Members of the Bella Vista Garden Club are planning a special plant sale this month. It all started with a Facebook post.
A collector in Elm Springs who wants to remain anonymous made the difficult decision to downsize his late wife's daylily collection. The man and his wife had spent years acquiring, and sometimes developing, varieties of daylilies. A friend saw the Bella Vista Garden Club's Facebook page and contacted the group. Did the club want some of the collection of hundreds of daylilies? Garden club members did, and a project was planted.
There are thousands of varieties of daylilies, garden club member Joal Miller says. They come in different sizes and shapes and colors -- and they can be very valuable.
She was one of the members who got to meet and speak to the collector. He hated to give up the plants, but it was getting to be too much for him. They walked his daylily beds, and he pointed out the hybrids that his wife had developed that he wouldn't give up.
Other garden clubs had been interested in the collection, she explains, but one thing that makes the Bella Vista group unique is its partnership with Village Wastewater off of U.S. 71B. The Bella Vista Garden Club has a greenhouse there, as well as several outside beds. With the help of the wastewater staff, large numbers of plants can be kept thriving on the site while club members get ready for a sale. Few clubs have that kind of resource.
Miller ran the last garden club plant sale as a mostly online event. To keep both volunteers and customers safe from the coronavirus, the annual sale became by-appointment-only, with a handful of volunteers manning the wastewater site. Those same volunteers were drafted to help move the daylilies.
During July, they met very early in the morning to travel to Elm Springs and dig daylilies. Each one was carefully labeled and brought back to the greenhouse, where the same volunteers repotted them and labeled them. Some of the larger plants were divided. Each pot has at least two "fans," which is a group of leaves along with baby bulbs attached below the surface. They'll spread easily, volunteer Cathy Downard says.
Downard looked online and got photos and retail prices for each of the 40-plus varieties they harvested in Elm Springs. Although the retail price on a few is close to $100, the garden club won't sell any pots for more than $25 and most will be $5 or $10.
The best time to plant daylilies in this area is early spring or late fall, according to the American Daylily Society on its webpage, daylilies.org. Most daylilies do best in full sun but can tolerate some shade as long as they get six hours of sun a day.
Since the appointment-style plant sale worked out so well, the fall daylily sale will be held the same way, and next spring's sales probably will as well. All the plants will be listed on the webpage, www.bellavistagardenclub.com, with photos and information, including the usual retail price and the Garden Club's price. Besides daylilies, there will be some trees and shrubs sold and some "naked lady" bulbs.
WHEN — By 30-minute appointments, 8-11 a.m. Sept. 17-20
WHERE — Village Wastewater off of U.S. 71B in Bella Vista
COST — $5-$25
INFO — Email [email protected] to make an appointment
FYI — Only exact cash, check, credit card or PayPal payments will be accepted.