Daylilies are easy to take for granted. I see them in catalogs all the time, and think, “Oh, that looks nice.” But then I look at the price, add in shipping, and decide, “Nah, not this time.” So my collection of daylilies has been limited to passalongs from friends plus an anniversary special from Wild’s–20 daylilies for $40–that I ordered more than a decade ago. So when my friend Donalyn invited me to see Bob and Norma’s daylilies, I wasn’t expecting this:
These were not the daylilies I was used to. These were certainly not my grandmother’s daylilies. The flowers were often bigger, and even when they weren’t, there were more of them. The colors were more vibrant and the shapes of the flowers were more varied. You see, Bob and Norma are in love with daylilies, and not just any daylilies. Many of their daylilies were cutting edge when they purchased them. Bob has done some breeding. They used to sell their surplus, but mostly so they could buy more, I suspect,because Bob hasn’t registered any of his crosses. I’m not sure any of them have names. And of the many cultivars that Bob and Norma have, well, they don’t remember the names of all of them. Theoretically, each one has a tag, but not all the tags can be found. Norma remembers a lot of the names, but not all of them. Name or no name, they still love them.
The sea of color was overwhelming, so as I and a few other friends were traipsing around with Norma on a hot day, she’d point out her favorites, and we would pick out ours and ask her about them. “Oooh, what’s that one?” we’d ask again and again. She would tell us if she knew. She was very patient, as sometimes we asked about the same cultivar several times when it caught our eye in different beds. We were writing the names down on paper, wondering how we were going to remember which name went with which flower.
The Daylilies I Left BehindThose are the ones I took pictures of, that I didn’t buy. Bob and Norma are getting on in years, and decided they were going to stop selling daylilies. But we didn’t know that when we came. So Bob said to leave him a list of five or six, and if he felt up to it sometime, he would dig and give us a call. Soon after that, the weather changed from hot and humid to rainy and cool, and less than a week later, I got a phone call from Norma. When could I pick up my daylilies?
The Daylilies I BoughtMuch to my surprise, when I arrived to pick up my daylilies, there were a few extras in my order:
Visit A Local Daylily Grower
Even if you are absolutely certain that you don’t want to buy any daylilies for your garden, I encourage to visit a daylily grower when the daylilies are blooming. You will never take daylilies for granted again. I certainly don’t.
More From My Friends
My two friends took a lot more pictures than I did. You can see more daylilies and get their accounts of our visit by following the links below.
Daylilies Teresa’s post includes a photo of Norma
Day LiliesNicki’s post has a link to her Flickr album, which has a picture of me chatting with Norma, a photo of Teresa, and a whole lot more daylilies.
$100 Bogs Footwear GiveawaySunday August 11th is your last chance to enter the giveaway. One person with receive a $100 gift card to be towards any product on the Bogs Footwear website. That includes mens, womens, and childrens boots–rain boots, winter boots, and garden shoes.