Livening Up a Daylily Border? Help!

arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)July 29, 2010

My Love has always loved daylilies. When we first started here 23 yrs ago, we bought lots of daylilies. Believe or not, as we got more and more packed in our beds, and as trees began to replace sun, we lost almost half of them. sigh.bad bad girl, bad bad me.

3 yrs ago, the town narrowed the main drag we live on, and installed a sidewalk. I succeeded in having them place the sidewalk to abut the street so that we could plant as much as possible as far away as possible from road salt (lots.)>>>new 5' deep bed all along the front and side of the property, abutting the all day hot full sun sidewalk.

In the rear of the beds we have shrubs every 4 or 5', (neillia;calicarpus; cornus ivory halo;Purple:sumac,sambucus,cotinus)// with red or yellow daylilies all along the front of the 40' border.Pennisetum moudry, salvia argentea,amsonia hub. at driveway end.

So, the daylilies , being 3-4 wks ahead like everything else this year, are almost done and of course they look pretty dreadful, as usual. In June I liked the interspersed ornithogolum magnum in there, tall white spires above the green swath underneath.Right now there is some self seeded ppl.perilla there, which is good color foil and it gets tall- to draw your eye up from the ugh.

So, here's the question. Can you think of any tall bold flowering thing that would work interplanted w/ these guys that wouldn't intrude too much on those already stressed (drought) daylily roots, and that would definitely bloom AFTER the d.l. go by(now,not fall)?Perennial, bulb, easily obtained nursery annual?(btw, I am NOT good w/ seeds!) cleome? crocosmia, coreopsis tripteris?(I don't grow these and don't know when they bloom etc.) If nothing else, then a hibiscus placed in the rear? I thought of cannas but i don't want to have to dig them up in that bed, and i think that even if i placed them in some narrow water'tubs', those tubs would have to sit on d.l. roots and that's probly not a good idea? All our other perennials just about to start blooming now- require good moisture or are thugs: rudbeckia, heliopsis,eupatorium. Veronicastrum and verbascum have been blooming for awhile.

Any brilliant ideas out there? Much appreciated!



a teaching website

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am also a lover of the daylily, I probably have well over 100 in my backyard. Most are small plants of an heirloom variety that I have rescued from my grandmother's yard, but I still love them...mine are planted as a border to the beds, which contain shrubs,lilies, and annuals. One thing that I really find does well (although it may be my zone) is Zinnia. Super easy to grow from seed (I am like you in that I can never get anything from seed to grow) and a nice bold annual. Other than that, I am not sure what might work due to you being in a different zone (I really dont know what blooms up there at this time of year).

Hope that helps a little ?


    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 8:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So funny - Mindy, I saw your post in the perennial forum, and I was going to say Zinnia as well.

I'm not a seed grower either really, but Zinnias could seriously not be any easier. A five-year-old could grow them. :) I have a big perennnial bed out front, heavy on the daylilies (probably too heavy), and everything is pretty much done right now. Every single day when I look at it, no kidding, I say to myself: "Thank goodness for the Zinnias." They are really doing a good job of taking up the slack.

I have been growing "Envy" for the last two years, and they are just a wonderful color that goes with everything. Next year I may try to find a shorter variety too.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 10:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sleepy33(5b KS)

Garden phlox, delphinium, larkspur, geum, mallow, sidalcea, cosmos, calendula, aster.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 10:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)

I do appreciate your responses but my priorites are:

-only coming into bloom AFTER d.l.
-taller than d.l.
-small root profile to not impinge on the d.l.tubers

do sidalcea and cosmos bloom after d.l.?
thanks much,

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 3:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sleepy33(5b KS)

Well, in all fairness m'am, in your original post you asked for something "that would definitely bloom AFTER the d.l. go by(now,not fall)". You didn't say it couldn't bloom before that. That's a very specific window of time you're talking about, and mother nature tends to keep her own schedule. With all due respect, I have no idea how tall your daylillies are, as you gave no named cultivars, but everything I listed is what I would consider tall, 2ft or taller depending on variety.

No, sidalcea and cosmos would bloom concurrently with daylilies, and continue to bloom until frost. You'll be hard pressed to find a perennial without an extensive root system, but none of the above listed are invasive, and in my experience, daylillies can more than fend for themselves. If you are that concerned with nothing else blooming while the daylillies are, your options will probably be limited to purchasing some annuals and only planting them at the time you want them.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 3:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I'm not sure if this will help much... Daylilies are one of those things that make me want to play with colors. Most of my garden is in cool tones so I developed a yen for some warmer colors. I had a few reds and orangy dayliles in the herb bed so last year I started making that the 'hot' bed. At one end is pale pink roses that I didn't want to move so what I did was add a 'Summer Wine' ninebark near the other end and rearranged the dayliles and other plantings so they shade from pink to light peachy tones to orange and rusty reds at the far end. The color of the ninebark makes a great foil for the vivid daylily colors.

I'm trying to maintain the same color scheme throughout the growing season. The dayliles are finishing but Heleniums are blooming/starting as is some Belamcanda. I also planted some Crocosmia and Kniphofia this spring but they haven't made much of an appearance yet. I may add some potted mums in appropriate colors when they become available.

I find color useful as an organizing principle - it makes it easier to make a decision to plant 'this' but not 'that'...

The Heritage Perennials web site has and advanced search function that is useful as a starting point for further research - e.g. you can specify site conditions and color and other plant criteria such as height, bloom time, etc. and see what they suggest as suitable plants. It's not a complete list but can give you idea for things to look for (they don't have a lot of Heleniums listed but once the idea of Heleniums gets into your head, it's easy to look for other varieties of them :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Heritage Perennials advanced search

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 4:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)

ah the vagaries of communication! sorry to confuse and thanks for this helpful response.

woody, i was hoping crocosmia might be an option and maybe it will be, but i can't garner from your experience if you don't put your location next to your zone in your i.d.!
where are you?! and th you for the heritage info; i'll check into that too.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 4:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I prefer not to put my location in... but it is southern Ontario. This is the first year I've tried planting crocosmia so I don't know if they will grow for me or not. But nothing ventured, nothing gained - and I do know of people in the neighborhood who grow them so I'm giving it a shot because they fit the color scheme nicely.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 4:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)

oh boy, you're north of me; that's just super! there are a few threads on them on the Perenn board right now.
p.s. have you been to the music garden in toronto?toronto sounds like quite the enlightened city when it comes to lakeside parks.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 4:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

No, I haven't been to the Music Garden - I'll add that to the list of things to do on our next visit....

The lake and access to it is a hot issue in Toronto because of the Gardiner Expressway - an aging, mostly elevated, highway that runs along the lakefront and cuts off easy access to the lake. There are nice parks etc. along the lake but access isn't as easy as it could/should be because of the highway.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 8:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My Zinnias bloomed after the daylilies because I planted them later in the spring. You can research "days to bloom" and time your planting accordingly.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 8:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Good companions are hostas and daffodils.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 12:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
madtripper(5/6 Guelph)

Mindy - I think you will have trouble finding a plant to meet your requirements.

Late flowering tall plants tend to do two things:
- they have larger root systems
- they grow. They will be the height of your dl while the dl is blooming and I doubt you will want that.

So you are looking for a plant that is about 1 foot tall by mid july and 3 feet tall by mid August and ready to bloom? or a 1 foot tall plant that has a 3 foot tall flower spike. Good luck.

Crocosmia are barely hardy in Z5. Some people grow the cutivar Lucifer but I have not had luck overwintering it. it also flowers around the time of DL.

I grow 1500 perennials (includes grasses and bulbs) and can't think of a single plant that meets your requirements.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 9:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

arbo_return, I realize this isn't what you were asking. And I haven't lived in New England for many, many years, and didn't know much about daylilies when I did live or vacation there.

It seems odd to me that there aren't some daylily cultivars that bloom in August (maybe even early September?) in your area. I know that in northern climates, the later-season reblooming daylilies rarely have a second bloom period. But I assume that at least the extra-early and early-season varieties rebloom most years.

Have you tried any late-season and/or reblooming daylilies? Or the cultivars like Stella de Oro which bloom nearly constantly through the summer (what's known as "extended bloom")?

Here are two lists of extended bloom varieties. Unfortunately there aren't many of them, and they tend to be small-flowered. (I haven't bought from either vendor, and include the links only as a list of extended bloomers.)

And here's a page that's only rebloomers. I no longer haunt daylily sites, but IIRC, I saved this link because it was unusual to find such a long list of rebloomers (check with GW's Daylily forum about that).

You can order bare-roots mail-order or online for a much wider selection than what you'll find at local garden centers. You might also visit daylily growers in your area to see what they have available.

Here you can find regional lists of daylily growers:
This list isn't organized regionally, but the state abbreviations are in the left-hand column. I think this list includes more small growers:

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 10:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One thing you could consider, though may bloom even later than you want, is sedum like Autumn Joy or newer cultivars, that you can pinch back once or twice to reduce size and promote branching, then let take off after daylilies are done. The Well-Tended Perennial book has a lot of other specific prune-to size instructions that might work for you, too--I have not reviewed recently, but one of its tenets is how you can control bloom times and size with some careful pinching and pruning. Mums and asters may also work.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 7:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One random thought - Autumn crocus? They put up a little foliage in the spring, iirc, but the ones near my office just finished blooming. Of course, they didn't bloom for very long, either, but I'd imagine they aren't heavy feeders, etc.

Fwiw, my Happy Returns daylilies are still blooming, every so often.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 10:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Would you consider a self-seeding annual instead of a perennial? My first thought was Sedum as well (like Frankie_in_Zone_7), but another option would be Cleome. They get tall, but they aren't wide so they won't dominate the daylilies. They like sun & they reseed themselves pretty easily if they are happy. They'll probably bloom after the daylilies, but might overlap with the late daylily plants you have. Oh - they can also get crazy tall. I've grown some that were 3' or so, but my inlaws have a swath that come back year after year & they are 8'. They are giants!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 4:00PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Mulch/grass over asphalt?
Our entire backyard was paved with asphalt by the previous...
Spacing for Armstrong Maple and Crimson Spire Oak
I plan to provide height to the borders of my backyard...
Bob Sislow
Looking for front of house ideas
We recently moved into this house. It was a new construction...
Wind, sun and what best fits my backyard
Hi everyone! Please ignore the grass situation, will...
Bed lines don't matter if....
They're covered in snow! It will be interesting to...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™