HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Back in 1984, when I first came to live in Maleny, sadly I was forced to retire from teaching due to serious eyesight problems. So I decided to take a trip to the USA, something I had wanted to do for many years. I wanted to see the newest daylilies in the nurseries there, and not just rely on photos in the catalogues. I was looking forward to meeting the breeders and observing their breeding programs. Whilst there I visited many gardens and discovered the passion of the amazing daylily collectors spread across that huge country.
On my return home, I planted the new daylilies I purchased in amongst the beds of the cottage gardens I had created around the house. Inspired by the sights I had seen in America, I decided to start my own nursery. Soon we began to open for visitors on the weekends, and I started advertising in the 'Your Garden' magazine.
It wasn't long before we outgrew the size of the gardens, so I bought a larger property at Policeman's Spur Road and we moved the business there in October 1988. I designed the layout of the new Mountain View Daylily Gardens, one and a half of acres of beautiful cottage gardens surrounding my home, with 1000's of daylilies dominating the colour scheme.
The gardens grew quickly in the mild climate and exceptionally fertile soil, and so too did the business before long we were very busy accommodating 1000's of visitors a year. Ultimately, keeping the gardens open consumed all my waking hours and left me no spare time for the daylily hybridising that had also become a passion. I made the decision that we would no longer be open to the public, and with the need for much more space to continue the expansion of my business I relocated to a nearby farm during 1998-99 and changed the name to Mountain View Daylily Nursery.
BACK TO THE FUTURE Since that time I've seen the nursery grow and grow, and at one stage we had 6 acres of daylilies under cultivation in the paddocks. We have seen both good years and bad, profits and losses, sunshine and rain, global financial crisis and recessions, drought and terrible storms, and each time we have ridden out the storms and continued to operate.
I've had some interesting characters work for me over the years too! During the last 10 years I have been lucky enough to have 2 important people work for me on a long term basis Jenny, who manages all aspects of administration of my business, and Joel who steadfastly manages the farm and tends to all areas of cultivating my daylilies.
Without their help I would not have been able to keep the business in operation, due to my recent ill health. Now we are moving into a new phase with the business, as I am stepping backwards into retirement and will no longer be actively involved in the day to day running of the business.
After a 30 year love affair with daylilies - some would call it an obsession! I plan to make time for my other passions, such as photography and travel, and to cultivate new friendships instead of new daylilies! I will still be in touch with Jenny and Joel on a consultative basis, but as they are fully experienced in managing the nursery I will leave it to them to very capably run the business for me. As such, we are changing the way the business will function and will no longer be running an office at the farm.
We aim to be a paperless office instead! This means that we will no longer be taking phone enquiries, so we will be asking all our clients to contact us by email wherever possible, or by post. During this transition phase, may I request that you limit your emails to order enquiries only. I would prefer not to receive other enquiries regarding general daylily information as there are plenty of resources already available on the internet.
You only have to type a question in on Google and instantly you will have 100's of answers at your fingertips it's like magic! How did we ever manage without the internet?internet.
The love of gardening and a neighbourly gesture thirty-eight years ago introduced teacher Scott Alexander to the intriguing world of daylilies. From creating a nursery, surviving the global financial crisis, and supplying thousands of edible buds to a famous restaurateur, Gay Liddington went to hear the story.
by Gay Liddington