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.


  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!

  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.