'Elfin' is 10-14 days ahead of schedule. Many daylily gardeners are wondering if the whole season will be early, and I am guessing it will be. It could be a longer bloom season than usual if temps aren't too hot. Let's hope! We must wait to see what nature has in store.
Next in line for its FFO will be 'Apricot', a very special historic daylily. It is considered to be the oldest registered hybrid with a date of 1893. Its breeder, English plantsman George Yeld, began working with daylilies in 1877, starting with only a half-dozen varieties.
The American Hemerocallis Society book, Daylilies—A Fifty-Year Affair, includes a short but fascinating article about Mr. Yeld. I love the photo of his ivy-covered home in York, England, called Clifton Cottage. It is fun to imagine our beloved daylily starting on its journey from such a charming place.
Two different plants arrived here with the name 'Apricot'. One of these looks more like photos I have seen of 'Apricot', so I had assumed the other was mislabeled. But then I read in A. B. Stout's book Daylilies that in 1932, the Royal Horticultural Society trial gardens had four clones with the name 'Apricot'. Both of my plants are scaping and forming buds right now. I wonder if it's possible that I have two different 'Apricot' clones in my garden?
Rain is on the horizon as I write this evening and—with temps dropping—we may have frosts and even a little snow. I expect the daylilies to be fine, but I'm not sure how hostas, roses, lilacs (in glorious full bloom today!) and apple trees will fare.
Weather like this is a good reminder of why we love daylilies. They are a perfect perennial for the ups and downs of spring weather in the North.
© 2010 Kathleen M. Lamb