The Bud 'n Bloom Garden Club recently traveled to the Nass's Day Lily Nursery in Westfield. Janet and Howard Nass have been growing, propagating and selling day lilies for 20 years. The Nass couple are surrounded by nature. Besides the gardens, their property has a large pond which is visited regularly by birds such as hawks, ducks and owls. At times raccoons, deer, chipmunks, and bears visit.
Lime green and burgundy coleus plants tucked into a large planter greeted the gardeners on the steps of the home. Three large sunflowers on a white pedestal smiled a huge welcome to the ladies. Red, white and orange gladioli were displayed in tall vases throughout the sitting area.
The club chuckled when Janet said," Martha Stewart does not live here. You might find a speck of dust."
Nass’s Day Lily Farm in Westfield
About 60 wooden duck replicas were perched up on a wooden shelf that circled the large room. In addition about 30 hand-carved and painted wooden ducks such as cardinals, hummingbirds, golden finches and woodpeckers floated on strings around the room. These had all been carved by Howard Nass over the years.
Janet served cream cheese mixed with roasted almonds and crystallized ginger spread on Day Lily petals.
The Nass couple took turns presenting a very interesting, educational slide show that they had prepared about the different parts and kinds of day lilies. They have registered 60 varieties that they have hybridized.
There are all colors, sizes, shapes, heights, and times to bloom of the lilies. Examples were shown of many unusual forms. Many are bitones which mean they are the same color all over the blossom, but in different shades of that color. The bicolored were favored by many members because these plants have several different colors on the same blossom. Some plants have one bloom on a stem while others have up to 12 blooms.
The members received directions about how to hybridize new varieties and also how to properly plant lilies. Spring and early fall are recommended times.
Howard Nass then gave the group a tour of his extensive beds of lilies. He had planted five long rows with as many as eight raised bed sections in each row. Many lilies were still in bloom. Allie's Sunset costs $6 while Lady Bandit sells for $25 and a two-colored Violet Etching sells for $50.00. There is a color to fit every taste and a price to fit every pocket book. The group planned to return on the week-end when Nass hires young men to dig up the favorite purchases by customers.
Later the Garden Club members car-pooled to the Portland home of Penny Deakin. Her huge, well-established late summer garden was abundantly full of many types of flowers including pink cone flowers, white phlox, purple Russian sage, fuchsia cosmos and lilac mums. Large pots of white impatiens and wax begonias graced the pathways and bright red-orange begonias hung from pots on the front porch. A wooden fence, tall pergolas and rebar tripods held mature roses, trumpet vine and wisteria. Benches, bubbling fountains and stone work added to the tranquility of the garden.
The guests joined hostess Deakin and co-hostess Judy Kawski on the huge stone patio at the back of the ranch home. A sturdy, large wooden arbor covered with wisteria and rose bushes and intermingled with clear circle lights covered the shady patio. Here assorted cheeses, crackers and chilled wines and sodas were served as the guests visited.
A gourmet dinner of homemade turkey tetrazzini, fresh out-of-the-oven dinner rolls and fresh peach cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream was served by the hostesses.
A brief meeting was conducted by President Sue Drag. It was decided that the 2014 annual plant sale to benefit Literacy Volunteers will be held on May 18 and May 19 next year. Succulent plant and miniature container workshops will be offered. Audrey Parker and Judy Wilcox made fresh floral arrangements for the Historical Society's recent Dunkirk House Tour.
Kawski shared a large selection of home-grown vegetables from her garden with the group.
The next meeting will be a tour of two Japanese gardens in Dunkirk.