I'll be interspersing "here-and-now" posts as I trace my journey to this wonderful time and place. It is July 4, 2014 and I'm celebrating this day of Independence with a new direction. Really, more like a new layer that is unfolding. I'm not a hard-line organics person, in either food choices or gardening. But more and more I am becoming mindful of the choices I make, alternatives that are equally easy and affordable, and that beg my time and attention to invest in a little more learning. I cannot say that I am an organic gardener ... but I think I am discovering that I want to be as organic as I might find it to be comfortable, affordable, and easy to become. With thanks to those who have paved the way to this much easier era for learning how simple it may be, here is my start.
Here is a list I'll keep and expand, just as a source-list for daylilies that are grown organically or near-organically. I still buy from non-organic sources, especially when a cultivar I need is only available there, but I have also begun to purchase more fans from organic daylily gardens. They are just like any other source, the fans like any other fans, and prices in comparable ranges. I appreciate what those gardeners do for the earth and for daylilies.
I'm not one to make recommendations or write reviews, although those might be helpful for anyone who does so, and are always welcome in ATPs Green Pages - see the 4th tab down on the left of your screen for the link):
http://www.bloomingfieldsfarm.... (Bloomingfields Farm)
http://www.canyonridgefarm.com... (Canyon Ridge Farm - Canada)
http://crintonic.com/?page_id=... (Crintonic Gardens)
http://www.culverfarmdaylilies... (Culver Farm Daylilies - Canada)
http://www.davidsdragonflyfarm... (David's Dragonfly Farm)
http://www.deerwoodgarden.com/ (Deerwood Farm & Gardens)
http://www.localharvest.org/gr... (Griffin Daylily Farm)
http://legrogardens.com/ (LeGro Gardens)
http://runningfoxfarmnh.com/cg... (Running Fox Farm)
http://daylily.vineyard.net/ (Seaside Daylily Farm)
http://windybushnursery.com/da... (Windy Bush Nursery)
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There was never much interest on my part in flowering plants. As a child I only enjoyed the perverse pleasure of popping open Chinese Lanterns and using my fingers to strip the leaves from ferns. Perhaps it was from that inauspicious beginning that I was doomed to develop a decidedly brown thumb, and that would remain very firmly the case for more than 50 years.
Fast forward to 2008 and I was older and wiser, but no closer to any kind of success with plants. I had a tiny house with a big yard in northern Illinois, but with work and my dogs, what little I did for lawn and garden were dwarfed by nature's own broad strokes. Just keeping things mowed and trimmed was more than I could handle in a weekend, so the place always looked overgrown and uninspiring. Fortunately, most of my neighbors were in the same boat.
By February I was getting ready to sell the house and move across country with my two Italian Greyhounds. My then-boyfriend-now-husband (DH) was buying a house we both loved, and I would begin a new life with him in sunny, warm Northern California. My fantasy about that area of the country was that it was always 80 degrees and forever awash with greenery of all types - nothing wouldn't grow in sunny California.
What really excited me was that DH asked me to figure out what to plant in the bare-dirt yard and garden areas behind our home. A fresh chance at gardening redemption and the opportunity to lose the curse of my brown thumb! I had no idea at the time that our house, though approximately in the northern part of California and not more than a couple of hours from S.F., was actually right at the northern tip of the San Joaquin Valley. I'm of the mind that the "Valley" part of the name is a subtle nod to "Death Valley" for how hot and dry the summers are!
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This will be my third summer growing daylilies in the flowerbeds around my house. In daylily terms, three years is an average amount of time to progress from seeds to seedlings, then blossoming, pollinating, and setting seed pods. So it seems like just the right time to begin recording a garden diary, to reflect back on a full cycle of growth, and to gather my thoughts about what lies ahead, at the very same moment that I begin to see my own first hybridized seedlings appear. There is a deep gladness in arriving at this destination and finding that it is yet one next step among many in a journey that opens up into an entire life's future - a future filled with the promise of being swept up in marvel at the beauty of a flower that lives only one day. So many unremarkable steps, caught up over time, leading to such a very magical place.
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