Six on Saturday – June 30, 2018 Ditch Lilies Mean Summer Is Here

Summer is here. We are hot and dry. The first six cubic yards of mulch has been put down. I promptly ordered another six yards. I don’t mulch every year and I want this effort to last for awhile. We’ll take our time spreading it in the cool early morning hours. The front of the house looks dressed up now.

Lots of things are blooming now in the garden and it’s hard to choose just six. I noticed some deer damage on a couple of hostas and sprayed Deer-Away. The squirrels are busy digging up my tulip bulbs. They really went to town after I put down the mulch. Why is that?  I wonder if I will have any tulips next spring.

I am not seeing many bees in the garden. That has me worried. The first two cukes were picked two days ago and we’ve started eating beans from the garden. The sugar snap peas haven’t produced well this year and will get pulled soon to make room for another crop of something.

Here are my Six on Saturday.

  1. I always called these common orange day lilies Ditch Lilies because they filled the ditches along the sides of the roads in the rolling hills of Maryland (on the western side of the Chesapeake Bay) where I used to live. When I googled Ditch Lily it seems that is one of the names they are known by so I have to get over thinking I made that up. On a walk one day I saw a double so I dug it up and brought it home where it thrived. When we moved I carried some of the tuberous roots with me and now have a whole section blooming near Shasta daisies in some very inhospitable soil. When the ditch lilies bloom I know summer is here.

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2. This Raspberry Wine monarda was brought from a reading garden I helped install at our local library. (Those of us who weed that garden feel entitled to bring home extras.) It is a lovely berry red and the bumbles like it. It grows about 4 feet tall but is prone to mildew. Behind the monarda are elephant ear leaves from tubers I left in the ground last winter. These are the leaves that I made cement castings from last summer. Leaving them in the ground was an experiment. Now I know I don’t have to dig and store the roots over the winter.

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3. In the front of the house the cleome have been thinned and mulched and are beginning to bloom. It will grow 24 – 36″ tall and blooms all summer. The tallest can be cut back and will send out blooming side shoots. I’ve mulched very heavily so I’m wondering if this will inhibit the cleome’s self-seeding. I need to edge the beds, but that may or may not get done. Getting mulch down before the hottest summer weather was the priority. I understand commercial landscapers have a motorized tool for edging. Maybe I can find one at a tool rental company. It would look more finished if it was edged.

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4. A seating area overlooking the azaleas is ringed with a small hosta that has lovely purple flowers. It spreads even in this dry area of my garden which only gets occasional watering. Surprisingly I have seen little slug damage to my hostas this year. Maybe those ashes from the fireplace (that Fred, the French gardener, suggested) helped.

The white blooms are on a variagated leaf hosta. I just had to include the lovely photo. It makes me want to be a painter. Maybe in my next life…

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5. Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is native to our area. I have several clumps that the Monarchs will soon be visiting.

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6.  Northern Sea Oats can easily become invasive. I am very careful to cut the seed stalks back before they ripen and fall, but I’m considering removing them because it’s another gardening chore I have to remember to do. I certainly do love they way they wave in the breeze and they are lovely in flower arrangements.

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That’s my Six on Saturday for this week. The meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener. This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

 

 

32 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – June 30, 2018 Ditch Lilies Mean Summer Is Here

    • Monarda is also known as bee balm and is a member of the mint family (square stem is the give away). It’s easy to grow and spreads. Most are susceptible to mildew but I have a new variety called Grand Marshall that I ordered this spring. It is supposed to grow not as tall and have fewer mildew problems. It’s still in a pot where I’m babysitting it until I find a good spot to plant it.

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  1. Loved your Six! Hemerocallis are some of my favourites. There used to be a thing here that you need to grow them in dry poor soil to get them to flower, and there you are driving past them in ditches! They work much better now that we know better. :~)) I’m jealous of the Cleome. I sowed Cleome ‘Sparkler Blush’ this spring, and not one germinated. Cleome are usually very reliable.

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    • I’ll do a photo of the cleome when they are big and full of blooms.Mine self seed and the work is weeding and thinning them. They come in a variety of colors from page pink to purple. I even get an occasional hummingbird in that bed. To your point, my day lilies certainly do seem to like poor soil.

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  2. Your Ditch Lilies might be common, but they’re rather beautiful, and I imagine put up quite a show in the garden. The Monarda is a very rich colour and as part of the mint family, I should be able to grow it, but I’ve read that it likes moist soil, so I’ve not planted it. A number of US gardeners have remarked that they haven’t seen bees. Very worrying.

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    • I have the monarda in a part of the garden that has a drip tape in it so it does get regular watering. It’s the mildew on the leaves that’s annoying. I’m trying a new variety that is supposed to be resistant. Re: bees. I was at our community garden this morning and saw quite a few bees in a bed of rudibeckia.

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  3. The deer got into my hosta this week and nibbed them down to nothing! Next year I have vowed not to put another hosta out there! We’ll see how long that lasts since I love HOSTA! The daylilies bloom so well here too especially with our hot hot hot weather. The orange variation is beautiful. My neighbor has huge, beautiful daylillies in all colors. They are much bigger than the ditch variety….and they add a lot of color to a garden…….I’m a big bee balm girl too………

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      • I watch and spray like a hawk and the first time I think I have them “contained” the deer I mean, they show me and eat my 2 foot tall hostas to the ground for snacks and then move on to the smaller ones for the firsts and seconds! I think next I will put in more Christmas Roses.
        They don’t touch them!

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  4. ‘Ditch lily’ does not sound very appealing. But then, neither does ‘daylily’. It sounds a bit too common. ‘Ditch lily’ at least sounds intriguing because I would not know what it is. I also do not know what those oats are. I have heard about them, but never seen them growing anywhere, perhaps because most of the weeds here are grassy types, including oats.

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  5. I’ve not heard the name Ditch lilies for day lilies, I see Wikipedia lists lots of names for it. We had that same double one for years and decided to get rid of it. Unsuccessfully, it keeps on popping up and doesn’t even redeem itself by flowering.

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  6. A lovely grouping of flowers in your garden. Never seen a double day lily & the monarda is gorgeous. Had forgotten how beautiful butterfly weed is (been gone from North America for about 20 yrs). Loved seeing it every summer & yours is gorgeous. Sea oats is new to me but really nice. I bet it does look wonderful in the breeze. Such a nice Six. Good luck w/all your mulching!

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