2012 National Daylily Convention Recap | MarLee Farms

MarLee Farms is a forest wonderland, covered in towering trees and lush foliage. When our bus pulled on to the property, we could feel the years of history and growth sprouting up around us.
This is a 120-acre working farm, and Lee and Marvin feature over 800 daylilies and thousands of hosta here.  
The owners have lived here for decades, cultivating a business and a home in the trees.  They have hundreds of hosta for sale and I learned they host quite the Hosta Walk here.  In this picture, you can see Im enjoying the summer colors, with my umbrella closed.  The rain from an hour ago had stopped; the overcast sky and cooler temperatures made our visit to this woody paradise wonderful.  My camera was ready to soak up the sights!  

As I was getting this picture taken by this sunflower (I LOVE sunflowers) someone asked me to guess what this daylily was from where I was standing.  My first guess was H. 'Highland Pinched Fingers.'  

Sure enough, it was!  Here it is close-up:  

This daylily is on the most recent Popularity Poll for Region 2 and I'm starting to see it featured in more gardens!  I only recently saw it in person, and it is a real standout.  

I was most excited about seeing the Region 2 Englerth Bed here, which features a contest of entered seedlings and allows each tour guest to vote on their favorite.  It is a tradition in region 2 at our summer meetings, but this year it was extra-special because our summer meeting is eclipsed by our region hosting the national convention!  This means all national attendees get to vote and evaluate region 2 seedlings.  

That is exciting!

Lee's layout and placement of this bed made it easy for voters to evaluate the contestants.  Lots of "talking space" around the edge, and pathways through to allow for close-up looks.  People lingered here, discussing their choices, using their garden judges training, and sharing evaluating procedures with new eyes.  This was a great teaching/learning moment for those who evaluate seedlings.  The rest of the story and the contest results can be read here - with photos of the winners.

In this picture I can see Dave Niswonger, Dan Trimmer, Jim Murphy, and so many other cool folks.  

What a treat to be able to listen to Margo Reed evaluate a seeding in conversation.  And what a treat to have so many passionate daylily folks evaluate Region 2 seedlings.

I took a walk, grabbing the chance to explore the shade and hear some nature sounds. I saw a lot of green and tried to identify some of the trees.  Im not too good at that, and have been actively trying to study some native Midwest trees to be able to spot more on sight.   The silence of the trees gave my brain a rest and allowed me to recharge a little.

By this time in the trip, I have been away from home for five days with less than 15 hours of sleep and I am at the sixth fabulous garden in the last 24 hours. It's important to let it all happen and enjoy each space consciously.  Doesn't sound like a hard thing to do, but daylily overload is easy to get.  It's that point in the tour when you cant remember where you are, how many gardens you've seen or if you have had lunch yet.  That swirling, Mel Brooks moment when all the gardens look the same - still beautiful - but the same.  This garden shook me back to the moment and my brain was thankful for the refreshing respite.
Our sweet, sacred summers used to linger forever and now they seem like a blur of humidity and hot flashes.  

There was a really wide wooden bridge that linked the garden to the woods, and I spent a few minutes there, looking back into the gardens, listening to the laughter and the chatter from my daylily friends.

I consciously stamped this photo in my mind.  I wanted to save it for when a "happy place" is needed later.  Apparently a part of your brain, called the amygdala, is in charge of generating and saving memories in your mind.  When the amygdala becomes scared and more active- thus laying down an extra set of memories, to go along with those normally taken care of by other parts of your brain.

Still with me?  Good.

We all feel like as we grow older, time speeds up (just ask any mother of a teenager, a terminally ill patient, or any high school football has-been.)    NEWS FLASH: Time really doesn’t speed up.  Baylor research says that its just as we get older, we pay less attention to the events, as we have probably already lived them, thus physiologically laying down less memory in our minds. 

H. 'Changing Seasons'

H. 'Unfolding Paradox'

Can't I choose to lay down more memories?  Why, yes I can!  

I can write about how I feel on a certain day to remember later.  I can use my camera to capture moments.  I can take 15 extra seconds to watch a monarch butterfly dance among the garden or watch a flock of Canada Geese gracefully glide across the winter sky.

We've already inhaled the intoxicating smell of rain on a spring day. 
We've already ran barefoot through a dewy field. 
We've already jumped the railroad tracks and caught air in an old VW Bug late on a Friday night.
We've already seen Santa Claus – real or otherwise.
We've already stayed up and out all night on the beach.
We've already had our hearts broken.
We've already had them healed.

Today's haiku:
Yes!  I can stop time! 
I can relive those moments.  
My amygdala says so. 

Thank you to MarLee Farms, for such a wonderful, relaxing visit!!


sp said...

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