How to make daylilies look great for visitors; garden walk season begins

daylily 'Princess Diana'
Daylily ‘Princess Diana’. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Garden walk season in Western New York starts this weekend with the Lewiston GardenFest–see details below. If you’re sharing your garden on a garden walk, or just plan on having folks over for a barbecue, here’s a tip on daylilies that will make your gardens look pretty.

Liveheading daylilies

If you don’t want wilting blossoms on your daylilies when you have visitors, consider liveheading them. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

If you want to make your landscape look attractive for visitors, here’s a tip for daylilies from Kathy Guest Shadrack, who does communications for the Buffalo Area Daylily Society. She and her husband Mike Shadrack will share their landscape, Smug Creek Gardens, on Open Gardens this summer.

Some people deadhead their daylilies, which means pulling off the dead blossoms.

Because the flower of a daylily blooms for a single day, then dies, Kathy Guest Shadrack suggests liveheading the flowers the day before your visitors arrive.

“Liveheading is where you take off the still-open blooms late in the day,” Shadrack said. “We livehead the day before our garden is open. They will be dead by morning and, although it’s a lot of work, the garden will be spectacular the next day without any old ‘banana skins’ flopping all over the place.”

Although their landscape is probably known for the hostas (the Shadracks have literally written The Book of Little Hostas) they have a boatload of of daylilies, too, she said, and it’s a big job to get all those blooms off.

If you want to share your garden on a garden walk, but don’t have time to livehead or deadhead, don’t worry.

“Most people are happy to be there and and nobody is so rude as to point out a weed,” she said.

You don’t have to stress because your garden isn’t perfect. Read more.

Lewiston GardenFest

The 14th annual Lewiston GardenFest will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16 along Center Street in Lewiston.

Pick up a map for the free garden tour at either hospitality booth at the ends of Center Street.

The festival also includes more than 80 vendors selling flowers, plants and garden essentials, along with speakers, demonstrations and a container garden contest that you can enter. See daily activities here.

This year’s GardenFest is focusing on family activities this year, including:

  • David O’Donnell from Eastern Monarch Butterfly Farm will officially open the Lewiston GardenFest with a butterfly release at 10 a.m. Saturday in Hennepin Park, on Center and 4th Street.
  • Children ages 5-11 can enter the children’s section of the container garden contest. Go traditional or get creative with your potting vessel. The application for children as well as adults is here. All individuals who enter the contest will be entered into a drawing to win two tickets donated by Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours. Other prizes, including Maid of the Mist and Aquarium of Niagara tickets, will also be awarded to those containers that garner the most votes, including the children’s category.
  • Kids can make crafts in Hennepin Park. Decorate ladybug rocks or create tissue flowers, both while supplies last.
  • Jackie Albarella, television host and garden author will give a talk and demonstration on “Kids’ Gardening” at 11 a.m. Saturday.
  • New this year, students from Stella Niagara will showcase their 2,000-square-foot garden, which is focused on growing crops. Students ranging from Montessori pre-K through eighth grade plant crops, care for the plants and harvest them.

The Lewiston GardenFest is presented by the Lewiston Garden Club. Proceeds go to civic beautification efforts throughout the Lewiston area, including flowers, landscaping and scholarships.

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