Living in a bustling city can be tough – and sometimes it’s all too easy for us to forget to stop and smell the flowers. Although for Pam Erikson, founder of Erikson’s Daylily Gardens, this is hardly ever an issue!
When Pam and her husband Tom moved into their new home in the Township of Langley in 1987, they knew they wanted to create a memorable garden. Little did they know that 24 years later, they would be sharing their backyard garden with visitors from all over the city, province and beyond!
As a true green-thumb and lover of gardening, Pam was ready for the challenges that her new property gave her. Not only did the solid ground provide little nutrients for new plants, their home utilized an aquifer system, which would mean very little water for anything other than drinking, cooking or eating in the event of a draught.
After much research, Pam decided to fill her new garden with daylilies, a type of plant that would remain fairly self-sufficient in the event of a draught, and would be able to get by with very little nutrients from their barren ground. Somewhere between the initial research of daylilies and the planting of the first few into her own backyard, it’s safe to say that Pam developed a little bit of an obsession – but who would blame her!
As the years went on, and the garden grew with every new addition of flower or hosta or shrubbery, so did the buzz about the beautiful garden’s that the Erikson’s were creating! In the early 1990’s, they received the Best Large Garden award from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, and press continued from there!
Meanwhile, Pam was busy realizing how limitless the possibilities were regarding daylily color combinations, varieties and shapes – and her obsession began to take on a whole new light! Before she knew it, she was getting her hands dirty and working on creating a few hybrid varieties of her very own. To this day, Pam has created and registered 62 varieties of custom daylilies with 5 more coming out this fall. Their hybrid creations boast great names, some are sentimental based on Erickson family events and some are just plain fun. Pam’s sense of humour shines through in her garden. Crotchless Panties is the name of her most popular hybrid daylily creation. Now that’s a way to get noticed!
For those of us that aren’t sure how exactly a daylily differs from the more common Easter lilies, Pam is happy to explain. In fact, one of her favorite things about the daylily is what also sets them apart from other types of lilies – they bloom everyday. Unlike Easter lilies, that bloom once and remain open for a number of days, or weeks, the daylilies bloom and wilt all within an approximate 24-hour period. But don’t fret! With every bloom that wilts away, and new one opens just in time for morning, leaving you with an ever-changing garden throughout the summer months!
The Erikson Daylily Gardens are a great place to visit even if you aren’t planting-inclined. It’s even a great place for gardeners and non-gardeners to enjoy together, a detailed appreciation for flower blending or all the varieties of hostas are not required to enjoy this beautiful space. In fact, Pam loves talking to gardening newbies and novices alike about the plants that can be found in their garden and in their nursery, and helpful signs can be found throughout the property.
Aside from educational signs, also be on the lookout for informative signs on what’s going on inside the gardens! With things constantly evolving and adapting inside the garden, Pam and Tom like to keep their visitor’s informed with what’s going where. It helps them keep their guests in the loop, and also helps their guests learn more about certain gardening techniques and why they are done (such as dealing with overgrowth, or overworked soil).
One of the neatest things about Erikson’s Daylily Gardens, is that Pam and Tom maintain a small nursery near their driveway that allows visitors to purchase many of the plants seen throughout the garden (although payment is by cash or check only). Pam’s hybrid daylilies can also be purchased for reasonable prices through the nursery as well, but you’ll have to be quick! Many of her loyal visitors put their names on waiting lists when they see something they like in the gardens, so be sure to ask if you see something you would like to take home with you! Who knows, maybe if we all had gardens that changed on a daily basis, maybe it wouldn’t be so hard to take time out to smell the flowers!
Erikson’s Daylily Gardens
24642 51st Avenue, Langley