When I tweeted about returning from St. Louis’s Region 11 meeting, Snarky Vegan said
“Sounds like they were racing daylilies! The Daylily Regional. ;-P”
In a way, they were, or at least we were racing to see them all. AHS Region 11 comprises Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, and the regional is held annually in one of the locales. I’ve helped with ours in Oklahoma City, and it was a relief to go somewhere else and enjoy their volunteers’ hard work.
Hemnuts from all three states converged, visited beautiful gardens, and bought PLANTS!
I bought a few new daylilies and a couple of flats of other things myself. We’re a month ahead of St. Louis, and they had lots of beautiful offerings left over at their nurseries.
Once I got home, my head was so full of daylilies I could hardly think. I planted those I bought in containers to wait out our hot weather.
Tip: Daylilies do not want to be planted when it’s this hot. Better to keep them in containers in the shade (under the deck) until September when you can set them out in the garden. Otherwise, you must rig up gadgets in the garden to protect them from the sun.
Let’s look at a few highlights of the show. We toured four gardens, and I think many people believe daylily gardens are just daylilies, but most of these gardeners love all types of gardening and complemented their daylilies with other perennials, shrubs and trees.
We visited Kinder Place Gardens, a historic site, bought and restored by Dan and Jo An White, who are hybridizers. Jo An loves to shop for antiques and “finds,” and she had cool garden art for sale for very good prices. A lot was purchased. I bought a small blue glass vase. Dan also found time to dig some daylilies which were offered for $20 cash and carry, and I bought H. ‘A Green Desire’ at Clint’s suggestion. When Clint says I should own a certain daylily I listen.
I’ve never seen so many beautiful seedlings as I did at the White’s. Every Saturday in July, Dan sells some of the seedlings he’s not introducing or saving for hybridizing purposes for $5.00 each. If you live in the St. Louis area and don’t care whether your varieties are named cultivars, it’s a good deal.
David Hoffman owns the first garden we saw. It is in a gracious older neighborhood, and this man knew how to grow hemerocallis. A hint from his garden. He uses pine needles and ground up leaves as a three inch mulch. I was as impressed with his mulch as the flowers themselves. He also uses soil sulphur, but be sure to get a soil test before you try it. His containers of annuals were awesome, and he could pack more daylilies into a space than anyone I’ve ever seen.
One of the reasons we go on tours is to see the latest cultivars. Hybridizers are always making daylilies brighter, more ruffled, toothier, edgier, more twisty, curly, whirly. You get the picture. Catch the eyezone on this one.
The third garden belonged to Joan and Dave Poos, and it’s been featured in Country Living Gardener and other Better Homes and Gardens publications among others. It was serenely beautiful and the Poos were also on a Hosta tour this summer. While strolling their acres, I met several people who loved hostas as much as they did daylilies.They also had a really cool shed.
My friend, Laurie, is a hosta person. I, on the other hand, have hostas, but just don’t get the love factor with them. Saturday night, I sat next to a man very conversant in hostas, and he was nearly in rapture discussing size, shape, coloration, leaf puckering, etc. A lot like hemnuts, only different. One of the big things in hostas right now are the miniatures. The tinier the better. They remind me of miniature Longaberger baskets. All the same features, but you can’t store anything in them.
The fourth garden was poised on a lake outside of St. Louis, and this garden was in the springtime of its youth. I would like to see it again in five years. It was immense, but the daylily clumps were very young and didn’t have the effect they will when mature. I wouldn’t mind living there in the meantime though. A lake, a swimming pool and a cabana. Fun.
Did I mention it was hot? Saturday was fierce, as hot as Oklahoma with added humidity. People were literally melting.
We spent the evenings talking about our gardens and thinking of which “must have” plant we absolutely could not do without. Clint, Stephen, Laurie and I bounced from one nursery to the next, and yes, we bought. Our favorites? Sugar Creek Gardens, who had Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ (caused a lot of excitement in those with me), Greenscapes Gardens and Gifts and Sherwood’s Forest Nursery and Garden Center. The people were friendly, the plants were sublime, and the prices very, very good. It must be all the competition they have.
So, that’s what I did on part II of my summer vacation. Next week, I fly to Buffalo for the Garden Bloggers meetup. It’s sure to be a blast too. Just call me “Ramblin’ Dee.”