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~ A Visit to Bonibrae Daylilies ~

I took advantage of the peak daylily blooming season to visit Bonibrae's Daylily Gardens, 24 km south of Belleville, Ont.

Owner, grower and breeder Barry Matthie was busy digging out fans for later sale at a local craft fair in Picton. The well-mulched daylily production area was framed by a vast expanse of ripe golden oats. He is passionate about spider daylilies; the amount of space he devotes to their breeding shows just how much. He laments their reluctance to set pods, but judging by the number of seedlings, he's found ways around this. A spider, he says, must "do something special" whether it's perky curls or gracely drooping ribbons. With tetraploid breeding he is introducing new colors and patterns, and his mini-spiders are hardly recognizable as daylilies, and a really original addition to the garden. It's difficult to appreciate the bold impact of an established clump of spider daylilies from seeing a photograph of a single bloom. Rather, it is the sum of a great many spiders, the repetition of slim stars, curly ribbons and glowing hearts that make a lasting impression on the viewer.

But there is more to Bonibrae than spiders, and Barry is making significant inroads in breeding formal, ruflled, gold-edged, double-edged and rounded red ruffled flowers that perform reliably in northern areas; southern-bred cultivars are often grown in a combination of pine bark, sand and compost and look quite different when grown in Canadian soil.

The breeding area is open to the public and any seedling that doesn't "make the cut" is up for grabs for $10, or 3/$25. I selected a brilliant fuschia spider with a glowing orange heart, and given to whole clump of 8 husky fans and two blooming stalks, all the while wondering how he could have overlooked such a beauty. There are beautiful ruffled pinks and golden edged flowers that I left behind for you if you're up to a drive in the country at the next peak of daylily season.

If you can at all, it's much better to select a daylily in the field than from a catalogue. All the plants are on a level playing field of soil conditions, climate and lighting. You can at once evaluate the effect the plant may have in your garden, and mixing and matching is a breeze. At Bonibrae, there are no potted plants for sale. Barry will gladly dig up your favorites, freshly from the field. It's the perfect plant-lover's day trip!

Visit Bonibrae Daylilies' new website.

Outstanding Named Varieties
Click to enlarge

daylily apricot jade Apricot Jade

daylily avis jean Avis Jean

daylily bill munson Bill Munson

daylily for your eyes only For Your Eyes Only

daylily grander dreams Grander Dreams

daylily raspberry beret Raspberry Beret

daylily sumatran tiger Sumatran Tiger

daylily light years away Light Years Away

daylily ruby spider Ruby Spider

daylily king george King George

daylily wild mustang Wild Mustang

daylily She's the One She's The One

daylily Marked Marked

daylily stormy night Stormy Night

daylily two part harmony Two Part Harmony

daylily strawberry candy Strawberry Candy

daylily faces of a clown Faces of a Clown

daylily boney maroney Boney Maroney

Bonibrae Seedlings
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Unnamed Spider "1"

Unnamed Spider "2"

Unnamed Spider "3"

Seedling "4"

Seedling "5"

Seedling "6"

Seedling "7"

Seedling "8"

Seedling "9"

Seedling "10"

Seedling "11"

Seedling "12"

Bonibrae Production
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Unflowered Seedlings

New Hybrid Spiders

Field View

Field View

Field View


Getting There
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Confusing signage in Belleville

Picturesque Prince Edward County

Bonibrae Daylilies
RR#1, 497 Matthie Rd.,
Bloomfield, ON K0K 1G0
Operating hours

Daylily Links

Montreal Botanical Garden - In English and French.
Jardin des Nuances - French only. Daylilies and hostas.
Beachwood Daylily & Perennial - Daylily and Siberian iris catalog from BC.
The Lily Auction - Auctioneers mostly from US, but several will ship seeds to Canada. Check before bidding!
Cross-Border Daylilies - Grown in Florida, shipped from Toronto. Hémérocalles de l'Isle - In French. Daylilies, irises and hostas.
Hémérocalles Daniel Matton - Quebec hybridizer.
Culver Farms - Ontario hybridizer.
Arcadian Daylilies - Toronto.
Jardin Florilège - Quebec daylily specialisr Artemis Gardens - Online color catalog, BC.
Beachwood Daylily - Daylilies, Aldergrove, BC. - Pam Erikson, BC breeder of daylilies.
Gardens Plus - Daylilies and Hosta.
Hemerocallis Montfort - Quebec grower. Haveman Daylilies - Located in BC.
Hemerocallis Montfort - Quebec daylily producer. In English and French.
Kilmalu Farms Daylily Nursery - BC daylily producer.
Nottawasaga Daylilies - Ontario-grown.
Red Lane Gardens - PEI daylily grower.
Vivaces Nordiques - Daylily specialist. In English and French.
We're in the Hayfield Now - Growers and hybridizers from Ontario.
Canyon Ridge Daylily Farm - Okanagan Valley of BC Canada.
Don's Plants - in Nova Scotia.
Ball Point Gardens - Ontario grower offers new hybrids.
Hémérocalles BMar - Quebec supplier, pdf catalog.
Hémérocalles Charlevoix - Jean Tremblay's garden.
Floral and Hardy Gardens - I just got the pun in the mane a minute ago.
Caragana Country Acres - An extensive photo gallery.
Canadian Hemerocallis Society
Ontario Daylily Society
Société québécoise des hostas et des hémérocalles
Nova Scotia Daylily Society - Welcomes members from all maritime provinces.
Article on the daylilies of the Montreal Botanical Gardens from Canada Gardens!

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