Milton's daylilies are presenting their last blooms today. I have looked at them every morning for the last two weeks. I realized if I didn't take a portrait of them today it would be too late. Thirty years ago, June 28, my husband and I celebrated our honeymoon in New Orleans. As I showed him the city we drove around the lakefront to see one of my childhood homes. Across the street, our neighbors were tending their garden. This was a massive undertaking unto itself. They had also added the grass filled circle at the end of the cul de sac and filled it with daylilies. Milton would go to the new beds and hand pollinate the flowers. Mixing and painting the pollens to achieve an incredible combination of colors.
Years later we moved to Colleyville, Texas, a half hour from Dallas where Milton's daughter and my childhood best friend lived. She arrived one afternoon with a box of daylilies. Her parents had driven up from New Orleans for a visit. Knowing she shared their love of gardening they were bringing her treasure. She was kind enough to share them with us. They grew in front of our house in the baking sun. The colors were amazing.
When we moved from Texas to Florida eleven years ago we had to bring along some of Milton's daylilies. They were our friends.
Every year as a little girl I watched my best friend drive off to visit her grandmother in Florida. They would pack up their station wagon, fill it with girls and aunts and cousins and drive off for weeks at a time. I was always so envious of their adventures and envious of the huge family community. Finally living in Florida I asked where did she go? Must have been Fort Lauderdale or Sanibel or another exotic sounding beach. No, it was Sanford. Sanford. Twenty minutes away. I had a studio in Sanford.
A gardener's soul is filled with patience and optimism. You must wait to see the results from what you plant and you wouldn't plant if you didn't have hope. What man can do when he patiently plays with God's creation. Those are Milton's daylilies.