The shot below is one of my favorites from the visit; it shows the barn, the pond, the gardens, some statues and structures. There was so much to see. The clumps were unreal, the blooms were plentiful and the photo ops were everywhere.
This garden is 5 acres, so there was lots to see in just under an hour. The heat was oppressive, but our spirits were high due to the great surroundings and plentiful sights. I found myself walking in circles, back and forth, shooting like crazy with my camera. This is the view out toward the back of the property, where you can see Region 2 Treasurer Ed Kraus and hybridizer Kimberly McCutcheon in the distance enjoying some seedlings.
Visiting here during the hottest part of the day was tough, but the heat did not stop any of us from seeing as much as we could. Everywhere I turned was a photo opportunity. The clumps growing here were mammoth and each one had multiple blooms to enjoy. Below are just a FEW of the hundreds of stunning clumps seen at Heavenly Gardens:
H. 'White Eyes Pink Dragon' and H. 'Heavenly Starbrite'
H. 'Heavenly Bombshell' and a bloom from a clump marked "Suni"
H. 'Sea Monster' and H. 'Thundercat'
H. 'Heavenly Mellow Yellow' and H. 'Heavenly Pink Twister'
I finally was able to meet Michael Miller here, as well as Dianna Gossard and some of their children (and grand children.) There were cows and pigs and all sorts of farmlife things happening here, and people were soaking it all up. Order forms were flying, checks were being written and mouths were gaping.
Jamie had a memorial sign near Jane Saliaris' seedlings/introductions and I stopped in my tracks. Oh, Jane. How I miss your frank musings and your deep knowledge of life in general and how I wish we could have shared that last bottle of blueberry wine together. I cried then, much like I am now, remembering her courage at the end, and her need to keep all those around her comfortable as she prepared for heaven. Someday, Jane, your H. 'Bronzed Apollo' will grow in my gardens, I promise.
Below is Jamie Gossard (far right), holding court with happy visitors near one of the two large lions that guard his seedling beds.
Heavenly Gardens was a big winner at the AHS Awards Banquet, taking home several awards - most notably H. 'White Eyes Pink Dragon' winning the Ned Roberts Spider/Unusual Form Award and the same cultivar also tying with a Dan Bachman cultivar (H. 'BJ McMillan') for the best clump seen in a convention garden. Each tour guest was given ballots to vote on those awards! Way to go, Heavenly Gardens!
This garden has long been a leader in cutting edge, high demand daylilies and it was my pleasure to finally get to visit in person. I enjoyed seeing daylilies how they should be grown, in clumps, in the sun and fed to perfection. Seeing many that are on the Garden Judges Ballot this year growing like this makes it much easier to select Honorable Mention, Award of Merit and even Stout Medal winning daylilies from the 2012 ballot. It was also wonderful to see other, lesser-known hybridizer's cultivars featured here, such as Jane Saliaris and Gerry Bushong. I particularly liked Bushong's H. 'Beary Good', seen below.
Thanks to the Gossard family and all their friends who helped make our visit amazing!