Referring to her home as her favorite place in Bartow, the Cartersville resident, along with her husband, David, have created an American Hemerocallis Society Display Garden on their 3.3 acres, which features about 3,000 different registered daylily cultivars.
“David and I spend many hours ‘working’ in our garden before, during and after bloom season,” she said. “Beds must be cleaned out of old foliage, fertilizers go down and pine straw is spread in early spring. We have a spraying program for insects and daylily rust. We do this because we want to ensure beautiful blooms that are not marred from insect damage. We sell daylilies, so we want to only sell healthy, insect and disease free plants. Though daylilies are advertised to be drought tolerant, they will not perform their best and multiply unless watered frequently. We put in a well a few years ago for the purpose of watering the daylilies.
“David and I enjoy the blooms, the feeling of satisfaction of what we have achieved, working outside together and planning our next outdoor project. In the winter when it is too cold to be outside, I enjoy looking at pictures of our daylilies that I have taken. Gardening is great physical and mental therapy. The garden is a form of self-expression as well; it should reflect the personality of the gardener. I have recently added a fairy garden and am always on the lookout for garden art. We have a collection of Oz daylilies with names from ‘The Wizard Of Oz.’ There is nothing like seeing God’s amazing creations come to life in the spring after a long, cold winter. David hybridizes daylilies, so we enjoy seeing the new daylilies bloom from his daylily crosses.”
Name: Doris Bishop
Occupation (title): Retired school counselor
City of residence: Cartersville
Family: Husband, David Bishop; son, Chris Bishop (Atlanta); daughter, Jennifer Bishop (Rome)
Education: Georgia College at Milledgeville, Bachelor of Arts degree in social studies education; West Georgia College Master of Education degree in secondary education/social studies and Education Specialist degree in school counseling
When did you and your husband start developing your daylily garden and how has it evolved? How many varieties of daylilies do you have and are there any other types of plants in your garden?
A: Even though we started growing the common orange fulva daylilies — commonly called ‘ditch lilies’ — in the early ’80s, we did not become seriously interested in the modern daylily until the early 2000s. We credit Bartow residents Fred and Lucille Turner with introducing us to a new world of daylilies and inviting us to our first daylily meeting. We began buying Fred’s beautiful daylily seedlings — unregistered daylilies — and planting them where we had enough sun to grow them. Soon we ran out of open spaces and had trees removed for new beds. Once we began adding registered daylilies, many trees have come out and many new beds have been built. We currently grow about 3,000 different registered cultivars plus a few thousand of David’s seedlings. We grow over 200 different hostas, more than 50 clematis, a variety of hydrangeas, Japanese maples, deciduous azaleas as well as evergreen azaleas, and many more companion plants, shrubs and trees on our 3.3 landscaped acres in the Cassville area.
Why is your garden named Shady Rest Gardens and when and how did it become an AHS Display Garden?
A: The main gardens are in the vicinity of a small cabin named the Shady Rest, which is located in a somewhat shady area down behind our house. The Shady Rest name is borrowed from the Shady Rest Hotel on the old TV show “Petticoat Junction.” We spend many nights in the Shady Rest, which is a very tranquil second home for us. Currently one of 14 in the state of Georgia, we became an AHS (American Hemerocallis Society) Display Garden in 2009. To be a display garden we had to apply and be approved by a representative of the AHS who visited our garden to see that our daylilies were labeled with the daylily name and hybridizer, that we grew a variety of forms and hybridizers’ daylilies, and that our garden was relatively weed free. We wanted to become a display garden so that we could share our love of daylilies with others. AHS Display Gardens may be visited during the bloom season free of charge. We just ask that interested visitors contact us beforehand, so one of us can be here to greet them. Peak bloom is usually mid-June.
What is your favorite daylily variety growing in your garden?
A: This is a tough question because there are so many beautiful daylilies that excite me. After much thought, I would say H. ‘To God Be The Glory,’ a large bloom that sometimes measures 8 inches and draws me to it.
What are your titles with the state and local daylily societies and what are your duties?
A: I am the treasurer of the Northwest Georgia Daylily Society, a local daylily club that meets in the Stiles Auditorium of the Olin Tatum Agricultural Building. I am responsible for maintaining the financial records of the club. David is the secretary. Our goal is to make the meetings fun and informative. We also belong to the Cobb County Daylily Society and the Middle Georgia Hemerocallis Society. I am also the secretary of AHS Region 5, which encompasses the entire state. I am required to attend all Region 5 meetings, record and maintain the minutes of these meetings, and provide a copy of the minutes for the region newsletter. Our NWGDS hosted the Region 5 Spring Meeting last month in Cartersville with 120 in attendance from around the state. Our garden was a tour garden for this meeting and will be a tour garden for the 2015 AHS National Convention in Atlanta next June.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to plant daylilies in their garden?
A: Visit local daylily gardens to see which daylilies you like and which ones grow well in our area. There are plenty of beautiful, inexpensive daylilies available. Some of those gardens are also selling gardens. Talk to those daylily growers for information about how to grow them. I’ll bet that if you visit a daylily garden, you will go home with some free daylilies. Also, connect with a local daylily club where you can get inexpensive daylilies — and free ones — and learn about growing them.
What is your role with Cassville Baptist Church’s Friendship Kitchen food ministry? How many people does it serve and what do you enjoy most about volunteering at this ministry?
A: I am the founder and coordinator of the Friendship Kitchen food ministry, which celebrated its 15th year this past March. We cook and deliver about 250 meals in the Cassville area each Wednesday morning. I have a dedicated crew of about 10 volunteers who come faithfully each Wednesday. We also have a school supply drive in July, a blanket drive and winter coat drive in the fall, Thanksgiving Food Drive and an Angel Tree in December for our Friendship Kitchen families. Our church body has been very supportive of this self-supporting ministry. I enjoy helping others and hopefully being able to make a difference in someone’s life. One year I worked as a counselor at a local elementary school and was shocked to see with my own eyes that children lived in homes within walking distance of our church that had no food. We don’t have to go to foreign countries to find people without food. They may be our neighbors.
What is your greatest professional and/or personal achievement?
A: I don’t feel that I have achieved anything of great significance in my life as some do. I just try to live my life doing what is right. The only one that I have to answer to is God. I have been richly blessed with a wonderful husband and two great children, we all have good health, all of my needs are met and most of my wants. I know that I will spend eternity in Heaven. What more could I want?
How would you describe yourself in three words?
A: Down to earth.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
A: Even though I cook for about 250 [people] most weeks, I do not enjoy cooking.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
A: My mother always told me to be myself at all times.