Focus on Flowers

Crocus blooms, finally!

Though these opened at least a week later than last year, and about three weeks later than in 2013 and 2012, finally … we have crocus blooms!

If I had posted photos of these crocus flowers yesterday, you might have thought it an April Fool’s joke.

Crocus tommasinianus 'Ruby Giant'

Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’

No joke. They are real and really are in bloom. Crocus tommasinianus, aka ‘tommies’, are the only variety of crocus not devoured by the voles that frequent my gardens. If you have voles, these are the crocus to plant.

Crocus tommasinianus 'Barr's Purple' on the right, 'Ruby Giant' on the left

Crocus tommasinianus ‘Barr’s Purple’ on the right, ‘Ruby Giant’ on the left

Over most of my landscape snow still reigns; releasing its hold ever so slowly during day time temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s. But spring is popping in the warmer areas near the house and walkways. It could not be more welcome.

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Go bananas over ‘Going Bananas’ daylily

Do you love yellow? Do you love daylilies? If you answer yes to both these questions then, like me, you’ll go bananas over ‘Going Bananas’, a Proven Winners perennial that grows beautifully in my Zone 6, south-central Connecticut garden.

Hemerocallis ‘Going Bananas’ arrived on my doorstep in a 4 1/2 inch pot in July, 2011. Since its mature size is less than two feet, I planted the young ‘Going Bananas’ in full sun in front of a mounding Japanese holly, Ilex crenata ‘Helleri’, figuring the small, dark green holly leaves would perfectly offset the daylily’s yellow blossoms.

The first season ‘Going Bananas’ gave a hint of what was to come. At this young age the large blooms were a bit out of scale with its leaf mass, but it showed potential.

Hemerocallis 'Going Bananas'

Hemerocallis ‘Going Bananas’

By 2013, it had grown to a respectable size …

Hemerocallis 'Going Bananas' in 2013

Hemerocallis ‘Going Bananas’ in 2013


… and the yellow of the blossoms had deepened.

Hemerocallis 'Going Bananas' blossom 2013

Hemerocallis ‘Going Bananas’ blossom 2013

By 2014, its third season in my garden, ‘Going Bananas’ really showed its stuff. It was in full bloom from late June through mid-July and bloomed intermittently in late summer.

Hemerocallis 'Going Bananas' in 2014

Hemerocallis ‘Going Bananas’ in 2014

I loved that Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Paradise’ and ‘Going Bananas’ bloomed concurrently last season. One can never go wrong combining pale yellow and deep blue.

Hemerocallis 'Going Bananas' with Phlox paniculata 'Blue Paradise' in 2014

Hemerocallis ‘Going Bananas’ with Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Paradise’ in 2014

Proven Winners’ plant description lists the height of ‘Going Bananas’ as 19″-22″, but the blossoms reach to about 2 1/2′ in my garden. The flowers emit a sweet fragrance and the leaves remain attractive into autumn. During the three years growing it I’ve seen no disease or insect problems.

Outside of regularly removing spent blossoms – advisable for all daylilies,  ‘Going Bananas’ is very low maintenance. My one caution, don’t expect deer to ignore this or any other daylily. If you garden in deer-browse regions, plant ‘Going Bananas’ in a protected location.

Want more ‘Going Bananas’? Watch Proven Winners’ video and read their overview.

Disclaimer: I received this plant/shrub from Proven Winners as part of their garden writers plant trial program. I have received no compensation for growing or writing about these plants. My reports are based on how the plants/shrubs have performed in my Zone 6 garden in south-central Connecticut.

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Morning in the garden – July 13, 2014

Early morning is my favorite time in the garden. It’s quiet and there are few distractions. It’s a perfect time to enjoy the views. Here’s a look at my perennial beds this morning, July 13, 2014.

Having a back yard fence protects ‘deer candy’ plantings from the jaws of the area’s most prolific herbivores. Until we added the fence a few years ago, a necessity once we installed an in-ground pool, I had little success getting day lilies to bloom, and trying to grow phlox was futile. The beds have matured nicely. This week I finally had time to devote to my own rather than clients’ gardens. So … with fresh edging and mulch these beds are ready to show.

We enter from the gate.

Welcome to joene's gardens in mid-July.

Welcome to joene’s gardens in mid-July.

And walk to the other end of the fenced-in yard.

Early morning in joene's gardens, mid-July

Early morning in joene’s gardens, mid-July

The yellow and pink shades of the lilies provide the bulk of the mid-summer pop.

Here’s a closer look at the lilies currently in bloom.

Asiatic lily 'Landini' (foreground), Asiatic lily 'Rosella's Dream', and the yellow Hemerocallis 'Hyperion' July 13, 2014

Asiatic lily ‘Landini’ (foreground), Asiatic lily ‘Rosella’s Dream’, and the yellow Hemerocallis ‘Hyperion’ July 13, 2014

Landini is a stunning shade of maroon, offering an unusual dark contrast to the Asiatic lily display. Take a look at the photo of ‘Rosella’s Dream’ in last week’s Morning in the garden post and you can see Landini’s buds.

Asiatic lily 'Landini' July 13, 2014

Asiatic lily ‘Landini’ July 13, 2014

Farther along in this bed, beyond the lilies, is day lily Hemerocallis ‘Siloam Ury Winniford’.  She never had the chance to bloom until I transplanted her to this deer-protected area.

Hemerocallis 'Siloam Ury Winniford' July 13, 2014

Hemerocallis ‘Siloam Ury Winniford’ July 13, 2014

Then, farther along near a bird bath, is the last bloom of this Iris ensata.

Iris ensata (unknown variety), July 13, 2014

Iris ensata (unknown variety), July 13, 2014

Looking back toward the gate from inside the fence …

Perennial bed in joene's garden, July 13, 2014

Perennial bed in joene’s garden, July 13, 2014

Two of the three day lily varieties have opened. You can see ‘Prairie Blue Eyes’ above and in close-up below.

Hemerocallis 'Prairie Blue Eyes' July 13, 2014

Hemerocallis ‘Prairie Blue Eyes’ July 13, 2014

Not captured in the overview shot is ‘Catherine Woodbury’.

Hemerocallis 'Catherine Woodbury' July 13, 2014

Hemerocallis ‘Catherine Woodbury’ July 13, 2014

Along the fence, phlox ‘Blue Paradise’ continue to bloom and send a sweet fragrance through the garden.

Phlox paniculata 'Blue Paradise' July 13, 2014

Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Paradise’ July 13, 2014

And the first balloon flower opened this morning.

The first Platycodon grandiflorus, aka balloon flower, July 13, 2014

The first Platycodon grandiflorus, aka balloon flower, July 13, 2014 . 

Hemerocallis ‘Going Bananas’ continues to bloom between the phlox and balloon flower. See last week’s Morning in the garden post for a closer look of these bright yellow blooms.

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