Friday, July 2, 2010

A Picture is Worth . . .

This is a picture of daylily "Pavlova".

This is a daylily called "Knickknack".
A picture is worth a thousand words? Maybe but then again if it's a picture in a catalog (either paper or on-line) words and pictures may be misleading. Even those little tags attached to a pot at the nursery can be misleading if the plant isn't blooming.
I used these two daylilies as an example. The top daylily is a spider form. The bottom daylily is more trumpet formed. Both forms come in large and small sizes.
If a customer doesn't read the description about flower size, you just might be in for a big surprise come bloom time.
This is one reason I suggest only buying from reputable sources. Sources known to guarantee their products and refund or replace if it turns out different than labeled.
Once you know the vendor is reputable, it is now up to you to know what your buying. Sometimes, reading descriptions and viewing pictures of the same plant from several different vendors allows you to compare.
Realize that your flowers, even with accurate descriptions, may be different. Here's how:
Your soil may be significantly different than the nursery where the plant was grown. This may cause flowers to vary in color. As an example, I seldom have daylilies in the color pink. Because of the nutrients in my soil, they always lean more to a peach or rust color.
The amount of light your plant receives may affect both size and number of blooms.
Different areas of Midwestern yards may vary quite a lot for plant hardiness. As an example, I have one area where annuals may come back for several years. Another spot where plants better be hardy or they will die over most winters due to the wind exposure.
And this is a very important one: realize your expectations may not be accurate for what the plant really will look like. The next picture is an example. It's a picture of the daylilies Knickknack and Pavlova side-by-side.
This is the description from the catalog of Knickknack:
"2 inch bloom, 14 inches tall, Early-Mid Season, Semi-Evergreen. Masses of tiny, bright golden orange blooms cover the clumps of Knickknack. Bright green foliage contrasts - making a really eye-catching display in the landscape."

I didn't read the size description of Knickknack very well and when it bloomed I was amazed there was actually a daylily that was so very small. It is the smallest I've ever seen. And truthfully, had I read it better, understood exactly what it was going to be, I would never have bought Knickknack. My yard is too big and too green for it to make a statement. In a small yard, perhaps a rock garden, it would be quite pretty.
Now when I read the size of a daylily, I take out my ruler and actually look at what "2 inch bloom" will really be in my yard.
I've moved Knickknack three times hoping for a better place. It's last move was out by my husband's shed. He made the casual comment, "I like that little flower" and now it's his! As for me, I like Pavlova with all it's huge splendor.

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