The Charmed Garden

From Planning to Planting, and from Harvest to Table.

Easy Going Perennials

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If you are looking for inexpensive low maintenance color in your garden, I’d like you to take a new look at an old favorite. These plants have been around for decades, so are easily over looked, until you see the new colors and uses for these plants.

Lets start with the Day Lilly.  This is the perfect plant for those of us who think they don’t have a green thumb.  Once established this colorful perennial needs no care. I mean no watering, no fertilizer, no fuss. The only maintenance this plant may need, and it is truly optional, is in the heat of the summer the leaves at the bottom of the plant turn brown. If this bothers you, you can pull them out, but it is not necessary for the health of the plant.

I’ve heard it called the gas station plant, because, well yes it’s used profusely in road side gardens, mini malls, and unimaginative city gardens. Those are typically the cheerful bright, bright yellow Day Lillies – and yes I did mean to say that twice, because the color can rival the sun on a good day.

stella de oro

Stella De Oro Day Lilly

If that color is not smoking your shorts, there are soooo many more to choose from. There is a smaller, finer leaved, softer butter cup color Day Lilly, which blooms a little later than the Stella. You can see it’s a little easier on the eyes, and it blooms all summer.

butter cup day lilly

Butter Cup Day Lilly

If yellow’s not your color, and you’re still not convinced, here are photos of  many different colors.

Many of these lillies have textured petals, and if you enjoy rich scents wafting from your flowers, plant these under your windows.  They are as small as 8 inches tall and as tall as two feet. The taller beauties can be used as a “specimen” plant in your garden (one of the solitary stars) or in mass plantings. Here are examples of both.

mass planting day lillies by driveway

peach colored day lillies mass planted with Black Eyed Susans along a driveway.

2015-07-02 01.06.29

Single Day Lilly plants used as specimen plants on each side of the garage door.

Single Day Lilly plants used as specimen plants on each side of the garage door.

You can use daylillies as perky greeters at your gate, the front door, or around your mail box post.

Stay tuned for future Lilly posts and other easy going perennials.



Author: Laurine M. Byrne

I received my certification as a Landscape Designer from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois and I received my horticulture education through classes at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois and through the master gardener program at Univ of Illinois Extension. In my designs, I love mixing veggies and herbs with native perennials and flowering bushes as you can see from the pictures of my own yard. I love creating gardens for people who like to garden, not just installing traditional landscaping, but actually creating gardens that the homeowner connects to personally. I love that my clients who thought they couldn't grow anything now have green thumbs, because all it takes is the right plant in the right site. And I really love that my clients become my friends in the process of creating their gardens.

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