BY LINDA SCOTT
Colors are in abundance at the Endless Mountains Daylily Farm where more than 60 varieties of daylilies are in bloom.
When Kevin and Sharon Burke, owners, purchased the 25 acres of land, there was only a barn on the Newton Twp. property. They have since added a house, dug a pond, plowed fields and planted gardens. They have about one-and-a-half acres of flowers in the field as well as several beds around the farm.
They purchased the daylilies from outside of Philadelphia when John Thomas, the owner, decided to retire and move out of the country. The flowers – about 7,000 plants – were dug up and transplanted by hand onto the farm.
“There are literally thousands of cultivars (cultivated varieties) of daylilies registered by local and international Hemerocallis (daylily) societies,” said Sharon Burke. “We carry about 60 tried and true varieties that we carefully selected to offer a variety of colors, bloom times, bloom heights and styles, have an extended bloom time and are hardy in this area.
“Each looks very different from the next. … Some are ruffled, some have the traditional pointed petals, some have a perfusion of small blooms and some rather large. We try a few new ones each year. This approach gives our customers a good choice without overwhelming them and making selections difficult. We will also offer guidance on what will work best based on needs and desires.”
Her personal favorite is the “Point of View” daylily, a striking large red flower with a rich gold center.
Some of the names of daylilies for sale include “Cat Dancer,” “Chicago Sunrise,” “Clarissa,” “Dragon King,” “Highland Lord,” “Jersey Spider,” “Little Tykes,” “Lullaby Baby,” “Mini Pearl,” “Red Rum,” “Scarlett Orbit” and “Double Orbit.”
Each variety has its own bloom time but can start to bloom May into October based on the weather. Fields are most in bloom in July.
“One thing that many people don’t know about daylilies is each bloom lasts only one day, which is where the name comes from,” said Sharon Burke. “Each plant has many blooms though. In most, the flower opens in the morning, withers overnight and is replaced by another on the same on the same stalk the next day. The best time to plant our field of daylilies is in the fall.”
Daylilies tolerate poor soils, adapt to heat and cold, withstand poor watering conditions, are virtually pest and insect free and are hardy beyond belief. They are at home in informal and formal garden settings, are valuable for preventing soil erosion along difficult sloped areas and are perfect complements to roadsides or pathways. They are a wise investment as they multiply easily and can be divided regularly to produce a great volume of flowers year after year, according to Endless Mountains Daylily Farm’s website.
“Photos are lovely and we do provide bloom time and height information on our plants but nothing is better than seeing them for yourself so you can see exactly what fits in with your own landscaping and color palette,” said Sharon Burke. “The farm has had photographers use the fields, the vintage barn and spring fed swimming pond as backdrops for weddings, engagements, senior pictures and pet portraits. Artists have come to use the flower fields as inspiration for painting and other art forms.”
The Burke’s daughter, Erin, was married in the middle of the fields.
They also have a son, Jake.
“We have worked hard over the years to create a beautiful, serene setting nestled at the edge of the Endless Mountains,” said Sharon Burke. “There is a lot to love about it including a spring-fed pond for swimming and fishing, several lovely waterfalls, a koi pond and our own private trail. I have been able to keep and ride my horses at home, and we have raised many farm animals including pigs, chickens, turkeys and cows. Our kids grew up on the farm, we grew our own food and raised our own meat.
“At the end of the work day, we enjoy the quiet of nature where the loudest noises are the croaking of bullfrogs and answering each others calls.”
Customers are invited to come see the lilies when they are in bloom to make it easier to pick out which kind they want to plant in their yards.
Daylilies are sold locally and bare root plants are shipped to customers throughout the U.S. via bit.ly/2LCSnzF or call 570-910-0189.