Crestwood Civic Club Garden Tour

Annual garden tour to feature Nancy Smith’s home, garden

Daylilies are among the top feature at Smith’s home

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (June 2016) – Not only do daylilies have a special place in Nancy Smith’s beautifully landscaped yard, they also have a special place in her heart. Her gardens will be featured in two garden tours this summer.
She has more than 1,000 varieties in themed beds in her On Eagles Wings Daylily Gardens in Crestwood, Ky., each plant placed in the ground with her own hands. With 7,000 varieties of daylilies available, “there’s a lot to choose from,” said Smith.
A cat-themed bed contains daylilies with names such as Here Kitty, Kitty, Paw Print, and Ezekial, Mama and Pepe for her beloved cats. A food-themed bed contains Milk Chocolate and Buttered Popcorn, while a tropical themed bed contains Jaws, Sharky, Piping Hot Lava, Circles in the Sand and Skinny Dipping. 

Photo by Helen McKinney

Nancy Smith features many types of flowers in her garden, especially daylilies.

Smith’s daylily gardens will be one of three featured gardens in this year’s Crestwood Civic Club’s Annual Garden Tour and Luncheon from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 18. Seating times for lunch are 11 a.m. or 12:30 p.m., and a plant sale will be held at the Crestwood Civic Club’s clubhouse located at 7215 Kavanaugh Rd. in Crestwood.
Smith and her late husband spent a lot of time in Hawaii, “so there are quite a few with names associated with our time there,” she said. While visiting their daughter in Hawaii, the couple traveled all over the island, looking for “daylily gardens to tour.”
Smith had lived at two previous sites where she raised daylilies, but when the couple moved to their current 10-acre property in Crestwood, she “began with a clean slate. I have a younger sister who designed fun things for the gardens, and I started planting beds.”
Each bed contains added elements, such as an arbor graced by wisteria, fountains, bird baths, wind spinners, cranes, mushrooms and feeders scattered throughout the landscape.  “In addition, trees and bushes adorn the property and the beds along with a couple of concrete statues,” Smith said.
One of her most peaceful spots is the Emmaus Road Bed, which contains all Christian named daylilies. DeColores, Wings of Faith and Morning Prayer varieties can all be found in this bed.
Smith said her husband wanted lots of seating in the form of chairs and benches, which are spread throughout the landscape. One spot in particular under a pine tree is her favorite spot because it evokes a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. “I feel the yard is a park.”
Those who have contributed to the plant sale include club members, Jules Klein, Minish & Potts LLC, Feed And Seed Depot, Reardon’s Fruit Market & Garden Center, Deibel Greenhouses, Buckner Flower Shop, Kroger, Starview Greenhouses, Goodwin Greenhouse, Atchison Greenhouse, Lowe’s and Home Depot.
Smith’s gardens will also be featured in the American Hemerocallis Society 2016 Daylilies in the Bluegrass Tour. The Daylily Society of Louisville and the Louisville Area Daylily Society are playing host to the AHS 2016 National Convention in Louisville, Ky., on June 29 through July 2 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. This event features eight tour gardens in addition to several other open gardens for participants to get a feel of the daylilies in this part of the country.
The AHS is a non-profit organization founded in 1946. It was organized exclusively for educational and scientific purposes, and to promote, encourage, and foster the development and improvement of the genus Hemerocallis. The society’s membership includes more than 6,000 avid gardeners and daylily enthusiasts, including international members from 25 different countries.
“I’ll have about 600 people come though that weekend,” said Smith. There are different clubs around the country that vie to hold the event. “I knew it was coming to Louisville. The Louisville Area Daylily Society came to see me and asked me to be on the tour.”
Her gardens have been on a regional tour prior to this one. “It’s quite an honor,” said Smith.
“Each garden has their own special look, feel, openness and garden themes,” said Michael Stephens, co-chair of the AHS National Convention. He said applicants applied to be on the tour “from southern Indiana to Paris, Ky.”
The AHS tour is already sold out, with 643 people registered, Stephens said. “You may go to one garden and it’s an average size garden that anyone would have. One garden may be more formal; one may have several garden theme beds as names of daylilies that are their family members’ names. Nancy has a bed with a flying theme because her husband is a former pilot with UPS that piloted 767s.”
The second garden on the Crestwood Civic Club’s tour will be that of Becky Scarboro
and Nelson Ratchford. This garden is a display garden for the AHS and contains more than 900-100 daylily cultivars.
Scarboro referred to their garden as “a continuous work in progress that was started in 1997.” This ever-changing garden is home to many annuals and perennials, art treasures, a rock garden, woodland garden and a koi pond with a cascading waterfall.
New plants are added every growing season and each change of seasons brings a different view of the garden. Spring and summer blooms are followed by fall foliage and textured grasses for winter interest. 
The last garden belongs to Abigail Rennekamp, a volunteer for Yew Dell Botanical Gardens. She has lived on the property for 26 years and actively gardened it for the last decade.
Rennekamp said her garden “is not design driven, but plant driven. I don’t have a lot of help in my garden, nor do I have a lot of money to spend, but like women who have an addiction to shoes or household knick-knacks, I have an addiction to plants.”
Because her garden is a shade garden, it is most attractive in early spring with wildflowers and Epimediums in bloom. Rennekamp likes to travel and gardens and nurseries are always on her itinerary.

• Tickets for the Crestwood Civic Club’s Annual Garden Tour and Luncheon are $20 for the tour and lunch and $17 for the tour only. To make reservations call (502) 265-0376.

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