Beauty for a Day

Hemerocallis or daylily – from the Greek “hemera” (day) and “kalos” (beautiful) translated as “beauty for a day” –  a hardy perennial native to China, Japan, and Korea whose flowers last for only one day

Although I have been deep in multiple projects for the past two weeks, I found time the past few mornings to grab a few photos from the garden.  The intense heat has driven garden bloom from rose season into daylily season.

I love daylilies for their huge variety of color, shape, size and durability. If you are only familiar with the orange roadside dayilies, you may be surprised to find that there are literally thousands of modern hybrids to choose from, often with fanciful names and exotic shapes and patterns.  I love coordinating daylily bloom colors with other flowers and foliage. One of my favorite color beds in the garden is the “grape and lemonade” bed – cool lemons and deep purples, a color scheme inspired by daylily ‘Etched Eyes’ hybridized by Matthew Kaskel.

Here are a few portraits of the early season bloomers. For more information on the wonderful world of daylilies, visit the American Hemerocallis Society.

All images ©2012 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved

45 thoughts on “Beauty for a Day

  1. Pingback: That Particular One | composerinthegarden

    • Vicki, thanks so much for visiting and commenting; I loved your Bach Flower Remedies post. You picked two of my favorite daylilies; Etched Eyes is almost done for the season but Full Moon Magic has weeks of bloom left and always looks perfect.

  2. Love all of them. I only have 2 varieties blooming and a few more I just added, which won’t bloom this year. I’m looking forward to see more of these beauties in my yard; thanks for sharing yours.

    • Thanks, Claire 🙂 I think the lily beetle attacks the bulb type lilies, so I don’t have problems from them. But of course, there are other pests that chew on both blossom and leaf. This garden is completely organic so I depend on the beneficial insects to keep the other pests under control – I tolerate a certain amount of destruction. When it goes too far, I eliminate the plant and try something else that is more pest and disease resistant – a Darwinian approach that tries to be kind to the earth. 🙂

  3. Can you guess my favorite? Of course you can: “Diabolique”! That is one sassy lilly and I’ve never seen it before. I am so impressed with your gardening skills and knowledge.

    Thanks for giving me a session in beauty, which is everything. It makes me so happy!

    • Thanks, Eleanor, and I’m not surprised at all that you like Diabolique! It is a great garden plant too. The man who hybridized it was bucking the trends of his time. While everyone else was working to make daylilies rounder, fatter and shorter (sounds like a food industry conspiracy!) he was pursuing unusual shapes and colors on plants that were hardy and exotically beautiful. Unique instead of uniform, a true artist at heart 🙂

  4. These are wonderful pictures. I especially like Full Moon Magic. I think that image has potential to be a really stunning black and white conversion as well.

    • Thanks, Vlad. Those are the official names of each daylily registered with the AHS. Hybridizers apply for the names for each of their introductions and often favor literary and film references, music and song titles, or distinctive descriptive names. And yes, they do seem to have fun with them!

  5. I would really love to come sit in your garden and contemplate the beauty. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many varieties of daylilies. Beautiful. 🙂

  6. You weren’t kidding about all the different varieties. I do see the telltale lily stamen present in all of the specimens, however…but the variety of petal shapes is surprising.

    Great set of images, Lynn.

    • Thanks Kerry! Daylily hybrids number over 20,000, partly because of very active backyard hybridizers and because the plants are so easy to hybridize and propogate. I love all the forms – doubles, round ones, spidery open ones, eyes and patterns, short and tall, big and small. It is pretty amazing! And this is just the start of the season; I’ll probably have a few more posts on these.

    • Kitty, thanks – I think daylilies do great in your part of the country too – such beautiful and hardy plants! Are yours blooming yet? We are still a week or two early here, but I”m just trying to enjoy the beauty 🙂

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