The Daylily Garden--Now a National Daylily Garden
The amazing Daylily Garden in Springfield, Missouri's beautiful Springfield Botanical Gardens is so uniquely beautiful and colorful that it's now been named a national daylily garden.
The honor came when the American Hemerocallis Society (AHS) in 2012 christened the Garden an American Hemerocallis Society National Daylily Display Garden.
At the same time, the organization named the Garden's bed of heritage daylilies an American Hemerocallis Society National Historic Daylily Garden, making it one of only 18 such gardens in the United States.
The honors were bestowed after an inspection of the Garden by AHS Region 11 president Randall Barron, who, according to Ozark Daylily Society President Frieda Alexander, "described it as one of the most beautiful daylily gardens he's ever seen."
The Garden today displays 850 varieties of daylilies. It's a collection so impressive that visitors seeing it for the first time often describe it as "spectacular," "awesome," and "breathtaking." In addition, and to be of the most help to visiting gardeners, each variety is clearly labeled.
The Daylily Garden is the main project of the Ozark Daylily Society, whose members continue to maintain, refine, and improve it.
We've loved this Garden since its creation in 2007 and we're very happy for the men and women whose efforts have earned these national honors. We want to thank them, too, for creating an attraction that will bring visitors from all over the nation to the Springfield Botanical Gardens.
You can see the Daylily Garden at 2400 South Scenic in Springfield. Here is a bit of its story, and when ready, you can, if you like, use the following links to see photos of its individual varieties.
LINKS TO THE GARDEN'S DAYLILY VARIETIES
A - H I - N O - S T - Z
|What is a Daylily Anyway?|
Daylilies are so called because among the many flowers the plant produces each lasts only about a day. Nonetheless, gardeners love the flowers for their literally astonishing range of colors and color combinations -- we're told that there are more than 70,000 registered daylily hybrids. The plants are remarkably easy to grow. The best resource for learning all about these wonderful plants is the FAQ page of the American Hemerocallis Society website. You'll find it here.
|This is Why...|
"This is why we organized--to do the Daylily Garden," said Frieda Alexander, the president of the Ozark Daylily Club when this picture was taken. "We're hoping the garden eventually will be recognized as a National Display Garden," she added. Sure enough, as noted above, it was. Frieda says the Club would love to have more members and "dues are only $5 a year, $8 for couples, and we give away about five plants at every meeting."
|Making the Garden|
Cliff Garland, vice president of the Daylily Society, digs in compost during the garden's beginnings. Cliff, who said he has been cultivating daylilies for about 12 years and now grows 260 varieties in his own garden, has donated--and planted--hundreds of the plants in this beautiful garden.
|Preparing the Beds|
Bev Long, the Society's secretary, stretches to prepare one bed for the new season, carefully combing it for weeds and debris.
Walt, Bev's husband, joins in on the cleaning. "We're having a daylily sale," he said. "It's in conjunction with the Master Gardeners Plant Sale in the park. We'll have a separate display." The Club's daylily sale is an annual event and allows visitors to buy choice daylilies very, very low prices.
|A Different Climate|
Mississippi native Janet McWilliams politely suggests that Ozarkers only think they know about summer heat and humidity. Now, however, she's lived quite a few years in Springfield, Missouri, and says with a big smile, "I love it." Janet, a Daylily Society board member, here is busily pulling weeds, cutting away old growth, and brushing cedar mulch back to expose the season's first green daylily shoots.
|The Daylily Fare|
On the menu for the first spring feeding is a basic 13-13-13 fertilizer for a good start, mixed with slow-release Osmocote for sustained feeding.
Cliff Garland broadcasts the fertilizer pellets over the beds. "We should see the first blooms around the end of June, first of July," he said. Cliff knows about daylilies--as noted earlier, he's donated hundreds to the garden. Other major contributors of plants have been Frieda's brother, Duane Cookson of the St. Louis Daylily Society, and Pat Kost of Republic, Missouri.
|The Garden and the Gazebo|
Cliff at work with compost and mulch near the garden's gazebo. This photo shows only a small part of the garden in its early stages in 2007. It contained seven beds in the beginning and today occupies 11 beds.
|The Earliest Views|
A view of the Daylily Garden at its very beginnings shows empty beds stretching into the distance.
The Garden's very first shoots were cause for celebration, and were soon to be followed by the shoots of thousands more daylilies and the promise that if all went well, the results would be spectacular.
Just before its very first flowering, in the spring of 2008, the Garden looked especially lush and promising.
|The Very First Flowers|
The very first daylily to bloom in the new Daylily Garden was this beauty, the variety 'Saratoga Springtime', photographed on May 23rd, 2008. Soon to come, an amazing display of thousands of blossoms.
|Color and Design|
For easy strolling and viewing, all of the Daylily Garden beds were arranged among lovely, curvilinear paths.
By early June, 2008, the beds were packed with plants, flowers, and buds about to burst into blossom.
|A Treasury for Photographers|
The Springfield Botanical Gardens are a unique resource for photographers both amateur and professional, and the Daylily Garden especially stands out for its awe-inspiring range of colors, as shown by this brilliant 'Chicago Cherry' variety....
...and this more subtle 'Midnight Aura'.
Here Alissa Beatty, a professional photographer with Christine Bonnevier Photography in Springfield, takes focus on a daylily that has especially caught her eye.
|A Rare Treat for Visitors|
Visitors to the Daylily Garden today marvel at the sheer numbers of flowers and their amazing variations in colors, shadings, and patterns. Indeed, it's easy to slip into a real reverie when surrounded by so much color and life, especially in midsummer when the garden reaches peak bloom.
|The National Daylily Garden Sign|
A major achievement.
NOW THAT YOU KNOW A BIT OF THE DAYLILY GARDEN STORY, YOU CAN GO TO THE TOP OF THIS PAGE FOR LINKS TO SEE A GREAT MANY OF ITS GORGEOUS FLOWERS.
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