Ro FitzGerald’s lockdown daylily rescue!

My Beggars Roost Plants nursery has been closed for years now, but when it was active my speciality was Hemerocallis. The only ground we ever managed to cultivate, by excavating pits in the solid limestone substrate of this part of the Quantock coast, was given to the daylily stock plants. Most of these have now been here for more than a decade and the ground had become a wilderness of bindweed and broken labels, a reproach rather than a pleasure.

Lockdown has given me a wonderful opportunity, to audit and re-identify each clump as it comes into flower, and to check and refresh plants still in pots. The original card index (description, date of purchase, source, illustration etc) is still complete for checking and comparing, and I must admit that the close examination of each new flower has made me fall in love with them all over again!

Daylilies have an odd position in the world of small nurseries, because they have every quality of easy cultivation, health and long life, and some make glorious garden plants, but they are almost impossible to sell! My current stock also proves that they are equally impossible to kill, and their beauties are undeniable, so I’m still a passionate believer in their worth. Some of the big early spiders like ‘Dancing Crab’ and ‘All American Windmill’ have filled the ‘June hiatus’ with truly glamorous colour and form.

However the size of my patch here is very limited, and like Topsy they do keep on growing, so somehow I must reduce the biomass. Duncan Skene when he was running his ABRAXAS gardens in Frome, which many of you will remember with delight, decided to control his numbers by concentrating on Deciduous rather than Evergreen varieties, so I’ve decided to follow this plan and make a sensational offer!

EVERGREEN VARIETIES FREE TO GOOD HOMES!

Now that driving within the county is admissible, people could come here to dig their own. I’m still pretty well isolating but getting into the garden does not involve going through the house, and Lilstock certainly has very fresh air and almost no people.

So PLEASE GET IN TOUCH (use the form below on the website) if this might appeal to you. I can email a list and then photographs. Varieties include some of the very handsome crimped and textured plants launched in the 1990s or early 2000s such as ‘Glacier Bay’, ‘Wyoming Wildfire’, ‘Serenity Morgan’ and ‘August Morn’; some loyal older border plants like the sturdy reds ‘Charles Johnston’, ‘Red Rum’ and ‘James Marsh’; two of the near-blacks ‘Bela Lugosi’ and ‘Night Beacon’; a completely opposite colour in the bright gold and strong presence of ‘Chicago Sunrise’; some special colour forms with contrasting ‘eyes’ like ‘Always Afternoon’, ‘Nefertiti’ and (of course) ‘Bette Davis Eyes’; and some which are worth growing for their names alone like ‘Little Pink Umbrellas’ and ‘Possum in a Sack’!

I’m confirming more correct names every day, and although Lilstock is very out-of-the-way I can send the map and directions used when the nursery was open. All you would need to bring is compost bags or crates, a big fork and plenty of muscle!

Complete this form to send a message direct to Ro Fitzgerald

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