Since most of our daylilies are still young, they haven't had a chance to "clump up", so they're more impressive in macro/close-up photos than from a distance. (There's usually only one scape per fan, with just one or two blooms open at a time, and many of these daylilies only have one fan at present.) Also, since I had no way of knowing what most of the flowers would look like when I placed the plants, the color placement is pretty random.
It's possible that in years to come I will try to mark the daylily clumps when they bloom, then wait until autumn to dig them up and rearrange them by color and/or bloom-time. I still haven't decided about that, though... For one thing, it sounds like a lot of work. (g) For another, I'm not so sure that I don't like a random scattering of color, for the most part... (Not surprisingly, I also like scrappy quilts and crocheted afghans.)
In my opinion, most daylilies go together pretty well, and our entire garden is very much "a little of this, a little of that", anyway-- which brings me to a subject I've been thinking about off and on for the past year or so. Mass plantings.
I look at photos of gardens with huge drifts of a single plant-- a single shade or color of bloom-- and it's impressive. That gardening style translates well to film and photographs, I think, and you see it mentioned so often that you begin to think that maybe that's how you're "supposed" to garden, these days. However, as someone with a relatively new garden (at least, counting since I started putting more effort into it), the oft-touted "mass planting" method has its drawbacks.
--Expense and Risk.
Depending on the plant (and the numbers purchased), mass plantings can be expensive-- a risky investment, if you're not sure that the plant in question is going to be successful in your particular garden. Of course, cost may be less of an issue if you are careful to select something that either can be easily started from seed or multiplies quickly from just a few plants. In that case, you may have to wait a while for the planting to achieve that full, luxurious look of an established garden.
Also filed under "Risk": When something (pest, disease) comes along and wipes out all/most of a particular type of plant in your garden, it can be heartbreaking-- even more so if you have a huge planting that is suddenly demolished. Even if it's not quite that drastic, every so often there's a year that's just not good for certain plants, and they under-perform. Diversifying your plantings ensures that not all your eggs are in the same basket. If one plant just staggers along this year, maybe the species next to it will thrive.
--Limited Options for Placement.
Like most people (I imagine), I'm often uncertain of how a new plant will do in a given location in my yard or garden, so if I do have multiples of a plant (or can divide one pot before planting), I'm tempted to try the same plant in two or three different spots-- not all grouped together. In a few months (or a year or two), I'll have learned a lot about how the plant performs under different circumstances-- valuable information for future purchases and plantings. (And unless all locations were equally successful, I can then move any "transplantable" plants to the most promising places available-- which would be a good time to start a miniature mass planting, it's true.)
--Limited Options for Variety.
Some of us garden mostly to create pleasing landscaping; some of us garden because we love to learn about, admire, and collect different plants. However, surely most of us are doing at least a little of both. I know I am! I want my garden to beautify my home's outdoor spaces, but I'm also interested in trying many different plants, because it's just fun to have a diverse garden. As much as I'm loving daylilies, for instance, I wouldn't want to have only daylilies. Even with plenty of room for a large garden, practically speaking, I'm still limited for space. I might still expand my flower garden with new beds, but at some point, I will have to practice restraint, because I need to stay within the bounds of what I can (and will) maintain. With limited space, mass plantings of just a few kinds of plants effectively removes opportunities to play with a larger variety of plants.
--Limited Bloom Period.
Unless the mass plantings are of plants that look interesting all through spring, summer, and fall, large swaths of the garden may become dull (or even unsightly) after the blooming is over. At least with a more cottage-style garden, there's usually a succession of bloom. When one plant is done for the year, its neighbor may be ready to put on its own seasonal show. (Of course, with careful plant selection, mass plantings can be attractive for month upon month.)
It all comes down to personal opinion. Personal aesthetics. Which pros outweigh which cons for each of us.
I think I'll always be a little of a hodge-podge cottage gardener, because I like to try out a lot of different plants on a limited budget (and within a limited space). Also, I enjoy the look of really full, busy gardens. What they lack in grandeur and elegance they make up for with charm and a sense of intimacy. You can't take the plantings in all at one glance. They reward a slow stroll and a closer inspection with new discoveries.
However, I have begun grouping multiples of plants, lately, on occasion. Not just one here, one there, and the third one on the other side of the garden. This is easier to do when I'm planting things I've started from seed (i.e. cheap and/or free plants).
I'd still be hesitant to purchase very many of the same plant at the same time, though. Once I know a plant does well for me, I'm more likely to buy more of it, next time-- if I can resist the allure of something new and different, that is!
The garden is evolving as it expands-- as I learn which plants work well for me (and where). When one plant fails or comes to its natural end, empty spots open up.
The same thing happens when I transplant things. Last year, I had elephant ears in the spot to the right of the 'Sunshine' ligustrum. I felt they got too much sun, so this year I moved them to a shadier location and replaced them with sun-loving canna lilies, which are just getting started growing. If the cannas do well, they may stay right there, but if not, I'll try something else next year.
I guess no garden is ever "finished". There's a never-ending cycle of maintenance-- but most of us are also always thinking up improvements beyond pruning, weeding, and mulching.
If no garden is ever really finished, nor is the gardener ever completely satisfied!
There's always room for improvement. A tweak here or there...
A new part of the garden to develop, or an old part in need of revitalization...
Is it a mismatched jumble or an exuberant cottage-garden-jungle?
They say that red and pink clash, right? Or is that a combo that's become trendy?
I don't really have a strong opinion one way or the other, to tell the truth. I'm pretty laissez-faire with color placement in the outdoors.
Besides, the laissez-faire approach is the easiest. If you embrace a scrappy-patchwork-quilt aesthetic in the garden, anything goes. Put plants where they'll get the right sun/water/space/soil and leave the rest to luck and fate.
...Well, maybe you tweak it a little, here and there. A plant is moved from time to time, sure. But it's not a strictly managed, tightly choreographed display. A little spontaneity in the garden keeps it exciting. (Though some might argue that too much spontaneity turns into visual cacophony and gives people a headache. (g))
Enough musing for one day. ;o)