Tender Love daylily – first year bloom

Last fall I bought a dozen daylilies to start the garden at the small house up north. Only five, however, got planted there. We were swamped with interior work and my creativity was just not flowing for the garden. I need think time sitting outside looking at an area for my garden ideas to gel. We were barely having any time out in the potential garden areas. And I was a bit nervous about the deer. So, the other 7 new daylilies got planted at the townhouse. A few came up in the townhouse gardens this year, the most exciting being the very late blooming, fragrant Tender Love.

I can already tell I will buy more. They feel like they will be like Blue Mouse Ears hostas to me. Each year I added more until I literally ran out of room in the area. I think Tender Love daylilies will be the perfect companion to the Blue Mouse Ears hostas, each shining at their own time, in the front of the garden.

An aside – Yes, that is clover in the garden. I left some for the bees and bunnies in the early years and it stayed. I pull it when it gets too much.

Back to the Tender Love daylilies Blue Mouse Ears pairing 🙂 Soon a bunch of the Blue Mouse Ears hostas will make the transfer up north. Not all, but some that need dividing and are crowded. Dare I move the Tender Love daylily too? Or splurge and order a few for up north?

The cheap in me says move it. The tender heart in me says it bloomed so perfectly right where it is, leave it. It is quite dainty. We’ll see how the remaining bud survives the landscape maintenance. That will probably be the decider.

That’s not a weed

It might be time to move some more things if your association landscape maintenance company repeatedly blows the daylilies so hard the petals come off,

and even sometimes the flowers break off the stem,

and you watch one of the workers try to pull a mature daylily up as if it’s a weed.

This is what it looked like before – mature enough to bloom.

This is what it looks like now

This is what the coneflower looks like now – stems broken, petals sheared off.

No question about what happened. I watched from inside as it happened.

I had planned to leave a bunch of the plants I have bought and raised from seed here, as they have thrived here and many people have enjoyed them, but they are just getting destroyed.

It is very sad. I may need a bigger garden up north.

Catch Up Time

It was a season of daylily abundance here. Day after day there were 30+ daylilies blooming everywhere I looked. An incredible treat coming out of a now mature daylily garden.

Up north at the little reno house, success! It doesn’t look like much in pictures, the front porch needs love, and the old shed needs paint, but the deer are now staying away from the new plantings. What worked? It could be that our dog likes to “leave his calling card” right outside the “entrance” to the two areas, or it could be the mulch. Time will tell.

So after so much trial and error with up north gardens in the past 3 years, how did I settle on what to do? It was actually a “happy accident”.

The association board at the townhouse (from which I am now retired), decided to have all rock gardens between the garages pulled out and replaced with asphalt. In the rock garden between our garage and the neighbor’s garage there was some history I decided to preserve. There were rocks from a previous neighbor’s parents’ farm that we had used to keep the landscape rock somewhat contained, and there was an alpine current bush that my father had given me 15 years ago that had thrived there, providing many a happy day for our neighborhood birds. The rocks went up north in two batches in big bins (which are now quite beat up from the weight but oh well, it’s for the new garden!).

For the foundation, because the soil at that little house is rocky and needs some gardening love, I chose to do a modified lasagne garden, putting a layer of heavy cardboard down on the very old lawn, adding soil where needed, securing the cardboard in place with the rocks, and putting a good 6″ of mulch on top of that. I worked the cardboard around the plantings. Then I trimmed the areas with the smaller rocks.

Because I was tentative on how well things would work, and because the results of my previous up north gardens were less than optimal, I built in sections. I brought up plants from things that needed dividing or saving from the townhouse gardens. The Rainforest Sunrise hosta needed to come out of one of the areas in the townhouse garden because it was getting crowded. The shrub start was from rootings off the alpine currant that was removed. The sedum were cuttings and divisions. The daylilies were from last year’s purchases and plantings, and the daylily seedlings were from last year’s Purple D’Oro seed harvest.

The plants I put in before I decided on the modified lasagne method took a bit of a hit from the deer, but since I put the mulch in the deer have left everything alone. Fingers crossed.

There is so much more that needs to go up in the next 8 weeks. Two trellises went up because we had to replace the ac at the townhouse. The new ac unit was bigger, necessitating the removal of the trellises. I cut back that clematis, and it will be moved next. Beyond that, the Blue Mouse Ears desperately need dividing, a Patriot Hosta has really burned this year in the landscape rock and drought and needs moving, and I should move some crowded hostas out of the area across the path from the weigelia. That will probably fill the current garden up at the little house, and then I will finish putting the rest of the mulch in. After that, sleep new little garden. Rest up for next year.


As part of deciding to let our gardening “start” up north naturalize, I am trying to decide if we should pull the steel raised bed garden frames and use them in the garden at the new (to us) house.

There is currently no garden or landscaping at all at the new house.  It is unusual for me to consider a no garden yard, but I’m excited at the possibilities.  There are both sunny and shade covered areas so my current style of sticking mostly to hostas, daylilies and sedum is the plan.  Some grading will be needed, as there are gutters but no downspouts – another unusual idea for me – but I have read that some folks think it is better to even forego any gutters and just grade and rock away from the house.  For us, the gutters will stay, but whether or not downspouts will be part of the long-term plan is not certain.

During this interesting year, it is very hard to find contractors who are not swamped.  People are apparently keeping quite busy with home projects.  The earliest we can get a contractor out to grade and rock is mid-October.  That means … no landscaping up by the house this year.  What to do?

I have already ordered 9 distinctly different daylilies for the new house (couldn’t resist, and I want them in the ground this fall …).  They are all ones I don’t have in our current gardens.  My pending decision?  I’m thinking of pulling the raised bed garden frames from the overgrown – ahem “naturalized” – gardens up north in September, and starting a border garden along the back edge of the lawn at the new house.  Last year we also bought recycled tin (from an old barn roof) for projects up north, and I could continue the metal vibe in the new house garden next spring if I still like it.

So, being true to us, potentially reusing the unneeded frames, testing on a smaller scale before going wider, and using the recycled tin if we like the metal look down the road are all wins.  Now we’ll see exactly how much work it is to implement.  Maybe there could even be a “take 2” on the hugelkulture test?

All just on paper right now.  Implementation is a month out.  Lots of time to consider all options.

Meanwhile, here, the Rainforest Sunrise hostas (some of my faves) are starting to get their scapes, a lovely red with purple flowers.  Out front they are overcrowded.  They need to come out of there this fall and be divided.  Maybe go in the corner of the yard at the new house, where it gets afternoon shade?


Right on the edge of crisp

August is one of those months – the daylilies wrap up, but the hostas are super full.  The days are shortening, but the morning air is right on the edge of crisp – perfect!  The crickets sing and the monarchs start showing up much more, but the robins are scarce again.  The feeling starts to turn the corner into fall, but with plenty of warm days still on the horizon.

I have noticed once again I don’t have a lot of mid to late August blooms in the garden.  I need to do something  about that.  I have also noticed I have plenty of weeding and trimming to do in the garden after a couple very busy past weekends, and I need to do something about that.


A few weeks ago I accepted a more challenging role at work, and at the same time we started to really think about how we want to downsize again and work on some more bucket list items.  This whole year and all its events have brought priorities into sharper focus.  So my thoughts are turning again to simplifying the things we can so we are able to amplify the things that nurture us.  It is once again a time of both weeding out and filling in.



Division – of the good kind

The last red daylily of the 2020 season in our garden bloomed yesterday.


Other daylilies have already wrapped up or are wrapping up.


Our attention remains on their beauty, both this year and in future years, and also turns to the potential of the gardens around us.  It is time to start planning to “dig and divide” – a good thing.

Friday a fellow gardener and I walked the association with the purpose of planning the plantings for the final projects this year.  In that discussion, the topic came up of what divisions from our garden will go to other gardens.  My friend has a saying,  “We garden for others”.   There is wisdom in that perspective.  Gardening  fills our mind and gives us hundreds of happy hours each year, and part of that is because it gets us thinking of what others may enjoy.

This year we are dividing some of our “Blue Mouse Ears” from the garden here and giving them new homes when we rehab the Welcome Garden.  Another hosta, an “Elegans” is being divided and going into a neighboring homeowner’s garden.  Our garden stays fit and trim, our association’s landscaper does the heavy lifting of digging and dividing 😊, and if I make room, I get the opportunity to consider what new (ahem daylily) additions make sense to introduce next year 😊😊.




Planning moves, and more mid-July daylilies

About this time of year I start to assess fall moves to optimize next year’s garden.  Last fall we moved out two large Aureomarginata hostas from our garden.  They found new homes around the association where they weren’t crowded and could really shine, and did really well this year in their new locations (yeay!).   My repurpose for that newly empty space in our garden, unfortunately, did not go as planned.  The tulips did “meh” and the asian lilies gifted to me did not do well at all.  Reason?  Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel and friends thought they were their food.  I have since purchased repellent, and that seems to be working.  There is still, however, a large empty space in two areas of the garden.

Meanwhile, in another area of the garden, a delightful Ivory Queen hosta gets overexposure to the sun each year.


Time to give it a new home, in the more shaded area where one of the Aureomarginata hostas was.  It will fit that space well, and look nice amongst the other “blue” hostas.

Maybe I should move this Patriot hosta too – to the more shaded spot where the other Aureomarginata hosta was.


It will fit in well and brighten up an area that gets pretty unremarkable after the asian lilies bloom.

With two hostas moved out of sunnier areas, does that mean that I now have spots for two new sunshine loving daylilies?  Possibly …  Hard to say …

And now for a few last pics of the mid-July daylily blooms.