I'm relatively new to Tennessee, having moved here just two years ago. I was raised on a farm in eastern Arkansas, so planting and gardening is in my blood. I've gardened ever since I purchased my first home in 1972, but it's been just recently that I have joined the Memphis Area Master Gardeners, a really great group of gardeners who can answer all your questions. I am proud to be part of this organization.
That being said, my gardening project for this year is going to be adding landscape to a home that I purchased last fall. The existing landscape consists of lots of red knockout roses, pink muhly grass and some reblooming azaleas which look pretty sad right now. The first order of business for me is to prune what I have. Late January and early February are the optimal times to prune roses. An old gardener friend of mine once told me that she always pruned her beautiful roses on Valentine's Day. She said that she always thought of roses on that day, so it always reminded her to prune. The muhly grass is also ready to be pruned before the new shoots start popping out. The same goes for the few sprouts of liriope that are growing in my flower beds.
My blank space is my backyard. A new flower bed is definitely called for in the back yard which mostly gets 100% sunshine. My favorite flower is the daylily, Hemerocallis, which will take up most of the space in this new bed. The word Hemerocallis is derived from two Greek words meaning "beauty" and "day," referring to the fact that each flower lasts only one day. To make up for this, there are many flower buds on each daylily flower stalk, and many stalks in each clump of plants, so, the flowering period of a clump is usually several weeks long. Many cultivars have more than one flowering period. I brought several small specimens with me in pots when I moved, but they are beginning to sprout new foliage now and it's time that they get in the ground.
The daylily is sometimes referred to as the perfect perennial. Here are a few reasons why. It is:
- Available in a rainbow of colors and a variety of shapes and sizes.
- Able to survive with very little care in a wide range of climates.
- Suitable for all types of landscapes.
- Drought tolerant when necessary, with relatively few pest and disease problems in most gardens.
- Adaptable to various soil and light conditions.
- Known to bloom from late spring until autumn.