By REBECCA HAZEN
The annual Wasawillow Farm daylily sale will be this weekend, June 12-13.
The farm will be open for the sale from noon to 6 p.m., each day. Wasawillow Farm is located at 751 Creek Road, Wildwood. A bag of plants, guaranteed to be more than two fans (a fan is a single daylily plant), will be $10.
Jane Dixon is the grower of the daylilies and in charge of the daylily sale.
“I started about 20 years ago. I met a lady who became my friend, Corine Murphy. She became my mentor. I went by her house and saw her daylilies and never stopped going back,” Dixon said. “I had a wonderful daylily friendship with her. She passed away about two or three years ago.”
Friends would keep asking Dixon if they could have some of her daylilies. Jane would set up appointments with them and sell the daylilies.
Dixon started selling about five years after she started planting them, because it takes a few years for the plants to start multiplying.
“It is a lifetime commitment. It is not just stick them in the ground and watch them,” Dixon said. “I count on them multiplying. I have never been disappointed in a plant. When I bought from Corine Murphy, I started with just two fans.”
About three years ago, with encouragement from Ollie Johnston, whom Dixon considers to be a granddaughter, Dixon decided to open Wasawillow Farm up to guests and have a full daylily sale.
“Ollie, we call her the brander of Wasawillow Farm. She is young and young people like to do things very particular. She is so precise about how she does things,” Dixon said.
The first daylily sale was held in 2019. Even with the pandemic, Dixon said that about 500 people came to the sale in 2020.
“We have learned some things over time,” Dixon said about the sale.
This year, customers at the sale will be given a stack of colored flags. The customer will stick the flags in the ground at the plants they want. There will be diggers to dig the plant up and baggers to put the plants in a sack.
According to Dixon, there is a large plot of daylilies in rows, that customers can walk in-between. The daylilies come in different colors, shapes, heights and sizes.
Dixon says to use fertilizer and mulch. Mulch helps to keep the weeds away. Daylilies do best in the sun.
“If you plant them well, and softly, where the roots can move, they don’t need that much water,” Dixon said. “They should use an inground water system if they can. You don’t want to just pour water on something and saturate it because it rots the roots.”
Customers are also encouraged to stop at the Wasawillow Farm food stand, where they can purchase eggs, greens and microgreens. Payment is either by Venmo or depositing money in a box. Customers are also welcome to see the farm animals.
Dixon has had garden clubs and Sunday school classes come to see her daylilies, and she is also the president of the Tennessee Valley Daylily Society.
“We have exchanges and auctions. We can obtain new beautiful daylilies at club price. I have attended regional and national conferences. You get an opportunity to see and buy the new daylilies,” Dixon said. “We have perfected the hybridization of lilies. They have got it down to a science. We have so many varieties now.”
Dixon says that one of her favorite things about the sale is that it brings in out-of-county visitors.
“I’ve had people show up from Cleveland, Dalton. It brings people to Trenton. They ask, ‘Where can we get something to eat?’ I tell them about Thatchers, Corner Coffee, Canyon Grill. I tell them to go to Cloudland Canyon. That is one thing that I really like,” Dixon said.
Dixon continued, “People are happy when they get their daylilies. I have people call me and write me letters. I make friends that way. I get to support Dade County. I feel like I can be an ambassador for the county and for my beautiful flowers.”