The latest project: moving the day lilies

My grandmother was really into day lilies. When she started nearing 100 and didn’t have the energy to garden quite as much, she let some of her beds in the yard go and The Boys (meaning her very adult sons) moved her beloved day lilies into the vegetable garden for easier care.

Now Dad would actually like to grow veggies in that garden again, so the intention is to move at least some of the around 70 varieties in the veggie garden to other places in the yard. I should note: not all of her varieties are in the veggie garden. I’m guessing we have about 100 varieties from her collection remaining.

Here’s my latest project: re-establishing the flower beds by the low rock wall. The garden used to be on both sides of the rock wall, with a walking path through the center, but the thought of weeding all that square footage makes me shudder. I don’t know how she found the energy. As it is, Dad and I tilled up the soil, and I’ve been moving day lilies, bee balm, peonies, phlox and iris from the veggie garden to this location.

Most of the tags have aged beyond recognition or been lost, but I’m hoping this year to be able to document the flowers and identify some of them.

Friends have been coming over for the past several years to take divisions of what they like. Even now, with only a little bit of green and no hint of flowers, it’s easy to tell which are the most admired: the clumps are tiny! The less-preferred varieties have huge clumps. I’ve taken to carving off a smaller sample and throwing the remaining tubers down the hill, some of the mounds are so big. You can see from the photo–there’s no way all of the lilies are going to fit in these beds!

But I think Dad will be happy–plenty of room for tomatoes, peas, squash, peppers and Brussels sprouts this year, and I may get a nice-sized bed of Yellow Finns in, too.



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