Thursday, June 27, 2013

Don't Ditch The "Ditch Lilies"

My Father had a love of these Lilies!!  They have been called everything form "Ditch Lilies" to "Road Lilies" to "Tiger Lilies" to the common "Orange Lilies". I have even heard some people call them "_____ Lilies".

There Latin name is hemerocallis fulva, they are technically a form of daylily, but a different species and a breed of their own!  These guys will grow anywhere and give new meaning to the word hardy.

These late spring bloomers are resistant to anything including "Round Up". They will grow in most any soil, sun or shade, and can live through any drought! They are the survivors of the flower world.

I love driving out in the country this time of year and seeing all the "Ditch Lilies" along the roadsides. It seems to me they exist where houses once may have stood or gardens may have once existed but only the "Ditch Lilies" have weathered the storm of the years!

My father loved them because we had a home in Brown County Indiana that had horrific clay soil and hordes of deer.  Much to my Dad's delight they not only grew and bloomed ...they also spread everywhere; they were not discouraged or slowed by the obstacles put before them.

When I moved here over 30 years ago, I of course brought a few. Now I have tons....but I have put them to great use. I have them along fence rows, on the perimeter of the woods, and in the fields, but they keep spreading. I have even just dug up clumps and dumped them along the fence row and voila they survived!

My latest adventure was to move them from my vegetable garden. Although some parts of daylilies are edible, these tigers were taking over valuable space. I had the perfect spot for them over by the orchard where some stone and rock had been dumped. I am certain that this pile of rocks will be like candy to the tubers that these plants spread from and they will flourish. They will be lovely this time of year as I pick the raspberries and now I have more room for vegetables in the Potager Garden.

Moral of this long story.....Don't Ditch the "Ditch Lilies".......every plant has beauty and worth, in the right spot!

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