And they’re off! Daylily love at the Regional

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”

Don’t know the cultivar, but doesn’t it look great next to the rooster?

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.

H. ‘White Magician’ Gossard 2007

Hemnuts from all three states converged, visited beautiful gardens, and bought PLANTS!

H. ‘Catfish Bob’ Schulz (1993) with a visiting honeybee

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.

H. ‘Tropical Cooler’ (Salter 2005)  Love that eyezone, round bagel shape, ruffles, color etc. Don’t own it. Yet.

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.

H. ‘So Many Rivers’ (Morss 2006 as listed at their website). The tag in the garden had its hybridizer as Kirchhoff in  2005. No matter, it’s a beauty.

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.

Birdhouses made from reclaimed barn wood.

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.

Seedling fields at the White’s house and gardens

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.

A charming way to display

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.

H. ‘Scarlet Marie’ Kropf (1993) I swear, it was exactly this color. Amazing.

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.

H. ‘Glamour Eyes’ (Harry 2008) Check out that purple eyezone and the color combination. It also has a great edge.

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.

I think a shed like this is practically a focal point in the garden. It’s handy too.

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.

One of the many Poos shade gardens. They also had a charming shed and vegetable garden.

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.

Lois wiping Stephen’s brow.

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.”


  1. Gerry McCormick says:


    I just recently found your site. Four yrs. ago I moved to the OK City area and am learning to garden here. I grew up in SE OK, but have gardened in many other places. I’m a senior and can’t do so much in my garden now, but that need to “dig in the dirt” never diminishes! I feel I’m a lucky one!

    I have read your colums in Fine Gardening and OK Gardening. They are great and so are the photographs of your garden! Your garden is beautiful! Thank you!

  2. Les says:

    At work we were an “open garden” for this area’s regional last weekend. It brought us a little more traffic than normal and the hemnuts were delightful… well except for that one lady.

  3. dean says:

    Dee thanks for the pics. I’ve been really wanting to see some of the garden tour pics. I really wish I’d been able to go. perhaps next year!
    Those birdhouse are very cool. I hope to see lot’s more photos at some COHS meeting eventually! 🙂

  4. joey says:

    Ramblin’ Dee, have an awesome summer! A hosta/daylily lover, I was in heaven walking beside you. I will be ramblin’ too, off to the lake with family coming from ends of the earth for 2-3 week family reunion. Sad to leave my garden, which has never looked lovelier, I will miss many of my fav strutting daylilies, stalwarts in the garden for almost 30 years. Have fun in Buffalo … how fun to someday meet 🙂 Gardening friends are ‘the bestest’!

  5. Brooke says:

    I love to visit new gardens, and this one looks
    wonderful! Wow, what a treat! Seeing your
    pictures is almost as good as going there. Thanks
    for taking the time to share them with us!

  6. Amy says:

    My neighbor gifted me a bunch of ‘Stella d’Oro’ day lilies last year in the heat of August…she was dividing her massive, unruly bed and couldn’t handle any more. Of course, it was so hot they wilted almost immediately. I was astonished when they came back this spring. They’re blooming now, and I have high hopes as it’s been much cooler so far this summer.

    I love love love the ‘Catfish Bob’ variety. I should probably branch out and add more day lilies to my perennial bed. This guy would fit right in!

  7. marnie says:

    Sitting here drooling over those daylilies. Glamour Eyez was featured on an auction site I visited and I copied the whimsical description on my blog this morning. The price was like $175.00 just a little out of my budget range.

    Love those birdhouses. Would have bought both of them.


  8. What a great garden tour post. The photos you took of the gardens are very inspiring! Thanks for the tip on holding day lilies in the shade until fall.

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