9.09.2009

What I Saw This Summer, Part 6: An Alfresco "Studio"

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The view at Slate Hill Farm in Salem, New York

Sometimes the palette is achieved with pollen. That's the case at Slate Hill Farm, a daylily farm run by Mary and Craig Barnes in Salem, New York, where hybrids come in a beautiful range of hues and configurations, some even resembling orchids. Salem is not far from from Battenville. In fact, I visited with my Battenville hosts Gerald Coble and Bob Nunnelley.
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I'm old friends with Mary Barnes, who commutes between Manhattan and here. (We've known each other from when we were neighbors in Shushan, a hamlet of the village of Salem. Now we find out we're neighbors in Chelsea. Life--so interesting.) Anyway, Mary and her husband Craig, a painter, have taken the roadside daylily and created a business. You can see specifics on their Slate Hill Farm website, so here I'll just show you a few pics:
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The daylily is so named because the flower blooms for one day only. Because there are many buds on each stalk, and many stalks in each plant, the plants are in constant bloom

 

.Above: This daylily is a Barnes hybrid called the Edythe Donovan. Edy was a good friend of Mary's and a friend of mine. She lived a too-short life but a full and productive one. This delicate flower remembers a force of nature who could knit, smoke, converse in German, do a crossword puzzle in English, eat, stoke the fire, and hit you with a bon mot, wisecrack, insult or compliment all at once
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Mary Barnes, taking a break from the field; Craig Barnes in the field (this image from the Internet)
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Below: Mary shows how she pollinates the lilies by hand--pistil to stamen (or vice versa, I forget). But the point is that all flowers are propagated by hand
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.Next "What I Saw" installment: Montreal

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