a Girl and her Garden

...learning about daylilies one blog post at a time!


"Who IS Nikki Schmith?" Find out using the links at the top right of this page!

Click on above links for more information...

...or read bout a 20-year obsession in the posts below!

a Girl and her Garden

filled with tales of digging daylilies and dishing the dirt!

Exclusive Introductions from Nikki Schmith

selected for distinction, show performance and garden value

Welcome to 'a Girl and her Garden'

Since 2009 I have been using this space to share my photographs, haiku and daylily adventures. I am so glad you are visiting today! Relax and enjoy your stay here. If your group is looking for a fun and informative seminar on daylilies- please email me for more information. My garden is also open to garden groups during peak season to come and enjoy over 500 unique hybrid daylilies integrated with other perennials - some seen no where else on the planet. I dig the daylily beacuse it is forgiving, surprising and beautifully brief. Why do YOU enjoy the daylily?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Daylily Haiku Thursday | It's all happening...

<posted June 17, 2015>  This is H. 'Hawkeye Fringe,' a daylily introduced by my friend Don Lovell.  I love everything about this daylily, including its clear color and large, open form.  It never has trouble opening correctly here in Illinois and the edges are always well adorned.  I especially like the carving that sometimes appears on the petals in the throat area.  Yummy.

Its raining here again today (5 days in a row now)- lucky for me because it makes me slow down and not feel like I need to flit about the garden furiously doing this or that.  The last two days I have simply grabbed the umbrella and meandered in the rain, letting the wet grass soak my feet and gather between my toes.  These are the days I have imagined since they were here last, and it feels surreal that they are back again.

 H. 'Just for Breakfast' and H. 'Siloam Grace Stamile'

This Saturday afternoon, I'm hosting a garden party and I'm looking forward to sharing my space with the local women I love so much.  Our kids have gone to school together for years, and we have remained thick as thieves.  It will be great to relax and serve them my favorite treats and summer peach sangria in my exploding summer garden.

Saturday the 27th of June is the Central Illinois Daylily Society’s Exhibition Show at Washington Park Botanical Gardens.  Consider this your official invitation to exhibit and/or attend the event. It’s the only accredited show in the state of Illinois and its growing each year. Please come.  Email me for more info and check out this website for more info, too!

Today the first three blooms on NIKKI SCHMITH (left) opened, a daylily introduced by a soul sister, and I smiled when I saw it today and recalled some of our most raucous adventures.  Life really is a long, strange trip.  I’m loving the journey…

I am decompressing from a weekend filled with a thousand emotions – all of them swirling in my memory as the 2015 National Convention in Atlanta fades into the past.  It’s a bittersweet event, really.  I connect with hundreds of AHS members through Facebook and email and my blog each day, each week, each month and seeing hundreds of them all in one place at one time for a short few days is overwhelmingly amazing.

Also blooming its first bloom today in my garden is HAT’S OFF TO SUE (below, right), which reminds me of Tim Herrington and the tearful hug we shared after I presented him with the 2015 Steve Moldovan Mentoring Award last weekend. LOVE IS DEEP is showing off two rainsoaked blooms today, saturated with water and yet not shedding any color.  That one reminds me of Georgia and the piece of my heart that lives there.  TAVERN ON THE GREEN from my new friend Paul Lewis is showing off exactly how its name implies and GRANITE CITY BELLE has its first flower open, which reminds me of my early days in daylilies – some 25 years ago- as this one was named for and introduced by a lady from my childhood hometown.

In Atlanta, I shared a few (but not enough) funny moments with Nicole DeVito, fell in love with my new friends Brittany Mitchell, Lynn Hopkins and Jacob Henry, hugged Eddie Ray Andrews and Paul Owen and Charlie Harper and Oliver Billingslea and Libby Hickman, kissed both Heidi and Charles Douglas, shared a dinner and great conversation with Janice Kennedy, laughed with Lois Hart, cried with Bill Monroe, told Sandy Holmes that I really did listen to her advice about grace, enjoyed immensely meeting Greg Goff for the first time and waxing intellectual about some what-ifs, listened intently and admiringly to Tim Herrington and Julie Covington, basked in the calming auras of Marcia Zech, Mary Collier Fisher and Nan Ripley, started a virtual viral video war with Scott Elliott and his nice Bus 5, felt proud sitting next to Melodye Campbell, smiled with new friends from Willow Rock, and accepted sentiments of congratulations and love from hundreds of other cherished friends.   Here are some random people photos from the two days of tours...

Sitting across from Bill Waldrop in his gorgeous church made the BBQ lunch served there even more special; he is a true gem who loves this flower like no other.  Congratulations to him on winning the President’s Cup for BLAZING CANNONS. 

I enjoyed some time on a tire swing, lounged on a river bank, ate more than my share of the most delicious lemon fudge handmade by Martha Carpenter, felt a butterfly land on my shoulder and allowed the sun to kiss my cheeks. Sometimes I walked alone, reminding myself to soak this all in.  Building new traditions with my partner in crime Theresa Roth and my sparkle sister Elizabeth Trotter was amazing, and I missed sharing space with my kindred spirit Nicole Willis and whooping it up with my Kimberly.  I don’t think the world could handle it if we all were ever in the same place at the same time.  These people are my family.  They have watched my son grow from afar, offered an ear when I have felt like an island and sent a silent thumbs-up from across the room and country to calm my restless spirit.  You can count on them to give you a shoulder or a shirt off their back, most often when you don’t even know you need it.  

(photo above courtesy of Ken Cobb)

Attending a National Convention is exhausting.  And thrilling.  And soul filling. And refreshing. And worth it all – the money, the time, being away from my own garden and my own family – the collective experience is worth what it means to our community and our mission to GO.  AND DO.  AND CONTRIBUTE.  

I'll do it as long as the universe allows, and I hope you will too.

You can see a lot of photos from this years convention on many Facebook pages even if you aren't a member.  Check out this one  or this one.  

Here’s a cheer to Atlanta, and to everyone who had a hand in our collective experience this weekend.  We appreciate you.  Deeply.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Daylily Blog on Stretching Out

<posted May 10, 2015>  It's Mother's Day today and what a day it has been.  Spring seems to have come and gone over the span of a weekend and as the temperatures climb near the 80's, the garden is taking off.

Today I planted the two large planters at our Village hall with a bright mix of foxtail fern, spider plant, geraniums and creeping jenny.  I threw some vinca in there for spilling interest.  I think I'll really like this foliage combination and hope that visitors to our Village Hall will enjoy them, too.  Our old building has so much character. 
Then I was off to the Community Park where I am expanding the rain garden with a large swath of daylilies, both registered cultivars and promising seedlings.  It is a LARGE expansion, that will hold about 300 daylilies by the time I'm done.  It helps that I was the director of Parks and Recreation for our Village for the last year, and I thought it quite a reward that it was approved to expand on what the Girl Scouts had already started with their small rain garden.  Many people will get to see daylilies outside of fulva and Stella, and I hope it is a legacy garden for years to come - maybe even a fundraiser for the park as plants need dividing.  Here is a photo of it in early April when David and Donna Williams donated their seedlings to my project before their move to Tampa - and really kicked off the inspiration for this entire project.

All of these pots have now been emptied, organized and inventoried.  The rain garden (the large winter-weary brown splotch in the front of the photo) has been cleaned out and the plants are green and flourishing now.  Some are even in bloom!  Ill post pics for you soon so you can see its progress.

The large front loader will come this week and scrape the grass where I have laid out the beds-to-be.  Some of these potted plants did not make it through the winter, but the dirt was used for other plantings and the pots were recycled to good use.  I've moved many 20+ fan clumps of my own promising seedlings out here, too, and cannot wait to see them stretch in the sun.  The phased plan includes benches, butterfly-attracting perennials and even a few flowering trees.  Every village needs a large flowering garden where residents can discover flowers and pollinators and good smelling stuff and I'm doing my part to bring one to my own village.  It is a lot of work, on my own dime and sweat, but worth every drop of it all.

Someday maybe it will look like one of these beds at Blue Ridge Daylilies in North Carolina - spilling forth with color and promise and inspiration...

The spark for this post today came as I moved some of those potted seedlings around and noticed the crosses on some of them. What was I thinking when I made that cross or bought that seed?  What am I expecting?  How will it contribute to the already over-populated daylily landscape?  What is missing in the universe's daylily toolbox?

Is it patterns on a form and plant base like MARGO REED INDEED (below)?

Is it a wildly splashed black eye on a form and plant base like ORANGE VELVET(below)?

What about keeping the form and plant habit of BROOKWOOD WOW and add serrated teeth to it (below)?

I don't know what it is, but I'm not looking to make something that already exists better.  I don't want a "better" H. 'Shores of Time.'  I don't want a better-substanced H. 'Delicately Yours.'  I want something different.  I don't want more rippling patterns on a muddy pink, thinly substanced 5" flower.  I don't want another white with ruffly gold edge.  I don't want another H. 'Hold Your Horses.'


True pioneers do not try to make what already exists better, they strive to create something new.  Breakthroughs that contribute the most to the community are those ideas that are different from ones we already know.  Don't get me wrong, current ideas (and ideals) should always be improving and growing and stretching - but, the moments that occur when something new emerges and functions are the golden ones.  

Almost anyone can observe something and evolve it.  With today's 24-hour news-cycle and the ability to one-click share your ideas with everyone you know,  ideas and inspiration spread faster than soft, Thanksgiving butter.  You gotta reach out and grab your piece of the bandwidth.

I don't know what it is, and there are surely hundreds of hybridizers out there trying to make a name for themselves either on their own sweat or that of others, but I'm sure looking for it.  Searching for what stands out - what talks to me - what makes the garden better for including it.

What do you envision as different?  As new?  As better?

Tell me.

Til next time - 

P.S.  if you ever wanted to know what is the perfect outfit for touring, that lady in the pic at the beginning of this post is wearing the example of what you should wear while on a bus tour.  
1.  Layers.  2.  Hat.  3.  Sunglasses.  
Sometimes you are burning up and other times you are freezing.  A lightweight, lightcolored button down is the best way to stay comfortable.  I also like to take a frozen washcloth in a baggie with an ice pack for quickly cooling off.  In my bus bag you'll also find wet wipes, bandaids, neosporin-like ointment, mosquito bite relief and hand lotion. And sometimes vodka.  Just kidding.  Maybe not.  :)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Reviving the Past by reinventing the Future | Regional Meetings

<posted March 12, 2015>  It is no secret that our in-person AHS functions are struggling to meet the needs of our membership – especially regional meetings.  Those who continue to religiously attend summer regional meetings note the rising registration costs (typically $119-$169) and yet also note the scaling back of tours, gluttonous food options at the hotel and in the gardens, giveaways, auction lists, printed materials, free plants on the bus, and the swankiness of the hotel. 

Others have cancelled their regionals due to low attendance, lack of interested planners and geographic constraints.  Our aging membership and “the economy” are two other factors oft-cited in our quest to figure out how to get more bodies together in one place, in person, to commiserate on the daylily.  Some regions have taken to scheduling fall, winter or spring events to not compete with the summer AHS National and have been successful at growing from year to year.  Multi-state regions offer state-specific regionals to relieve travel burdens.

When I attended my first regional meeting in 1999, I went home with two gifted tote bags overflowing with free and desirable plants, brochures, magazines, pens, and t-shirts.   I ate three meals a day for two days, and was offered more snacks in each garden than I could have consumed in good conscience.

Financially, local clubs are no longer able to fund the up-front costs required of such an event.  Deposits for buses, catering and host hotel space can run in the thousands.  Not only do they not want to come out of their treasuries to do so, they do not feel an allegiance to AHS to step up to do so.  (a topic for another day.)

Here is my bold statement:  you have to sacrifice something in order to create distinction: Old schedules, big names showing up all expenses paid with their dog-and-pony show, customers that demand more than you should give. Giving up old ways of thinking in the short term for higher profitability in the form of attendance and regional fellowship in the longer term is soul tearing. Saying ‘good bye’ to something that worked so well for a while (and may be still working somewhat) is extremely hard.  Our biggest cost putting on the regional for 210 people in 2011 was the bus.  It cost almost $70 per person for one day and a half for buses alone. But something has to change.  I think we can only revive the past by reinventing the future.  It wont be easy, and it wont be quick, but it will be done.

So, in 2016 our regional summer meeting will not be hosted by a club.  It is hosted and organized by 6 individuals who wish to put on one heck of a party for Region 2.  The regional board voted to subsidize our efforts with budget oversight and we are having a ball planning so far.

We're thinking along the lines of this:

Day One (Friday):  An AHS-Accredited Daylily Show, (yes - a REAL show at a regional meeting) Open Gardens, Dinner on your own.  A very structured "Meet and Greet" social evening event to let attendees catch up and prepare for the weekend.  Several 15-minute quicky presentations from hybridizers in Region 2. Hospitality and Judge's Clinics held in the later evening to accommodate travel restrictions.

Day Two (Saturday):   Sun up to sun down bus tour of gardens throughout central Illinois with lunch in one of the larger gardens, daylily sales in some of them and a shopping stop at a huge nursery along the way.  Sit down dinner followed by Live Auction.  No clinics, no meetings, no rush.

Day Two (Sunday):  Regional Business meeting and Q&A served over full, hot breakfast buffet and omelet station.  Attendees will NOT TOUR VIA BUS on Sunday, but instead choose four 30-minute Workshops from a list of 10 or more for education and fun.  Open Gardens in the afternoon.

And we are shooting to do all that for a $100 registration fee.  Can't be done, you say?  We cant wait for you to see us do it.

Would YOU come to a Daylily Regional like that?

I like this structure and I think it resonates with people's need for choice and control with their money and time.  

Here are some topics we are considering for the seminars:
Plant Sales
Holding successful live, silent and other types of auctions
General Fundraising
Club Programming Ideas/Building a Better Club
Soil testing
Garden Design
Sharing Your Daylilies on the Internet (PPT, YouTube, Flickr, Blog, Website)
Hosting an Accredited Daylily Show
Daylily Genetics
Building a raised bed
Eye Candy (this workshop would be a well-crafted PPT or movie of seedlings and upcoming intros with hybridizers in the audience to answer questions)
Working with Water beds (as they relate to daylilies - LOL)
Hybridizing 101 (where pretentious know it alls are not allowed to dominate
the meeting and intimidate others)
Advanced Hybridizing
Building Youth Involvement
Publishing Newsletters
Keeping Records (databases of collections and/or hybridizing efforts)
Ask The Expert Panel Discussion (must submit three questions with your selection of this option and this workshop will have the BEST emcee)
Facebook/Twitter/Portal/Daylily Cyberspace  (general 101 primer on the options "out there")
Flower Design (hands-on)
AHS Open Forum - "Ask The Regional President"
Writing Press releases and communicating with the public (Publicity 101)
Building Robust Archives/History
Photoshop Tutorials / Demonstrations
Registering a Daylily (why, how, when, vocabulary)
The list is endless...

Regional Meetings should not be mini-nationals. Let AHS worry about all that fabulousness.  The more elaborate you try to be, and the more we try to "one-up" the meetings of the past, the fewer clubs will take on the job of hosting them.  I belong to the region with the highest membership in AHS and we still struggle to find local clubs to host a regional meeting.  

Region 2 cultivars:  (H.'Braided Lightening' and H.'Eat Our Wake Pintaheads')

Region 2 cultivars: (H.'Peasant Blouse' and H.' Swallowtail Kite')

I hope you'll plan to come to Peoria, Illinois in the summer of 2016 and see what might be the future for regional meetings.

Here is a link to register for this year's regional in Indianapolis.  I'll be there and cant wait to see and enjoy what they do!

Til next time- keep thinking creatively.  Nothing needs to be the way it always has been.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Daylily Blog | Popularity Polls In Accredited Shows

<posted March 5, 2015>  This is the daylily, H. 'The Milkman Did It' taken in the Bear W Daylily Garden during the 2014 AHS National Convention.   It's a gorgeous 28" tall, 2011 introduction from Chris Rea that shows off a 5.75" bloom and is an evergreen, tetraploid with 22 buds and 4 branches.  This was the first time I had seen this in person and it was simply stunning.

Over the past two weeks, I have received three emails relating to daylily exhibition shows and the Popularity Poll section in those accredited shows. Unrelated and coincidentally, a discussion on this very topic occurred at the Fall Board meeting of the AHS in Louisville last October.

I thought I would use the blog this week to clarify some of the finer points of exhibiting Popularity Poll winning entries at accredited exhibition shows.

What is the AHS Popularity Poll?

From the AHS website at www.daylilies.org, 
"As a service to its members and to the general public, each year the American Hemerocallis Society (AHS) conducts a popularity poll among its members to determine the favorite daylilies from each region. (Click here to see what AHS Region you live in.) It is the hope of the AHS that this Popularity Poll presents a true picture of which daylilies perform well in a given area and which are best liked by the membership. Popularity polls are important to daylily growers -- both AHS members and nonmembers -- who make daylily selections for purchase."
Click here to view last year's results.

Displaying Popularity Poll Winners In AHS-accredited shows
There is a dedicated section of the AHS-accredited daylily exhibition show for winners of the current year Popularity Poll. 

Until the last decade or so, exhibits in this dedicated show section were limited to only the top vote getter for that region.  So, expectedly, the entries in this section were often scant. In order to increase the size and scope of this section, the AHS Board of Directors voted to allow a show chairman to choose one or many of the TOP FIVE winners in the regional popularity poll.  While this did increase participation and display in this section, it also has increased confusion for some exhibitors and show planners.

For 2015, the Exhibitions Chair (with the support of the Judge’s Education chair and after a full-board discussion at the Fall AHS Board of Directors meeting in Louisville) has clarified this point in all communications regarding the show and judges education materials.

There had been questions from all over the country regarding ties in the Popularity Poll and how this should be handled for accredited shows.  The language for show schedules and judges for 2015 will be:
Section 9: Regional Popularity Poll – List one or all of the cultivars in the top 5 positions in your own region’s Pop Poll (including ties). 
This leaves some interpretation and CHOICE open to the local show chairman.  

The chairman/local committee can decide which cultivars will be restricted to this section.  

If a cultivar is listed in the show program as being allowed in Section 9, IT CANNOT BE SHOWN IN ANY OTHER SECTION OF THE SHOW. Chairmen/committees should consider this fact when choosing which cultivars will be restricted to Section 9.  PERIOD.  If a cultivar is shown on the Popularity Poll winners list for a region and is NOT chosen to be restricted to Section 9, then it can be shown in whatever section its registration data dictates.

For example, using the data found here, the regional popularity poll winners for Region 2 are as follows:

1. 'Webster's Pink Wonder'                        

2. 'Primal Scream'                              

3. 'Ruby Spider'                  

4. 'Heavenly Angel Ice'           

5. 'On The Avenue'

Here is 'Ruby Spider' showing off a random form:

If I were the local show chairman for a show in Region 2, I can decide that only 'Webster's Pink Wonder' will be shown in Section 9.  That will be published in the show schedule and 'Webster's Pink Wonder' will not be allowed in any other section of the show under ANY circumstances.  (This might be a good decision this year since it is also the reigning Stout Silver Medal Winner.  But this might be a bad decision because maybe few people in my club grow it, therefore this section will be thin or empty on show day.)

I could also make a different decision to allow 'Webster's Pink Wonder,' 'Primal Scream' and 'Ruby Spider' in Section 9. That will be published in the show schedule and those three cultivars will not be allowed in any other section of the show under ANY circumstances. (This might be a good decision because it will ensure more entries in Section 9.)

You see, the local chair/committee has some choice in what will or will not be restricted to this section.  STRATEGY TIP:  You have to also remember that according to AHS rules, only ONE cultivar in each name class can receive a blue, red, yellow or purple ribbon.  So, if there are 10 perfect exhibits of 'Webster's Pink Wonder' shown, only one is going home with a blue, one with a red and one with a yellow (if merited.) That will leave possibly 7 perfect exhibits with NO ribbons and 3 judges with headaches. 

So, back to the bigger picture:

In the event of ties in the Regional Popularity Poll results, the rule highlighted above still applies.  "One or all of the cultivars in the top 5 positions in your own region’s Pop Poll (including ties)."  For a region with ties, (like Region 9 for example in 2014) they could choose to restrict more than 5 cultivars to section 9.  The rule says "top 5 POSITIONS" not top 5 cultivars.  In this example, Region 9's results looked like this:

1-3. 'Desert Icicle', 'Sandy B' and 'Skinwalker' (Tie)         

4-7. 'Aspen Blues', 'Primal Scream', 'Shores of Time' and Allison's Curls' (Tie) 

Here is a cool pic I took of 'Desert Icicle' in New York years ago:

Theoretically, the show chair/committee in this example could choose to restrict all 7 of these cultivars to Section 9 of the show.  Whether this is a good idea or not, is the decision of the local planning committee.  Remember, if it is listed on the show schedule as being shown in Section 9, it is not allowed in any other section under any circumstances.  If I were chairing a show in Region 9 using the results shown above, I would probably choose to restrict positions 1-3 to the Popularity Poll section of my show.  I would publish in the show schedule that 'Desert Icicle', 'Sandy B' and 'Skinwalker' would only be allowed to compete in Section 9.  The other cultivars showing on my regional winners list are now eligible to compete in their respective sections.

Don't make it more difficult than it needs to be. 

If you want to have one cultivar in the Popularity Poll section of your show, cool. If you want to have all of the top 5 positions (and that may be more than 5 cultivars), cool.  
If you want to pick a few of the top 5 positions, cool.  
If you want to pick two cultivars from the top 5 positions, cool.

Whatever floats your local boat is cool, as long as you are picking from your regional list, and you are only picking from your top 5 positions and you are clearly communicating which cultivars you have chosen.

I hope this has helped to stimulate your brain about Section 9 and it has helped you see the strategy behind what to select (or not to select) for the Popularity Poll section of your AHS accredited show.

Hoping this clears up the mud a bit.  If I can answer any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me.  If I do not know the answer, I certainly know who to consult.

Til next time- stay warm, friends.  Spring is coming.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Daylily Haiku Thursday | A New Day!

<posted February 26, 2015>  This is the daylily, H. 'Empire of Desire' and it was the most photographed flower in the yard last summer.  Another one of my photos of it was recently featured on the back cover of the Daylily Journal.  I just love this cultivar.  You can find it here.

With a lump in my throat, I’m paging through my digital photos from our family in 2014.  Because I am obsessive a scrapbooker, I organize all my photos, regardless of content, by year.  For example, I have a master folder entitled MY PICTURES, then a sub folder of CARTER, then in that folder I have 2005, 2006, and so on to the present year.  For a garden related example, I have a NATIONAL MEETINGS folder, and within it are folders for each year I have attended the AHS National Convention (11 of them now.)

Each year I always kick off my creative juices by finishing the family scrapbook from the previous year.  Well, that worked great until January 2011, when I was consumed with life and the possibility of the impending (and ultimate) move to Illinois and I didn't get our 2010 family scrapbook done.  We moved in August 2011, and sad to say, I didn't get 2011 done, and here I am with 2013 or 2014 not done, either.  "Years behind" is a big deal to someone who for five years documented our memories almost as fast as we created them.  I am so proud of my scrapbooks.  When Carter graduates high school, or when he gets married, or when he shows up on an episode of “Cops,”  I will have volumes of ready-made photoautobiographies.  

Thanks, mom.  You’re the greatest.

So back to the obsessive scrapbooking part.  Over the holiday break I finished the 2010 family scrapbook, finished scrapping 2nd and 3rd grade and got really far into completing 2011.  It was a very busy two weeks.  I also organized ALL of the photos I took last summer and deleted the less-than-spectacular ones, and chose 50 prime photos to be used for Daylily Haiku Thursday this year.  The goal is to put out a full 50 in 2015 and publish the e-book of the haiku archives.  
I'm excited for the possibilities.  The hard part was simply getting started.  But once I had momentum, it was like butter.

The warm weather at the end of October and early November at the end of last year allowed me to plant these new purchases you see below living on my patio in pots most of the 2014 late summer...and enjoy a third rebloom of Heidi Douglas' 'Blonde on the Inside' which I adore even more now that it is a consistent rebloomer.

I also enjoyed the late-feeding finches and the last of the monarchs and skippers flitting about the yard.

'Unforgettable Wonder' also rebloomed in late October and the edge was just as sparkly then as it was when it bloomed first in June.  This is a wonderful cultivar from Herbie Phelps.

All of this feels like yesterday, when spring seemed like a lifetime away - but here I am now, getting ready to flip the calendar to March.  Wow.  As you can see, I've been doing a lot of reflecting.  I get many questions about how I got "into" daylilies.  The story is always the same.  I told it here in one of my first posts six years ago.

Let's think about that first time you saw hybrid daylilies.

Did you admire a neighbor's yard before striking up a conversation about their garden?

Were you bustling through the mall or library when you stumbled on a daylily show or sale?

Did you crack open the internet and accidentally discover the daylily world?  

We can all remember "that" moment.  Your eyes widened, your left-brain shook as your right-brain filled the trunk of your car with possibilities.  However it might have occurred, you're here now, with the rest of us, wondering how you dug this rabbit hole, how much you have spent while you have been here, and what happens next.  I know I am.  

Daylilies are part of the fabric of my life.  
A few thousand people visit the blog each month to see what I'm up to, my Facebook feed is full of flowers, my Inbox is a constant stream of questions, support and discovery.  I travel thousands of miles each year searching out new collections, exhibiting in shows and sharing my daylily adventure.  My closest friends, those who might know my green heart the best, are daylily friends. Some of them only exist in my daily life electronically, or in my snailmailbox - their handwriting offering a hug on a day when I need it most.  

I discovered the whole of daylilies much like I discovered the layers of music. My tastes in music today are rooted in my early exposures - The Doors, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin - which floated from my dad's garage and filled my summer days.  I can remember devouring Fleetwood Mac's studio album in 1987 -Tango in the Night.  It was the first time I bought a 33 with my own money, took it home, and listened to the entire thing in one sitting - letting the landscape of the tracks take me on a journey - appreciating the highs and lows, the fasts and slows, coming to an end with the last track on side 2 that still haunts me.  

Daylilies aren't much different.  The first ones - the thick substanced polychromes with saturated colors that make my heart flutter - shape my tastes in daylilies today.  I wonder if I would have been enamored instead first with the lilting shapes and finer textures of H. 'Miss Jessie' or H. 'Kindly Light', my garden wouldn't be overflowing with spiders and unusual forms.

I often wonder how I got here and where I might be if I weren't. But I am sure glad you're here with me.

Til next time -