It was the “best blooming” open house ever at the Erikson Daylily Garden this weekend.
In the fundraising event’s 16 year history, never has the weather been this perfect, the attendance been so high, or the blooms so bountiful, said hostess Pam Erikson, who opens up her home-based nursery and her family’s private gardens once a year to the public.
Admission is granted with a donation to the BC Children’s Hospital, and this year the event raised more than $1,600 for the cause, Erikson said.
In addition, the Langley Garden Club held its annual draws for a large series of prizes, and that raised money for a Vancouver kitten rescue.
“The weekend was great – we had approximate 1,000 or so people,” said Erikson, who admitted she was barely moving come Monday.
While it’s hard to beat the beauty of all the blooms this weekend, Erikson said they just keep getting better, day after day.
As a result, she’s keeping the gardens open through Thursday this week, admission continuing by donations to the children’s hospital.
SEE COLLECTION OF PHOTOS IN VIDEO:
“All in all, it was a wonderful weekend,” Erikson added, describing herself as a sucker for punishment as she prepares to host a daylily convention from the U.S. this coming weekend – 50 people for three days.
As for what’s ahead more long-term, Erikson said next year, in part because it will be her son’s 30th birthday, and in part because of the shift in the season, she will be holding the charity open house a week earlier.
“The garden looks more lush the earlier we do it,” she said, of their one-acre rural, park-like garden in North Otter.
And, now that Erikson is working full time on the gardens and her accompanying nursery, she is also considering opening the gardens a few more times a year for special tours.
For instance, next spring she’s going to launch a series of hosta walks (now that she has accumulated and found homes for more than 600 varieties of the shade-loving plant scattered through their yard).
She’s also pondering a Rhodo day, among other events that allow her to share her passion and her garden with the public.
Despite her passion for so many different plants, Erikson said they’re favourite – by far – is still daylilies.
“We [Erikson and her husband Tom] are in love with daylilies, having more than 3,000 varieties, and we want to introduce people to what they are like. And, it just kind of mushroomed out of control from there,” she said, explaining the motivation for starting her garden and ultimately this fundraising event.