Daylily Tour of Members’ Gardens

Daylilies Galore!

On July 20, 2018 several members of the club took a tour of members Kim N, Laura S, and Wendy G’s gardens. There were daylilies of many sizes, shapes, and colors on display. The tour began at Kim’s house. She has a mix of sun and shade, with daylilies arranged in beds throughout the yard. With her over 200 varieties, it was difficult to choose just one favorite, but hers is a variety named “Priscilla’s Rainbow,” found in her Memorial Garden. This is a pink lavender lily with a rainbow halo and green throat. “Evergold,” with a deep gold self, was her first plant, coming from White Flower Farm in Kent, Connecticut.

“Evergold,” from Kim N’s Garden

The next stop was Laura’s garden, and “Fashionista,” her favorite, was on full display for members to enjoy. This is a lavender bi-tone with lighter cream lavender sepals, blue lavender band, large lime green center, and green throat. It was quite stylish.

“Fashionista,” from Laura S’s Garden

The group also saw the daylilies that came from the Ashburnham plant rescue excursion, which are being tracked for color and variety. They will be a great addition to next year’s Plant Sale. Laura mentioned that members could track their own varieties by labeling them and taking photos while in bloom.

Wendy’s garden was highlighted by a sixty-foot-long river of daylilies along her fence. They were artfully arranged by height, and grouped by complementary colors. Her favorite, “Rebel Cause,” has a bright red self with a yellow to green throat. This was purchased, along with 5 other varieties, over 40 years ago from Wild’s mail order company, and they are still in bloom today.

Wendy G’s River of Daylilies

In addition to the many daylilies in each garden, there were interesting ornamentation features. A statue of Hermione takes center stage in Kim’s garden during the summer months. The focal point in Laura’s garden was a large natural rock, which was a good backdrop for “Fashionista.” Wendy’s “Slingshot,” a motorcycle car, added a touch of brightness, and was the centerpiece in her front yard garden. The peaceful water fountain below was tucked into a corner of her backyard garden. It was amazing to see the layout of these different gardens, and the variety of daylilies and other plants showcased by our talented gardeners.

A Backyard Water Fountain in Wendy G’s Garden








To see more photos from these artistic gardens, click here:extra photos

Submitted by Lisa M.

June Annual Meeting and Luncheon

On June 5, 2018, the Groton Garden Club held its annual meeting and luncheon at historic Groton School, in the Webb Marshall room, with an inspired menu, and bouquets on the tables created by club members.

Outgoing president Laura S. recited an “ABCs” of the Garden Club,  in which she highlighted certain notable events during her four-year tenure as president, listing 26 of them–one for each letter of the alphabet. She was presented with a framed painting of a snowy owl as a parting gift, and was also presented with the federation silver president’s pin. Incoming president Lisa M. spoke also, saying she was excited to be beginning work as the new president.

Club member Donna N. put together a remarkable slideshow, with pictures of events from the 95 years the club has been in existence. Thekla A. and Cindy S. presented a summary of the amazing success of the club’s recent plant sale.

Life members Lois U. and Sandy J. were able to join us for this special occasion, and club members posed for a group photo on the patio.

The new officers for 2018-2020 were officially installed: Lisa M. as president,  Cindy S. as vice president, Asha M. as treasurer, Linda L. as secretary, and Laura S. as auditor.

In the photo on the right, some of the Club’s history: The President’s Bowl for Civic Development in 1991, with Trim Hahn, Suzanne Goehringer, Pat Landmann, Lee Burton, and Damien March.

Sakonnet Garden – Open Days

Garden wall of stone and logs

On Saturday, May 27, some friends and I made a garden field trip to Sakonnet Garden, in Little Compton, RI. This private garden holds open days a few times each year. Most dates vary, depending on winter weather and expectations of peak bloom time. They have an annual event on Memorial Day weekend that includes a plant sale. Entrance fees for the open days support the gardens, their new meadow project and the Garden Conservancy Open Days program.


Moss garden

You’ll need to wait until next year for the Open Days & Sales events, but it is worth visiting this garden for any of their Open Days. The property has about an acre of garden rooms, divided by walls and hedges to create rooms with a variety of microclimates and growing conditions. There are dry gardens, wet gardens, sunny and shady gardens. The owners enjoy trying new plants and methods to stretch the limits of the local growing season.

Walking around the wall pictured (above left) leads to the entrance into the first of these rooms – a light-dappled moss garden. The branches of deciduous shrubs create a sculptural contrast to the carpet of moss. From there one travels through rooms that are an interesting contrast to our Garden Club visit to the Garden in the Woods a few weeks ago, where the New England Wildflower Society focusses on plants that are native to New England or nearby states.

Trillium luteum

The owners of Sakonnet can best be described as plant collectors. They do have a variety of natives, including large swathes of trilliums that they have carefully planted and propagated to create an impressive display. The garden’s website includes a brief explanation of how they achieved their goal to create dense patches of one of their favorite plants.



Meconopsis brevicifolia

They also have many imported plants, creating some unusual combinations and effects. One surprising plant was the blue poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia, also known as M. baileyi.) I’d never seen this flower outside of a catalog before, and was surprised by the size of the bloom, and that it is a true blue – a rare color among flowers. It is planted on the edge of a bog garden, and best viewed from the narrow plank bridge – meant for two-way traffic, but only wide enough for one person. While trying to get a better photo of this plant, I instead had to reverse directions to let some other garden visitors cross the bridge. That was a happy change, as I had noticed the poppies, and taken no notice of other garden features.


Mughal Pavilion


The acquisition and construction of this ‘Mughal Pavilion’ is described on the garden’s website, under Garden Images. It is elevated above a large patch of petasites and other bog plants. Our group had many ideas for using this space – reading on a hot day, enjoying a glass of wine or a cocktail, an al fresco lunch, or even having a cup of coffee while planning the day ahead. This was one of many unexpected finds in this garden – some of the surprises were plant material, others were structures. This was my first visit to this garden – I hope to return on one of their other Open Days, to see how this garden changes throughout the growing season – I expect to find more surprises with each visit.

To find out more about this garden you can visit their website at and you can learn about the Garden Conservancy at




Garden in the Woods Field Trip

Phlox divaricata & Stylophoum diphyllum

More Phlox divaricata

Fourteen members of our club made a field tip to Garden in the Woods on May 15th. This was one of our best-attended field trips ever. We had a glorious day to enjoy that spring had finally arrived – warm enough to enjoy the outdoors, and not too hot for a long walk through the woodland paths.

We passed hillsides that were covered in Phlox divaricata with contrasting splashes of yellow Wood or Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum.) The Wood Poppy is not native to Massachusetts, but is native to much of the northern United States.


Anemonella thalictroides

Along the paths we saw many other wildflowers, some were large and showy, others were more subtle because of their size or color. The Rue Anemone (Anemonella thalictroides) was one of the delightfully subtle plants we saw. Tiny white flowers catch the sunlight as they are held above the small, lobed leaves. This spring ephemeral thrives in woodland shady spots with good drainage. It goes dormant in the summer, to reappear through fallen leaves in the following spring.


Pulsatilla vulgaris

The Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) may prove to be ephemeral in hot, dry summers. With a larger flower than the Rue Anemone, the pale purple flowers make a subtle showing in the woodland setting. Pasqueflower is not native, coming from Europe and Southwestern Asia. It is not known for aggressive spreading, and is more likely to die out whan a growing season doesn’t meet its needs. This plant wants that elusive combination of moist-well drained soil, and requires watering in hot summer weather. It will grow in sun to part shade.

Other spring ephemerals that we saw included Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) and a few yellow ladyslippers. These were, unfortunately, not in sufficient light for clear photographs. We were too late in the season to see the Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadense) in bloom. We did see some lush stands of the distinctive leaves – hinting that an earlier trip next year would be enjoyable.


One of the loveliest group of ephemerals are the Trilliums.  We were fortunate to be there when many of them were in bloom. We noticed lone specimens, and dense patches in other spots.

We saw Trillium grandiflorum, which may be the largest of these plants. Its blooms start out a crisp, snowy white, and after pollination gradually turn pink. There were also a double flowered white trillium, at least one species of red-flowered trillium (Trillium cuneatum or T. erectum) and some yellow-flowered Trillium luteum.

Trillium erectum



If we had been there a few weekends earlier, for the Garden’s ‘Trillium Days’ we could have selected specific plants to purchase from the propagation beds. NEWFS staff would then dig and pot these for later purchase. Perhaps next year?

Garden in the Woods has an extensive propagation program, so that visitors can support this non-profit while buying native plants for their gardens. Despite ‘Trillium Days’ being prior to our visit, there were a few trillium remaining for sale, along with many other native plants. Of course, many of us indulged in some shopping, and are adding native wildflowers to our own gardens. If these do well, you can expect to see some of our wonderful purchases show up at our plant sales in future years!

double-flowered Trillium








Daylilies at Harmon Hill Farm


‘Jungle Man’

‘Salem Witch’

‘Alone with Maud’


There are over 4,100 varieties of daylilies at Harmon Hill Farm, a tour garden in Hudson, New Hampshire. Carl and Marlene Harmon created the farm in 1998, and specialize in hybridizing lilies. They gave a talk to the Groton Garden Club on May 1, 2018. Carl is a past president of the New England Daylily Society. In 2011 Harmon Hill Farm was voted “Best Flower Farm in New Hampshire” by Yankee Magazine

They grow early-, mid-, and late-season bloomers. They also grow Oriental, Orienpet, and Asiatic lilies; and 75 varieties of irises. Their web site contains a database with photographs and descriptions of all their daylilies:

Carl found many lily varieties in Florida, and brought them up to hybridize on his farm. He explained how to hybridize and how to divide lilies. He said that high scape, or stem, density, and high bud density per scape, are both important–the higher these are, the more blooms will appear on the plant. Some plants have a high amount of buds on a small amount of scapes, which is ideal. The American Hemerocallis Society has only been recording bud count for the past few years, and Harmon Hill Farm is a knowledgeable source for this information.

Some interesting facts:

  • They use forest loam, compost, and manure in their beds;
  • They use Milorganite fertilizer, which deer avoid because of the smell;
  • Very few daylilies are actually fragrant: only Hyperion and the Lemon Lily;
  • The daylily ‘Sandra Elizabeth’ appears in the Hollis Street triangle. 


For more extensive information on daylilies, click on this link to find club member Donna N.’s study, her Daylily Primer