Dan Armit was cradling pots of “Heartstrings” and “Tiny Comfort” flowers in his arms as he waved another prospective purchaser ahead of him in the line-up for the cashier at Erikson’s Daylily garden in Langley’s North Otter neighbourhood.
Armit was waiting for his partner, Arendina Hulstra, to return with another purchase.
“We just moved,” Armit explained.
They were there because their new home in Brookswood needed a gardening upgrade.
“Our backyard is overgrown.”
They were among hundreds of people who walked through the lush gardens in the front and back yard of the Erikson’s one-acre property in Langley Township Saturday and Sunday.
It was the 18th annual open house event and charitable fundraiser by Erikson’s Daylily Gardens and Perennials at 24642 51 Ave.
This year, donations reached an all-time high, just over $3,200, Pam Erikson estimated, a few hundred dollars more than the previous record.
“It was a fabulous weekend,” Erikson enthused.
“We could not have asked for better weather. It was warm and cloudy, which is perfect. If I could order warm and cloudy every year, I would.”
Last year, it was so hot, it kept people away, Erikson believed.
There were many new visitors who told Erikson they would be coming back, she related.
And there were regulars, like rural South Langley residents Darlene Poitras and Margaret Creech, who have have been coming to the open house for years, drawn by the wide variety of plants.
“For me, it’s the selection,” Poitras told the Langley Advance Times.
“One day I’ll have one of everything,” Creech laughed.
Charities that benefited this year were BC Children’s Hospital, Surrey Cat Coalition and the Aldergrove Starfish BackPack program, which helps feed underprivileged kids in local schools.
Pam and Tom Erikson started their garden in 1987 on a site with less-than-ideal growing conditions.
The garden now features more than 3,000 varieties of daylilies and more than 650 varieties of hosta flowers, and has been certified by both the American Hemerocallis Society and the Canadian Hemerocallis Society as a national display garden.
Entertainment was be provided by harpist Judy Henry, who will play from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.
A temporary café offered coffee, homemade treats, and jams.
Admission was by donation.
This year, there were signs announcing changes will be coming to the garden.
“It’s a secret,” Erikson laughed, when asked for details.
“You’ll have to come to the open house next year to see.”
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