My father has a friend that he knew through his work that as a child I knew as “Boots”. I still to this day do not know his true name, because I have never heard him called or referred to as anything else.
Though I have not seen him in years, my father still corresponds with him and I get updates. You might wonder what Boots has to do with me loving Lilies. To say Boots was kind to me when I was a little girl would be an understatement. What I remember most about Boots was that he and I share the same birthday and he would stop by our house and give little Birthday gifts to me. It meant the world to me and I am still have a warm spot in my heart for the man I knew as “Boots”.
So on to why I love Daylilies. About five years ago my Dad called and told me that Boots and his wife owned a Lily Farm and that because of his wife’s failing health they were downsizing and selling off a majority of their stock. Dad wanted to know if I wanted any Lilies? I’ll be honest, I wanted to say “No”. At the time I really didn’t like Daylilies, they always made me think of the ones we see growing along the road side with the orange blooms. Despite that I took a moment to think about it and because it was this man who was so kind to me, I wanted to have some of his Lilies so that they would remind me of his kindness.
I ordered my lilies and my Dad drove them over to me in the back of his truck and I got to planting. Most of the Lilies were being planted in an area that I let go wild, with a succession of different bulbs in the spring and tall grass in the summer. However, Boots had pulled a few aside and marked them “special” one my Dad specially handed to me and said that Boots said “this is one of his favorites”. Needless to say the “special” ones were planted in the Formal Beds and Boots favorite was planted to in a prominent spot so that it could stand out.
Now here is the thing, as you can see from these pictues there are hardly any plain old orange one’s in the batch. Every lily that has bloomed is beautiful! Certainly some are nothing short of stunning! Another kindness and gift from Boots, me learning to love the Daylily!
The most important thing to me is the memory of the man who was always kind to me, loved these Lilies and now I get to care for them and remember him. I think sometimes that is what gardening is about, creating memories.
I have sent pictures of a few of the Lilies in bloom to my Dad over the past few years to send to Boots and let him know that his lilies are well cared for!
Thank you Boots for your kindness to a little girl and for sharing your love of gardening through your Daylilies!
Daylilies are among one of the easiest perennials to grow. They are very tolerant of a wide range of conditions, but to get the most blooms the like at least 6 hours of sun. Some of the darker colors like to be planted in part-shade.
Since it is so dry and hot here right now, a word of advice, as a general rule try to give your daylilies an inch of water every week – 3 or 4 long watering to let the water soak in deep.
If you have intense summer heat, like we do here in our area, the foliage on your daylilies often appears somewhat ragged towards the middle to end of the summer. One practice that is found to be very useful to remedy this is that of trimming the foliage, with a weedeater, high-set lawn mower or clippers, to about 6″-10″. This promotes the growth of fresh new foliage which keeps the plant looking nice until frost.
One of Boots favorite
I hope you get to make some memories in your garden too!