best of Friends.' Do you? Mine have always had more afternoon sun than morning sun, but never the kind of intense afternoon sun that makes plants positively wilt.

    They're blooming in my garden too, as well as in my former garden.

  8. You really have a bunch of day lilies.

    I too have been on the genealogy train. Though recently it's more about keeping the tree updated with census information and what have you.

  9. Lovely daylilies, and lovely stories. I'd love a whole bed of "Best of Friends."

  10. You already have tomatoes????? My tiny friends don't even have flower buds yet. (Calm, be calm.)

  11. OMG your garden runneth over! What delectable looking tomatoes, and lovey blooms.

  12. Annie-Love that line that about the Julia Child Rose being julienned - so clever! All your daylilies are so beautiful. And I love the comparison between the lilies in shade and more sun. One of the great mysteries of the garden, isn't it? I'm sure your garden as a whole is amazing right now - after getting all these little close-ups!

  13. I love your stories! I wonder what your ancestors would think right now, of remembering them through blogs?

    Wow, all your daylilies are lovely. And Julia Child too. You certainly have a gift for growing.

  14. I love daylilies~really, even though I am thinking of relocating them to another spot! Best Of Friends is beautiful and I've long admired it at Pam's and now at several Austin gardens! If the bunnies hadn't eaten my sweet peas i might have had a lovely display like yours! There's always another year. gail

  15. Is Blogger working again? Been trying to comment since last night:

    Hi May Dreams Carol - tying together gardens & family history is something you do with ease! Ooooh, a spider - miss my pale yellow

    'Kindly Light' spider daylily.

    I see Stellas here sometimes, too, Lisa at Greenbow but they need more attention and watering here than in Illinois.
    I would like to know more about the great-grands' lives - especially things like why they left Europe, and how they ended up in places like Chicago...don't think we'll ever know!

    When it's hot and mosquito-ey then genealogy is easier than gardening, Leslie! The daylilies still looked pretty good today but the roses are even rattier.

    There are only 8 altogether Vertie, which is way down from the 45+ in Illinois!
    Isn't Verona cool? Never heard it before. You might also like to choose from the more snappy names like Lizzie, Mary, Katy and Nellie plus there are more formal names like Magdelena, Sophronia, Amelia, Rosina & Barbara...but Verona is the closest to Vertie!

    The tomatoes do receive individual admiration, Faire Frances, but that doesn't stop us from eating them! Unfortunately, the heat seems to have halted the production of new little tomatoes so it won't be a big crop ;-[

    Hi Renee's Roots - I think the tomato plants in your more central part of Austin were setting fruit way earlier than here - hope you get lots of Tomato Sandwiches!

    The coloring of each plant seems to go with the other flowers in each location, Pam/Digging- guess I'll think of them as two very amiable daylily friends!

    How interesting that you play around with the census records, too - Katina! Did you start from square one with your tree or had someone
    else started it?

    Some of the left-behind daylilies were gifts or passalongs, Caroline, but dormant daylilies don't like it here...on the other hand, the evergreen ones that do well in Austin would die in IL...cheers for 'Best of Friends'!

    Won't it calm you down, Monica the Garden Faerie, to realize our season is over when your tomatoes are just starting to come in?

    Thank you Nicole - have seen fabulous crops on your blog!

    Oh Sharing Diana - thank you for noticing -couldn't resist. You need closeups to see the color since the garden is more green than anything else, but there's always something going on somewhere!

    Sometimes I also wonder about what they would think, Linda at Central Texas Gardener - I have a few letters written by my

    grandmothers, so can guess about them a little...think one grandma would be cool with it, but the other one ...not so much!

    Linda - I've seen your blog - a gift for growing is so yours!

    Hi Gail- the sweet peas have surprised me by staying alive and I'm thrilled with 'Best of Friends'- so maybe next year for you on both!

    Thanks for the comments!


  16. So glad you didn't wait until Bloom Day to photograph these, Annie! I fell in love with daylilies a couple of years ago and have been slowly adding a few new ones each year. I couldn't pass up buying a 'Prairie Blue Eyes,' of course:) I can only hope mine looks half as good as yours. I love the 'Vi's Apricot'; wish some of my Stellas would turn that color:)

    I understand your excitement about finding new links in your geneaology research. My mother tried to trace her great-grandfather for years. She knew that he had fought in the Civil War, but never knew which side he was on! Finally, just a year ago she was able to track him down. We still don't know where he came from, though.

  17. Dear Annie,

    Love that Prairie Blue Eyes! I have shied away from daylilies here, but this is inspiring. Am thinking of mingling them with iris japonica, which is shot by April.

    2 inches of rain here. What a gift.

  18. I've tried to grow Prairie Blue Eyes before but lost it. You've renewed my interest in doing so!

  19. I see you're still spending a good share your time exploring the history of family, and who can blame you? It's fascinating stuff, I'm sure. One of these days I must try it....
    Interesting to see the different hues of 'Best of Friends'. The color in shade reminds me of my 'original Janice Brown'.
    I can see why 'Vi's Apricot' has your heart. It's color is so delicate.
    I'm with you on the plainer, green-eyed flowers of 'Prairie Blue Eyes'. I prefer fewer frills on my daylilies too.
    Poor Belinda! But her flowers are still beautiful, as are Julia's.
    I love 'Hot lips' :) I was excited to find a couple of salvias at one of my favorite local nurseries this spring. One has flowers in that same delicious hot pink as 'Hot Lips' but no white in the bloom, and the leaves are variegated. No tag, unfortunately, but a beauty nevertheless.
    Oh, I can't wait for a fresh-from-the-garden tomato like your beauties! It'll be a long time coming to our northern garden I'm afraid, so I'll just drool over yours in the meantime.

  20. Prairie Rose, the big daylilies are almost done, but the little ones are sending up a stalk here and there... but they do seem to avoid Blooming Day!
    Good luck with finding your Civil War soldier.

    Hi Julie - Never know until you try - good luck!

    This particular plant made the trip from IL in 1999, Cindy from Katy. A plant that old would have been divided at least twice in the North, but here it's taken years to be a reasonably sized clump.

    I started as a teenager, Kerri, but databases appear {and disappear!} all the time so you grab what you can when you see it! Enjoy your salvias and enjoy your tomato season - my plants are tired and ragged now.

    Thanks for the comments



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