June 30, 2010

Daylilies and Honeysuckle



My housefront is at its floral best when the mass of old fashioned daylilies come into bloom in early July. A few of these stalwart flowers were planted on one side of the front door by the previous owners, which I spread on both sides and allowed to widen towards the lawn; there is now a 5 foot wide border which I keep somewhat in bounds with the lawn mower. I love these easy-going flowers which make no demands. Alongside the door is a vigorous honeysuckle vine, with a red rose climbing within it; it's not quite a rose covered cottage, but it does make a charming picture.




This is the view towards my vegetable garden, over the shining daylilies, from the front door. The white you see in the garden are floating row covers; on the left they are protecting brassicas, which this year have been ravaged by insects; to the right, peppers and eggplants are growing under hoops in the extra warmth created by the covers.




I have a special place in my heart for honeysuckles: when I was a child spending summers along the Jersey Shore, my father showed us how to suck the nectar from the creamy flowers growing like weeds in many back yards. It was like a little bit of magic to see the clear drop of sweet liquid emerging from the flower. Unfortunately, that variety doesn't grow in this cold climate, and the one that I have, Dropmore Scarlet, doesn't have nectar. But it does have lovely flowers, a crimson orange on the outside and yellow orange within, showy blooms that are very attractive to hummingbirds; I can sit at my dining table and watch the birds buzz into flower after flower. It also has a wonderful growth habit, with stems rising from the center of large round leaves, as though each leaf is a beginning and the flowers its celebration of the world.

2 comments:

  1. LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLDJune 30, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    I had no idea that's how the honeysuckle flowers grow! The color also offers a nice subtle contrast to the daylilies. Aren't you amazed at the daylilies all in bloom and it's just July 1!

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  2. hi Linda, it may be that Dropmore Scarlet is the only variety of honeysuckle that grows this way. And yes, the daylilies are about a week early this year.

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