Wtih The Augusta Chroncile since Dec. 20, 1995 covering courts and legal issues. Now serving as part of the projects team that focuses on investigative reporting.
Posted June 3, 2010 09:49 am

Daylilies' time to shine (and don't forget there's more hydrangea shopping)



   Be they the humble orange ones spotted along roadsides or elaborate beauties that reminds you of pampered show cats, it's hard to beat a daylily.

   Saturday afternoon is the 2010 Daylily Show where you can watch the experts judge flowers and arrangements, buy daylilies, and learn proper techniques for the planting and care of daylilies. The show, presented by the Daylily Society of the Greater Augusta Area, is from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday with tours of private gardens on Sunday afternoon.

   Oh, and did I mention it was free? Yes indeed.

   If Charlie Shaw, owner of Shaw's Sunshine Gardens, brings any of his samples it's going to be hard for the judges this year. His two-acre garden nursery is chock full of blooming daylilies.

   "As to favorites _ it really depends on who is blooming," Shaw said, words of a true plant lover.

   From the huge Crazy Ivan with 6-inch blooms, the slightly smaller Bumblebee Beautiful whose blooms are 5 inches across, to the blazingly beautiful yellow of Glorious is the Morning, happy spider varieties like the Dancing Chevrons to the appropriately named Awesome Blossom _ to name a few _ there is a daylily out there for everyone.

   Shaw has about 1,200 varieties, which I found incredible but he says considering the number registered varieties is more than 30,000, it's not so much.

   It's not just the beauty of the flowers. Daylilies are so popular because they are tough and easy to care for.

   Water may be the most important element for the daylily, Shaw said. An inch a week is good. A good general purpose food _ he's been using Rainbow 10-10-10 but intends to use more of our locally produced Kricket Krap _ is good fertilizer for daylilies.

   Daylilies can be divided about any time of the year, although it's best to wait until they finish blooming. For the best results, trim foliage back by about half. That will allow the plant to concentrate on root development at its new site, Shaw said.

   The outer leaves of daylilies die naturally as new ones emerge, Shaw said. As a general rule, daylilies should be divided every three to five years, depending on how well they grow. Do not let them become severely overgrown because the roots will become such a mass that water will not be able to seep down where it's needed.


Garden Happenings:

The 2010 Daylily Show and Sale, 1 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the H2U Building, 1305 Interstate Parkway.

   Hydrangea sale Saturday starting at 8 a.m. The CSRA Hydrangea Society's fifth annual plant sale at the Aiken Farmers Market, corner of Richland and Williamsburg streets. Fifty-five varieties of hydrangeas, including new varieties such as Edgy, Let's Dance and City Line series, Lemon Daddy, White Diamonds and Bits of Lace. Companion plants will also be available, including ferns, weigela, heuchera, hostas, cryptomeria and Solomon's seal. Plants will be available in many sizes and prices start at $10.  Proceeds will be used to fund the Society's annual grants, and to hydrangea education. For more information, contact plant sale coordinators Irv Magin at 803-646-1970 and Pam Glogowski at 803-642-5226


June 12 at Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site in Beech Island is the African-American Experience program entitled Goobers, Gardens and Gumbo from 10 a.m. to noon. Admission is $6 for adults.

July 17 at Redcliffe is the annual Growing History program from 10 a.m. to noon. Admission is $4 for adults.

June 17-19, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday is the summertime Giant Plant Sale at McCorkle Nurseries in Dearing.

June 26 is the Flower Day and Open House at the Park Seed Co., in Greenwood, S.C.