Since Juneteenth is being celebrated across the country this weekend, I thought now would be an opportune time to highlight the daylily named in its honor. Behold Hemerocallis 'June Teenth,' which has been blooming for the last week in my next door neighbors' yard.
First, a little Civil War refresher for those of you who, like me, were unfortunate enough to have a soccer coach as your 11th grade American History teacher.
The Emancipation Proclamation officially took effect on January 1, 1863. But in reality it was not until June 19, 1865 - one month after the Civil War had ended and two months after Lincoln's assassination - that slavery finally ended in America. That was the day that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas and enforced the emancipation of the country's last remaining slaves. June 19, or "Juneteenth," has been celebrated as a holiday ever since.
"June Teenth" is one of the many (somewhere between 50 and 75) unusual daylily varieties gracing the garden of my next door neighbors, Mark and Cheryl. In total, they have about 100 plants, a few of which are shown on my Guest Gardens page. All came from Holly Hills, the now defunct daylily farm in Moncure, North Carolina. Owned and operated by the famed daylily breeder Dr. Jim Massey, the farm was a pilgrimage site for daylily fanatics, who happily traipsed through acres of lilies in search of that perfect something their neighbors wouldn't have.
Holly Hills closed its doors in 2011, but not before Mark and Cheryl had pretty much cleaned out the place. All their lilies are beautiful, but "June Teenth" seems to be their pride and joy. The name alone would make you want to own it, but everything about it - the color, the huge flowers, the height - is eye-popping. And since Mark and Cheryl's "June Teenth" was one of only ten and is not commercially available, its price-tag was equally eye-popping (I'm not telling). All in all, it's quite a conversation piece.
Meanwhile, over in my yard, I've got a rather pedestrian assortment of daylilies blooming, including that perennial (no pun intended) object of scorn, Stella de Oro. Personally, I think Stella gets a bum rap - is it her fault that she was marketed to death? She's actually quite lovely if you stop sneering long enough to take a good look at her. But she's no "June Teenth."
And as much as I like Stella, and Hyperion, and a bunch of other plain-Jane daylilies, I have to admit that those Holly Hills specimens are pretty spectacular. I wouldn't mind having a few for my garden. The bad news is, Holly Hills is no more. The good news is, Mark and Cheryl have a good portion of the inventory. How lucky for me that they live next door.
I'm planning to be very, very nice to them.
Thanks to Carol at May Dream Gardens for hosting the June 2013 Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.
The Galloping Horse Gardener is a native New Yorker who packed it in in 2005 to live under the radar in Cary, North Carolina. In 2014, she removed to a new secure location somewhere in Raleigh.
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