A Daylily for Juneteenth
Since Juneteenth is being celebrated across the country this weekend, I thought now would be an opportune time to highlight the daylily named in its honor. Behold Hemerocallis 'June Teenth,' which has been blooming for the last week in my next door neighbors' yard.
First, a little Civil War refresher for those of you who, like me, were unfortunate enough to have a soccer coach as your 11th grade American History teacher.
The Emancipation Proclamation officially took effect on January 1, 1863. But in reality it was not until June 19, 1865 - one month after the Civil War had ended and two months after Lincoln's assassination - that slavery finally ended in America. That was the day that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas and enforced the emancipation of the country's last remaining slaves. June 19, or "Juneteenth," has been celebrated as a holiday ever since.
"June Teenth" is one of the many (somewhere between 50 and 75) unusual daylily varieties gracing the garden of my next door neighbors, Mark and Cheryl. In total, they have about 100 plants, a few of which are shown on my Guest Gardens page. All came from Holly Hills, the now defunct daylily farm in Moncure, North Carolina. Owned and operated by the famed daylily breeder Dr. Jim Massey, the farm was a pilgrimage site for daylily fanatics, who happily traipsed through acres of lilies in search of that perfect something their neighbors wouldn't have.
Holly Hills closed its doors in 2011, but not before Mark and Cheryl had pretty much cleaned out the place. All their lilies are beautiful, but "June Teenth" seems to be their pride and joy. The name alone would make you want to own it, but everything about it - the color, the huge flowers, the height - is eye-popping. And since Mark and Cheryl's "June Teenth" was one of only ten and is not commercially available, its price-tag was equally eye-popping (I'm not telling). All in all, it's quite a conversation piece.
Meanwhile, over in my yard, I've got a rather pedestrian assortment of daylilies blooming, including that perennial (no pun intended) object of scorn, Stella de Oro. Personally, I think Stella gets a bum rap - is it her fault that she was marketed to death? She's actually quite lovely if you stop sneering long enough to take a good look at her. But she's no "June Teenth."
And as much as I like Stella, and Hyperion, and a bunch of other plain-Jane daylilies, I have to admit that those Holly Hills specimens are pretty spectacular. I wouldn't mind having a few for my garden. The bad news is, Holly Hills is no more. The good news is, Mark and Cheryl have a good portion of the inventory. How lucky for me that they live next door.
I'm planning to be very, very nice to them.
Thanks to Carol at May Dream Gardens for hosting the June 2013 Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.
6/15/2013 01:53:50 am
They haven't been divided yet, but I'm on the list for when they are.
6/15/2013 12:14:12 am
Thanks so much for the great article! And, we will soon need to divide some of those plants and I know a great yard for their new home!
6/15/2013 01:54:19 am
Excellent! I can't wait.
6/15/2013 02:34:46 am
Stella de Oro and Hyperion are great because they blend in well with so many other plants. You're right that you wouldn't necessarily want a whole border of them, but they are great in combination with other plants. Plus they are inexpensive and easy to find. What's not to love?
6/15/2013 07:09:22 am
Lucky you to have such great gardening friends so close! I had never heard of June Teenth daylily, but with only 10 of them, I probably would never have, if not for your post. Stella is a great little daylily. I don't have her in my garden, but only because I haven't found a spot for her. Otherwise, I love performance-oriented plants like her!
6/15/2013 08:07:26 am
With 60,000 or so daylily varieties out there, it's no surprise you haven't heard of June Teenth. I was quite taken with Pandora's Box in your latest post. I am now scouting out locations for her. Quite lovely.
6/15/2013 11:22:23 am
Hi Janie. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. Sadly, these are not my lilies - they are my neighbors'! I do have some success with lilies, but mine are rather mundane - not like these at all.
6/15/2013 11:23:50 am
Hi Kathryn. It is a very unusual color, and it looks either more red or more orange depending on the light. It's huge, too, which makes it look like a stop sign!
My American History teacher was the basketball coach, but he's apparently just as bad because I've never heard of Juneteenth. It's sad, really.
6/15/2013 11:26:54 am
Somehow I'm glad I'm not the only one who went to a school where the sports coaches teach subjects they don't know anything about. Mine was one chapter ahead of us and used to put anyone who asked a hard question in the back of the room.
6/15/2013 04:43:27 pm
I learned about Juneteenth in a newspaper article but had no idea a day lily shared the name. I have lots of stella's and I like them. I have Hyperion, too, as well as a bunch of daylilies I can't remember the names of. Hyperion takes dry soil that would make other dayliles cry. I've heard of plants just disappearing when growers stopped producing them and demand dropped. I'm glad your neighbors are running a lost day lily sanctuary. :)
6/16/2013 02:22:38 am
I find the number of daylily choices overwhelming, and a lot of them start to look the same after a while. When all is said and done, the oldies but goodies rule.
6/16/2013 05:07:58 am
Hi Alain. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I've noticed the big fat lump of faded petals, but didn't know it was specific to the newer kind of daylilies. Very interesting. I agree - it is not a pretty sight.
6/16/2013 03:46:49 am
Beautiful pictures--I hope you do eventually get some for your garden. I am content with my nameless roadside orange day lilies; for me, Hyperion is exotic!
6/16/2013 05:08:57 am
The nameless roadside lily does have a certain charm, I agree. But if you'd like some Hyperion, let me know. I have plenty.
6/16/2013 09:36:15 am
I have a few clumps of hyperion--finally moved them to where they get sun and they have been spreading. I love the color and the aroma.
6/18/2013 05:06:51 pm
I've got a couple of Stella's that are big and loaded with buds as we speak. I'm not ashamed to like lowly Stella! I still consider myself an amateur when it comes to gardening, so I appreciate a plant that is hard to kill off, and is covered with pretty blooms for a long time. (Both reasons it was hyped so much, no doubt.) Plus, the foliage turns yellow in the fall, which adds a nice dimension to the bed.
6/19/2013 01:25:49 am
I have Hall's Pink too! I got it from Bluestone Perennials and was surprised that so few other places offer it, because it is so pretty. Mine is blooming now.
I'd be nice to your neighbours too if I were you. That is quite the collection of daylilies they have! June Teenth is such a nice orange. I have a few orange dayliles, but none that I am super happy with. Stella de Oro is over marketed, but I never hold that against a flower. I actually like many of the yellow varieties better than the odd shades of pink you sometimes see in gardens.
6/20/2013 10:20:50 am
I'm not a fan of pink daylilies either. As for Stella de Oro, my attitude is, it works well with a lot of different plants, and it blooms a lot, so it's good enough for me. And while it might be nice to have something more exotic and unusual, often you get 2 or 3 weeks at the most out of them, then are left with ratty daylily foliage. I'll take something blooming over ratty foliage, thank you very much.
6/20/2013 01:53:28 pm
How accommodating of Juneteenth to bloom right on time. It's too soon for daylilies in my Maine garden -- although I find myself peering into foliage and counting new flower scapes every day. The one holiday-named plant in my garden, the late Siberian iris 'Yankee Doodle Boy' (presumably because it is true blue and blooms on the 4th of July) has missed its cue this year and looks as though it will finish blooming before June is over.
6/21/2013 01:34:58 am
I suppose it's asking too much for holiday-named plant to blooms at the appropriate time all across the country, given the vastly different climate conditions. Maybe somewhere in the USA Yankee Doodle Boy will bloom on the 4th!
6/21/2013 03:24:53 pm
I 've learned something new from your post, Sarah! Thank you! Juneteenth lily is very lovely!
6/22/2013 02:01:17 am
Thanks so much! I walked past my neighbor's Juneteenth yesterday and it looks even better -many more flowers now than when I took the picture.
6/21/2013 04:00:57 pm
June Teenth is indeed spectacular! I have only the old common day lilies that receive even more derision than Stella de Oro, so common that they are often called ditch lilies. They were here when we moved in long ago, and I have grown fond of them. But their yellow color would be livened up by something like June tenth sprinkled among them!
6/22/2013 02:02:28 am
Let's hear it for ditch lilies! Like you, I refuse to be a garden snob.
My favorite of all the ubiquitous daylilies is Happy Returns. Love the flowers on most daylilies but I don't gow many because the foliage rarely holds up after (and much of the time before) they bloom without constant dead leafing. Too much work for a lazy gardener like me :).
6/27/2013 06:13:01 am
I know - the leaves look pretty ratty after (and during, as you say) the bloom time. It is so hard to find a plant that will give you everything you want!
I hadn't heard of Juneteenth either, but that is one beautiful daylily! I am astounded by all the many different varieties of daylilies there are (and some of the price tags that come with them!) I for one am thankful for Stella de Oro - she's a tough cookie and a prolific bloomer for some terrible planting sites!
6/27/2013 11:06:20 am
You are so right about Stella de Oro. There's a lot to be said for something that will survive in all the awful places people put it. I am her biggest defender!
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The Galloping Horse Gardener is a native New Yorker who packed it in in 2005 to live under the radar in Cary, North Carolina. In 2014, she removed to a new secure location somewhere in Raleigh.
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