Over the years Ive bought and planted daylilies of every color imaginable. Now daylilies are in bloom, and every single one of them has orange blossoms.
I thought perhaps they had reverted to the common orange ditch lily, but some experts claim they didnt revert they were just cross-pollinated by a very dominant orange daylily, and that was what came up.
Did they come up from seed? I doubt that. Im still looking into the possibility of reversion. Its possible that my other-colored daylilies will bloom later, or I may have to just love orange.
For those gardeners who are collectors and want to grow all daylilies, be advised there are now 71,474 registered daylilies.
Mother Nature seems to be having fun at my expense. Not only are all of my daylilies orange, all of my gladiolas are red. I may have bought a bag of red glad corms last year; I just dont recall. I knew we wouldnt dig them up before winter, and we didnt. There are too many other chores facing gardeners when frost threatens.
They survived the winter, however, and came back on their own this spring. Not only are they red, but my two hardy gladiolas, 20 feet from the glad patch, are as well. And my white, rusty and yellow yarrow are now all yellow. But theyre vigorous. Thank heavens for colorful plants in containers.
The vegetable beds havent received as much attention as I usually give them, but theyre pumping out food. Those big gray cabbage aphids are already infesting all of the brassicas, and their presence inside tight broccoli heads is most annoying.
Squash bugs are here, and Im daily spraying new egg clusters and probably overspraying some Ive sprayed before with Neem.
Some newly concocted recipes are calling for fennel pollen. I let some bulb fennels go to flower last summer, tried to collect pollen, and let them go to seed.
One end of that garden bed is a thick carpet of bulbing fennel. The good side of this is that seeding directly, rather than transplanting, seems to result in an easier, more natural bulb. A transplanted bulb develops a long attachment between developing bulb and root system that must be covered with soil before the bulb grows.
Fennel grown from direct seeding doesnt develop that odd attachment, but its apparently frost-hardy, so it could be seeded early in spring.
Our July temperatures havent been friendly to tomato or pepper pollination, but Ill bet we will get tomatoes and peppers. Neither sets fruit (pollen is killed) in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees, or lower than 55 at night, but our nights have been in the 60s and 70s, and we dont warm up to 90 until late afternoon.
Pollen in new flowers has several hours of viability before its killed by high temperatures and flowers drop.
One method of preserving garden produce is by dehydration. Our humidity is sufficiently low to allow solar dehydration, using no electricity at all. You can make dehydrating trays by tacking nylon net (inexpensive) to frames of 1-by-1-inch wood, and putting slices of fruit, tomatoes or squash on them. Dehydrating trays should be brought indoors at night to guard against hydration by dew.
Send garden questions to email@example.com or Gardening, The Statesman, P.O. Box 40, Boise, ID 83707.