Frankye Crawford has quite a story to tell on how she came to acquire the more than 700 registered varieties of daylilies she and her husband grow in their Jacelo Daylily Garden in Appling.
"We started in 1990 with some seedlings that my sister brought to me from a hybridizer where she lives in Camden, S.C.," said Mrs. Crawford.
Three years later, she and her husband, Aubrey, joined the Daylily Society of Greater Augusta and bought six lilies from now-deceased member J.W. Johnson. The couple eventually started touring area daylily gardens with Mrs. Crawford's cousin acquiring even more of the proliferating plant.
"All I had ever seen were the ditch lilies, as we called them," said Mrs. Crawford. "So, we started with those first. Now, I have the minis, smalls, large, extra large, spiders, unusual forms and doubles."
The Crawfords joined the American Hemerocallis Society and started receiving many catalogs, from which they purchased some of the more unusual and rare daylily varieties.
"When we started getting too many daylilies, we started selling them," she said. "And, we also began entering shows."
Today, the Crawfords enter daylily shows in Thomson and Augusta, and also judge about three shows each year. The first show the couple entered was in 1996 and their first appearance as judges was in 1998.
The Crawfords placed many of their lilies in a recent daylily show at Doctors Hospital and opened their home as part of the Daylily Society of Greater Augusta's annual garden tour. Jacelo Garden, named after the Crawford's grandchildren -- Jason, Celia and Loren -- features more than 700 registered varieties of daylilies. Mr. Crawford has another 20,000 seedlings that he is hybridizing, according to his wife.
"My favorite is the unusual form," said Mrs. Crawford. "I didn't used to like those, but now I do. Aubrey's favorite is the spider."
The Crawfords, along with others open for today's daylily garden tour, are a wealth of information on lilies.
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