Party in Front, Shady Calm in Back

June is when daylilies bloom, right? Well, if you’re the President of the Triad Daylily Fans, you have access to all the latest cultivars from hybridizers eager to excite fanciers of Hemerocallis sp.

Lynne Broderius’ driveway border on Bledsoe Road shows off many of the results.

In addition to dozens of unique daylilies, this border also includes a Hearts of Gold Redbud, one of our Guilford Heritage Collection plants – this one discovered and patented by our mutual friend Jon Roethling, Director of Reynolda Gardens. Lynne also enjoys eclectic garden art, here foreshadowing her other hobby as a beekeeper.

I photographed a few of my favorites before ringing the doorbell, noting the labels listing the name of the daylily, the hybridizer, and the year –

‘Pardon Me’ is one of the reddest daylilies, and is among my preferred palette of red/orange/yellow for these flowers. A vigorous cultivar and rebloomer, it has made its way into the trade, unlike most of Lynne’s prized collection.

Here are a few more of my favorites – stay tuned for Lynne’s favorites at the end:

Moving past the colorful flower border, I next spotted a distant but beautiful blue hydrangea and a lovely rose-pink tulip magnolia. I noted that every plant was given the space it needs to be its best. A pair of turquoise pots greeted me on the front porch. This area showcases an Asian theme.

Now with Lynne as my tour guide, we set off counter-clockwise around the house to see what treasures would unfold. The first stop was this ‘Sun King’ Aralia – a shade-lover that takes a little time to get going. But when it does, it really lights up shady areas with its chartreuse foliage.

This cotoneaster was a showstopper, too – such thick branching! She shared that the way to achieve this is through pruning. Left alone, Cotoneaster has arching branches but may appear a bit thin until older. Lynne said this happened by accident at first, but it looks like a happy accident to me. And making mistakes is a part of every gardener’s learning curve (even when our spouses are the ones who err).

We paused briefly near a trellis sporting a coral honeysuckle, and as the back yard unfolded ahead of us Lynne mentioned that she has really worked on getting the “bones” of her shady paradise established first, very methodically resisting the temptation to get lots of plants into the ground too fast before the trees & shrubs could establish their boundaries. The result is a spacious feel even when surrounded by dozens of azaleas, hydrangeas, and specimen trees.

Speaking of specimens, look at this crazy thing – a ‘Monkey Puzzle’ perhaps? That’s Lynne’s recollection. My first instinct was a Cunninghamia or Chinese Fir of some sort, but whatever it is – it’s very cool. New growth was coming out blue at the bottom, then aging to green as it grew.

A more ordinary but nonetheless lovely Balloon Flower is one perennial that has found its spot among the shrub & tree “bones”.


Whimsical, and perfect. 

Hydrangeas this blue don’t generally get that way on their own – a little help from soil acidifier will ensure they stay this shade.

More garden art – my favorites are the first 2 photos – the metal flowers and the array of faces on the fence. But Nessie is pretty cute, too.

Here’s a little pruning tip for Oakleaf Hydrangea – where this one was pruned just past a leaf node, it became very upright as it sought more sun. 

Here I’m attempting to show the elevation of the back yard, which was steeply sloped and called out for terracing. The terraces were put in by another mutual friend, Steve Windham of Root & Branch Gardens. Contact Steve for landscape design and hardscape – especially if you’re into native plants – that’s his passion and specialty.

I spotted another perennial already allowed to enter the boneyard – this sweet little garden phlox, surprisingly blooming in midday shade. Then something Lynne is going to try to make into a unique topiary form – a weeping Deodar Cedar that she plans to affix to a large ring and have it be like a hula hoop form in midair. We’ll have to check back to see how that works out. Finding the material for the form is the first step.

Ah, the tomatoes! We paused here to share this season’s triumphs and tragedies when it comes to the veg garden. Summer is upon us and here come the pests and diseases – so unfair despite our hard work, and requiring much diligence to ward them off at the first sign of trouble.

Now I spotted another daylily garden as we rounded the house back toward the front yard. This one is in the neighbor’s yard, but Lynne tends it – how lucky is she to have such a generous neighbor to lend her a little more space? Metal butterflies danced above the flowers like their live counterparts.

I had to ask – which Daylily is Lynne’s favorite? She insisted on diplomacy since she’s a flower show judge, instead showing me several unique varieties that show the hybridizers’ talents – this one has the white border around the edge of each petal and sepal. 

Doubles, triples, a nearly-green throat, she can obviously appreciate the details while I just merely nod and say “Ooh, ahh, pretty!” 

To learn more about another of Lynne’s projects, check out this Youtube video of the recent “Parisian Promenade Home Edition” – normally held in June at Tanger Bicentennial Garden, this year’s event was instead held online in 4 30-minute videos due to Covid-19 concerns. Lynne curates the Lillian Livingston Daylily Garden within the Bicentennial Garden, and in this video, she explains the collection so that we can all appreciate it more fully on our next walk through the garden. Greensboro’s 4 magnificent public gardens are funded by a joint venture between the City of Greensboro’s Parks & Recreation department and Greensboro Beautiful, Inc. (GBI, website here). GBI cultivates volunteer curators that each specialize in one of the collections. To donate your time or money, click on the website to learn more.

Thanks, Lynne for all that you do for GBI, and congratulations on your showcased Yard of the Month!


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