Explore daylilies beyond the gate

by Ally Reynolds

From her mother’s encouragement to plant a bed of her own, Dixie Lee grew an intense curiosity towards the life of a daylily. Beginning in the 1980s, Lee learned from her mother’s guidance and continued to develop her knowledge on daylilies into her adulthood. With strong motivation and heightened interest, Lee decided to transform a bed of daylilies into an entire farm.

“My mom is the one that got me started in daylilies. She was really into it. When I came home from work back in the 80s, my mom had a man out with a plow, and she said that she was going to start a daylily bed for me. It was something we enjoyed and could do together,” said Dixie Lee. “Our motivation to start the daylily farm was to understand them. It’s sort of addicting quite frankly. A lot of people just think daylilies are just the orange ditch lilies that you just pass by, but there’s a lot to them.”

After Lee worked for 30 years in public education, 28 of them in Fayette County, and then retired as a literacy consultant, she was determined to use her passion for daylilies as something even more: a business. 

“I am not one to just sit down, so when I retired, I was like okay, ‘What do I like to do?’ Daylilies. I then ordered 200 daylilies, alphabetized on the front porch, called my children and my grandchildren, and I said ‘I need help. We are planting daylilies,’” said Lee “These are hybrid plants registered with the American Hemerocallis Society (AHS) of America. A buyer chooses from what is booming, since every day is different. They have a list and I have my price list of those for sale, then we go from there. The best time to plant is in March or September.” 

Not only does Lee use the farm for a business, but she also encourages visitors to utilize the flowers’ beauty for more than a purchase. Dixie Lee shares her passion for daylilies with engaging tours. During the tour, visitors will be provided with intriguing information while walking through the rows of beautiful daylilies. 

“I have had quite a few people come through – two garden clubs, a church group, people have used them for backdrops in photographs,” said Lee. “I have a personal relationship with these daylilies. They just make me feel good, and they make people who come here feel good. Some just sit under the tree and gaze at the daylilies. After its calming factor, they then feel better and leave.”

You can reach Dixie Lee at 678-590-2224 for more information on booking appointments for tours, purchases, and more.

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