Dreamy Daylilies, an Ontario daylily farm, all began in 2003.  My wife (Cathy) and I were driving from our home in Keswick, Ontario– about 100 kms north of Toronto– to Cathy’s biennial family reunion in Gaspe, Quebec.  We had just started to get back up to speed after a short rest break when Cathy yelled “Stop the Car”!  This was just outside a town called Becancour, Quebec.

 

What prompted the yell was a field of flowers (daylilies of course – wouldn’t be part of the story if it wasn’t!)  Les Hémérocalles de l’Isle  was the name of the lily farm.  It was there that we wandered about looking for hours at the glorious flowers.  It was there that Cathy fell in love with a plant called Cherokee Star.  The man in charge however (Daniel Harrisson) would not sell us Cherokee Star – it was new, and he did not have sufficient stock to sell.  Undeterred, we still bought a dozen or so different varieties, and embarked on a journey to find the elusive Cherokee Star.  I even spoke with Victor Santa Lucia – the original hybridizer, and he didn’t have any!  Eventually (about two years later), John Shooter of Marietta Gardens in North Carolina advised that he did have this plant available for sale.  So guess what?  Cathy and I drove down for our summer vacation, and picked up about two dozen different cultivars (yes, you can import certain plants into Canada – but only from certain states – if you do the proper paper work, and pay for the required Phytosanitary clearances and/or other documentation).

 

Anyway, rather than tell you our entire life story, I’ll say that by 2011, we had over 200 different cultivars planted here, there and everywhere on our 55 ft by 170 ft lot – oh yeah, there was also a house, massive deck, shed and, a double driveway on that lot.  We were quickly running out of space!!

 

So we had a choice – stop with the plants, or buy some property.  We discovered that we are addicts.  In November 2011 we acquired a piece of property that has a nice, flat 3 acre field.

 

What I need to tell you is that the two properties are just over 350 kilometers apart – 4 hours driving time (one way).   So, we bought a pickup truck and a trailer.  It still took us about 5 trips with just plants – never mind the household stuff.  And, that was just the beginning.

 

Do you have any idea how long it takes one and a half people to transplant a total of 4 thousand individual plants from a number of city flower beds to a hay field?  The half person by the way is me (Giles) because I still had my full time job back in Toronto, so I spent relatively little time working on the plants in comparison to Cathy.  (serves her right for yelling at me way back in 2003!)  Oh yeah – we got them all planted during an extremely hot 2012 July/August.  Only cost me thirty pounds that fortunately I could afford to lose.

 

The 2012/13 winter was not bad, so I’m happy to say that we did not lose a single cultivar, and not too many plants at all (I figure something like 4 – 5% which goes a long way to proving that the Daylily is indeed a hardy perennial).  Cathy and I spent the winter of 2012/13 working on this web-site.  The web-site is a continuous work in progress as we have continued to add cultivars.

 

We really hope you enjoy it.

Thanks,

Cathy & Giles