Colour Blocking With Edible Flowers

Toronto's laneways: a visual treat of painted garages in wild hues. What a backdrop for cheerful daylilies.

The species orange Daylilies can be a pest in a mixed perennial border, as we’ve written, due to their wandering ways, but how welcome they are where few other things will grow. In the picture above, daylilies look terrific in a laneway in front of two brightly coloured garage doors. It’s a happy accident that showcases how a colour blocking effect (the fashion trend of 2011) adds a hot visual punch to a flower in bloom. It reminds us to remember the backdrop, it can make or break your garden effect.

Although I have maligned daylilies, I must admit that parts of the city come alive in July when these cheerful blooms take the stage, often in unexpected places.  These tough plants can really shine in waste areas, like laneways, and beds bordered by concrete walkways, commonly called “hell-strips”. Here you don’t have to worry about the invasive nature of a plant like the daylily, and you’re guaranteed a fantastic show every mid July. Just remember that these glowing trumpets must have full sun for best effect and plenty of blooms. If you have a back lane, or tough sunny spot, they are worth planting for looks, but also for food. The buds, and tubers are edible, and apparently yummy. All about how to cook daylilies here.

Delicious. Briefly cooked, the buds have a bit of knacken, a German expression meaning a “pop.”

If you have an isolated space where you can grow daylilies (Hemerocallis Fulva) with impunity, by all means, give them a chance.

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