(Daylily) Angels Among Us

There are lots of angels among us, but they are especially present in the daylily community. Sharing ideas, time, sweat, pollen, plants, and laughter is part of what keeps us coming back to daylilies, and keeps us feeding the cycle of sharing with others.  There aren't many people who "do daylilies" alone, or who have caught the daylily bug without the help of another hemaholic. 

While enjoying the sounds and sights of my spring garden this weekend, I recalled several angels in my own daylily universe.

I remembered visiting a friend here in Michigan in about 2002 who was moving to warmer climates and said to me - "Dig anything you want.  Better to go to you than the new owners!"  Wow.  She had more than a thousand varieties, and I was like a kid in a candy store.  (Seriously, who hasnt dreamed of hearing the delicious words - "dig anything you want.")  She wouldn't take a dime from me for the carload of new and vintage daylilies dug that day.  Almost ten years later, I still have many of those and count them among my favorites.  (H. 'Fresh Start' and H. 'Brookwood Wow' were two I got that day.)

I remembered Harris Olson, who was the quintessential daylily man and also the same man who endowed the current Harris Olson Spider Award through the American Hemerocallis Society.  He maintained quite a daylily collection at a local church and sold clumps by the armload to eager daylily fans.  He taught me how to dig and divide daylilies using a pitchfork.  It was my first hands-on learning (not to mention I had stopped by the church in my "work clothes" just to look at the daylilies and ended up digging in my high heeled work shoes!)

I cannot think about generosity without thinking of Martin Kamensky.  His 2009 Englerth Winner (and several other of his seedlings and introductions)grows in a prominent spot in my yard.  Receiving this gift from Martin truly did bring tears to my eyes.  He is a golden gem of a person who has spent decades with daylilies and daylily people.  His story is as unique as his accent.  Some of you may have seen his garden during the 2002 AHS National Convention and some more of you may see it in 2011 on the Region 2 Summer Garden Tour. 

I laughed when I remembered a picnic at Judy Davisson's house, where I admired a huge four-foot wide hosta clump and her husband dug it out for me on the spot and loaded it into my car.  I had to drive almost an hour with the trunk open - it was THAT big.  How generous of her (and Glenn!)  It still grows in my garden.

I thought about friendly faces at daylily meetings who allowed me to share a table with them when I didnt know anyone and everyone seemed to know everyone else.  Now I make sure everyone has a "seat at the table" at daylily events if I notice them.

I thought about the hundreds of garden owners, who over the last 12 years or so have allowed me (and thousands of other folks) to invade their personal space and tour their daylilies.

I thought about stumbling upon my first daylily friend Delores Bourisaw and her little table at a craft fair in the early 90's selling daylilies.  If it weren't for her entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to talk to me kindly about daylilies, I may not be where I am today with my gardening passion.

Think about your gardening angels today and send some good vibrations about them into the bright, sparkling spring skies.



5 Most Visited Posts. Ever.

The Entire Vault

My New Podcast - Click Below!