Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Kiwanis and Dr. Darrel and Marilyn Apps: Forces of Nature

Darrel and Marilyn's home, note, no daylilies!

My house across the street--daylilies, I grew from seed. I have since learned the seed I bought from Jung's to grow out probably came from the hybridizing efforts of Dr. Apps.

Door prizes, roses, not daylilies. This is Wild Rose... go figure.

I would guess my quiet one block long street in the village was the busiest street in the county today. The Kiwanis Club is a force to be reckoned with and although the weatherman was calling for scattered showers, Mother Nature just wouldn't dare.

You see, I live across the street from one of the world's best daylily hybridizers.

And, I think my neighbor has been thumbing his nose at Mother nature for a while now.

And yes, "world's" best. Dr. Darrel Apps, Ph.D in horticulture and daylily hybridizer of over 390 patented daylilies, is my across the street neighbor.

The juggernaut that is the Kiwanis Club in my village held it first "Random Acts of Culture," a two-session, two-hour garden party featuring a tour of Dr. Apps' garden and restored Queen Anne home accompanied by musicians, oratory, and a pastel artist. This all in an endeavor to raise money for the Kiwanis scholarship fund. There were roving appetizer trays, punch, ice tea. Luckily, I was asked to give garden tours.

Any opportunity to talk about plants in such a beautiful yard, versus weed them, is a good thing!

View through the pergola of his musa bajoo (he over-wintered it in his basement in peat moss in a 5-gallon bucket after exposing it to a light frost last fall.

The pink bush is a rose, I believe it is Polar Joy.  To the left is a LA lily, I don't know which. The white spikey plant is Culver's root (Veronicastrum virginicum) and the blue is echinops ritro. 
Not a lot of daylilies, what's with that? You'd think there would be lots and lots! Well there are several if you look, but as Darrel says, "Just daylilies are boring." I kid you not, I'm quoting him. Another quote? "Anyone who grows just daylilies and thinks they're a gardener...they're not." Okay, pretty harsh words from someone, I'm pretty sure is a past president of the National Daylily Society (or maybe they call themselves "Hemerocalis"). But remember, he does have a doctors in horticulture, not just daylilies, which are his passion. He can rattle off the Latin faster than the school basketball team runs the 50-yard dash.

Dr. Darrel Apps, daylily hybridizer, retired (Yeah, right!)

An as yet unintroduced daylily, developed by Dr. Apps. Proving sometimes, the best things are not for sale.

I realized after getting into this post that this will be more than a single blog entry, just like the tours I gave today ended up being more than 30 minutes. There was a lot to see and lots of questions, especially since this garden is only three years old, a particularly astounding feat for a garden in central Wisconsin, with our blazing hot, and this year, humid summers, unpredictable rainfall and snow, and frigid winters.

So tomorrow's post will continue with daylily lore legend, and how the world ended up with more that just orange "ditch lilies", a vernacular label Darrel detests.


  1. Wow- only 3 years old, that is quite motivating for us lazy gardeners!
    and those daylillies....I'd better start planting..

  2. Could you tell me, please, what is in the picture of the pink bush and white spikes. what is the pink flowering bush. what is the white spikes and the other plants around it. thank you. my email is arootdigger at thank you.