Daylily Daze

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Radcliff gardener knows his Hemerocallis

By John Howard



RADCLIFF — Every garden has its own world, its own language and color. But Martin Glickman’s garden in Radcliff has a special affection and personal feel that a gardener makes with no one looking over his shoulder and only his private heart and eye as a guide.

Glickman’s garden features a kaleidoscope of over 250 daylilies of brilliant ribbons of color that the Crayola Crayon Company hasn’t thought of yet. Colors that will make you ooh and ahh. Stunning deep reds, deep robes of purple, soft ocean coral, pastel parasol pinks, coves of cranberry and glowing galaxies of gold.

This is not your grandmother’s plain yellow daylily or the orange “ditch” lily; Glickman’s selections are among the best the Hemerocallis genus has to offer.

Glickman likes large daylilies with big bold blooms that stretch to more than 6 inches across —some as many as 8 inches — and display heavy ruffling around the sepals and edgings. His collection stems from growers in Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and other states. Stimile, Hanson, Phelps, Rice, Kirchoff and Smith —  a veritable Who’s Who among daylily aficionados — grace the tags beneath each plant along with the year and name of the daylily.

The names — some whimsical like Kisses Like Wine, Crazy Ivan, Ashton’s Giggles and Jumbo Shrimp, and some heavenly such as Heaven’s Artwork, the stunning brilliant red, It Is Finished and Angel’s Watching — all have their unique colors and places in the garden.

Glickman’s daylily collection began in 1988 while he was establishing an impressive hosta collection that still graces his garden. Frustrated by the fact that many hostas had begun to look the same, Glickman turned to the ever-elusive ever-evolving daylily.

“There are so many combinations the modern hybridizers are coming up with,” Glickman said. He admits he still would like to see a “bright red daylily with gold edging, and there is perhaps a true blue daylily in the making."

Until then he will wait and stand back to admire the next daylily to bloom and the next, and the next.   John W. Howard is a trained master gardener, Kentucky certified nurseryman and published poet. He gardens in eastern Hardin County and enjoys a variety of plants such as Japanese Maples, dwarf conifers and daylilies.