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After recent Vermont flooding, the daylily blooms

Star-shaped, bright orange flowers bloom from long, slender green leaves and stems.
Daylilies provide a pop of color and thrive in full sun or part shade and many kinds of soil. New varieties also grow shorter and come in bright red, yellow and white and peach colors.

After historic flooding across the state that resulted in some 200 farmers and producers losing crops, some are just beginning to assess the damage. If they're able, many Vermont farms are replanting crops for a small harvest in late summer or fall.

And some home gardeners have also lost small plots and raised beds of plants, flowers and herbs, that were swept away or contaminated in the flood waters.

There are methods to test the soil for contaminants. And for Vermonters with small gardens and raised beds, we shared some ways to replant certain fast-growing greens now and how to work on replenishing the soil for next season in this episode ofAll Things Gardening.

Even in these stressful condition, one flower continues to thrive and bloom here: the daylily.

The daylily or hemerocallis often blooms orange pointed petals on tall green stems. New varieties are known as triploid chromosomal varieties.

These daylilies bloom longer, have thicker petals only grow just a couple of feet tall. They will also bloom longer, sometimes for weeks.

The variations come in shades of red, like Red Hot Returns, peach hues like Siloam Merle Kent and and bright yellow, like Buttered Popcorn.

Because daylilies are so hardy and versatile, they are happy if you plant them in full sun, or part shade, and in almost any kind of soil.

Daylilies also are not bugged by pests and they are even edible.

You can eat daylily flower buds at any stage, or even stuff the flower and fry them like you would a squash flower.

Dig up a daylily's tubers to roast and eat like you would potatoes.

Two major caveats! Because of recent flooding in Vermont, it is not safe to consume any part of the daylilies that survived the waters. If your daylilies and the soil they are growing in were untouched by flooding, they are safe to consume.

And it is just as important to ensure it is indeed a hemerocallis or daylily and not an Asiatic lily, an oriental lily or bulb lily, as those are toxic and should not be consumed.

Q: I have a Reliance peach tree that was about two years old when I planted it in the spring of 2021. I placed a water-gator on it for the first summer. The gator made a blemish on the trunk of the central leader. And then the next summer, that leader didn't have any foliage on it but strong suckers from the base grew quickly. In spring, I cut down the central leader. No leaves ever grew on it. Can the suckers grow up to bear fruit? How long might that take? - Tamira, via email

A: The peach tree was probably a grafted variety, which might cause an issue.

These trees are grafted with a root stock of a related species that is hardy or tougher and can take Vermont's cold winters. Onto that root stock, the desired variety - in this case, the Reliant peach tree - is grafted.

Those suckers that are coming out below the graft union are the root stock and not the peach tree, so they will probably not bear fruit. If they do, they're not going to be really desirable fruit.

Check to see if your peach tree has been grafted by looking at the bottom of the stem. If it looks kind of swollen, that's where the graft happened.

If your peach tree is, in fact, a peach tree grafted with a hardier root stock, it might be best to start all over with a new fruit tree and one that might grow better in Vermont's conditions.

Q: Our boxwood hedge around our back patio is out of control. It stands more than four feet tall. Should I prune it now? And how far can I cut it back so that it will regrow and look better? - Harry, in Williston

A: Boxwood are very resilient, even when cut way back. Prune it right back down to a foot or two tall and in a year or so, it will look beautiful.

Just don't trim it as we are getting into August and September because you want it to start hardening off. If you're going to give it a substantial trim, wait till early spring.

All Things Gardening is powered by you, our audience! Send us your toughest conundrums and join the fun. Submit your written question via email, or better yet, leave a voicemail with your gardening question so we can use your voice on the air! Call Vermont Public at 1-800-639-2192.

Listen to All Things Gardening Sunday mornings at 9:35 a.m., and subscribe to the podcast to listen any time.

Mary Williams Engisch is a local host on All Things Considered.
Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV show host, consultant, and speaker. Charlie is the host of All Things Gardening on Sunday mornings at 9:35 during Weekend Edition on Vermont Public. Charlie is a guest on Vermont Public's Vermont Edition during the growing season. He also offers garden tips on local television and is a frequent guest on national programs.