Daylilies can be grown from South America to Alaska, making them one of the most popular and prevalent flowers for gardeners all over the world. Visitors and members will be able to see hundreds of different daylily cultivars and hybrids at The North Carolina Arboretum as part of the Western North Carolina (WNC) Daylily Club’s annual Daylily Show this Saturday, June 24.

The Arboretum recently had a chance to talk to WNC Daylily Club member Nancy Rigsby about daylilies, gardening and the upcoming show.

1.  When did you start gardening? What got you interested in daylilies?

I have to confess that I haven’t been gardening my whole life. As a child, my grandfather was always in the garden, and I can remember visiting him and learning all about flowers and vegetables. After I graduated from college, the only type of gardening I did was general landscaping around my yard. I retired a few years ago and was able to get back into gardening. I’d call it a “serious hobby.” Daylilies are a more recent affection. When I moved to North Carolina, I didn’t know that many people. I had been a member of a daylily club in Boston, so I thought I’d look up a local daylily club here. The WNC Daylily Club was so welcoming and warm, and I fell in love with the members. I have also been volunteering as a gardener and teacher at local daylily gardens.

2. Why should people have an interest in daylilies? How are they unique?

Daylilies are simply beautiful flowers. They bloom in the spring, summer and fall, and they can bloom several times a year. They don’t require heavy care, and they are easy flowers to experiment with to create new hybrids. And, since they are low-maintenance, they tend to not have problems with pests and diseases.

3. In your own garden, how many types of daylilies do you raise?

My Daylily garden has more than 200 plants.  About half are named cultivars. The rest are new hybrids. If these seedlings produce distinctive flowers with good color, form and vigor, then they could become a registered daylily with the American Hemerocallis Society and be listed in the database.

 4. What is the number one thing that people should know about daylilies?

I always tell people, “Daylilies are beautiful and forgiving.” If you treat them well, they will treat you well. Another helpful gardening tip is to keep your tools clean, and you won’t have rust or other blights on your lilies.

5. The WNC Daylily Club has been active for years. What does the club do and how can people join?

The club provides resources, events and places for people interested in daylilies to learn, explore and enhance their knowledge and skill with these lovely flowers. We have meetings at UNCA once a month, and we are affiliated with a number of gardens, such as Bullington Gardens and The North Carolina Arboretum.

6. What can visitors expect at the Daylily Show?

The WNC Daylily Show is a great opportunity to come and learn about the daylily. We will be selling plants at very reasonable prices. WNC Daylily Club members will be available to answer questions and educate visitors about the care and cultivation of their own daylily varieties.

About the Author
Nancy Rigsby is the publicity chair for the WNC Daylily Club, a local chapter of the American Hemerocallis Society, and a member of the Foothills Daylily Society. Rigsby is associated with a number of gardens, such as Blue Ridge Daylilies, Bullington Gardens and The North Carolina Arboretum. To learn more about the WNC Daylily Club, please click here. To learn more about daylilies, please click here.

The WNC Daylily Club will host its annual show on Saturday, June 24, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. inside the Arboretum’s Education Center. For more information, please click here.