Origins

Christopher's grandfather, Dr. George M. Darrow (Dr George Darrow by Wikipedia) began collecting and hybridizing daylilies back in 1957, after he had retired from his work as a geneticist for the USDA. Dr. Darrow was highly selective regarding his breeding program. The result, we feel, is a unique collection of daylilies, representing many highly desirable characteristics.

Origin of the Name Olallie

Dr. George Darrow who first collected many of the day lilies grown here at Olallie Daylily Gardens, originally worked for the USDA as a breeder of small fruits and berries. He had a Pick Your Own strawberry business and many types of berries on his farm in Maryland.
While traveling through Oregon collecting blueberry seed stock, he came across the name Olallie. Olallie is a west coast native American name which translates loosely to Place Where Berries Are Found. Dr Darrow thought this would be a great name for his farm in Maryland because of all of the berries he was growing there. And thus named his farm in Maryland Olallie Farm.
When he began to develop and name new daylily cultivars he gave the prefix Olallie to all the day lilies he developed and registered. Now decades later Chris Darrow is continuing this tradition by giving all his registered dayliles the same prefix.

 

Move to Vermont

In 1979, Dr. Darrow invited his son Dan, Dan's wife, Ellen, and their son, Christopher, to come to Olallie Farm in Maryland and dig up a piece of all of his dayliles. Dan and Ellen's farm in Vermont would be the perfect site to continue the Darrow daylily work. Thus, in 1980, Olallie North was born. In 1993, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) inducted Dr. Darrow into the ASHS Hall of Fame, becoming its 8th member. He joined the ranks of Gregor Mendel, Liberty Hyde Bailey, Luther Burbank, and other distinguished plant scientists.

 

 Circa late 1990's The whole family on a warm summer day.

Lily and her daughter Maggie in attendance

 

 

Dan K Darrow
1928-2003

 

The Farm Today  

This is our 35th year in business in Vermont.

The farm is managed by Christopher with help from his mother Ellen and his children Quinn and Anwyn. And of course his faithful dog Brom.
Chris continues the breeding work began by George. Chris has tried to follow Dr Darrow ideals of exploring daylily attributes. Extra early bloomers, extra tall, pigmented scapes and other overlooked attributes are all part of Chris's work.

Beyond that the blueberries and several experimental fruit crops are diligently maintained.

 

       

 

Chris continues growing and hybridizing daylilies. 2017 is the 35th year working with daylilies and close to the 50th year here in Vermont.


 

We have been or are members of:

American Heather Society
American Hemerocallis Society
American Horticultural Society
North American Rock Garden Society
Seed Savers Exchange
Species Iris Group
Vermont Assoc. of Professional Horticuluralists
Newfane Business Assoc.
Northeast Organic Farmers Association (NOFA)

 

 Daylilies are one of the easiest perennials to grow. They are extremely hardy and forgiving plants. Few pests bother them. Large well developed clumps are weed and drought resistant and can live untended for decades.

 

Why grow daylilies?
Low Maintentance-
    They are forgiving growers, even in the most adverse conditions, multiplying without much care.

A mass of Daylilies puts on a show


Great Value-
    Dollar for dollar, daylilies are your best initial perennial plant investment.

If you've ever visited an old abandoned New England homestead cellar hole, you'll see daylilies. 150 years after planting, daylilies are still growing on the site.
    We will send large divisions, to ensure quick establishment and best bloom. Plants will be state inspected, labelled and ready to be planted in your garden.


 

If I move my daylilies will they bloom?
A clump of daylilies can be moved early in the spring and will still bloom that year almost as if nothing had happened.

 
 

When do I plant?
Transplant daylilies any time of the growing season. Many people choose to transplant during the spring or early fall, allowing the plants ample time to establish themselves before the next blooming season. Daylilies are able to withstand being divided during the heat of summer.

What do I do if I can't get my bare root plants in the ground right away?
If you have just received them, unpack them and air them out immediately. Store plants in a cool and moist location, but not soaking. It is possible to store them out of the ground for up to two weeks, but bloom for that season may be lost.

I don't have a permanent garden plan designed. Can I temporarily plant daylilies and then move them?
Yes, daylilies can be moved at any time during the growing season. Consider planting them at the edge of your vegetable garden for a season or two. The extra fertilizer and water will help them quickly attain larger clump size. Move the clump intact later to a less optimum site and it will be ready to perform.

How much sun does a daylily need?
The amount of sun is proportional to the amount of bloom. In other words, the more sun the more blooms; but daylilies will grow in any light condition. When choosing a location for them, consider how much of the day they would have direct sunlight. The midday and early afternoon sun is the strongest, but morning sun is usually adequate for a good show.

What kind of soil is best for daylilies?
Almost any soil will grow daylilies, but the better the soil the better the performance. Soil should be friable and humus rich with a balanced pH. Use compost for ammendments and fertilize occasionally.

How deep do they need to be?
Plant about 6-8" deep, depending on the root mass. Once the hole is prepared, place the daylily upright, without cramming it into the space. Loosley push soil over the roots until the hole is nearly full. Press the soil down around the roots, without covering the green of the crown. Leave a slight depression, or water reservoir, around the plant, about 1/2" deep.

Do daylilies need to be watered?
Dr. Darrow used to say that water is the best fertilizer for daylilies. While, you can't beat compost for nutrient and soil value, consider giving daylilies water on a regular basis to enhance their growth. Except in extreme soggy situations, extra water means more blooms and a longer season of bloom.


 How to divide Daylilies

 

I have some old daylilies that need dividing. How do I do it?
The easiest way we've found is to dig up the clump, shake off a the soil, lay the clump on its side and gently pry off pieces using a weeding fork.

Remember, daylilies are not just a purchase, they are an investment. Extremely long-lived, you can count on them growing and increasing for decades to come.


 

Planning a season of blooms
Would you like to spread your blooming season out even longer? Plant in the warmer areas on your property, along south sides of buildings. Daylilies in these areas will bloom earlier, gaining an extra mini season. To achieve a season of blooms, choose daylilies that begin to bloom about 2 weeks apart, from early June, mid June, late June, early July and so on.

Foliage
The color, width and curve of a plant's foliage will define and enhance a garden's look. The light green strap-like leaves of H. minor bow gracefully, honoring the sweet faces of Johnny Jump Ups.

Flower shapes
Daylily flowers come in many shapes: round, star shaped, spider-like, flat, fluted, trumpet, recurved, and more. Try an interesting shape as a focal point in a garden bed.

Container plantings
For gardens of limited size,try planting mini and dwarf daylilies in containers. Make sure they have drainage holes, and can adequately keep in the moisture. Your favorite piece of pottery could become a home for a tiny garden. Line it with a plastic nursery pot, add a little compost to the potting soil for nutrients, top off with bark or coco mulch, and don't forget to water!

Marginal sites
Do you have a marginal site, very dry, very wet, lots of ice and snow from the roof or sand and salt from the road? Daylilies are very salt tolerant

Daylilies are one of the few plants that just might do well in those adverse conditions.


 

About Mulching:
Besides helping to keep weeds in check, mulch aids in soil moisture retention. We mulch with a composted-manure mixture layer, and then add a top layer of hay. The compost acts as a fertilizing soil ammendment, working its way down to the roots of the plants.

  • avoid peat moss, it acts as a water shedding mat.
  • grass clippings, hay and straw are good mulches and are widely available. Ideally, seed-free straw should be used.
  • coco mulch and shredded bark are decorative, but will not easily break down , and so are less beneficial to the soil. These mulches are better for permanent plantings.
  • be sure not to bury the crowns of the plants with mulch. Leave a 2-3" depression around the base of each plant for breathing room.
  • mulch as needed, anytime during the growing season.
  • a thick layer of mulch will help deter weed growth, but it won't stop it, so don't forget to weed.

 

Benefits of Hand Weeding
'Time consuming' and 'tiresome' are words often used to describe handweeding. But far better than chemical herbicide weed killers, hand weeding directly leads to improved health of your garden. By churning in the organic matter decaying at the top layer, nutrients are added to the soil. By removing the 'weeds' by hand, wildflowers and legumes can be selectively left to enhance the beauty and health of the soil. Its good excercise too!

Grouping
Plant in groups of three or more for the best effect. Combine reds with lemon yellow. Its dynamite!

Deer
Deer generally don't eat daylilies, unless they're desperate. Sometimes, they will eat the buds, but not the leaves. In fact, there are very few pests that do bother daylilies! People often ask us how we keep the deer out of our fields. It's easy with our four Border Collies. They have learned to keep the deer away, go around the garden beds and, especially, play with the visitors.

Cut flowers
Plant a long stem cutting garden of annual flowers around a circle of tall daylilies. If the daylilies are left uncut, they will provide the backdrop of full color, enabling you to cut the annuals regularly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Tetraploid vs Diploid
Many people think that Tetraploid (Wikipedia) daylilies are better than diploids. However , tets frequently lack the natural wild charm that the thinner scapes and finer foliage dips have. Think of tets as more of a sculpture or centerpiece, to stand out ,while dips blend and complement.

Join the American Hemerocallis Society, write to
Pat Mercer P.O. Box 10 Dexter, Georgia 31019

$25.00 per year, including 4 quarterly Journals

 

 
 

 June at Olallie Daylily Garden is Iris Time

This year there will not be a specific iris sale weekend. Changes in the seasons (climate change?) has made a peak iris bloom unpredictable.
Additionally we are short on a number of Iris but have small numbers of quite a number of unusual Siberians. Check our facebook page for some of the newer varieties and keep checking for notification of any Iris sales.

 

 

 

June is Iris time! June is Iris time!


Here Jasper digs a typical saleable piece for a customer.

Early June is a great time to visit Olallie Daylily Gardens. The Siberian Iris is in full bloom and most of our early daylilies are out too. An excellent time to transplant, people often pick up an iris or two and some daylilies for later in the season.
Super Ego
Jne is Iris time!
Jacob bags up some freshly dug iris for a customer.
An hour later these iris will be blooming away
at their new home.
JUne is Iris time!
The contrasting shades of blue and purple
in Siberian Iris blend beautifully together


Peak Season at Olallie Daylily Gardens
Peak season, typically from mid July through mid August is a magical time. Tens of thousands of blooms appear each day. It is worth the trip to see the diverse spectrum of daylily cultivars, colors and types. There is plenty of room to stroll the gardens and plenty of seats to sit and enjoy the view. Many people plan an afternoon and bring a lunch.
Jasper clump 1Peak season at Olallie Daylily Gardens

Jacob carries a bucket of daylilies to
a customer waiting at the Garden House
during peak season at our farm.

Mixed Hems
Jasper carries an armload of freshly dug daylilies, to waiting customers.

On the right Chicago Ruby blazes in mid July.

Chicago Ruby
   

Defining early bloom times in daylilies

Stella D'Oro blooming in June


Many consider Stella D'Oro to be the marker for the beginning of the early daylily season. Here in Vermont Stella D'Oro begins blooming some time during the third week of June. We consider any daylily that begins blooming before Stella D'Oro an extra early bloomer. Daylilies that begin bloom around the same time as Stella D'Oro are considered early bloomers

Early and Extra early blooming daylilies are limited in type and color

Particularly extra early bloomers. The vast majority of daylily cultivars bloom in mid July through mid August here in Vermont. Of the daylilies that bloom around the same time as Stella D'Oro or before, there was little variation in color, form or habit. The colors are mostly yellow and gold shades with a trumpet form.

Uses of early blooming daylilies

Early blooming daylilies and Extra Early bloomers can add a whole new dimension to the garden. Daylilies are excellent for forming a flower backbone or base from which to work around. Use them as you would a bulb; rely on them for consistent late spring bloom. Extremely hardy plants, they are not eaten by rodents and are very adaptable. The varied hues of yellow in the early daylilies contrast nicely with the blues, purples and whites of Siberian Iris, Campanulas , Tradescantia, and Centaureas which also bloom in June.


Hybridizing Parents

Daylilies that have been used in our early bloom breeding program here in Vermont include, VT 'Early Bird', H. dumortieri, H. middendorfii hybrids and several other cultivars. VT 'Early Bird' is useful for it's pigmentation and has helped to develop dark shaded early bloomers. The species add pigmentation to the scapes as well as extra early bloom. We have found that there is quite a bit of variation on when a daylily will bloom in the spring. Besides snowmelt; temperature, and frost can all play a factor. There have been years in which VT 'Early Bird' has bloomed as early as late May but typically VT 'Early Bird' blooms in early to mid June. H. dumortieri is consistently one of our first daylilies to bloom regardless of conditions. We have also used Olallie Lad because of its long bloom season (up to 6 weeks) and prolific increase .


H. mid red bract

H. dumortierii

VT Early Bird


 

Early Daylilies at Olallie Daylily Gardens

What we are doing at Olallie is vastly increasing the selection of early types. We are growing;
Colors: Yellows from butter to pale lemon yellow, Additionally recognizing the lack of other colors, we are working on reds and a variety of eyezone types.
Forms: Trumpet to star shaped to spidery.
Sizes: From 4" pony size to giant 6" blooms (rare in early bloomers).
Height: Scapes up to 38" with others at 18" are held just above the foliage.

As with many of the cultivars we are hybridizing, we like the simple clean lines of the species-like forms making the earlies we are developing easy to fit into a garden planting without looking too formal.

Another characteristic that has appeared on some of our early cultivars is dark reddish scapes and buds. This characteristic adds to the decorative feature of these cultivars. Even before the flowers open the red buds are like a garnet amongst the green.
Check out our webpage featuring pigmented scape daylilies we are developing

EB-40-9-01

UP-14-7-03

Eastern Sunburst

EB-38-9-01

 

 

Early Flat form Yellow

Early Red type


Early Orange with Eyezone


Early Red II

 

 

A Three Generation Daylily Farm, Organically Growing Hardy Daylilies, Located in the Foothills of Vermont's Green Mountains.

 

 


 

 

 Species, by Color, by Height,  by Bloom time, by Flower size

                       Olallie Cultivars, Name A Daylily, Oddities


 We are growers of hardy field grown plants. We ship weekly (in season) throughout the US. we have shipped internationally too.

 Daylily Species

One of our specialties is species and species-like hybrids. We feel these are largely over-looked and valuable additions to any garden.

The daylily species have survived for millennia. They will grow in your garden!!

 . 

A mass of Hemerocallis citrina is a sight to behold! As a nocturnal bloomer, it blooms into the evening making a spectacular show in the evening. It's flowers glowing in the fading light.


 

 We Offer A Complete Palette of Daylily Choices: Unique, Special and Choice!

 

With decades of hybridizing and collecting, we have one of the most unusual and unique collection in the world.

 


 

 Name A Daylily: You pick the name, we do the rest!

Naming a daylily is a great gift for friends, family or even yourself.

We are constantly developing new daylilies and are happy to offer the opportunity for others to provide a name for them, as they all start out with only a number. Each daylily is unique with no other like it in the world. These daylilies were developed here in Vermont.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Who We Are (Farm history)      

We are daylily growers and breeders, working to develop hardy long lived cultivars that thrive in Zones 4 and warmer.

 

 .    .      
As growers of over 2500 cultivars of daylilies with new varieties developed every year. We select our plants based not only on color but also hardiness, vigor, performance and other attributes.


A Day in the Country
The daylily bloom season runs from June through September. Peak Season is in July-August with tens of thousands of blooms.

  

During peak season we are open 7 days a week!
If you are coming and want to pick up a large order, please call in advance, so we can have it ready when you get here. There are many other daylilies to see which are not available through the catalog.

 

This map should help guide you through the winding Vermont roads.



We also maintain over four hundred high bush blueberries. Pick your own from mid July through August. They're organic and delicious. Visitors are welcome to stroll the fields, pick blueberries, and explore. 

The main six-acre field brims with daylilies and other perennials and annuals. Grass paths meander through the beds of flowers. Bring a picnic, there are picnic tables and benches and tables with market umbrellas for your use. 

We plant, grow, dig and pack our daylilies by hand so you get fresh, hardy, quality plants shipped the same day they were dug.

If you're coming to see for yourself, we'll dig them while you wait (even in the rain)!Planting instructions are sent to help with planting and care.

You get the individual attention of a small family farm, combined with 40+ years of experience growing daylilies.

 

Daylilies live virtually forever, so by selecting daylilies from Olallie Daylily Gardens you get plants that are not only unusual and hardy but an excellent investment!



 Buy From Us Because     


 
 Our plants are field grown in organic compost-enriched soils. 

Our daylilies are proven hardy in our rugged cold climate, with no protective mulch and no chemical sprays. We give them only water, natural fertilizers, and hand weeding. 


Planting instructions are sent for easy care and cultivation.
 
 

More About Daylilies:
If you want to learn more about gardening with daylilies, the early development of daylily hybrids, joining the daylily society, the origins of daylilies in the wild, or early uses of the daylily, we have that information available for you.