Thursday, June 14, 2012

Queen for a Day

In the last couple of weeks, daylily blossoms have emerged
to herald the coming of summer.
In the article "Daylilies for Florida" at

Sydney Park Brown and Robert J. Black describe
uses, selections, and planting instructions for daylilies.
Park Brown and Black tell us the name daylily, or hemerocallis,
 translates from the Greek as "day beauty"
or beauty for a day.
I had heard that before; what I didn't know was
that daylily buds and petals are edible raw or cooked.

I'm sure eating the daylilies is far from the minds of gardeners
who tend these colorful flowers so lovingly.
And such colors. I'm always amazed at the combinations.
There are deep golden yellow ones with dark ruby red throats: 

And the reverse: deep ruby red with dark golden yellow centers:

 Delicate ivory yellows:
And deeper buttery yellows:

And orange with yellow throats:

And orange-orange:

I've also seen bright lipstick pinks and shell-white ones,
and some that look like old papyrus with burgundy centers.
Stella d'oro lilies are very, very popular in the Shire,
but they are not my favorite as I think
 their color looks too much the same as "caution yellow" street signs.
I think dark purple-black "aubergine" lilies would look stunning,
but I don't think they have such a variety.
At least, none in the Shire have I seen so far this year.

But for all the new polychromes, bi-tones, bi-colors and blends
or hues like carmine, inky purple, and peachy buff,
the simple orange day lilies remain my very favorites.

The orange ones that pop up voluntarily along roadsides and in fields
are delightfully old-fashioned, reminiscent of another place, another time:
Back then, every summer was for gathering daylilies.

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