The Top Ten Daylilies – a List From Gemini GardensBy Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)
January 9, 2008
In our most recent exchange, our own Michele Meyer said, “After growing daylilies for several years, I kind of hit a lull. I realized I had so many that were starting to look the same. That is when I had to take a hard look at the space and money available, as well as the time to tend to them, and see what I could change to put the excitement back. Daylily buyers seem to go in phases whether it be a certain hybridizer, form, color, name, or any other characteristic. That is when I started looking at more spiders and unusual forms. I guess that is my "phase" now--big and unusual. I don't only buy those forms, but they are what seem to catch my eye.”
It was those words that started me thinking about why we love daylilies. I remembered the wonderful flower beds being built at Gemini Gardens. I even remembered the long hunt to find the right place to locate Gemini Gardens. This was a daylily lover, turned seller, soon to be breeder that I had seen blossom right here on Dave’s Garden. In that spirit I asked Michele to give me her list of the top 10 daylilies. Well, she gave me eleven but that is a much shorter list than I could have come up with myself. So here they are, fellow Dave’s Garden member and daylily lover Michele Meyer’s top ten--I mean eleven--daylilies for your garden.
Ruby Spider – This is an early blooming, dormant, Tetraploid with huge, very showy, flowers. This plant was just introduced in 1991 but is already a garden standby. Thank you to BUFFY690 for the wonderful photo.
Gillian – This is an early blooming, evergreen, Tetraploid with an wonderful eye zone. The dual coloring and the play of light and dark is a stunning eye stopper in any garden. Thank you to Badseed for the wonderful photo.
Dragon’s Eye – This is a miniature daylily with smart-looking pink flowers. This is a late midseason bloomer, semi-evergreen, Diploid. Thank you to Badseed for the wonderful photo.
Desperado Love – This is a mid season bloomer with a habit of reblooming. It is a semi-evergreen Tetraploid. The play of yellow and purple in the flowers makes this one of the most stunning daylilies. It will surely stop the local walkers! Thank you to Linthicum for this wonderful photo.
Sabine Baur – With its ruffled edge, purple eye zone, and wonderful creamy, tan-colored petals, this is a daylily that would stand out in any garden. It is a early midseason, reblooming, semi-evergreen, Tetraploid that would love to make its home in your garden. Thank you to Doss for this wonderful photo.
Golden Compass – Another early midseason, reblooming, evergreen, Tetraploid that needs room in your garden! This wonderful, green throated, purple touched, and yellow petaled flower would look at home near a wonderful water feature. This compass always points to your hearts desire – itself! Thank you to Badseed for the wonderful photo.
Starman’s Quest – Looking for a midseason, dormant, Diploid? Look no farther then Starman’s Quest. With bold striping of colors all over the purple sphere and that wonderful chartreuse throat, this is a keeper. You could just see a clump of these sitting beside a cast iron bench in a quiet nook in the garden! Thank you to DaylilySPL for the wonderful photo.
August Flame – Need a very, very late blooming, dormant, Diploid to perk up that blah summer garden? When everything else is playing out and the real heat of summer is starting, August Flame will live up to its name. With the bright red and yellow flowers the neighbors might call the fire department when it is in bloom. Thank you to tbradley for the wondeful photo.
Sweet Stuff – It may be hard to wait for the first bloom of this small wonder in the garden---but just wait. Often it rewards you with wave after wave of blooms. It is an evergreen Tetraploid that, once you get it wound up, just keeps going and going. Thank you to mystic for the wonderful photo.
Red Ribbons – Who does not love ribbons on packages? This is the daylily to have that will add that finishing touch to the midseason garden. Being a Diploid and evergreen you know this will be a champion in your garden for years to come. Thank you to hemlady for the wonderful photo.
Larry Grace – The last on this list but by far the least, Larry Grace will be a show stopper in your garden for sure. This midseason, reblooming, semi-evergreen, Tetraploid has it all. From the chicken fat edges to the smooth clear, crisp, color this is the daylily that will complement and stand out at the same time in your garden. Thank you to Melissa_Ohio who added this photo, courtesy Christie Dixon, of Christie's Daylilies.
So while Michele is waiting for spring to come again and her busy shipping season to start, we can all take a little peak at the wonderful daylilies that are her top picks for the garden. Looking over this list makes me ask myself where I can add a few more daylilies in my garden!