Folks living along Gilberts Creek Road, a few miles south of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, must have wondered what was going on this weekend. Twelve tour buses rambled down the country road to visit Daylily World.
I didn’t have far to drive. Daylily World is only 6 miles from our Salvisa, KY farm. Our friends, David Kirchoff and Mort Morss, were hosts. They are co-owners of Daylily World and award-winning breeders.
Art collectors go to Art Basel. Daylily collectors go to the annual American Hemerocallis Society convention. Over 600 daylily collectors showed up this year in Louisville. They hopped on buses and rode 50 miles to a Central Kentucky hilltop to ooh and aah over 500 cultivars from Daylily World’s breeding and other distinguished breeders, also. These aren’t box store, bargain basement mass-produced $4.98 daylilies. These are rare daylilies that fetch as much as $175.00.
Congratulations flowed all day. David and Mort, who have both received many previous awards, picked up four Honorable Mention Cultivar Awards on Friday night. The distinction is often a stepping-stone to the prestigious Stout Medal, awarded to the daylily of the year.
David knows how to paint a picture with catalog copy. Here he goes on ‘Barbara Mandrell’, one of this year’s award recipients. “The self-color of this flower is candied-berry-red infused with layers of Christmas, Chinese and intense cardinal! A dollop of green punctuates the throat… A bright watermark halo contrasts the lacquered red self-color and sparkling-gold filigree encircles the petals. Its color and substance are sunfast; the texture is smooth and silky.”
David and Mort worked for months to get ready for the parade of enthusiasts. Jamie Dockery, their friend, neighbor, and very talented gardener, pitched in for days to help get the farm looking good.
Daylily World looked better than good. The farm looked terrific. The beds were weed free and neatly edged. It wasn’t beastly hot or jungle-like humid.
Twelve thousand singles, doubles, semi-doubles, patterned, frilly and spidery daylilies were in bloom on a Bluegrass ridgetop.
It was a colorful day for a garden tour.