Wereham Sign Gary Trouton

Passionate about Plants -Daylilies

August 2008

Paul tells us of his love of Daylilies

It was nice to see several of you at the Royal Norfolk Show where yet again our hard work rewarded us with a Gold medal for our display of Hydrangeas and Hostas. If you are a regular reader of this page you will have guessed that Hydrangeas and Hostas are 2 of my favourite garden plants, and you would not be wrong. However, I have long held a passion for Hemerocallis in all their glorious forms. You only have to pick up any gardening book on Daylillies to see the wide diversification of the beautiful flowers, unfortunately these good lookers (individual flowers) only last a day. The following morning as if like magic more buds open revealing their glorious charm yet again for a day.

I have known and loved the early scented species and cultivars since childhood when we first moved to Wereham where we inherited a large clump in the garden. It wasn't until I had been a nurseryman for 20 years that my interest was rekindled by a visit to a small nursery near Carlisle. A good friend and plant collector accompanied me on this visit where we found a variety called 'Golden Sceptre'. The golden flowers were the largest I had ever seen on a Daylilly and even to this day I have not yet found one larger. As soon as I arrived back at the nursery I immediately searched in all my books to find it so that I could read up on it. To my surprise I couldn't find it nor in any specialist Daylilly growers catalogues. I was immediately hit by the wide range in colour and form that modern breeding had achieved. The colour ranges from pure white through pastel shades to dark purple reds. The size shape and format of the flowers is startling to say the least they range from the large petals triangular form through the circular form to a star shape with medium size petals finally ending up a spider shape with large thin petals, several are scented and you can also get double forms.

Many are evergreen producing large clumps and as such can be used almost like ground cover. They prefer to be grown in full sun but will take a wide range of soils coping with some very poor dry soils when established. It is, however, best to feed them well to get the larger flowers with good colour. More recently the small flowered miniature forms have become popular for herbaceous borders.

With regard to pests and diseases we have found them trouble free.

The following are some of my favourites:

Catherine Woodberry - This 1960's variety has been widely planted due to the fact that its colour was unusually at the time of introduction. The flowers are lightly ruffled orchid lavender with an open very wide green throat and slightly fragrant.

Little Grapette - This classic miniature is a vigorous and prolific bloomer the ruffled grape purple flowers have a slightly deeper eye with a yellow throat. A classic mini!

Golden Chimes - Masses of golden bell shaped flowers from mahogany brown buds. This graceful and charming Daylilly is at home at the edge of woodland and wilder garden settings, often used in mass plantings.

Frans Hals - This distinctive variety with its star shaped bi colour flowers is a classic and is still popular in gardens. The fierce rusty red petals with creamy yellow mid ribs, creamy yellow sepals and matching filaments and startling black anthers makes it a sure fire must for the garden.

Gentle Shepherd - This was the first breakthrough in the breeding of a white Daylilly and probably still is the whitest Daylilly available but can suffer from poor foliage. The lightly ruffled near white with a clear green throat appear to be diamond dusted.

This is only a small selection of the colours and shapes available. I am sure there is a colour and flower shape to suit everyone and would be a fantastic addition to any garden.

For more advice on growing and other types available please do not hesitate to call into the nursery.

I look forward to showing you around the nursery. Happy Gardening,

Paul Markwell, Quaymount Nursery, Wereham. 01366 500691.

Copyright remains with independent content providers where specified, including but not limited to Village Pump contributors. All rights reserved.