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Report From PIA – July 20

The daylilies are in bloom. To be more accurate, a different daylily is in bloom every 24-hour period, hence the name. The flowers on Hemerocallis open for one day, and then wilt. Some find this objectionable.

Yesterday’s flowers hang off of the stem, frequently becoming wet “mush-mummies” that are squishy to pick off, and un-slightly in the garden. After all of the buds on a stem have finished flowering, that stem won’t produce more blossoms and must be removed in order to improve the looks of the border.

Yup. That’s pretty much the truth about daylilies…or one part of it anyway. The rest of the story, as a rightwing radio personality that I was never fond of used to say, is that for four to six weeks the garden is filled with reliable, large flowers. The plants that produce such blossoms are bone-hardy and usually attractive after flowering has stopped.

I’m also thinking that the “just one day” thing that gives this plant its common name should be seen as an asset. Each flower is there in its peak. They do not get spotted, faded, or bug-chewed over a week or two. They are daylilies, full colored, in their prime and they make no excuses.

Are we always at our best? Do you and I shine in every hour? Of course not. Sometimes we humans act admirably and honorably, and other times we can be downright nasty or evil. We should celebrate when we’re our best selves, and condemn malevolence, no matter how long those behaviors last.

We would be well served to emulate the daylily: take one day at a time, and use that 24-hour period to totally bloom and shine.

This daylily, South Seas, is a sturdy plant whose color stands up to the bright summer sun and shouts back at the heat with joy. I would love this plant if the flowers opened for one hour... to have them for an entire day? A gift!

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