The Evolution of Teardrop Farm
About me and how Teardrop Farm came to be...
The youngest of seven kids I was born out in the hills of southwestern Missouri. We moved to central Kansas when I was 18 months old. At age 12 we moved to a small farming community and purchased 3 acres with a hundred year old home on it. It was there my love for gardening was awaken. My dad who had always grown a vegetable garden now had an acre garden and my mom started attending the local Garden Club. I attended with her just 12 years old. There I fell more in love with gardening and had my first crush on an older woman. One of my mom’s silver haired friends knew and used the Latin names for many of the plants in her garden. She had me from “Hemorocallis” the Latin for daylily. That was 1967.
Through my teenage years I helped my dad in his vegetable garden. Sometimes the last thing a teenager wants to be is with their parents but it was this piece of earth that brought us closest together. I took off to the city to find my fortune but found people just racing from stop light to stop light to get to a parking lot. So needless to say I returned to my roots and the slower pace of Sterling. Here I started a Landscape business after several years of learning the art working for our small local college.
When it happens to us we find out quickly our experience is one repeated over and over. What I am talking about is when one partner passes after almost 60 years of marriage the other can be soon to follow. That was our case and when my mom past back in 1993 less than a year after my dad. All my siblings offered me the opportunity to purchase the farm. I didn’t have to think long before I said yes. At that time my landscaping was in full swing and I started growing produce and had the farm certified organic. My mind was filled with these thoughts along with all the memories and tears of joy and sadness that surround any family when I named this property Teradrop Farm. Looking back it was a great time in my life. I had a soil consultant teaching me about the working of an organic system and the incredible tapestry of beauty and balance of nature. I still hold to what I learned and practiced way back then because of what I have observed in the principles of organic soil husbandry. The old organic saying, “Feed the soil and the soil will feed the plant” is true.
By accident I stumbled onto daylilies. I have planted hundreds of Stella de Oro daylilies into jobs but never knew the great depth of daylilies. It was through a friend of a friend I purchased quite a few lilies. They were leftovers from a regional daylily sale. When I purchased these I was laying the ground work for something to do after retiring. I knew I would never stop digging in the dirt. I thought I would increase them and then start selling at farmers markets. As our friendship grew she asked me if I hybrized and I answered, “What?” She then showed me her seedling bed and from there I went to the deep end of the pool and jumped in! With over thirty years of horticulture under my belt I started purchasing plants. Soon realizing I hadn’t done my due diligence needed before investing in plants. Oh, there are dips and tets, never knew that. Oh there are evergreen, semi-evergreen and dormant, never knew that. It’s good to have a plan and goals for your hybridizing program, never thought about that. My best way of learning, the hard way. All those early mistakes turned into a foundation for growing from and building upon. Still a long way from an expert I do have a direction for my program and do understand so many more of the terms and expectation of a good flower. I have joined the local and national Hemorocallis societies and read the journals cover to cover. Gardeners are great people!
I am so blessed. With great parents, wonderful siblings and the best of friends!