I must start with a confession: I'm not really fond of daylilies. They are ever present in generic plantings, in places that don't really belong to anybody but still need to look presentable. They owe this dubious reputation to the fact that once planted they really require no care.

I grew up with daylilies because they were the go to plant for difficult shady spots in my grandfather's garden. Lately I began to realize they are really beautiful plants, they look spectacular in mass plantings and they are happy to fill areas where no other plants would thrive.

I dug up some overcrowded clumps last year and planted a few roots in complete shade, hoping for at least some decent foliage. To my great surprise and joy, they are all blooming in a spot that was barren for years. Of course they like sunny spots better, and there they will produce an extraordinary abundance of flowers.

Because daylilies are so common and are mostly used for large displays of color, one tends to overlook the "lily" part of their name. Also because they are usually experienced from a distance, one doesn't notice that some of them are slightly fragrant.

The Kwanso variety is the only known triploid daylily; a happy go lucky fellow, it spreads like crazy, which may be a drawback if your space is limited. Anyhow, even for a "not so fond of daylilies" person, I have to admit that this plant offers great benefits for very little effort.

If you want to give daylilies a try and you don't already have them in your garden I would like to know how that happened, since they are ever present. The Tawny cultivar is so common in the heartland that some people believe it to be a native plant. If you live around the Great Lakes and didn't plant them, they will probably show up in your garden all by themselves.

It is the midst of July and the early summer exuberance slowed down a little. This is really a time for daylilies to shine: their play on yellow, red and orange in the sunlight looks almost symbolic.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.