There’s something thrilling about seeing a great blob of red, or yellow, or pink or purple, in the distance, knowing it’s a swath or maybe a large clump of flowers. The thrill grows as you get closer and start to see separate flowers within the clump. As you get even closer, some flowers remain beautiful, but are somewhat plain. A lot of daisies appear to me like that, and many daffodil varieties. Two dimensional. No texture, no shading, no intrigue. Others make you want to get within inches (or centimetres) of the petals, where you can get lost in the intricacies of the flower. Most bearded Iris fit this category, as do poppies and Nigella.
Daylilies (Hemerocallis sp.)are just past their peak in my garden this week, yet thanks to an unusual abundance of July rain they’re still putting on a beautiful show. Here are two of my favourites. Although both are daylilies, I can gaze and inspect one much longer, with greater interest, than the other. The first, a delicious wine red with a name that’s long lost, may be small of stature but it’s big in beauty, and thrives in a protected spot with morning sun and afternoon shade. The second I grew from seed collected in my garden, so it’s a cross of a whole bunch of yellow, pink and red varieties. I love it because it’s really tall, and very upright, with a cheerful glowing yellow bloom. But up close, I don’t feel the need to linger very long.