Home & Garden

Your garden: Mulch and fertilizer are a must

Linda and Doug Donald's daylily garden is situated on a sloping side yard. There are more than 300 daylily varieties, with varying bloom times.
Linda and Doug Donald's daylily garden is situated on a sloping side yard. There are more than 300 daylily varieties, with varying bloom times.

As you turn left onto Tanbark Road from Shagbark Lane in Lexington, you are met, on the right side, with a vision of color from early May through August.

The gardens of Linda and Doug Donald are situated on the sloping left side yard of the half-acre lot and are visible from the street. More than 300 varieties of daylilies grace the garden with their various bloom times.

The garden is one of more than 330 American Hemerocallis Society Display Gardens in the United States and parts of Canada. Linda Donald started the garden after the house was built in 1989, and it has been a work in progress ever since. For several years, she had a vegetable garden with various perennials, but about 1999, she got the daylily bug and converted it to a bed for the daylilies.

Iris, coral bell, tall purple phlox (brought from Doug Donald's home on Long Island) along with several varieties of Asiatic lilies and other assorted perennials and annuals complement various daylilies. Tucked in a corner is a natural-stone waterfall flowing into a fish pond, adding the tranquil sound of flowing water to the gardens.

Gardening tips from Linda Donald:

1. Gardens love mulch. Mulch helps keep the weeds out and moisture in. Preen also can be used for keeping the weeds out. I put Preen down after the mulch, and I water it in.

2. A systemic pesticide and fungicide such as one made by Ortho is used to keep the thrips and leaf streak in check. Start applying in early spring and apply as directed on package.

3. Fertilizer is also a common question by my garden guests. I use 10-10-10 in early spring and then start applying a liquid fertilizer in June. My recipe is 11/2 cups of Peter's Professional plus 1/2 cup Epsom salt in a 1 gallon milk jug. Shake well and fill an Ortho hose sprayer using a 6-ounce setting. Apply every 2 to 3 weeks.

4. You, too, can have a beautiful garden. Any yard can be a beautiful garden. It is just canvas waiting for you to add the color and personality.

5. Gardens are to be shared. When I thin out and move plants in my garden, I always try to find a new home for my plants with a friend, neighbor or non-profit.

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