Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A visit to the Hayfield

Diamond Daydream (2004 introduction)

In the past, I combed a glossy catalogue and ordered daylilies through the mail. The robust plants arrived from the Quebec nursery and when I planted them they thrived. Yet when they came into flower, I was often disappointed and found myself musing, "Humm...I probably would not have bought that color if I had seen it first." Let's face it, catalogue pictures never tell the whole story. This year I determined to find a local source for lilies, where I could choose plants in flower and skip that nagging disappointment.

When I saw an article in Canadian Gardening about Hayfield Daylilies, located not far from Toronto-that was it. I was determined to go.

Now, usually we plan weekends filled with things we both will enjoy, but in this case we each had specific things we personally wanted to do. So we made a pack. I'd go to the Tattoo at Old Fort Henry in Kingston, if he would take me daylily shopping on the way home. 

The We're in the Hayfield Now Daylily Gardens has an special "Open Gardens" every year during peak flowering in July. (Boom season for daylilies runs from the last few weeks of July to late August.)

Every one at the open garden was in a festive mood. Here Candy, garden helper and head bubble catcher rounds up a few straying bubbles.

There are almost 60,000 cultivars, almost 15 species and 10 different flower shapes of daylilies- the choice in daylilies is mind blowing!

A selection of daylilies on display in glass bottles at the entrance.

Henry Lorrain and his late partner Douglas Lycett started their nursery business more then 25 years ago. Together they began breeding daylilies for vigor, bud count and hardiness for the Canadian climate.

But what to choose with a full four acres of beauties to choose from?

Maybe I should get one of the great pinks?

This one is kind of pretty too. Hmm... maybe I should go for something a bit more dramatic...

Paradise on Parade (does not appear in online catalogue)

no, maybe a bit darker

Bravissimo (2000 Introduction)

Now that's drama, but wait... look at those yellow ones with the crinkled edges!

North of the Border (2003 Introduction)

Hey, what's that bee butt doing in my perfectly sublime picture?

Mavis Folemsbee (2009 Introduction)

This white one is gorgeous too....

Uptown Girl (does not appear in online catalogue)

Hold the phone...this one glows for pete's sake!

So, what did I settle on in the end? It was a really tough decision, but I went with that yellow one with that cool crinkled edge. 

I don't know about you, but I find that buying daylilies is very much like buying hostas. There are extremely pricy hostas and then there are their more affordable cousins which look pretty closely related, but are just a bit cheaper. I could have bought this registered cultivar for $35, 

but choose instead to buy its unregistered kissing cousin (weekend special #3) at $15.

I hope you will forgive me for not naming all the varieties I've shown in this post. The plant markers in the open field were a bit helter skelter. I found myself wondering if it was for instance, the"Everyday Magic" lily to the left or right of the sign. I would hate to think someone might order the wrong thing based on my misidentification.

If you are thinking of adding new varieties of daylilies to your garden, its not to late to visit your local nursery to see plants in bloom. And if you want to check out Hayfield Daylilies, here is the contact and location information:

We are in the Hayfield Now Daylily Gardens 
(905) 983-5097  
Hours of operation May 15 to September 15, 2010. 
Nursery Hours: Mon.-Wed. 9 am to 6pm 
Thurs.- Fri. 9am to 7pm 
Sat.- Sun. 10 am-5pm



  1. OMG!Your blog is so bright and colorful and full of lovely photos showing such pretty flowers! Just had to get that out of the way.

    It is wonderful to be able to visit a local daylily nursery. SO many varieties and pretties you can see for yourself. It makes it easier to choose yes? Maybe not, too many choices.

    You and your spouse sound like me and my husband. Same deal-our interests sometimes diverge. What is the Tattoo? I have to know so I can tell my husband the next time I go on a garden tour I'll do something like go to the races with him (Saturday night:( Anyhow, have a great day!

  2. My husband is a bass drummer in a small pipe and drum band, so he loves traditional Scottish music. The Tattoo took place at Old Fort Henry, which overlooks Lake Ontario. Every summer the historic fort puts on a show of marching bands, Scottish dancers and pipe and drum bands that ends in a fantastic display of fireworks.

  3. a veritable daylily orgy - am I right that the dark reds will not tolerate the full sun?

  4. I have a deep red and a dark wine colored daylily in my garden in half sun, so I was not sure I could answer as to wether deep colored daylilies dislike full sun, based on my own personal experience. It is an interesting question and so I did a bit of research. Canadian Gardening magazine notes that water soluble colored daylilies with rich hues prefer to be given some shade during the hottest part of the day. So, yes you are right.

  5. I've always wanted to go - think you made a great choice - sometimes having a budget makes our lives easier - can you imagine if you could have had all the daylilies you wanted?! I've still got the notes from a presentation they made to our Hort club - one of these days I'll get up there. It is so much better buying plants after seeing what they look like in person rather than from their beauty shots.

  6. Wow, what beautiful shots of those lilies! I would not be able to choose just one. What a great place to shop - that store I could spend all day in! I need to incorporate some more lilies into my garden.

  7. Thanks for the tour, what an AMAZING place! I would love to see it in person and check out all of the varieties. I don't think I would have been able to leave Bravissimo behind, how unique and beautiful! :)

  8. PS. I'm trying to add you to my blogroll, but the link keeps being redirected to a feedburner site. Any suggestions? :/

  9. Rebecca, I am sorry that you are having trouble adding my blog to your blogroll. I have had a few comments from people about not being able to select my posts for the Blotanical "Picks" or to subscribe to my posts. It seems to have something to do with the fact that I did not set up an RSS feedburner, when I created my blog. I have been trying to figure out RSS feedburners, so far to no avail. Hopefully, I can sort this out soon, but it is hard to find assistance. Thanks for your patience and for considering my blog for your blogroll.

  10. I have always wanted to visit, but have never made it. They have been written about for years, why have I never got there? Now will have to put a lot more effort into it after seeing how fab it is.

  11. I too have taken a passion for daylillies and would suggest this site also not far from Toronto http://www.wilsondaylilies.com/index.htm. Nottawasaga lillies are in Creemore where you might convince hubby by adding a trip to the brewery while there. Here's a video I took of the location which is all hills and vistas with very nice ponds and plenty of water ideal for a nursery setting. Go on a Saturday where you can also take in their farmer's market in the town. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZFWSWe6n_8

  12. Thanks sailsmart. I'll have to check Wilson Daylilies out.


I love to hear from you. Thanks for leaving a comment.