Our Old Friends: The Day Lilies
I have had a number of small shocks of surprise and pleasure during late May and early June as our numerous day lilies begin to bloom. Every time I see one that has just opened, I have the shock of remembrance and say to myself, “Oh yeah, I had forgotten you were here.” Then I am just happy to see this particular old friend and admire it along with the more recently planted ones.
Due to Robert’s love and fascination with the hardy day lily plant, we have quite a collection (for amateurs) of different varieties. Down the center path that leads from the house down the garden steps to the dovecote, we have some wonderful specimens in shades of yellow. Robert’s idea was to choose and plant them so that these yellows started with soft shades at the top of the walk and graduated to stronger shades of the hue as you look down the walk.
He was not totally successful in this attempt, mostly because it turns out that not all of them bloom at the same time, but it works pretty well. And the two of us, at least, enjoy greeting our old friends each year as we actually wrote down the names of the plants along this path so we can pull the list out and recite their names. Being able to give the names of most of the day lilies we have seems to be an impossible feat of memory for both of us.
You can eat day lilies (hemerocallis fulva, but not true lilies such as the Easter lily which is poisonous). The blossoms, the tubers, the stalks of the common day lily are all edible. But while I throw a blossom or two in a salad when I want to be fancy, I can rarely bring myself to pick enough to consume on a large scale. Maybe someday as the collection grows, but could there be such a thing as having too many daylilies?