LANDSCAPING WITH DAYLILIES

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Daylilies make a very good landscaping plant. They can be used effectively in both mass plantings and as accents. Because daylilies have such a wide variety of growth habits, you can find a daylily to fit requirements from low borders to taller background plantings.

If you were hoping for a lesson in how to landscape your yard, I am sorry to disappoint you. I am certainly no expert as my own yard can attest. Instead, I offer the following suggestions which you may want to consider when incorporating daylilies into your landscape plan.

Be careful how you choose your colors. A mixed planting of very different colors is not as effective from a landscaping standpoint as a mass planting of a single cultivar. Planting a mix of 10 different red daylilies can also yield unexpected results. It's surprising just how different one red can be from another and they don't always mix well together. Other colors vary also but are often more forgiving in the landscape.

Give consideration to the daylilies' height. Plant low growing varieties along walkways and in the fronts of beds while placing the taller varieties toward the back.

Consider the background color (if planted against something). If the background is dark, use lighter colored daylilies while if the background is light, use darker daylilies.

While all the plants of one variety of daylily will bloom around the same time of year, different varieties may have quite different bloom times. There may be 6 weeks or more difference between early and late varieties peak bloom. Most registered daylilies have a known peak bloom. This will be indicated by one of the following:

EE (Extra Early),
E (Early),
EM (Early to Mid season),
M (Mid season),
ML (Mid to Late season),
L (Late),
VL (Very Late).
By selecting varieties that all have the same peak bloom, you can have a spectacular display for a few weeks or by selecting from a wide variety of bloom times, you can extend your daylily blooms for a much longer time.

Mixing daylilies with other types of plants (companion planting) is an especially effective way to use daylilies in the garden. These companion plants can be used both to accent the daylilies and to provide color during the times that daylilies are not blooming. Your local nursery can usually provide you with more information about companion plants.

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Lastly, I'd like to say a brief word about "yard art". Yard art can be anything from actual expensive art pieces created for display in an outdoor setting to just pieces of junk. They can be large and the center of attraction in your garden or small items that create interest as visitors 'discover' them as they walk though your garden. While I never used to like yard art, I find that it grows on you. After visiting many gardens over the years I find myself looking at things and thinking "that would make an interesting piece of yard art". Not everyone has the same likes when it comes to yard art but the key is to uset objects that YOU like because you will probably spend more time in your garden than anyone.

I find that I can't follow most of the above suggestions because I am a daylily hybridizer and my garden is a working garden. I'm not really landscaping with daylilies but I use my flower beds to house my collection. As every year, some older plants are removed and newer varieties planted, It is impossible to keep the beds organized in any meaningful fashion. Even so, most visitors to my yard during bloom season find the display most attractive.

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