Start the season with the sparkling blue of spiderwort while the day lily foliage emerges; then add the lemon yellow of the “Happy Returns’ flower and you have a very pleasing combination that will last for weeks. Even after the spiderwort declines, ‘Happy Returns’ will continue flowering and its foliage will be attractive until frost. Both plants tolerate a wide range of soils and partial shade but do best in well-drained soil and full sun.
Day Lily ‘Happy Returns’
‘Happy Returns’ is one of the early blooming day lilies that will repeats periodically throughout the summer if you are lucky. They make quite a show with their abundance of lemon yellow flowers beginning weeks ahead of most other day lilies. With their short stature they are a good complement to taller plants like spiderwort. Like other day lilies, ‘Happy Returns’ is easy to grow and relative free of pests and diseases.
Bloom Time: June and periodically throughout the summer
Size: 12-18” H x 12-18” W
Hardiness: Zones 3-9
Spiderwort (Tradescantia x andersoniana aka T. virginiana)
The flowers are produced in terminal umbels with the flowers in each opening a few at a time. Although each flower last for only one day the umbels carry so many buds that the bloom period extends for a long time. The leaves are linear and get floppy after blooming ceases. When cut back to 8-12” the foliage will quickly reappear often with flower bearing stems for a rebloom. When growing in favorable conditions, spiderwort can reseed and become a nuisance.
Bloom Time: Late spring into early summer
Size: 1-2’ H x 3’ W-9
Hardiness: Zones 4-9