Monday, July 18, 2011

Daylily Heaven

Once every summer, the spouse and I make our pilgrimage to North Country Daylilies in Buskirk, New York to get our annual allotment of daylilies. NCD is owned by Melanie Mason, a nationally reknowned breeder of daylilies and one of the nicest people you could meet. Her knowledge of the genus hemerocallis is only eclipsed by her willingness to share it.

Her farm, Longlesson Farm, is located smack dab in the middle of nowhere and takes some finding. Fortunately, the directions on her website are excellent. When you arrive, you are usually greeted by a good-natured pack of yellow labs whose only calling in life is playing fetch. One warning - they will outlast you, no matter how strong your pitching arm.

I'm guessing the daylily field takes up most of an acre, give or take a hectare, between the sale field and Melanie's breeding area. No matter where you look, you're surrounded by a riot of color.

A cluster of trees serves as an office of sorts, with lists of the daylilies for sale, a large cooler of iced tea and many Adirondack chairs for lounging. There are always several people around to dig up your chosen plants and bag them for the trip home.

The selection is amazing! Every color and form you can imagine is out there and the rows are well maintained and labeled. We only bought 3 this year, but I have limited space. It would be extremely easy to blow an entire year's gardening budget there. This tall, bright orange daylily tempted me greatly but was out of my price range.

If you're in New York between the end of June and mid-August, give Melanie a call. She's usually open to the public on weekends, but it's best to call ahead. It is definitely a unique and wonderful place!

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