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Kindness Caused me to Fall in Love with the ‘Daylily’

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.

Special Day lily

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

Boots Favorite Daylily

I hope you get to make some memories in your garden too!

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9 comments on “Kindness Caused me to Fall in Love with the ‘Daylily’”

  1. Lovely post, AmySue! You captured so well the kindness and gentleness of a man I only have gotten to know a bit in the past few years,as an adult, after I moved from California to Pennsylvania. But I think of him and his wife Dottie often now, for the same reason as you-because Dottie is my mom’s sister, and I seem to have inherited the passion for gardening that runs in our agricultural family, and have what seem to be some of the same cultivars in my garden! You should pop round and visit them- they would be thrilled!

    1. Hi Kurt,
      Thanks for visiting and sharing. How did you find me and the article? I so adore Boots and would love to stop and visit, though I am living in Cincinnati now. I am sure you are enjoying your lilies as I am, they are such a joy to see in the garden after the flow of blooms from the spring have passed.

  2. Avatar photo
    SoLily Fashions

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Today’s Lily Of the Day was shared with us via the blog, A Healthy Life for Me. My dad always says, “it’s nice to be nice.” It’s a mantra I say to myself everyday. AmySue’s lovely post tells the story of a family friend, Boots, his gifts of kindness and lilies, and her love for the Daylily. The photos of her garden are amazing. Thank you again, AmySue!

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