Nat'l Garden Tour, '14!

2014 - a BIG year!

 

 

2014... a VERY big year for me!!!

 

Knowing the AHS Nat'l Convention was coming for the previous 3 years, 2014 FINALLY got here.  When first getting the idea to have a Nat'l here, I knew it would be JUST the goal I needed to get my butt moving, and get this gorgeous spot into SHAPE!  After visiting over 100 clubs and Regions with presentations about my history in gardening (and daylilies, of course), there was NO way I could let the folks down.  In fact, to me, it was to be my self-designated "climax" to nearly 20 years as a hard core gardener and hybridizer... and here it was!

To be honest, it's far too exhaustive to even think of explaining "everything" that went into all that happened here this year (or building up to it)... so I'll just have to summarize it by saying it was "a lot".  Of course, the AHS event was but one of many that occurred here... I'm still actively having weddings and events as well, and my own family reunion that is tremendous in itself!  However, for me personally... the daylilies are what absorb the vast majority of my time, so naturally being on a "national stage" this year was indeed a pretty big deal to me.

SO... I at least wanted to share with the folks that didn't make it here this past Summer, at least some idea of what they missed!  I'm not sure just how well I'll be able to "out do" 2014 in years to come... but then again, I say that every year.  As much as I can't stand working on a computer, my choice to hybridize daylilies has kept me at one for weeks on end in maintaining my own website... but seeing all these pic's as I decide which to put on here is something that I must say - brings tears to m'eyes!  I just can't believe what this beast has turned into here... I forget so often to really "look" at it (I only see what's NOT done - it's a curse).  So for what it's worth... thanks for looking, and forcing ME to appreciate it all too!

SO, while I'm not sure just how many pic's I can get on one page here... I'm goin' for greatness here, 'cuz there were over 2K to choose from!  Basically, 2014 was the year to see just how well the previous several years of adding in tons (literally) of "companion plants" and garden concepts was going to turn out.  So... sit back and enjoy (with luck)... here we go!...

 

The first of May, 2014... looks okay, but still not sure how these plants are gonna fill up all this space!...

 

But once into June... my "slightly different" world definitely changed!!!...

 

See for yourselves!!!  I'm just gonna let y'all take a stroll here...

 

... and when the 4500 ZINNIAS started kickin' in, it was HEAVEN!

 

Indeed... the place was ON FIRE with color!!!

Was SO happy when best friends from Wisconsin, Francis and Genni Kleckner, came to stay... and help!...

... and LOOK at this REALLY cool metal garden art they brought me!  AWESOME kinetic butterfly!...

... back to our stroll... LOVE my sunflowers, for SURE!...

 

The "little fence" idea was one I came up with to make a "production row" (very long and narrow... 450' x 16') look like a "garden".  It turned out really nice!  I angled each panel, and put different types of stone paths up the middle of each "vignette"... creating 18 gardens, each of which I made individual "showcases" to display the work of friends who also hybridize.  This one was for the late Pat Cochenour, who unfortunately passed before she could see it herself...

This one was for really great friends, Margo Reed and Jim Murphy, who REALLY appreciated it...

Whatta peaceful place!...

 

SOOOO... long story short, I was thinking I just MAY have the place ready for an AHS Nat'l Convention Tour!!!

I knew it would take more than just my to part-time workers (AND great friends!) Eric and Bobby to pull off the job of live and dead-heading nearly a million daylily blooms the eves before the two days of bus tours would roll in, so I reached out to the local Master Gardener's programs in Lincoln and Cleveland counties.  I had been really supportive of them for quite some time... but ever try to get people to work in a daylily club?  Though a few certainly will, it's really NOT easy!  WELL... MUCH to my surprise... within 48 hours of asking if anyone might be able to help with the job (mind you, it had to be done in late afternoon in high Summer), I had 31 people volunteer!  WOW!!! I had ~15 come each eve, and with friends and family too... we got BUSY!!!

 

 

Part of the deal was to give a hybridizing seminar to 'em all... and when they found out what "slightly different sex in the garden" is all about, I think they were a little shocked!  Imagine that...

 

Of course, after all that work cuttin' off daylily blooms... what's t'do with a trailer-load 'o lilies?  Why... take a rool in 'em, of COURSE!!!...

 

Even Mom gets in on the action!!!...

... and my Sis Jane jumps in, too!  My official "slightly different photographer" here... guess she deserves a break once in a while, too!!!...

 

'Nuff playin' 'round... time to get back to work!  Growing on 2 new intro's for 6 years to act as donations for all the visitors was hard enough... but time to dig 'em, and package 'em all up in my patented "orgasma bags" to give away!  Ken (Jane's fearless hubby), Eric, Bobby (my only two workers, and great friends), and even Mom workin' hard at it!  800 to dig/wash/label/bag up, in just a few hours!...

 

... and then they came!!!  By busloads!!!  I've NEVER had so many peeps in my garden at once... a "whirlwind", for sure!!!

"My friend Charlie" Harper got some cool pic's too!...

 

 

 

It STILL blows my mind that the place looked like this, just 7 years ago...

Even more so, that I created all the daylilies here now myself, all the annuals from seed, and nearly all the woodies from cuttings or seed/acorns. It's been a long "row to hoe" to get to this point, indeed!

 

For SURE... a REALLY BIG year for me here, and ALL of us who helped make it one!

 

I learned a LOT this year, too.  I really didn't know I had so many TRUE friends.  I learned even more about what's important, and what's not.  It was really worth the entire experience... not sure what else I can possibly do for the "daylily world" at this point, so I can only hope they keep me in biz!

For now... I think I have my pot of gold, though!!!...

 

 

... and my "office" just ain't s'bad either...

 

THANKS for checkin' out the gardens... it's a labor of love, and a dream come true!!!

 

Paul

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