The humble day lily was neglected in our garden. They seemed an old fashioned plant, a legacy of the Victorian age. I’d see them in other gardens, crammed, dense and only a few flowers, a plant that quickly grew out of control. However if ever the hybridisers have got involved in a plant it’s with the hemerocallis. There are thousands of varieties out there and the names are fabulous too. Thoroughly Modern Lily. So I have about twenty specimens grown in the borders and pots. ‘Little Grapette’ flowered in a terracotta pot by the patio window, whereas ‘Frans Hals’ flowered profusely in a sunny border. Where I placed them in partial shade they have been disappointing. The individual flowers last no more than 24 hours but there’s a succession of always fresh blooms. Our plants are generally new though already forming clumps that I’ll have to keep an eye on as my space is limited. What I have discovered is that they don’t enjoy competition in their early months. A clump is a different matter of course. As they are not actually lilies those damn red beetles pose no problem. And some varieties of day lily possess a pleasant fragrance. Most importantly in our garden they give that tropical, bright colour at a time when we are denied travel to foreign shores. For the record,  ‘Little Grapette’ was photographed on 14th August, ‘Frans Hals’ on 28th July.

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