Meet Heidi Douglas

By Leslie Moore

Meet Heidi Douglas

Daylilies are beloved among flowers. Their beautiful blooms bring together people from all over the world who take delight in their many unique shapes and colors. Heidi Douglas’s skill in growing daylilies brought her a lot of joy for many years, but in 2005, her hobby and passion brought her love. Charles Douglas, owner of Browns Ferry Gardens, local daylily farm 13 miles west of Georgetown, travelled to Cincinnati, Ohio, to see Heidi’s garden, when it was on a National Daylily Tour. Her garden at that time held 1,100 different varieties of daylilies. Charles and Heidi had met through daylily clubs and events, and this Georgetown County man knew she was the one for him. A year later Heidi moved to the area and a year after that, she and Charles were married. Their home is an oasis of peace and beauty, set on land that Charles’s family originally used as a tobacco farm. Today, the farm is dedicated to daylilies, and both Charles and Heidi are experts in hybridizing new varieties that are eagerly sought after by customers from all over the U.S. and Canada.

Tell us about your days at Browns Ferry Gardens

I am only in the gardens part-time. When I lived in Cincinnati, I did computer consulting and when I told my employers I was moving, they wanted me to continue working remotely. But, I only work 20-25 hours a week. I want to take the time to enjoy life!

I love my family – Charles has two daughters and six grandchildren, and I love them all. They treat me like I’ve always been here. Our 10 year old granddaughter had her birthday party at the farm, and we taught her friends how to hybridize daylilies! They loved it!

I am also a photographer and take all the shots for our catalogue and website. Naturally, daylily people are all into photos – I’ve just updated our website with new photos of all the different varieties, it looks great!

Charles and I also travel and speak to daylily clubs. We’ll be out of town every weekend in February. Daylilies have brought me a lot of riches that have nothing to do with money – we have friends all over the country!

What does it mean to hybridize a daylily?

Basically, we cross pollinate two daylilies to create a completely new one. It’s exciting because you never know how it’s going to turn out. Judging the results is like a beauty contest. The first year it’s all about the “face” or flowers, the second year is the “bathing suit competition” to see if the plants have “good legs” or plant habit; the last year is the “evening gown competition” where the new plant has to have it all. If a new daylily makes it though the first three years then it’s likely to be introduced and registered with the Daylily Society. Then we’ll put them on the market.

This is my second year introducing daylilies. I am very proud of one of my new seedlings. It has been given the garden name “Boss Hog.” The blooms are huge – 8 1/2 inches wide. I’m hoping to win an award with this one. In 2007, Charles named one after me – “Yankee Princess!”

Why is this area a good place to grow daylilies?

The climate and soil are very good here. We say if they can’t make it here, they won’t make it anywhere. We ship some of our hardier cultivars to Canada, and they do very well. Of course, we know our daylilies. Browns Ferry Gardens has been in business since 1994 and we sell 1,500 different varieties of daylilies. Every year, on the first weekend in June, we have an open house – this year will be our 17th open house! We have lots of good food and many of our daylilies are on sale. Last year we had more than 300 visitors from all over, including Georgia, Tennessee and, of course, lots of locals. We also do a large mail order business, shipping all over the U.S. and Canada. We’ve even shipped to Germany, England and Lithuania!

What do you do when you’re not working or growing daylilies?

I have two cocker spaniels and one spoiled kitty that I love spending time with, and I feed the ducks and geese here on the farm. I go back to Cincinnati to see my family when I can, and I love to shop. But, I am very happy here. I love spending time with my husband – he is the best man I’ve ever known.

Contact Browns Ferry Gardens by calling 843-546-3559 or visit www.brownsferrygardens.com. The nursery is open beginning March 1st, from 9 am-5 pm, Monday through Saturday.

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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One Response to “Meet Heidi Douglas”

  1. Cindy Grace says:

    I enjoyed the write up about my friend so much :-) She’s like a “Jewel In A Crown” and I’m expecting great things for years to come from Heidi & Charles.

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