Gotta Garden

Thursday, August 09, 2007

NCDC Bus Trip

One of the advantages of belonging to a daylily club is the opportunity to visit gardens you might not otherwise see. NCDC (National Capital Daylily Club) took a bus trip to New Jersey on July 14th. The itinerary consisted of visiting a private garden in New Jersey, then on to Dr. Darrel Apps' nursery, Woodside, off to an buffet lunch in an Amish Village and back to shop at Woodside.

For me, the day began quite early given where I live and the uncertain traffic. I was to meet the bus in McLean, VA at 7:00 a.m. Leaving at 5:50 a.m., I thought, afforded me plenty of time to get there. However, an accident on 1-95N meant that I almost didn't make the bus. Typical of the area, but what are you going to do? (The best you can...that's all you can do.) Luckily for me, they held the bus an extra five minutes or so and I raced there as fast as I could after clearing the accident.

Jumping on the bus, I was so happy to make it! As always, it's a nice group of folks and we began our journey northward. Another stop in Maryland for the folks that live there, and we were truly on the way. As a guess, approximately 2.5 hours later, we arrived at NN's garden. She greeted us all and took us around the back where delicious treats (much appreciated!) awaited us as well as a garden full of daylilies beautifully displayed and blooming proudly.

All pictures are clickable.

Many caught my eye. Mahogany Magic:

Pirate Beads:

Circus Maximus:

Small World Showoff:

Magnificent Rainbow:

Best Kept Secret:

It wasn't just daylilies...

One of the nicest things about her garden was the retreat she has. There, in cool shade, are comfortable chairs where you can relax and look up at rows of blooming daylilies. Isn't that neat!

We needed to head on to our next stop, so we boarded the bus for Woodside. Visiting Dr. Apps had special significance. Not only is he one of the foremost hybridizers and an expert on daylilies, but he is retiring and has sold his nursery. This was truly a last chance to see and learn. Right up there after Stella d'Oro, is the daylily Happy Returns. Most people that start out buying daylilies usually purchase Happy Returns. It's one of Dr. Apps', but only one of very many wonderful daylilies in all sizes and forms that he has introduced. He is known for his attention to plant habit, e.g., good foliage and strong scapes with lots of buds. His daylilies are not just "pretty faces", although he has many, many with those pretty faces.

Turning into the driveway, all eyes turned to the left of the bus where rows upon rows...truly as far as the eye could see...of daylilies were blooming. It was amazingly beautiful! The sales area is off to the right where you can buy potted blooming daylilies. We were ushered off the bus and invited to the Apps' private garden behind their home. Here, Dr. Apps began a tour (after we munched on cookies provided by Marilyn Apps!) showing us interesting plants and extolling the virtue and benefits of various ones (not just daylilies! His nursery sells shrubs and perennials and I was told Dr. Apps has quite the tree collection.). Questions were asked and answered as we followed Dr. Apps and Mr. Miller, his canine companion.

First glimpse from the bus:

On the way to the Apps' private garden, this Betty Corning clematis was full of blooms:

Mr. Miller, rabbit chaser extraordinaire:

(note the view)

We then began going through the daylily fields and, I have to tell you, I lost track of how many huge daylily fields there least four, maybe five. Darrel would point our various cultivars to us, showing us some of his as well as those of other hybridizers. It was very hard to drag ourselves away to lunch...but we did.

Setting out behind Dr. Apps and Mr. Miller:

Lunch was delicious! The restaurant was waiting for us and we were quickly served. Kudos to KS, the organizer, for yet another perfect landing!

Then, back to Woodside where our shopping/buying urges could not be denied any longer! Shop we did! If I understood, mail order had already ended and the sales area, as is, was it. No more digging of daylilies. Our group made quite a dent in it; four came home with me (including Bridgeton Finesse, one of Dr. Apps') as well as a very nice hosta!

Sales area:

More than dayliles:

Hostas, anyone?

Luckily for us, Dr. Apps was still willing to continue our tour (which had been interrupted by lunch) and after stowing our plants on the bus, we followed along. It was incredibly interesting to hear why he liked certain plants, what he liked about other hybridizers' plants, and what he thought showed promise. He showed us some future introductions and other selected seedlings. These all belong to the new owner, if I understood, so it was really a last chance to see and hear Dr. Apps in action. I hope he knows how much we enjoyed this and appreciated his time. Thank you, Dr. Apps!

Okay, we moved very quickly behind Dr. Apps. So fast, that if I stopped to take a picture (you know I did), I had to run to catch up! (That was a sight to see, I'm sure!) Anyway, if I know the name of a particular daylily, I will post it; if not, I don't know as we moved quickly and by the time I caught up, the name had already been given or I couldn't see it or whatever. So, we'll just have to enjoy them for the beauty.

I really liked this one. I'm uncertain if it was one of Dr. Apps' or Jim Murphy''s quite tall:

Gretchen Apps:

Lavender Crinkles (of interest to me...I have this one but hadn't seen it in bloom):

Mask and Metaphor (came home with me):

An incredibly interesting Dr. Apps has selected to take with him...the texture is indescribable:

So many fields of daylilies, I lost track of how many and where we were!

A peek at the greenhouse:

Someone loaded up and ready to go!

It was hard to leave...not just because Woodside is such a place of beauty with unbelievable daylilies, but also because it seemed a bit like the end of an era...Dr. Apps answers last minute questions for our group:

Hope you got an idea of what a pleasurable day it was. If you love daylilies and want to learn more, do try to find a local club. I'd love to read about your adventures with your club!

I'm working on my pictures from the regional (imagine, four daylily gardens plus a speaker on garden photography!), so keep checking back! And, I haven't forgotten about Chanticleer! (Did I mention that I took almost 1000 pictures there???)

National Capital Daylily Club (NCDC)
Richmond Area Daylily Society (RADS)
Delaware Valley Daylily Society (DVDS)


Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

(various sounds of moaning in delight, sighs, coos, wow...)

I don't know how you manage to walk around with your feet touching the soil when you have are at a place like that. Magical, amazing, and THANK YOU for sharing details and LOADS of pictures.

I just am glad I didn't check this post while I was at work in the library. Everyone would have thought by the sounds I was making that, well, you know, one of the top reasons people go to the library.

Bless you and especially bless your camera!

Katie said...

Thanks for all the pictures. Daylilies are my favorite, hands-down!

Great to come across another cool garden blog...

joey said...

Your head must be 'twirling'! Loved the tour. Any room in your garden for new friends?

Marie said...

So many beautiful daylilies :o)

Kylee said...

Oh my goodness, that's a lot of daylilies!!!! And so many pretty ones, too. I'll bet you felt like you were in heaven!

Ladynred said...

I love Daylilies. I have some in my garden. All the flowers are beautiful .

nikkipolani said...

What a fantastic tour and collection of photos (though I'm glad you didn't post all 1000 of them!).

lisa said...

Wow...what a sight those fields are! Thanks for the tour, I almost felt like I was there...hard to see somebody giving up his gardens like that. Hopefully he'll enjoy having more time to relax and baby just a few plants, instead of thousands.

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