Daylily Bank

Lab399(6)April 3, 2012

I'm in the process of moving some wild daylilies from the side of our yard to a bank that slopes to the road in front of our house. I know they will fill in quickly over the next few years and I think they will look beautiful during the spring and summer; however, I am concerned the bank will just be bare during the winter. I've never really noticed what a thickly-planted daylily bed looks like in the winter.

Is there something that will grow interplanted with the daylilies and provide some winter - if not green - cover? Will the dead stalks of the daylilies be enough to cover the bare ground?

Thanks!

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terrene(5b MA)

Daylilies look great with ornamental grasses, both large and small. The dried grasses provide winter interest and I really like the way they look over the winter although big ones can get smushed down with a heavy snow.

You will need drought tolerant grasses to survive on a slope. Sporobolis heterolepis (prairie drop seed) is a really attractive, super drought tolerant native short prairie grass. Has beautiful delicate foliage that makes thick tufts that will help cover the slope.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 6:56PM
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Lab399(6)

Thanks for your feedback! I will have to post a picture when I am done (someday...)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 9:43PM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

In answer to what they look like when they die....picture a dead spider plant, only much fuller....lol. The stems do eventually fall off, but the foliage turns yellow and just stays there until you cut it down (or have to pull it all off by hand if you're like me and don't get around to it before they start growing again...lol).

Personally I don't think it's a good look in a garden, but on a bank...who knows? And I think the 'grasses' idea is excellent !! Think it would help offset the dead lily foliage since they have the same 'structure'. Green "grass" foliage plus yellow (dead) lily foliage would probably look nice. Like yellow mounds of ornamental grass, maybe??

Just one afterthought -- if I did plant grasses, I'd make sure there was enough room in between them so that you could just mow down the lily foliage (or weedwhack) versus having to hand pull it off.

Because in my experience (and anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) my dead stuff never just falls off by itself. It stays attached in the ground, no matter how 'dead' it is, so it's time consuming doing it by hand if you have a lot to do.

Just something to bear in mind, depending on how much area you'd have to tend. I can't see your post right now so forgot your exact planting situation...sorry.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 10:24PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

I have a bank of old-fashioned orange daylilies, but mine is along the back of the house where no one goes in winter (unless I am skiing in the field beyond it and then it's snowcovered.) I have it mulched, and the daylily foliage just dies back and dries quickly at the first frost - I don't usually bother to clear it away. I find the foliage is less trouble than more modern daylilies that I grow. You may want to remove stems after blooming, however.

I have planted a couple of shrubs (viburnum) just above the base of the slope to add interest as well as a small dogwood at the edge of the field near the base. These help provide interest when the daylilies aren't up and break up the look of a 50 foot long bed of essentially all the same plants. I'm just now starting to add a few other plants to see if I can make it a bit more interesting.

Personally, I love frothy white with the orange (kind of Creamsickle-ish) so you might want to think about elderberry bushes or Limelight hydrangeas if the area is moist at the slope's bottom.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 12:17AM
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