That wasn’t smart 6.0, 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3

Well I really racked them up this weekend.  My favorite nursery, Perennial Point, was having a customer appreciation weekend and all plants were on sale for 30% off.  A dead garden will make you weak in the face of temptation and I guess I blinked.

Not smart version 6.0:  The garden was bone dry and I couldn’t even take care of what I had.  Weeds are having a field day, the lawn is dead and other plants are dying left and right.  I just bought home several delicate, nursery-perfect plants which probably haven’t even broken a sweat their whole lives and I’m planning to throw them into this nightmare.

daylily bubblegum pie

Three big ticket items followed me home, ‘Plum Magic’ crape myrtle, hypericum ‘Red Fame’, and daylily ‘Bubblegum Pie’.

Not smart 6.1:  I don’t like daylilies, don’t ask me why I would buy one.  The leaves look horrible in late summer, the old blooms look like soggy tissue messes which need daily cleanup, and the name ‘Bubblegum Pie’ is insanely dumb.  The flower on this one is fat and fleshy and overdone with way too many ruffles.  There’s nothing graceful or elegant in the flower but I’ll plant it near the one daylily which came with the house (and resprouted after I thought I sent it to the compost pile) and the other species daylily which I grew from seed (Hemerocallis atissima, a tall and graceful night bloomer).  We will see how it does.

Hypericum inodorum 'Red Fame

Look at the fruits on Hypericum inodorum ‘Red Fame’!  I’ve seen these used in flower arrangements and never thought it might do well in the garden, so we’ll see if it does.  btw the crystalline glisten on the leaves is something called raindrops, yeah it took me a few minutes to recognize it as well, apparently we used to get a lot of it back in the day.

Not smart 6.2:  I bought a Hypericum ‘Red Fame’ which I think is cool with its juicy looking bright red fruits and according to what I’ve read may tolerate drought just fine, but I also bought a crape myrtle.  Crape myrtle are not hardy here and even at 30% off this one still wasn’t exactly cheap but somewhere deep down inside I seem to think someday a miracle will happen and one will survive.  Maybe fourth time’s the charm….


Three new caladiums and a new coleus.  Buy one get one free on annuals since no one bothers to buy annuals on the last weekend of July… no one except me apparently.

Not smart 6.3:  I bought more annuals.  Tomorrow is August 1st and the days for annuals are numbered and I should be focusing on limping through the summer and getting ready for fall gardening rather than wishing for another June and July.  Plus I seem to remember telling myself (you wouldn’t remember since Iwas talking solely to myself) that I had too many coleus last year and I should let some meet their maker when frost came.  Now I’m adding more?

caladium pink splash

Caladium ‘Pink Splash’ which I managed to overwinter from tubers purchased last year.  At least that was smart.  Also smart is the healthy, dark-leaved Eucomis (pineapple lily) grown from seed supplied by Nan Ondra.  I’m hoping it will be big enough to bloom next year!

Not smart 6.4:  I already have too many caladiums for a reasonable Pennsylvania garden, but if you hang on for another minute I’ll tell a quick caladium story.  It used to be I could overwinter them with ease and even had some survive for more than 5 years, but then my luck changed.  Dead tubers would greet me each spring and I wasn’t sure what was wrong.  Short story even shorter last winter I tried keeping them completely dry in their pots and in a warmer spot and lo and behold they made it through perfectly.  Logical next step is to take advantage of any good caladium deal which you come across and then be immensely disappointed when they go back to dying next winter…


White caladiums and a pot of mixed tubers which I found on clearance.  The spotted one is my absolute favorite.

Pristine white caladiums filling a terra cotta planter in the high shade of a southern garden is tasteful.  My mixed, gaudy plantings in reused plastic nursery pots are not.  But I digress, and will leave you with one last glimpse of my new daylily.

daylily bubblegum pie

The disgusting daylily ‘Bubblegum Pie’ with all its offensive frills and flounce.  It really is too much of everything and I’m positive this will be the one and only daylily I ever purchase for this garden.  Since I have it I might as well plant it, and I might as well even spare a few shovelfuls of my precious compost on it.  The pot has three fans already and I can only imagine three or four deliciously overdone stalks next year filled with more of these flowers!

Not that smart 6.5?  A few days ago I ordered some iris through the Historic Iris Preservation Society’s annual fund raiser.  That’s innocent enough, but now that the sale has wound down I noticed a posting on Facebook looking for volunteers to take in leftover rhizomes and grow them on for a year before sending them back for next year’s sale.  I’m wondering where I would put 10 or 20 more iris 🙂

It rained by the way.  An absolutely amazing soaking rain which stretched out for hours and got into many of the driest nooks and crannies of the garden.  I’m quite pleased and know it will be a good week and wish all the best for yours as well.

23 comments on “That wasn’t smart 6.0, 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3

  1. pbmgarden says:

    Congratulations on the purchases and the rain.

  2. Does it surprise you that I LOVE that daylily? My favorite color combination! Now, I do admit that when I saw the Crape Myrtle in the first picture I thought, “Is he crazy?” But if anyone can coax it to live through our winters, it would be you, Frank! Good luck! Those Caladium are just lovely! Mine took their time, but finally came up and are growing. The rain over the weekend was just the ticket, wasn’t it? Now the weather needs to clear and we need some comfortable sunny days, please! Upper 70s with low humidity isn’t too much to ask, is it?

    • PS–I am not ready for it to be August. Not. Ready. At. All.

    • bittster says:

      haha, upper 70’s and low humidity. Good one 🙂
      My caladiums took their time as well, but I just blamed it on a late planting. I guess we’re a few hundred miles too far north for these to really take off.
      The crape myrtle had so many buds and was so well grown I couldn’t think of anything else other than how nice it would be in my garden. Plus I think I have some kind of disability that lowers my immunity against foolish plant purchases.
      What colors do you think I should plant the daylily near? I was thinking a nice dark purplish foliage background but then what other flower colors with it? I bet it won’t be long before I can divide this one 😉

    • bittster says:

      -btw I’m estimating a 19% chance the crape myrtle will survive until next summer…

  3. Actually I think it is a smart time to buy annuals, especially if they’re not too potbound. If your garden is looking worse for the wear they will freshen it up for a good three months, depending on when you get your first frost. And I love that daylily, too. Some daylily flowers don’t go all mush and if the foliage looks ratty you could just cut it back–if you have time, which I never seem to, as I am usually busy planting the colchicums I just ordered or dug up in July which are close to blooming in the onion bags I saved them in. That last sentence wasn’t very good English but I’m sure you’ll parse it out.

    • bittster says:

      One thing I’m looking forward to is an astounding colchicum season. Last year’s was disappointing but I think the up and down temperatures here this spring didn’t bother them and the extra water from all the spring rain was to their liking! I did some dividing the year before and hopefully this fall will be a show 🙂
      I repotted the annuals and they look great. Slightly potbound, but they’re caladiums and I think they’ll just soak up the heat and carry right on. In my mind I’ll save the roots and they’ll come even stronger next year… practically an investment, not even close to careless spending.

  4. I agree with Kathy. I am about to go shopping despite the fact that I have lots of bulbs on order. I think that daylily would look great with purple foliage. What about with Heucheras with pink or yellow leaves? In for a penny . . .

    • bittster says:

      I just finalized a fairly large (for me) bulb order as well. These purchases were all on top of that. I guess we have to celebrate the middle of summer somehow 🙂
      For the daylily I was leaning towards purple myself. Maybe near a ninebark but that’s my “red” garden and I’m not ready to give up on it even though it hasn’t worked in over six years…

  5. Lisa says:

    I love the hopeful, overflowing reckless joy of the gardener. We’re an irresponsible lot 🙂 I hope they all do well!

  6. Actually I like that daylily, and I don’t usually gravitate toward reflexed petals and piecrust edges, but that one looks seriously Victorian and how could you pass by that color combo? 😉 If it wasn’t semi-evergreen (which I deliberately avoid) I’d be tempted myself!

    • bittster says:

      Oh no! What am I missing about semi-evergreen!
      I thought nearly all daylilies were practically indestructible and here in this end of PA there are few things which survive “semi-evergreen”, that usually translates to semi-dead.
      Good thing there are 3 more blooms. At least I can enjoy my last supper 🙂

      • Well, my beef with anything “semi-evergreen” is that instead of either looking decent over winter OR disappearing politely and neatly during same, the foliage inevitably looks distressingly awful for those 4-5 months, LOL. Of course if you’ve got snow cover you won’t see it, but you know how unreliable that is here on LI. My objection to semi-eg is on purely aesthetic grounds; I’m sure it’s just as hardy as the winter-dormant ones. 🙂

    • bittster says:

      I get it now. Semi-evergreen will probably be not-green in my garden then, and I’m fine with that. I just really need to find a spot to plant it. I may have to kill something quickly to give me just the right location 🙂

  7. Cathy says:

    Glad you got rain! That day lily will flower profusely next year, just to spite you. Is this the new gardening secret, to coax plants into hanging on out of simple spite?! I also tried to buy some annuals to fill a gap or two where things had gone mouldy from all our rain… but there were none left! Oh well, there will be autumn Chrysanths in the shops next week I suppose…. Happy August Frank!

    • bittster says:

      Happy August to you as well!
      I’m just now eyeing a large empty bed which was supposed to be filled with dahlias or tomatoes or iris, yet because of drainage issues has had nothing planted. I’m at my limit for annual purchases but might find as many coleus cuttings as possible and spread them around…. Nothing has died from rain here lately and surprisingly enough in the four days since the rain started annuals which looked mostly dead are actually showing promise. I’m not going to be buying chrysanthemums just yet 🙂

  8. Frank, the very best thing you can do with that awful daylily is give it to me. I have the perfect spot for it. P. x

  9. Paula J Squitiere says:

    Frank – you cut daylily foliage completely back after they’re done blooming, unless it’s a re-bloomer. You’ll get a new flush of foliage which won’t have the ugly yellow streaking etc. Carol told me that. By way of Charles.

    • bittster says:

      I need to get out and cut back the MIL’s daylilies, but I guess there are enough green leaves to keep it looking decent as is. She has plenty of the cultivar ‘Stella D’oro’… are you familiar with that one? lol
      She actually bought a few more pots of it to fill in a new bed. I shook my head thinking of the hundreds of divisions her established clumps could have given for free, but she does mean well of course.

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