Wednesday, June 24

Garden Pic Wednesday: The Particularly Beautiful Day Lily

After days of blazing heat and spot thunder showers, a cool front and rain came in last night, so it was actually quite temperate outside this morning and stayed overcast.
Perfect for doing a number of outdoor chores!
Out of nowhere my zucchini suddenly had a powdery mildew attack! I pulled up 3, salvaging what zucchini's I could
(Hint: you don't have to wait for zucchini to bloom to harvest; pick them as needed.)
Sweet & Purple basil
The ones I pulled up had been severely ravaged by vine-borers anyway. I have 2 mature bushes I decided to try and save by removing outer leaves and treating them with Neem oil. I also have 3 immature bushes I treated. In fact, I treated everything that would benefit from Neem oil!

After that, I moved seeding Basil and Balloon flowers various places. I put all the saved basil seeds I had from last years basil into a pot to sprout, hoping in particular for some purple basil.
So far, only 2 purple. The majority of sprouts were Sweet Basil with smattering of Thai.
Thai basil

The last thing I did was dig up some white daisy mums in the bed adjacent to the sidewalk, that were in pitiful condition. Each lanky stem had a bit of root on it. So, I trimmed them up, dunked them diluted bleach water, then growth hormone, then planted them grouped together in a sunnier part of the same bed.

Today's Garden Pic is one of my most favorite day lilies!
It's a rich, deep crimson! Not easy to come by.
The throat on this one is actually lime-green with white accent, though the sun angle gave it more of a yellow cast. 
It's one of the lilies I transplanted from the far back yard to the strawberry bed along the south side of the house, where it will get more sun. There were 2 or 3 clumps I rescued, since I'd divided it some years ago.

There's an amusing story behind how I acquired this lily.
I got it from the flower shop I used to work at. The elderly lady who had originally started the flower shop lived in an apartment directly behind the flower shop side of the building and had an extensive garden out back with a stream running through it.
We were always welcome to pick greenery or anything we needed for arrangements and she loved giving us bulbs or cuttings from her garden to take home. She was old-fashioned that way.
Eventually she passed away. She willed the building to the city to turn into a senior center, so her garden would go on being enjoyed.
The city, however, couldn't afford to do that. So the flower shop business paid rent to the city and the city maintained the garden by mowing it flat.
Right after that lady died, Joy, who worked the front desk, told me one day that there was, "a particularly beautiful day lily out in the garden," that she wanted to dig up and take home, before it got mowed under.
I'd never seen it, but was interested, so we agreed we'd split it.
So we found a shovel in the shed, dug it up and each took a portion home. It was just one clump. Luckily, Joy knew where it was, since it wasn't in bloom.
Several weeks passed. Then one day another lady who used to work at the flower shop during the time the elderly lady had been alive, popped in and said, "there was a particularly beautiful day lily in the garden," that she remembered and wanted to dig up. 
So, she went directly through a door to the apartment and out into the garden to look for it. Joy and I just traded a conspiratorial look, since we knew who had gotten the prize first! We decided not to say anything.
A short time later, that other lady popped back into the flower shop, greatly mystified. "I couldn't find it," she announced. "It must have died."
After that, she left, never the wiser.
And that's how I came to have this "particularly beautiful" crimson day lily!
Be sure to stop back for a laugh tomorrow with Mama Kat Thursday!

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