Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You pick 'em, we dig 'em

Daylily lovers in the Lumberton area will no doubt be pleased to hear that Bubba and Judy Abate have opened a new business, Landscaping With Lilies. Monday was their first day to be open to the public. I dropped by last weekend to check out their place and found a peaceful setting to shop for lilies and other perennials.

The Abates have 3 1/2 acres, most of it landscaped and filled with flower beds, a garden shed and shade trees that make walking through looking for just the right daylilies a pleasure. They have 200 cultivars beginning at $5. A few specialty lilies run up to $40, but they are the exception. If you want to take home one whose pedigree has been lost, you can pick it up for $4. They also have a small selection of perennials - they're waiting to see if there is much demand for them, Judy said, before stocking up. They have salvia, society garlic, agapanthus and Stokesia daisies.

The cool thing about the Abates' place is you find the flowers you want, and they dig them up, putting them in a plastic bag for you to take home. I'd suggest picking out your spot in the yard or bed and preparing it before you go - but you can always stick it in a pot until you decide.

The retired couple, who said they "just needed something constructive to do with their expendable income," haven't hybridized any lilies yet, but plan to.

Go by and say, "Hey."

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