Daylilies forum: Did you have a gardening mentor?

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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
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bluegrassmom
Nov 10, 2013 8:49 PM CST
I look back into my childhood and have lots of happy memories of gardening with my parents. We had 2 large veggie gardens plus a long row of zinna. We had roses, iris and many other perennials too.
Most were gifts from neighbors that would share a start.

The lady that got me into daylilies would be at a much later time, when married with children of my own, I also admired 2 older gardeners that were my neighbors. Their generosity and encouragement was so appreciated. My first purchased daylily was from a roadside daylily patch the next county over. Being elderly she was downsizing her garden and had lost the tag to the big NOID yellow that I spent a whole $3.00 on. That was about 12 yrs ago. The rest is history, Gardening is truly a hobby that I love!
Thumb of 2013-11-11/bluegrassmom/33e5a2

Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
Nov 10, 2013 9:34 PM CST
Teresa, I am writing up this week's "hybridizer series" on my first daylily mentor. She actually was the person who got me interested in growing many kinds of flowers. But, after Dottie Warrell got me interested - Curt Hanson turned it into a sickness! Whistling
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Nov 11, 2013 6:17 AM CST
I guess my mentor would be the lady that got me into daylilies, my neighbor Leslie. If it were not for her dividing hers and giving me some, I wouldn't have got hooked on them.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
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tink3472
Nov 11, 2013 6:30 AM CST
Thinking about it I have just always loved flowers/plants and didn't have any mentors in my early years. I suppose that is why I have killed lots of plants in my life Whistling

But when I got into daylilies I really had no clue about any of it except I was absolutely obsessed with finding more than my local nurseries/big box stores had to offer. This of course came after I got over my hatred of daylilies (yes, I hated daylilies for some reason) Green Grin! Then along came Fred (Spunky1) and turned this into a little more than an obsession. He got me going to the daylily club, doing the daylily shows, hybridizing, and just teaching me what and how he does things to save me years of trial and errors. Of course his wife Kathleen was right there too pushing me along (telling me what to do while Fred told me what NOT to do Rolling on the floor laughing -they kept me confused Blinking )

now I have James Hall also and for those who don't know, my daylilies are at his place and we work together and help each other (well I do the weeding while he stands there and points out the weeds I missed -Just Kidding). Long story short I needed a place for my daylilies when I had to move and he needed some help since he is getting old so my best friend and I are there pretty much everyday either helping him or doing our own thing with our plants.


Fred and James have both helped me greatly and I believe I have taught them a thing or two along the way (who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks Whistling ) and without them I would be years behind and maybe have given up daylilies since I probably would have killed them all in the beginning.

[url=www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com]www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com[/url]
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
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bluegrassmom
Nov 11, 2013 7:10 AM CST
a nice read Michelle. Wow you hated dls, that is a true confession lol. My MIL gave me, my first ditch lilies. I still keep them as a memorial tribute to her on a steep bank, far, far away lol.

Maxine was a older lady that lived about a mile down the road. She would bring bouquets of flowers all Spring and Summer for our church. She started me with Bonanza and Ice Crystal, but also other things like a small snowball bush, hosta, iris, many things.

I think we have been fortunate to have generous plant lovers in our lives. The daylily should be the friendship plant but I believe that goes to the hosta. Which I have a bunch of too Rolling my eyes.

I am giving my young nieces plants to make their own little gardens. Hopefully their love of gardening will start small and grow.
Name: Theresa Maris
Bowling Green,KY (Zone 6b)
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tgarden711
Nov 11, 2013 7:28 AM CST
There was a lady that lived down the street from us, a friend of my mother's that had a yard so full of plants there was hardly any grass to mow. My mother and I would walk around the yard with her while she told us the name of every plant, how they grow and how to make more of them. I was mesmerized and fell in love with all plants. Ms. Lillian also had a house full of plants, every window had a whole table of plants in front of it. My mother loved all flowers and I have been told by friends that the fruit does not fall far from the tree. I fell in love with daylilies when I lived in Tennessee where there was a lady I worked with named Nell who had a greenhouse and 2 acres of daylilies. We became friends and she gave me several clumps of daylilies for my yard and I was hooked. I also worked with a lady named Bonnie Wright who now has a daylily farm in Hilham, Tennessee. Bonnie got 14 different daylilies from Nell. I visited Bonnie after I moved back to Ky and purchased several beautiful daylilies from her. Nell passed from cancer several years ago but I have never forgotten the day she dug up those clumps for me. There was a dry spell (15 long years) when I had to give up my daylilies when we relocated for my husband's job to deep south Texas. Daylilies will not grow there, I tried. I managed to have a yard full of native plants and 135 pots of plants that would grow in that climate. Fast forward and my hubby retired so we bought a house with a large yard in KY and I can have all the daylilies I want (that I can afford) and I am Happy! Happy! Happy!
Name: Jan
Hustisford, WI
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Daylilies Dog Lover Irises Region: United States of America
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philljm
Nov 11, 2013 7:43 AM CST
My Dad.

It's not that he gardened a lot - he did some as time permits. We had one clump of Iris which my grandfather hybridized way back in the 50's. We had a row of peonies. Always had tomato plants, and although we never had daylilies at our house, there was a daylily farm next to my grandparent's house in western PA - which we acquired a portion of many years ago.

Except for occasions, I never gardened much when I was younger & raising a family. Not enough energy and time.

But now I have the time, and still not enough energy! Now in my Dad's memory, I have a row of peonies. I love the iris, and have become addicted to daylilies. ~Jan
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Nov 11, 2013 8:30 AM CST
Hi, Jan
I have a white and a pink peony bush that I brought from my DHs homeplace. I always look forward to seeing them bloom. I have Iris from Mom and Dad's. He loved coleus, so I always have a few of them during the summer. So many great great memories from plants. We always tried to have a bouquet of dogwood blossoms or a big bunch of iris at Easter in the center of the table.
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Nov 11, 2013 9:04 AM CST
My Grandmother, my Mom and one of my sisters all loved flowers. Grandma and Mom also grew veggies, strawberries and raspberries which helped feed large families. I have always loved flowers from a young child and have always had some annuals and perennials. Even had one daylily which didn't bloom until I finally found out it was planted to deep. When I finally got it to bloom a few more were added.

Much later I met a lady on a garden forum and was amazed that she sold some of her increases at very low prices first come first serve to get folks interested in daylilies. Well how could I miss out on something like that, of course I ordered and was lucky enough get some. So it is really thanks to Reba J.(now retired from gardening) that I got hooked on daylilies. I still have some of her daylilies. Now that my garden has expanded beyond my wildest dreams sometimes I wonder if I really need all those daylilies. I have been giving extra daylilies to family and friends trying to spread the beauty to more gardens and it is working. LOL
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers!
Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

[Last edited by daylilydreams - Nov 11, 2013 9:07 AM (+)]
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Name: Sunny
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
sunday
Nov 11, 2013 9:54 AM CST
I had never seen a hybrid daylily, that I knew of, but heard about hybridizing them from a friend of a friend. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. I ordered some daylilies that fall from a few Ohio hybridizers to hybridize the next summer. I read all I could throughout the winter and ran into our own Juli on line. She took me to John and Annette Rice's in May, when their greenhouse was in peak bloom. I was absolutely overwhelmed ! Then she took me to Curt Hanson's that summer. Talk about being hooked early on ! It also taught me that the hybridizers are real people who are happy to share what they know. So hats off to Juli for me !
Name: Kim W
Md (Zone 6a)
More daylilies!!!!
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kimkats
Nov 11, 2013 12:14 PM CST
My Pappy got me hooked on gardening. Pappy had a huge city lot sized veggie garden. He practically fed the whole neighborhood. I would spend every weekend at my grandparents when I was little. In the summer I spent all day helping Pappy in the garden. Planting 'taters, Peppers, Squash, Beans (16 100 foot rows, I still am sick of beans) tomatoes, lettuce, beets, turnips and so on. Then the weeding and the harvesting. I loved playing in the dirt. When we weren't in the dirt I would help him work on his tractors, handing him the tools and running to get stuff. I remember many a Sat. night holding the flashlight so Pappy could finish up tinkering. When I went to school I loved my First Grade teacher Mrs. Dewar. She was the sweetest lady. I wanted to get something pretty for her and I told Pappy. So we stopped along the road in a right of way and dug up some of those old orange ditch lilies. I kept a clump and I gave some to Mrs Dewar. I still have some of those that we dug up. So Pappy started me on Daylilies too. He wasn't much for flowers but he got a kick out of me having a garden.
It's my cats world, I'm just here to open the cans.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Nov 11, 2013 1:01 PM CST
What great stories of how everyone got into gardening! Love reading them.

My Mom probably would be credited with my love for gardening. She loved flowers and we always had a big garden out of necessity. Although I hated all the weeding and harvesting, we had to do it. I didn't really like gardening until 2005 or so when...

The lady I credit with getting me into daylilies would be Lea Ann Williams back in about 2004-05. She and her husband owned Lakeside Daylilies until a few years ago. Her grandson and my son played on the same baseball team and we started talking one day about daylilies. I told her I didn't know there were any daylilies except the little yellow ones (Stella de Oro). Went to her open gardens and I was hooked! Obsessed!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Paula Shaw
Whittemore, Michigan (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Region: Michigan Irises Butterflies Birds Garden Art
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petalsnsepals
Nov 11, 2013 5:46 PM CST
I had alot of great mentors when it came to gardening but I would have to say my father was the most influential. My father grew up on a farm in northern Michigan. At 18 he married my mother moved south to Flint and hired into General Motors. He never was far from his rural upbringing. We always had a large vegetable garden. He planted several apple trees along the border of the back yard. We had several flowering shrubs in the front yard and along the driveway was a long row of pink petunias.After he retired he moved back to northern Michigan and he always had a huge garden , a big patch of strawberries, and assorted perennials in the yard.My mother and him would go to Florida in the winter as several northern retirees do.There in Florida he always had tropical looking flowering shrubs ( I dont know what they were) and daylilies. I had never seen anything other than the old "Ditch Lilies". Thats how I became interested in daylilies. After returning from a visit to Florida to visit I started to search for daylilies and it didn't take long for it to become an addiction. I think he would be very proud of me today as I now have a small growers license and am doing some hybridizing. Hopefully some day I will have one worthy of giving it his name.
Currie's Daylily Farm
[Last edited by petalsnsepals - Nov 11, 2013 6:39 PM (+)]
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Nov 11, 2013 6:25 PM CST
I didn't have a mentor. I started seriously gardening in 2004 following Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne. We had damage to our home. Yard was a disaster, too. I was unable to do any repairs indoors, so we had to fight it out with the insurance company while trying to find a contractor/sub-contractors to repair the inside. In frustration, I started working on the outside in the yard. We lost our entire privacy fence, two large Palm trees in our front yard, and the yard had debris all over the place. After a new fence was installed, I realized that the yard was the only place I could fix, so I started several garden beds. Butterfly and Hummingbird garden areas were my first goals. I was hooked after that! The garden areas seem to have expanded year after year since 2004! Most of those first plants came from seed trades from other gardeners from on-line forums! I could get a lot more plants that way and a much greater selection to grow. And so I got hooked on seed sowing ....

As far as Daylilies go .... I'd have to say one of our own here on ATP got me interested in growing them. Sandy (Seedsower) shared some truly wonderful seed crosses with me created by her own hand from her own daylily collection. I found out that daylily seeds germinate and do quite well for me here in FL. She had all these names (parent pod/pollen) on each of the baggies she sent me. I didn't even know daylilies were named! Hilarious! So I started looking up all the names and photos. I was amazed! Not the usual plain yellow daylilies that I see here in FL. Well even those beautiful photos could NOT compare to the blooms in real life! Even my hubby, who has no interest whatsoever in plants, was quite taken by the blooms. He broke out his his cell phone, took photos, and showed some of the people at work what his wife was growing in our yard! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing That's a big step for him as he really has no inclination for plants. So that speaks volumes about those daylily blooms! Sandy's hybrids were breathtaking in both my husband's eyes and in mine. I wanted more! You can never have just a few .... So I started experimenting with hand-pollinating her hybrids to make my own. No turning back from there .... I still only grow hybrids. No named cultivars. For me, it's not so much the name as it is the blooms! They are the perfect plant, IMHO!!!

THANK YOU SANDY!!!! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Nov 11, 2013 6:34 PM (+)]
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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
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bluegrassmom
Nov 11, 2013 11:23 PM CST
I would like to thank everyone that has posted their stories here on this thread. It has been fun reading down thru them. I also wanted to add that our first computer was a big help on my gardening addiction. When I found out about search engines, garden forums, and data bases oh my!! It has been a fun journey!

Teresa
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Nov 12, 2013 6:03 AM CST
Now that's a first, Teresa Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing And I would have to agree that being on the forums and databases perpetuates the addiction to gardening. And we love every minute of it, don't we!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
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bluegrassmom
Nov 12, 2013 7:17 AM CST
We can just speak for myself but it is true that a picture is worth a thousand words! It can certainly make my wish list very long lol.

Vickie, do you belong to the Evansville, IN daylily club? I have spoken to a lady that belongs there. She lives in/near Madisonville, KY. She and a few friends have been trying to launch a new club because of the long drive.
Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
There's a place of quiet rest !
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Hazelcrestmikeb
Nov 12, 2013 8:10 AM CST
Got my first taste of gardening helping my grandmother who had a large veggie garden. As a stay at home mom she certainly knew how to take care of the family. She did a lot of baking for the church and friends. Back then we didn't have a mixer so everything was done by hand. My sisters and I did all the mixing of course. The reward at the end was getting to eat the left overs from the Yabba pot ( http://nationalgalleryofjamaica.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/jam...
that we mixed the brown sugar and all the ingredients in. Many, many, many years after that as I was thinking about adding some more plants to the garden at the new house I came across Brecks and Gilbert Wild catalogs. The rest was history after that. While searching I came across DG and met some wonderful people there, namely, Hemlady, Gardenglory, Bluegrassmom, Casshigh, Tink, Spunky, Kimkats,Philljm, etc,etc,etc. This was the beginning of the addiction. I was introduced to the lily auction and here we are today. The garden is still a work in progress, but, nevertheless it is worth all the time and effort to me.
Thumb of 2013-11-12/Hazelcrestmikeb/28bde6 Wispy Rays

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Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Nov 12, 2013 12:52 PM CST
bluegrassmom said:We can just speak for myself but it is true that a picture is worth a thousand words! It can certainly make my wish list very long lol.

Vickie, do you belong to the Evansville, IN daylily club? I have spoken to a lady that belongs there. She lives in/near Madisonville, KY. She and a few friends have been trying to launch a new club because of the long drive.


Teresa, no I haven't joined one yet, but strongly considered it this past year. The Evansville area has two daylily clubs, SWIDS and DESI. And you are right, it is about an hours drive from Madisonville to Evansville.
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Nov 13, 2013 4:31 AM CST

We have organized two meetings in Bowling Green that were just very low key. I wanted to connect with other growers in the area. It is fun to talk and see what is working for others. It is also nice to have someone that understand when you say do you grow doubles or spiders? Or I like Stamile's dls. Hopefully, we will make it official this Spring. With or without a show.

Wispy Rays is so pretty, Mike. Your granny sounds like mine was, a great cook, caregiver and gardener!

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