In Natick, Massachusetts, seventeen miles west of Boston, Joyce Ahlgren Hannaford has created a garden that is a neighborhood landmark. She shares photos of her garden with us, along with the very personal associations her garden has for her, with plants and landscaping features that serve as memories of her friends, family, and past homes.
Tell us a little about the history of your garden. When I moved from my apartment in Boston, I dug up a lot of my plants and I moved them here. A friend of mine moved from Fairfield, Connecticut, to Las Vegas, and she gave me some of her daylily collection. I had never really liked daylilies, but I always thought her garden was beautiful, so I happily agreed to take some.
What I realized was that if you don’t deadhead daylilies every day, they’ve got these slimy, dead, ugly blossoms and that’s why I didn’t like them. So I deadhead every day. I started keeping track of how many heads I take off and that way I know when the peak color is. The peak last year was 775 blooms in one day, which is usually around the second or third week in July.
I took 70 daylilies from my friend, but that was way back. I now have 400 or 500 daylillies. The other perennials number more than 1,000, plus the many annuals that round out the color each summer.