The Lily Doctor

Somewhere along every commuting route, there’s a place you drive past every single day.  Every single day you say to yourself “Someday, I’m going to stop there.”  But, you never do.  Such was the case with my neighborhood Lily Farm. For two and a half years, I’ve driven past, walked past and ridden my bike past the Lily Farm.

In June, the place is a carnival of colors.  Every now and then, I’d see the gate propped open with this sign on it.  But, not knowing the owners, and not seeing anyone out, I hesitated to stop and poke around.  I simply thought to myself “A daylily ADDICT clearly lives there.” (Not that I’m judging. I’m a book addict.)

On Saturday, the Lily guy had a sale, with an actual sign.  He was standing in his yard while I drove to the Farmer’s Market opening day.  On my way home, I stopped.

I’m so glad I did.  With every garden that is anything other than a boring landscape of foundation plantings, there’s usually a story.  While this blog is primarily a photo blog, I’m finding that when I sit down to write, really write, I’m usually writing profiles of interesting gardeners I’ve met here and there. I guess that’s my other niche right now. So, let me introduce you to

The Lily Doctor

MD Rahimi

a.k.a  David

But, because his first two initials are MD, he’ll always be the Lily Doctor to me.

Crazy about Lilies

Plant fanatics are so interesting, especially those devoted to a single genus or species of plants.  I’ve had the fortune to become acquainted with lots of cool Camellia lovers in Wilmington.  While living in Florida, the orchid and bromeliad enthusiasts won me over.  David is no different than the other folks:  he possesses a laser-like focus and devotion to daylilies.  He offers a few iris and some asiatic lilies for sale.  But those are, dare I say, a hobby?

Daylilies are his passion.  He hybridizes his own lilies, scavenges the neighborhood for cast-off kiddie pools to keep the plants watered, and frequently comes home to piles of pots chucked over the fence into his garden from helpful neighbors.

He even turned the little swimming pool that he built with his kids into a giant rainwater holding tank with a big pipe running from his roof to the pool, and a pump to pump the water out and around his plants.

Lots and Lots of Lilies

David hybridized the daylily that is just above the yellow flowers in the lower left corner.  I asked him where he was from and how he got interested in lilies.  “I’m from Iran, originally, but I’ve lived here for 30 years.”  “Did you always like plants?  Did your family grow flowers?” I asked. (My green thumb is a direct result of my parents and grandparents.)  He laughed.  “No, you see, I was more interested in the women when I was younger.”

He never really answered the question about how he became a lily fanatic.  I find that plant obsessives fall into two camps 1) they always loved plants, but one particular plant made them a life long devotee of the species (perhaps a gift, or a yard sale find), or 2) they honestly can’t remember.  It is lost in the years and years and years of myopic love for one species.

The lilies are at full bloom in mid-June.  I’ll stop by and snap some pics to update this story then.  In the mean time, I have three of his daylilies, a Japanese Iris and a walking iris in my garden.  When they bloom, I’ll head back to the Lily Farm for photographs.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The Lily Doctor

  1. That’s so like you! I can just see you stopping by and grilling the poor guy about himself, when he just wants to talk about flowers!

    LOL!

  2. I totally know what you mean. There is a house I drive by every day…he is a little eccentric to be sure, he has about 5 million yard flags, but he also has about a million bulbs. I’m sure it would be fascinating to go and talk to him about the stuff he puts into his garden, but I’ve never stopped. Stopping by is the way I found my egg farm…they had a sign out for eggs, and one day, dh and I stopped to check it out. Now I go there all the time to get eggs, veggies, and visit the chickens. I think I would like your lily doctor, lilies are one of my top three plant obsessions.

  3. Very cool katie! Thanks so much for sharing that.
    Luv the legions of eccentric folks that dot our landscape.
    Interestingly enough we get folks into Wildflower Farm’s natural garden centre who say “Been drivin by for years and I just wonder what this place is with all these flowers everywhere!” thanks katie!

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