A Gardener’s Diary: BX Creek Daylilies host annual open house

At their BX property in Vernon, Gail and Allen Morgan have grown more than 1,000 daylilies

Editor’s note: This week, Gail Morgan fills in for regular columnist Jocelyne Sewell. Gail and Allen Morgan own and operate BX Creek Daylilies in Vernon.

We would like to invite you to enjoy the gardens at BX Creek Daylilies, an American Hemerocallis Society Display Garden, July 28 and 29 and Aug. 4 and 5,  from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.  It is so hard to believe seven years have gone by since our first open garden. What changes time makes.

Daylilies are often referred to as the perfect perennial. They require little care and are almost pest-free. They are considered drought-tolerant, but love water if they can get it. They will grow in just about any type of soil. Our side yard couldn’t even grow a decent lawn, as we are located on an old gravel pit, but the daylilies thrive just as well as in the soil we brought in for the front yard.

The only maintenance we do in the garden is in the fall, cutting them back to about six inches with a serrated bread knife. We also fertilize once in the spring with a slow release, and that is it. Then we sit back and enjoy the ever changing blooms started at the middle of June, and winding down in September.

The smallest in our collection measures an inch across and only a foot high, while the largest in our collection measures 11 inches across and more than five feet tall. The varieties of colours, shapes, patterns, ruffles, teeth, metallic edges is overwhelming and hybridizers keep coming out with more wild variations every year.

With the very cool wet spring, the daylilies are very large and lush. Bloom season started about two weeks earlier than in the past, but we are anticipating having more than 1,500 different plants in bloom, including hundreds of seedlings that we have hybridized. (Not a fancy term, just cross pollinating plants to hopefully getting something better!)

Hybridizing is the most exciting part of our hobby, the anticipation of creating something distinct enough to register.  It is thrilling to go out each morning with my camera, to see what is new, and if one of the seedlings can take my breath away.  You just never know what the outcome will be when you cross two different plants, you can get five to 10 seeds in a pod and all the siblings will be different, some just slightly, and some extremely so. Just look at your children or your siblings!

We will be making our first registrations this year and have reserved the names “BX Stream” and “Guilty Pleasure.”

The Carlyles from Unique Garden Art and Gifts have decorated the garden with some of their wares. Daryl will be here to show many of his unique concrete art creations.

The garden is located at 4617 Pleasant Valley Rd., between Hunter’s Store and Butcher Boys. Please park on the road and walk in, as we only have one parking spot and it is reserved as a loading zone.  For more information, call Gail at 250- 309-0528. If it is going to be a scorching day, come early; the hosts and the flowers can fade in extreme heat!