More Daylily Days

Daylily Fiesta
Daylily Fiesta

It’s been a few days – sun soaked daylily days – since I’ve shared photographs of our daily daylily surprise. So now it’s time to catch up.

The gallery below includes a few of my recent favorites. I’ve captioned them with simple but revealing hints at what appeals to me about each daylily blossom.

Daylily vs. Day Lily

I’ve been asked by several people why I write “day lily” as two words and not as one. Apparently many gardeners consider it a free variant? Perhaps I’m mistaken? Today I’ll use the single word to balance my previous posts, and to salvage my fragile reputation as a gardening wordsmith. Perhaps in the future I’ll resort to Hemerocallis…)

The Enchanting Daylily

The gallery below includes a few of my recent favorites. I’ve captioned them with simple but revealing hints at what appeals to me about each daylily blossom.

With summer in full swing, daylilies deliver a perennially entertaining floral cabaret. I suspect that it’s humanly impossible to resist their charms!

But there’s something more, something less obvious that appeals to me.


If you’ve ever enjoyed the good fortune of a vast buffet, perhaps a brunch smorgasbord too vast that you couldn’t possibly try every delicacy that tempts you, then you have an inkling of the feeling I get when confronted daily with exciting new daylily blossoms.

While North Country living has renewed my pursuit of simplicity, we all experience a childlike wave of enthusiasm when confronted with a vast array of enticing possibilities. The “child in a candy store” metaphor rarely needs explanation…

The heart quickens, perhaps after leapfrogging a beat. The eyes widen and the pupils dilate. Breathing becomes shallower. Perhaps our tongues water and our stomach rumbles.

It is a sense of plenty. Of potential decadence, pleasurable even if we have the restraint to temper it. It is the allure of excess and the exotic. It is an invitation to ask, “What if?”

For me, this gastronomic cascade of physical and emotional responses is similar to what I experience when I gaze at an unfamiliar new daylily blossom.


There is also an only slightly concealed magic in daylilies. They rise and fall with the season, expanding and spreading, enduring, returning after their mortality is affirmed by autumn’s chill year after year.

In the early spring there is nothing. Bare earth covered in mulch. Then in early summer a tender, pale green shoot begins to grow almost as you watch it, stretching up toward the sun’s warmth. And then this riot of colorful blooms. Blossoms which often last for days.

And even as the petals fall and the colors yield to the lush green leaves, their is such a font of vitality in a daylily clump. They fortify themselves, absorbing nutrients and sunshine and moisture, promising in Technicolor oration to return again next year, fuller, healthier, prettier.

And sure enough, they never fail. They never abandon us. They always return. Better than the year before. Year after year. For decades. Perhaps centuries.

In short, we get a glimpse at immortality in these loyal garden spirits. We are reminded to dream beyond the next freeze, to have hope beyond the next end of life.

Not too shabby for a bunch of gnarled roots that even the most amateur gardener can propagate with little risk of failure! All hail the daylily!

About virtualDavis

A writer, storyteller and unabashed flâneur, George Davis (aka virtualDavis or G.G. Davis, Jr.) is the author of Rosslyn Redux: Reawakening a home, a dream and ourselves, a transmedia chronicle about rehabilitating an historic property in the Adirondacks with his bride. He blogs about storytelling, poetry, doodling, marginalia, flânerie, publishing, and other creativity-inspired esoterica at; posts sometimes exhilarating, often unnerving, occasionally euphoric, and always pollyanna "midlife mashups" at; chronicles his sailing adventures (and misadventures) at Sailing Errant; and delves into matters of parenting, babylandia, and childfreedom at Why No Kids? George formerly taught and coached at Santa Fe Preparatory School and The American School of Paris, and he co-founded and launched Maison Margaux: "Paris à la parisienne" in Faubourg Saint-Germain. He currently owns and operates Adobe Oasis in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his bride. George meanders on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and Flickr.
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