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Are we a breed of of our own?

Posted by taurustendency 5 (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 9, 13 at 10:11

just rambling.

this saturday, my neighbor/cousin held his own garden show at his house. this was his first attempt to step out into the business side of gardening. by inviting everyone to his gardens, he hoped to stir up a buzz about opening for grand opening business this coming spring. hes going to be mainly selling daylilies...with a random selection of extra things that he needs to divide from his own gardens.

he worked his butt off for this. pricey newspaper ads, flyers up everywhere, facebook, word of mouth, signs in the neighborhood. worked hard at getting his gardens in shape and potting things up for sale. made and displayed full color prints of each daylily for sale. we went all out...and it didnt pay off.

not a soul came. the only people who came were my boyfriend and i, who were also selling some of our extras. the whole experience just got me thinking about how us daylily lovers must live in a world of our own. and how hard it must be in this day and age and economic situation, to actually make it in the flower nursery business. its very discouraging.

we see everywhere that people care about landscaping and having little flowerbeds on their property...but i dont see many enthusiasts. lowes and walmart carry the same old cultivars like stella de oro each year, with maybe one or two new ones (not new to us, but new to mainstream market). last year they offered kokomo sunset, fooled me, and mauna loa...and this year they are offering final touch. but thats about it. to get something really cool and unique, you need to order online.

it just seems like there isnt much demand out there in the general shopping traffic to merit a whole nursery based on the newest and rarest of the old and worn out garden classics, unless you are selling online to other people like us its as though the only people interested in the new hybids are us hybridizers. and that makes me wonder, why we are really doing what we do? we may sell our stuff to other people like ourselves, but the excitement and enthusiasm seems to end there. i would like to drive through town and see other cultivars just as popular as the old classics. but still, after years of everyones efforts, its still the same old ditch lilies and stellas everywhere you go.

dont worry, im not losing muster or determination...but this weekend was pretty disheartening to realize that outside of us who do this, that no one else really cares. but anyways, we will keep plugging along. because after all, it is our hobby that we do for our own personal enjoyment, and we cant expect everyone around us to be as into it as we are.

This post was edited by taurustendency on Mon, Sep 9, 13 at 10:12


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Are we a breed of of our own?

I hear you, and I think you have it right. This is one reason why the American Hemerocallis Society is an important organization. It makes all these daylily nuts acquainted with each other!

I think it depends on how willing you are to stick your neck out (and you certainly did!) to make the public aware of your open garden days. Maybe between now and next year you'll find another way to reach those in your community that would respond to your gracious invitation.

Do you know if there are other garden clubs in the area? Being invited to speak at garden club meetings is a great way to develop a good reputation in the community, especially if you are able to take your healthy plants to their club.

Maybe you could write a newspaper garden article every week or month to help others become acquainted with the love of gardening. Or an online blog. Although I'm more inclined to think computer gardeners are not that ready to dig a new garden! ha ha

I agree you have to love the plants, love the flowers, love the garden to keep moving it forward. And it does seem to be that it is a beautiful hobby which has begun to go on the wane, and in my area, gardens are more the work of professional landscapers than home owners.


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RE: Are we a breed of of our own?

I also think that fall might not be the best time to try this. Springtime might do a lot better, lot of people think they are gardeners until the hot weather makes realists out of them.
kay


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RE: Are we a breed of of our own?

haha! too true kay!

and i love the idea about the newspaper articles judyann! that would probably go over well in our town. our paper is usually hurting for stuff to include...that they didnt have to write. i will look into that for sure!

i think th only clubs that we have around here are more for produce than flowers. but i will look into it further. we have also thought about selling at the farmers market. at least long enough to get the name out in the community.

thanks for the ideas!


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RE: Are we a breed of of our own?

Yes, I do think that the farmer's markets are great places for daylilies to sell. Especially potted daylilies in bloom. Go for it!


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RE: Are we a breed of of our own?

Those interested in reading and following this point raised here, ARE 'A breed of our own'. It's highly unlikely that we can transfer our level of interest or enthusiasm, to others simply because there are so few like minded gardeners'out there.'

Gardeners - including daylily gardeners - are no different than any other group of like minded people. Golfers; fly fishers; cat keepers; movie goers; wine aficionados ... In a simple generalization, it's an application of the cliched '80/20' split - 20% are enthusiasts, while 80% range upward from a level of very superficial, moderate interest ...

Then of that 20% (Split again 80/20) perhaps 20% (4 people) are AHS minded type enthusists. Carry this on and 20% of the 4 are those AHS members who make it a lifestyle involvement - follow the blogs; attend eveything they can; know the celebrities; can describe a wide range of cultivars from memory; know who is breeding what; subscribe to the catalogues; etc. Very few of those interested in daylilies - leave alone simply 'gardeners' - are involved to this extent.

The majority of those who have homes with gardens are simply 'Yard Decorators' (The lower end of the 80%). Putting petunias or geraniums into bare patches of ground each spring to "Brighten up the place." If they see a potted daylily in bloom @ a 'big-box store' they'll buy it - an impluse purchase - 'perennials' to them simply means less 'yard work' next spring as the plants come back each spring. As given elsewhere here, gardening is a 'springtime thing' ... autumn is clean up time. Only enthusiastic gardeners (That 20%) accept autumn as prime gardening time, time to add new plants, etc.

Thus, of 1000 people who have property - gardens - 800 are not gardeners as we'd describe it. ('Yard Decorators') - while 200 are involved in their properties gardens in more than a superficial manner. Of these 200, 40 (20% are enthusiastic gardeners who would have read about daylilies and hostas and roses and ... They want to know, they want to learn, to create picture-book gardens, etc.
Of the 40, (20% - only 8 gardeners of the 1000) are enthusiastic enough to join organizations; go on garden tours; get involved in related events. Then of those 8, only 1-2 (20% approx.) are those who evolve a lifestyle including their focus and interest - the avid Rose Society member; the daylily collector with 1000 cultivars; the greenhouse hobbysit; etc.

We ARE different from the majority - some more so than others. Some to the point that the description 'Fanatic' does truly apply. Such a range of interest and involvement is the norm in any hobby or endeavour.


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RE: Are we a breed of of our own?

Those interested in reading and following this point raised here, ARE 'A breed of our own'. It's highly unlikely that we can transfer our level of interest or enthusiasm, to others simply because there are so few like minded gardeners'out there.'

Gardeners - including daylily gardeners - are no different than any other group of like minded people. Golfers; fly fishers; cat keepers; movie goers; wine aficionados ... In a simple generalization, it's an application of the cliched '80/20' split - 20% are enthusiasts, while 80% range upward from a level of very superficial, moderate interest ...

Then of that 20% (Split again 80/20) perhaps 20% (4 people) are AHS minded type enthusists. Carry this on and 20% of the 4 are those AHS members who make it a lifestyle involvement - follow the blogs; attend eveything they can; know the celebrities; can describe a wide range of cultivars from memory; know who is breeding what; subscribe to the catalogues; etc. Very few of those interested in daylilies - leave alone simply 'gardeners' - are involved to this extent.

The majority of those who have homes with gardens are simply 'Yard Decorators' (The lower end of the 80%). Putting petunias or geraniums into bare patches of ground each spring to "Brighten up the place." If they see a potted daylily in bloom @ a 'big-box store' they'll buy it - an impluse purchase - 'perennials' to them simply means less 'yard work' next spring as the plants come back each spring. As given elsewhere here, gardening is a 'springtime thing' ... autumn is clean up time. Only enthusiastic gardeners (That 20%) accept autumn as prime gardening time, time to add new plants, etc.

Thus, of 1000 people who have property - gardens - 800 are not gardeners as we'd describe it. ('Yard Decorators') - while 200 are involved in their properties gardens in more than a superficial manner. Of these 200, 40 (20% are enthusiastic gardeners who would have read about daylilies and hostas and roses and ... They want to know, they want to learn, to create picture-book gardens, etc.
Of the 40, (20% - only 8 gardeners of the 1000) are enthusiastic enough to join organizations; go on garden tours; get involved in related events. Then of those 8, only 1-2 (20% approx.) are those who evolve a lifestyle including their focus and interest - the avid Rose Society member; the daylily collector with 1000 cultivars; the greenhouse hobbysit; etc.

We ARE different from the majority - some more so than others. Some to the point that the description 'Fanatic' does truly apply. Such a range of interest and involvement is the norm in any hobby or endeavour.


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RE: Are we a breed of of our own?

  • Posted by marric Z5a Ontario (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 10, 13 at 8:46

A few years ago I decided to start selling some of my surplus. The first year a few people came in to look and buy. The second year, not so much. Business picked up the third year when I got my first big order. I live in the country and people aren't so much into flowers here. Things I learned: people don't want to spend more than $5 on a clump of daylilies, they don't like or want the new varieties meaning heavy frilled edges or teeth, they want 'daylilies that look like daylilies'. I've even had some requests for 'ditch lilies to fill in that space over there', unfortunately I don't have any. I thought about the local farmers market but there is a local grower who sells there and I did get quite a few of mine from her so I don't want to compete with her. As far as advertising goes, we also have a market garden so when we put up the sign, I just added daylilies and hostas to the list.


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RE: Are we a breed of of our own?

  • Posted by TNY78 7a-East TN (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 10, 13 at 11:05

We have two really nice daylily farms near Knoxville (Oakes and Delano). One thing that I've noticed is that within a 1 mile vicinity of these two nurseries, it seems like EVERYONE grows daylilies! It seems that people who live near the places and have become familiar with them, have learned to appreciate them. I wonder if the problem is people just really don't know what else is out there? I can't tell you how many people I've talked to don't know there's life beyond Stella d'Oro daylilies and Knockout roses....and of course the stock at the big box stores is one of the main culprits. Even private/local non-specialty nurseries are to blame...they also seem to only carry a couple of kinds of daylilies and the usual mix of other perennials. Drives me crazy!

Tammy


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RE: Are we a breed of of our own?

A local farmer's market merchant regular in this area with fresh fruits and vegetables brought "ditch lilies" to market and they sold like hotcakes. Couldn't bring enough to meet the demand each day.

A neighbor (literally across the street from my daylily garden), re-worked a front garden area this spring to the note of $$$$'s paid to local landscaper, only to outline one edge of the "new" garden with her transplanted ditch lilies. The only daylily addition to the landscape was an unknown-to-me yellow and a pot of Stella! I have invited her three years in a row to come see the daylilies, and my display bed is in her face, which she proclaims to love. Rant rant. Should be glad my daylilies aren't in the midst of her nutgrass!

Today I offered the neighborhood association board daylilies for the re-do of the diseased knockout-rose entry gardens. Yes, we need to find some way to get them "OUT THERE!"

Marric, you might not be competing with the other grower because you would each have unique daylilies to offer. You might actually stimulate interest.

And oh all the trouble with those folks who bring a $5 bill! I hear you! Been there, done that, closed the garden to sales!


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RE: Are we a breed of of our own?

wow. im really glad to hear that im not alone with these thoughts. however, its a little more disheartening to learn that after all your years of experience, that you still share similar thoughts. i had hoped that what im noticing and have thought would kind of fade away with experience.

my cousin who held the garden show is more of the collector and seller. my boyfriend and i are more of the hybridizer type. and our efforts combine together. we share with each other, and trade, and go in on purchases together. its a nice arrangement. and even with two totally different agendas in mind, we both came to the same conclusions after this garden show/sale failed. that we were both surprised that even the "yard decorators" (as wildbirds put it) have little interest in having variety. i thought that vanity and pride, to own something unique would bring in at least a few people. it was really surprising.

my boyfriend and i are just in our 2nd year of hybridizing. last year we did more collecting of plants than anything, some crosses. but between the drought and the wildlife starving around us, nothing made it. so the first year we collected every daylily in our path. this year, we crossed every daylily in our path. and next year will be when we get really down and dirty with it and start setting some goals, organizing some thoughts, and ridding ourselves of the less desirable ones weve collected. these first two years have been all about practice, working out our system of record keeping, arranging beds for ease of use, and learning as much as we can. our main goal is to operate a nursery that specializes in daylilies, hostas, dafodills, iris, etc, with a little bit of hybrizing on the side as a hobby. sure it would be great to get as big and well known as some of the masters, but unitl we get the nursery going, it is just something we do on the side. once established as a successful business, i think we will dedicate our efforts a little harder. dont get me wrong though, we are taking it seriously now, just not to the extent of some who do this.

wildbird, i dont know where you pulled your examples and statistics from, but i loved your post. you said exactly what im noticing! and it is quite the reality check to know that the common yard decorator doesnt strive for a little variety.

but i think that tammy raised an interesting point with vacinity and exposure to more, leads to more demand. this very well could be true. however, as marric pointed out, he has witnessed the opposite with his sales. hmmmm...

as for exposure and competition goes. we are facing some. there is a lady who sells flowers at our farmers market. some daylilies, but not really as a specialty, just plants in general.

there is also the hybridizer Apsher in this town. who only does private sales by appointment only. he does repeat business by mail i think. but overall, he has no exposure and most people dont even know his "paradise gardens" even exists. you cant see it from any road. his driveway is long and rough and kept gated (because back in the day he was subject to theft), and his sign is faded and easily missed. and i think he likes it this way. they are friendly as ever, but very old school. everything handled in person, record keeping on paper, no internet sales. so he is competition, but not really. and his lilies certainly do not create any demand because no one ever sees them unless you call ahead and he will go unlock the gate for you.

then there is homestead farms which is about 30-45 minutes from us, and they do have a wide outreach and influence the area with their plants. but even they have admitted that the majority of their daylily sales is online.

so, i dont know. i guess the only way to get people interested in variety is to offer variety. to share a little bit of our world to them. of coarse its not likely that we would get anyone as excited about it as we on here are, but maybe we can turn a few heads at least.

i also thought about contacting the city workers. i dont know where they get their plants from, but the city employees are always filling the public beds and pots with stuff. surely they could take a break from the stellas a year to try something new.


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RE: Are we a breed of of our own?

i guess i just dont digest this idea very well. that we are in this club that works hard and dedicates our lives to our works of art, who create these plants...only to sell to each other.

take the ones we see at lowes for example. kokomo sunset, flooled me, final touch. these are varieties that are just now making an appearance into mainstream market. when in reality they are kinda old news to us and whose unique qualities are already matched and surprised by now. i guess with any work of art, literature, what have you, many people die before they see their work get any attention. what a bummer.


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RE: Are we a breed of of our own?

taurus,

"this club that ...dedicates our lives to..."

There is more to life than daylilies. Daylilies are one of the blessings of this life.

And no club can have the degree of power you mention above unless you grant it. The club doesn't give life to us or our daylilies. Think of who does, and that is who we dedicate our lives to and give thanks to for the blessing of flowers.

The club serves a purpose of bringing daylily lovers together to share the love of daylilies. That love can spread, just like the ditch lily spreads! And endures.

Does that help?


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RE: Are we a breed of of our own?

hmmm, i didnt think that statement would be taken so literal. i certainly didnt mean it as such. i am fully aware that there is a life outside of the garden. im not saying that anyone goes to that extent or degree of involvement. even the masters carry other full time jobs. its just a bummer to me that so many people work at this for so long, and may never get to see the day that their efforts get noticed.


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RE: Are we a breed of of our own?

"Gardeners - including daylily gardeners - are no different than any other group of like minded people. Golfers; fly fishers; cat keepers; movie goers; wine aficionados"

Subdivide gardeners into smaller groups, and I agree with that even more. There are a couple of places around here that sell irises, and one of the owners is a member of the American Iris Society. There is a private garden about 5 minutes from me that I consider a world-class woodland/hosta garden, and the owner is a member of the American Hosta Society. I've bought from all three places, and I now have a certain number of irises and hostas. However, I don't consider myself a collector of or fanatic about either. Yet. ;) Neither of the iris gardens has more than a couple of daylilies here & there, and the woodland/hosta garden has daylilies specifically chosen for colors that can be incorporated into particular planting schemes.

A neighbor has a garden that I think would be worthy of being on a garden tour. Like the owner of the hosta garden, she has chosen daylilies for their color, e.g., pink daylilies to go over there, and a yellow one to go there. She's not interested in collecting them, and I never was able to get her to attend a single daylily club event, or to go to the nearby AHS display garden offering for sale nearly 2,000 different daylilies.

I used to drive down to Woodside Nursery every summer, when it existed. I naively assumed that, as I approached it, I'd see properties filled with beautiful daylilies from Woodside. In fact, what I saw was one front yard after another filled with Stella and other bright yellow or orange daylilies. I'm sure there were some local areas with beautiful collections, but I never saw a single one of them.

Like people have said, it's no different than any other hobby or specialized interest. In a small way, I collect glass. Not just any - I focus mostly on Murano, and not just any of that, but certain makers, if possible. One of us went through a long period of reading about the Civil War, then the Russian Revolution and Soviet history, then World War I....WWI, not the American Revolution, not the Hundred Years War, not the Franco-Prussiann War. I have a relative who collects stamps, but not just stamps in general, only the stamps of a certain country. We have friends with a substantial art collection, and, by and large, it consists only of living, local artists who are friends of theirs.

"wildbird, i dont know where you pulled your examples and statistics from, but i loved your post. you said exactly what im noticing!"

taurustendency, the 80-20 rule of thumb is the Pareto principle. Regardless of whether "yard decorators" vs "daylily enthusiasts" follows a Pareto or other distribution, I'm sure wildbird is right about the overall proportions.


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RE: Are we a breed of of our own?

Just a hint about selling most plants in general. People like to see them blooming! If you go to a farmers market you will have better luck if you take blooming daylilies. This does make for a limited season but why waste your time trying to sell green leaves that to the average Joe all look the same?
People all know what ditch lilies or stellas look like so they are willing to have landscapers put them in their gardens. My husband and I were out driving one day and he remarked how many peoples landscaping was based on ditch lilies!
If you want someone to part with their $5 :-) then they need to see that flower and hopefully act on impulse! You might get the odd one hooked like the rest of us!


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RE: Are we a breed of of our own?

I totally agree. The best sales come from blooming potted dayllies. Maybe some folks just can't imagine moving a freshly dug plant to their own garden, much less watching it be dug! "Oh! you're going to kill it!" ha ha

One good way to achieve this is to list your winter auctions. When spring breaks, fill your auction sales and pot up the remainder. By bloom time, you'll have blooming potted daylilies to sell at Farmer's Market, or at club talks, or on premises. That process resulted in my best-bottom-line years.


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RE: Are we a breed of of our own?

I blame Stella d'Oro!!!


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