Memorial garden

Alison Guinotte Mih and Tonja Goodreau assist with the planting of the memorial daylily garden at Chanute Public Library.

STU BUTCHER

Daylilies are perennials whose blooms last just one day.

But a project in Chanute is hoping to make cultivars from two now-deceased couples last forever.

The couples raised daylilies and crossbred them. One was Sol and Ruth Mannoni, both teachers in USD 413 schools. Ruth taught art and her husband science at Royster Junior High School.

Some names of their lilies include Chanute (yellow) and Larson Street (red), the street where they lived.

The other couple was George and Naomi Taylor who had a huge backyard garden with rows and rows of labeled daylilies in back of their home on West Beech.

The Taylors were presented a service award by the American Hemerocallis Society, Region 11. Busloads of enthusiasts stopped at the Taylor garden each summer to dig up the plants they wanted to take home.

Graduates of the Master Gardener class on Tuesday started planting a daylily garden at Chanute Public Library. They were thrilled to plant first a Chanute daylily from the Mannonis, donated by Mary Simon of Auburn, Alabama, who grew up in Chanute and was a friend of the couple.

Julie Aikins, who took the Master Gardener class, has helped organize the memorial garden. Jim Fry, caretaker at the Ward-Meade Aborateum, Topeka, is planning to come up with eight or 10 of the Taylor varieties. 

“He’s been very helpful,” Aikins said. “And we have four of the Taylor daylilies coming the first week of May from Tranquil Lake Gardens in Ohio.

“People have been calling and offering to donate,” Aikins said. “We’ve had interesting contacts; it’s going to be really neat.”

Aikins said local resident Steve Cooper has a contact in Oklahoma who was a neighbor of the Taylors.

“They’re coming from everywhere,” Aikins said. 

The group also planted donated lilies that are not identified. Some of the daylilies bloom at different times.

“We’re planting them for people to enjoy all summer long,” Aikins said.

Master Gardener instructor Krista Harding, K-State Extension agent, will provide the labels through the Extension. Some Master Gardeners are doing projects on their own, such as Kim Bartlett at the entrance of the Katy Park trail. Anyone with information about where cultivars can be obtained or who wish to donate can contact Julie Aikins at jaikins.chanuterec@gmail.com or call 431-4199.

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