Last week I put together a daylily and iris bed to cultivate and divide more plants for my little plant nursery. Daylilies and irises are great plants for any garden since they offer so much for so little. They grow strong without too much attention, enjoy the sun, and are tolerant various soils – which is good since this area has quite a lot of clay!
My daylily and iris bed is a small one but will be expanded onto later. It’s about 12 feet long and 4 feet wide. I tilled it first – which was a challenge since it was on a slope, then raked it smooth and tried to remove any grass clumps left behind. Ideally I would have located it on level ground but I wanted to keep the level areas of the yard open for three crazy children that need room to run. Who knows when we’ll need to turn the backyard into a baseball diamond, volleyball court, or kickball stadium? Kids need room to run! The bed itself is leveled and sloped inward toward the hill to allow water to stay present in the bed a little longer. Sloped areas have a tendency to dry out faster than you would like.
A month ago I picked up several highly discounted daylilies. At $1 per pot it was hard to pass up. I divided (more on dividing daylilies) the three pots of ‘Fragrant Returns’ into about 15 plants and one pot of ‘Entrapment’ into 4 and filled up a row. I added a few more divisions from my garden including ‘Primal Scream’
(which is awesome) ‘Crimson Pirate’ and an iris called ‘Solar Flare’. There’s still room in the rows but it’s really amazing how fast it all fills in!
I have quite a few unnamed irises that need divided so it won’t take long before I need to add more area to this bed. I may have to terrace the slope in some fashion to make it more usable for my growing needs!
I’m continuing with my plans for hybridizing daylilies and irises. I did some experimenting this year and successfully managed one cross between ‘Crimson Pirate’ and another daylily. Most of my other attempted were foiled by the dry June weather we experienced. I didn’t label the cross and so I don’t know the other daylily. Currently I have two seedlings growing from that cross. There may not be any value to that cross what so ever aside from the hybridizing learning experience. But you know, knowledge is valuable!