French name: Hémérocalle
As we enter July, my Daylilies are in full flower, and although each individual bloom is short-lived each plant is packed full of flowering stems which altogether will create a stunning display for weeks on end.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Daylilies, back in the UK I had several varieties growing in the garden of our small terraced house in Manchester. Here in France, I currently have 3 types growing in the garden.
The red Daylily is called Crimson Pirate but I have to admit that I’ve completely forgotten the names of the other two!
I’ve always found Daylilies quite robust and easy to grow. Mine have survived our cold French winters where temperatures regularly drop to -10c and then to the other extreme they have been quite happy to sit in summer temperatures of over 30c.
Rather than simply sharing my thoughts with you on Daylilies I thought I would ask a couple of experts which is their favourite Daylily and also what their top tips are for growing them.
Pollie Maasz is the owner of Pollie’s Daylilies and Daylily Nursery in Hampshire, UK which is also home to the National Collection of Spider and Unusual Form Hemerocallis.
Which is your favourite Daylily Pollie?
I am having my lunch and thinking about my favourite Daylily. It was always consistently Queen of Halls but I have purchased rather a lot of new ones this year and they have proved to be really beautiful and I may have to review this choice in the near future. However, probably at this moment it is still Queen of Halls.
What are your top tips for growing Daylilies Pollie?
Looking after Daylilies is pretty easy really, they are hungry and need to have a regular balanced feed at least once a year. The plants in pots are watered regularly but the plants in the ground are left to seek out what moisture there is. They definitely respond well to water but I find it impossible to water everything and they still do pretty well.
They need to be split every few years otherwise they will get really hungry and will not flower as well and they may restrict the growth of plants near them. I do this in March/April and again in August/September.
Pollie has over 1500 different cultivars of Daylilies on display in her gardens on the edge of the New Forest. Between now and 13th August you can visit what she refers to as her ”living catalogue” and wander around the beautiful displays. If you can’t make it to her gardens, you can download her extensive catalogue of Daylilies from her website here – be warned the choice is breathtaking! You can follow Pollie on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Guénolé Savina is owner of Hémérocalles de la Pointe in Plouedern, Brittany.
Guénolé asked me to apologise for his English and to make changes where I thought it necessary. I didn’t think it necessary to change a single word, his passion for Daylilies is clear.
Which is your favourite Daylily Guénolé?
Here are a few pictures of my favourite seedling that I called and registered as ‘Keriel’s Dawn To Dusk.’
I’ll say that it’s not a life favourite, but the one at the moment! Because this one gives me seedlings that could become future favourites! My favourite Daylily is still in my imagination, it is my dream that I work every day to reach. I have many goals in hybridizing but first I really want to make people happy with plants and flowers that give them joy and happiness most of summer days. Good garden plants with great habits, nice foliage, extended blooms that do not fade in the sun and do not spot and dirt with rain. ‘Keriel’s Dawn To Dusk’ was selected for many qualities and its neat appearance. Always perfect, it blooms for about 7 weeks on repeat flower stems. Its centre is a complex superposition of violet, magenta and grey pigments, its borders bring a final touch to this diamond dusted cream layette colour base.
What are your top tips for growing Daylilies Guénolé?
Daylilies make a very nice and durable display with some easy planting cares. Choose a light spot with almost 6 hours full sun (they prefer the midday sun), when planting give the plant enough space to make a nice clump. Give daylilies water in spring or leave the sky to water them if you are not in a dry spot. Also a bit of manure after flowering can encourage the plant to make some extra stems in late summer. A lot of modern cultivar Daylilies are good Indian summer rebloomers!
You can buy Daylilies (and other perennials) from Guénolé’s website here where you’ll also find lots of useful information. Guénolé is also currently writing a book in French all about… Daylilies of course! You can follow Guénolé on Facebook
The Greek term ‘hemerocallis’ means ‘beautiful for a day’. Daylilies may only bloom for a short while, but with the array of colours now available, their lack of fussiness and their ability to withstand whatever the weather throws at them, they’re certainly a stunning perennial which will always be included in my garden.
My only problem now is, with so many cultivars available, how on earth do I choose which new ones to buy? Perhaps you can help? If you have a favourite Daylily I’d love to know, please do leave your comments in the box below