I live in a rain shadow area at the southeastern end of the San Joaquin Valley in California, and our average annual rainfall is somewhere between 5”–6”. We usually get zero rainfall from the beginning of April until sometime in October each year, and our summer temperatures run in the low 100s with practically no humidity.
As a result, not only do I hand water each day during the hot months, but I pot up daylilies and irises I receive by mail (and there are lots!). I put them on makeshift plywood tables on my patio under beach umbrellas until the weather cools down enough in the fall to be able to plant them in the ground without being cremated by our intense sunlight and high temperatures. This method has worked very well for me, in spite of being pretty labor intensive.
My summer daylily blooms are usually quite pastel and tend to burn compared to others from the more temperate climates with frequent rainfall and overcast days, so I take my pictures fairly early in the morning. Our climate also affects the edges; when I see a beautiful daylily with huge glorious edges I figure my edges on the same plant will be about half – but I’ll take it!
I have been frustrated by hybridizer pictures of both daylilies and irises because the colors have often been so enhanced that I feel I have been misled from time to time. Whenever I see a turquoise blue or hot pink iris I know not to trust the color in the pictures, but since I have only recently begun collecting daylilies I didn’t know not to necessarily trust the hybridizer pictures and have been disappointed a few times. But what I think is so great about the ATP Database is garden shots posted by members. I look here first whenever I find a daylily I might be interested in, and from my own experience I’ve learned to take pictures where the bloom is both in sunlight and then again in shade. In some cases there is quite a difference.
Sometimes it’s not just the camera; when I see a pink or purple daylily in the shade it often looks true pink or purple, but when I look at it in sunlight it can look very different. Here are some examples.
HERE LIES BUTCH
SUNSHINE ALL DAY
ENTWINED IN THE VINE
PRISONER OF TIME
I recommend that when you see a picture of a daylily you're considering for your garden, try to decide whether the picture was taken in sunlight or in shade so you can determine whether you will like it in your garden. Daylilies need at least a half-day of sunlight in order to bloom and if you don't like the way it looks in sunlight you might end up disappointed, and we can't have that!