Among the diploid oldies, and ones that I will probably keep a long time (never say "forever"), I'm currently enjoying bloom on the near-white 'Tuscawilla Tranquillity' and cream 'Beautiful Edgings' (both of which I have had for over 15 years). Both are rust resistant plants (important to me). I do have to usually poke and prod one of the sepals on BE, and the colors are not vibrant here (true for most daylilies). As the photosensitive edge washes out pretty quickly, I try to give it morning shade.
A couple of years ago I managed to rescue and resurrect the old small flowered diploid rose 'Coming Up Roses', which is also currently in bloom. I think this daylily may also have some rust resistance. The only reason I would get rid of it is that I have been trying to move away from diploids, and I also prefer larger flowers. But this little daylily may have the best rose color in the (daylily) garden, and I value color.
Among the older tets, the much admired 'Marys' Gold' just started blooming this past week. I love, love, love the eye-zorching color (but wish it had more blooms, and that the blooms had better form). (The only other large gold daylily I have that can match it for color is an unregistered Benz plant, "Cheddar Ruffles". The flowers on CR are better looking (fuller, more ruffled) but the scape seems to be weaker.) MG is supposedly susceptible to rust, but I have not had much trouble with the plant in that regard. (Now watch what happens...
This summer I have been enjoying bloom on 'Insider Trading'. I bought this from Bill Maryott a great many years ago (more than 7?!) having seen it in his field. Because of ongoing deer raids, I did not see it bloom here until two years ago (when I saw all of one bloom)! The clump has grown very big over those years (with scarcely any fertilizer from me). Now that we have finally (mostly) fenced the deer out, I am enjoying tons of blooms. I think this may now be my favorite red tet daylily (ignoring one of my seedlings); the color is great, the form is good, the blooms open well, and the plant is rust resistant. Here is a picture that I took yesterday:
For lemon yellow, I love 'Osterized', and for a polychrome yellow, I love 'Sears Tower' (which does seem to need some scape support here). Both are fragrant and always open well here.
I can't say that I like most purples, as they melt and slick or spot here. However (and here's a cautionary tale for you).... Many years ago I bought 'Black Falcon Ritual' when it was a new plant. I grew it for some years in a pot, where it didn't perform well (I wonder why...). I planted it in the ground (in an area that had arguably too much shade), and it didn't perform well there either, so I told my garden helpers to dig it up and throw it out.
Not long after, I saw a daylily coming up near the spot where the plant was. (I can't recall if this was 1 fan, or 2.) Was this a seedling? (I can't remember if I was making crosses, or keeping up on dead-heading, or what.) Or was this BFR? (My garden helpers had not, at that time, learned to be certain to dig all of the plant out.) By then, I was having plant-pitcher's remorse, so I dug it up and potted it, and had to wait forever for it to bloom. In fact, once the fans got large enough I transplanted it out to a different part of the garden (where it gets some filtered shade), and had to wait for bloom there. It is now a nice clump, the blooms look and act like the description of BFR (which they hadn't before, not really), and as I've since been told that BFR tends to "wander" a bit via underground runners, I'm presuming that is what it is.
(But - and here's the cautionary part - I will never be 100% sure. It could arguably be a seedling from a bee pod which I didn't trim... or maybe I was trying to make crosses on it and it could be a seedling from that. So the morals to this story: Don't be too quick to throw out a plant which does not seem to be performing to spec. Try it in different parts of the garden. Be sure to deadhead, and if you are making crosses, be sure to keep the seed pods, seeds, and seedlings under control, so you don't end up with look-alike volunteers coming up near the original plant. Finally, if a plant simply has to go, make sure that whomever is doing the digging gets all
of it out.)
Anyway, presuming this is the real, original, BFR, it is a great daylily - the scapes are hugely tall this year, and they stand up strong and straight, easily holding the large flowers that hold up well in our climate...
This may be the only long term purple keeper in my garden. (I have a very few others.) Here are pictures from yesterday:
(And now it's dinner time, so that's my tale of good oldies...)