Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Divorcing my Daylilies

When you buy a home, you inherit the yard as well, whether you want to or not.  What was passed down to me was a foundation planting that consisted of Rosy Glow Barberry and Wild Daylilies.  They alternated, like an unfortunate game of leap-frog, all the way around the perimeter of my house.   If you are unfamiliar with either of these selections, let me make some introductions. 

Rosy Glow Barberry is a thorny shrub with burgundy foliage.  Its color, accented with random pink striations, is coveted amongst landscaping plants.  But they're not really 'the plant' for a 3-foot-deep foundation bed.  Rosy Glow needs room to sprawl a bit and requires facer plants to cover it's leggy base.  The plant's prickles are formidable, as noted by it's name "Barb-berry", which reminds me of barb-wire, another element I'd rather not have in my front landscape. 

Wild Daylilies are not to be confused with Hybridized Daylilies.  They are, of course, closely related.  But the hybrids, with their rainbow of colors, have genteel manners and the wilds have none a’tall.  My goodness, I’m jaded.  The truth is, there is a place for wild daylilies.  Their tiger-orange flowers are lovely and I enjoy seeing them along rural roadsides and at the edge of ponds, but they are altogether too aggressive for a manicured landscape, which is what I desperately want my yard to be. 

One long year of hand-to-hand combat, and several pairs of leather gloves later, the Barberry battle was over.  The Daylilies, however, were more tenacious.  I've lost count of exactly when I started my Daylily Removal Efforts, but I'd say I finally got the upperhand around the 5-year-mark.  I thought victory was in sight then.

I was wrong.

Two Daylilies evaded my spade of death.  No biggie, right?  What’s two after the hundreds I had conquered?  Believe me, fellow garden warriors, these last two have challenged – nay - MOCKED my removal attempts.  The first is located inside my spirea.  It’s so far inside the spirea, that I’ve considered marketing a new species: SpireaLily. 

The other is situated ‘just so’ directly under my fence pickets, with its roots lodged in the foundation of my porch and (as if that were not enough), taking shelter beneath my Panicle Hydrangea.  It’s a horticultural triple-threat.  I suppose I could paint some Round-Up on the leaves, but that just seethes with “Poor Sport”, doesn’t it?  Over time, a worthy adversary can sometimes morph into a friend.  What would Wile E. Coyote be without the Roadrunner?  Where would Sylvester be without Tweety?  Tom without Jerry?  Unthinkable.  And so it is to be, for the daylilies and me.  

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