There will be day lilies. At least, if the frost doesn’t kill them.

BEFORE: Leaves, logs and other debris in the narrow space behind the little wooden garage at the Manse. I suspect no one had cleaned this out for many, many years. Possibly not since my family lived at the Manse in the 1960s and 1970s. Wait till you see AFTER!

BEFORE: Leaves, logs and other debris in the narrow space behind the little wooden garage at the edge of the Manse property. I suspect no one had cleaned this out for many, many years. Possibly not since my family lived at the Manse in the 1960s and 1970s. Wait till you see AFTER!

If you’re like me, you love before-and-after photos. And I have some for you! Mind you, it is highly possible that they will not be as interesting for you as they are for me, but hey – it’s my blog.

People, I am going to talk about yard work again. Those who are utterly bored by the subject may stop reading now. But I promise I’ll be brief.

Last spring, Raymond and I did the biggest yard cleanup the Manse had seen in many a year, going into obscure corners and raking up many years’ worth of evergreen cones and other detritus. But there were a couple of areas that we let be – projects for “next year,” as I wrote about here. Well, next year then is this year now, and on our last visit, it was time.

So on our last visit I tackled the narrow space between the white frame garage at the Manse and the fence that separates our yard from the property of our neighbours Brian and Sylvia. It was a job, let me tell you. Aside from old and rotting leaves, there were half a dozen logs/poles from god knows where and when (my family’s own tenure at the Manse when I was growing up there in the 1960s and early 1970s?), a garbage bag containing who knows what, and assorted other junk and detritus, organic and inorganic.

It was hard but satisfying work to rake and haul it all out, which I am proud to say I did all by myself. And as I did so, I discovered a lot of green shoots springing out of the earth there – soil that is probably very rich indeed thanks to decades’ worth of decayed leaves and logs, perfect natural compost.

AFTER: Note rich-looking soil, general tidiness – and all those healthy-looking day-lily shoots!

AFTER: Note rich-looking soil, general tidiness – and all those healthy-looking day-lily shoots!

Of course being utterly clueless on the gardening front I had no idea what these green shoots were, but fortunately Brian and Sylvia were also doing yard work that day – they are awesome gardeners and have an amazing and gorgeous huge yard – and Sylvia knew right away what they were: day lilies!

Day lilies blooming near the Manse garage on a hot day in summer 2012. With my recent cleanup behind the garage, there should be a lot more of them in summer 2013. Yay!

Day lilies blooming near the Manse garage on a hot day in summer 2012. With my recent cleanup behind the garage, there should be a lot more of them in summer 2013. Yay!

And as we all know (even me, the non-gardener), day lilies are just a happy easy plant. (Check out this link for an answer to the question “Why is the day lily the perfect perennial?” Short answer: It requires no effort from the property-owner. My kind of plant!) They are perfect for the space behind the Manse’s garage. And it is even more perfect that they will bloom with no work required by me.

Except: what is this threat of frost that one hears about in the coming week? We all know that one should not plant until the Victoria Day weekend, but recently the weather has been so warm and summery that one would have thought plants would have been perfectly safe. But the current forecast for the Queensborough area has the temperature going down to 2C overnight Sunday-Monday and 1C overnight Monday-Tuesday. Yikes! That sounds to me like a frost warning.

I hold out great hope, however, that since day lilies are the “perfect perennial” they will stand strong against the frost. And I like to think that before we know it, Raymond and I will once again be enjoying lazy hot summer days in the shade of trees at the Manse, admiring the day lilies as I did one morning last summer. Except this year, thanks to my cleanup efforts, there should be a lot more day lilies. I am very proud of myself!

2 thoughts on “There will be day lilies. At least, if the frost doesn’t kill them.

  1. Well done, Katherine! We dug out a clump of day lilies at Skinner’s Pond one year from an area they were threatening to take over, and Peter quite literally chucked them into the brush near the road. Next spring, there they were, the little troopers, blooming as luxuriantly as the most carefully tended flowers would have done.

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