Mayslick resident Lori Ulrich wasn’t particularly interested in gardening before 2019, when she stumbled on a small daylily farm and was struck by the plants’ dazzling colors.
“I stopped in there to visit and I was fascinated with the different varieties,” she says.
She bought some that day, wondering skeptically if they’d even survive as she placed them in the ground.
But the next morning, there they were, bright and blooming. “It just impressed me how resilient they are—they’re very hardy plants,” she says.
Ulrich is marketing and public relations manager for Fleming-Mason Energy, where she is also a co-op consumer-member.
As the pandemic took hold in 2020, she dug into her own resiliency, adding more daylilies to her collection and deciding to grow them on a larger scale. In 2021, she added even more, often relying on the personal pull of the plants’ names and colors when making her selections.
A member of the American Daylily Society for two years now, she grows about 125 varieties and hopes to offer a garden tour in 10 to 15 years. She inventories each specimen by the year it was hybridized, who created it, its color and blooming cycle.
Ulrich says she enjoys daylilies’ low maintenance and their clever, apropos names—her favorite is Buttered Popcorn, a variety introduced in 1971.
“It is a huge yellow daylily and the color is so much like buttered popcorn it’s unreal, and it makes you smile,” she says.
Ulrich has about a half-acre daylily plot on her 10-acre property. This season she intends to begin creating a formal daylily field next to her home where people can come purchase plants. She’s also working toward a Master Gardener certification.
“I look forward to this spring because this year I will see the fruits of that labor from last year,” she says. “I get to see all those colors!”