When I moved to Squirrelhaven 15 years ago, I brought some of them with me, and I acquired a few more after that. According to my records, at one point I had the following "Chicago" Daylilies: 'Chicago Scintillation,' 'Chicago Frost,' 'Chicago Silver,' 'Chicago Thistle,' and 'Chicago Queen.' If you've ever seen any of these (except for 'Chicago Scintillation') you would notice that they all look quite similar. Too similar. At some points in my records I have written both 'Chicago Frost' and 'Chicago Silver' with a question mark after. It was clearly too much of the same. Something had to go.
I remember giving away most of those and a couple of other Daylilies, but I can't remember exactly when. I have a note in my garden journal from 2001 that I gave away 'Lavender Illusion' (any lavender in that flower was completely illusory) and 'Jolly Hearts.' There's no record of when I gave away the "Chicago" plants. In my defense, I must point out that I had a baby and a toddler at that time. 'Nuff said. I have a note from 2002 that 'Chicago Queen' was in bloom. After that, 'Chicago Queen' disappears from the record.
This spring I moved a Daylily that was getting swamped by Lamium and Geranium macrorrhizum. It was so happy to have more space that it bloomed. Could this be the lost 'Chicago Queen'?
And what happened to 'Chicago Scintillation'? Is this it, or 'Grape Velvet'? Or this one? Or is one of these 'Super Purple,' about which I wrote, "very disappointing, definitely not purple"?
I have another mystery Daylily that will remain a mystery longer because it has not bloomed recently. Daylilies will tolerate part shade, but not complete shade and being swamped by Lamium and Geranium macrorrhizum. I hope this is 'Happy Returns,' one of my favorites. It's a good yellow. My last mystery Daylily came with the property. It's a big yellow the same shade as 'Happy Returns.' Unfortunately, I haven't seen it lately.
I'm not a complete lame-brain when it comes to my Daylilies. I know that this is 'Chosen Love,' the first Daylily I ever bought and the earliest bloomer. I even remember that I got this 'Pink Lavender Appeal' from White Flower Farm. It's shocking, a Daylily whose flower color actually matches the name! Don't get too excited though, it looks like this in the afternoon.
This is my current favorite Daylily, 'Little Grapette.' I even have two of them, one in mostly sun, one in mostly shade. The shaded one starts blooming a little later and has a couple fewer blooms. I've decided I prefer the smaller flowering Daylilies. I'd rather have a mass of little blooms than a few large ones, and, if I don't get around to deadheading them one day, the smaller ones are less obvious.
Then there's my most disappointing Daylily, 'Siloam Merle Kent.' It's supposed to be orchid pink and purple, but it's more peach than pink by afternoon. It does put on a great show though. It is long blooming and puts out a lot of flowers each day. The photo at the top is of this plant.
Although this is a passalong plant from my mom's garden, I do know the name and from where it came. This is 'Evening Sea' from Gilbert Wild. This plant is in full shade and it is a great performer. When other Daylilies were struggling with drought in my mom's garden, this one was still blooming away. So when my mom redid part of her garden and gave away a bunch of her Daylilies, I had to take this one.
Why would I plant Daylilies in shade, when everyone knows they're plants for full sun? The answer is two-fold: (1) I didn't want any Daylilies in my sunny faux prairie out front, and more importantly (2) when I planted them, the Daylilies provided the only spots of color in the otherwise blah mid-summer Woodland Garden. Now that I've got other things to provide the show, the Daylilies provide spot of dark drama in a sea of pink, lavender and purple. Daylilies will bloom in shade, just not as profusely. The trade off is that the color lasts better throughout the day.
As I've outgrown my Daylily infatuation, I've started to fall for true Lilies. I don't have many to show for it yet. I used to have Lilium martagon album, but they slowly declined and died out. I don't know what happened. Another mystery is how this Asiatic Lily traveled from the main woodland garden to end up at the very back of the long border by the fence. It can't be seen from the lawn or the house. By contrast, the big 'Black Dragon Strain' Trumpets are highly visible. I had hoped the maroon on the outside of the flowers would be more striking, but these are more like "Soft Rose Wash Dragon" Trumpets. I need stronger color. Something akin to the color of the Oriental Lily 'Black Beauty.' This photo is from last year. It hasn't come into bloom yet. This plant inspired me to create a whole color scheme around it. Now that's what I call drama. I'd welcome any recommendations for LA hybrids or Orienpets with the same impact as these 'Black Beauty's.