Clymer Woman Has Over 400 Varieties Of Daylilies
“After this (retirement) I went big time into daylilies. I got hooked,” says the Clymer woman. “I commune with God when I come out here.”
The avid gardener fertilizes her expansive flower gardens in April. Since daylily blossoms last just one day, they must be deadheaded or have the wilted flowers removed frequently to keep the plant flowering throughout the season. The beautiful gardens are home to over 400 varieties of over 80,000 cultivars that have been registered through American Hemerocallis Society. Each plant has a sturdy label attached to a steel rod. She has carefully planned her gardens with blooms starting near June 11 and ending sometime in September. Her early, mid, mid-late and late bloomers maintain a colorful display of reds, oranges, yellows and purples. Many are multi-colored, including Love N Loujean, the variety named after her by a hydridizer friend in Ohio in 2015, which is salmon pink with a yellow center. The winner of an Ohio-based merit award is a few inches smaller in diameter this year than the usual eight-nine-inch bloom, along with about 25 percent of the daylilies in her yard, due to the drought.
The dry summer has delayed this year’s typical mid-July peak season. Once
the peak begins, she will find herself removing the prior day’s spent flowers for 4-5 hours each morning, with the exception of garden tour days. In that case the live blooms are deadheaded the evening before the tour to allow for a more beautiful display when the guests arrive in the morning. Her first garden tour was given in 2008 when she participated in a circuit of tours, bringing 400 people throughout the day. This year she will have given four tours to groups from Jamestown, Corry and Erie by summer’s end.
“I do all of my planting and dig the plants I have sold in September,” she says.
She explains that the entire plant is not dug up. Two fans are all that is needed to start a daylily, although she always gives one or two bonus plants to buyers.
Each large, tidy garden is interspersed with interesting accent pieces, many of which have special meaning to the dairy farm wife. A few old chairs, one painted bright yellow, and some small benches hold a birdhouse or other decorative object in the west side garden.
A white picket fence, entwined with a honeysuckle and a clematis vine, runs lengthwise through it. Assorted perennials and several small ceramic toadstools are “planted” beyond where the fence ends in a circular shade garden. A weathered ladder holding a wreath of yellow flowers rests against a tree.
“I just love ladders,” she confesses of a habit that is repeated both inside and outside of her home.
Some of her family history is represented in another plot. In the center is her father’s butcher block which holds a very large flower-filled container once used to hold ground beef. Both items came from the former Legter’s Bros. Meat Market. Her husband’s milk stool is positioned nearby. A corn sheller found on the property 60 years ago, as well as the seat from an old hake rake, a rusty tricycle and a pair of wooden shoes are also located here. A sign that reads “Everything beautiful begins with God” hangs from a weathered white steel post.
“This is from my favorite scripture, Ecclesiastes 3:11,” she points out. “He hath made every thing beautiful in His time.”
A garden in her mother’s memory was completed a few years ago near the patio. After her mother was no longer able to care for her own rose gardens she asked her daughter to make a memory garden for her in this location.
“She said we could sit here and watch the sunsets,” recalls the daughter referring to the lovely western sky she often photographs throughout the summer.
The front garden is home to an old-style school desk and an extended family of turtles, which she challenges the children in her family to find after their annual position change.
Near the driveway, a small, square garden containing many clusters of heather surrounds a windmill where a ceramic Dutch couple stands guard. Shepherd’s hooks holding a variety of birdhouses are sprinkled throughout the landscape along with twenty climbing clematis vines.
For most of the last 60 years she and her husband, John, have worked in the barn and in the fields of Cabhi Farms. They started with 45 milking cows but now their sons, David and Doug, along with David’s son Greg are currently milking many more. David lives on the western side of the property, while Doug resides on the eastern side. Greg’s family lives three miles away where his wife Stephanie raises the new calves. The senior couple’s middle son, Randy, lives in Philadelphia. They have eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
“My grandchildren mean the world to me,” says the grandmother who also has three felines, Stormy a purebred Rag Doll, Sunny Blue a Himalayan/Rag Doll mix and Whitey a calico.
She puts loving Jesus at the top of the list of her interests. She enjoys photography and travel having seen most of the United States, including two trips to Alaska, a trip to Hawaii and a trip down the Mississippi River on a steamboat. She has traveled to the Canadian Rockies and much of western Europe where she has taken a Riverboat down the Rhine River and has another scheduled for the Danube River.
“My most favorite trip was to the Holy Land. I was healed of pain on the road to Gethsemane.”
She likes to scrapbook but puts them away from April through August. Decorating her home is another of her passions and her guests often ask to see the most recent. Many alterations have been made to the lower floor over the years, where she has recently evolved the decor in her dining room from country to primitive. She jokes that it took 59 years to get one of the bathrooms remodeled.
She refers to one of the upper bedrooms as the “down memory lane room.” A circa 1947 doll buggy that she played with when she was a child and in which a couple of her grandchildren have ridden in the Clymer Tulip Festival, is one of the first items seen upon entering the room. Near this is a cradle with rockers in which her mother and two of Mrs. White’s sons slept as babies. One of 800 afghans made by her mother-in-law is found on the bed. Her first bank, in the shape of a cat, and some tin dishes sit on top of a little stand used by her when she was a child. The top two drawers hold her doll’s clothing, some of which were made by her mother. The rest of her toy dishes occupy the bottom drawer.
Other toys found in the room are her mother’s small doll cradle from the early 1900s. Three strands of large painted wooden beads she and her brother played with, are draped across a shelf nearby. Across the room are several vintage pieces of clothing hanging from two aged ladders. Her mother’s satin wedding gown, a dress made of lace her mother wore when she served as a bride’s maid and Mrs. White’s eighth grade graduation dress hang from one. The other holds a pair of bloomers and a camisole which belonged to her mother and the sunbonnet her grandmother wore when working in her garden and her apron trimmed with hucking, a decorative Swedish weaving. A framed picture taken of the farm wife when she was Tulip Queen hangs near the ladders. Her father’s old cattle cane leans against the wall.
Her mother’s childhood twin-size bedspread, the only remaining one made by her own mother for each of her four daughters, covers the bed in another room. Two wooden frames holding pieces of tatting made by her mother-in-law, hang on the wall.
A few of the White Family favorite recipes, as well as a technique for boiling eggs allowing for easy shell removal follow.
“Macaroni and Cheese Casserole is inexpensive and quick to fix. Gram’s Chocolate-Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies are a favorite of all grandchildren because there is no cocoa, so they never dry out.”
Chocolate Crumb Bars
1 c butter or margarine, room temperature
1 å c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 c semi-sweet chocolate morsels, divided
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 c chopped walnuts, optional
Cream butter in large mixing bowl. Beat in flour, sugar and salt until crumbly. With floured fingers, press 2 cups crumb mixture into bottom of a greased 9” x 13″ pan. Reserve remaining mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Combine 1 cup morsels and milk in small saucepan. Warm over low heat, stirring until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Spread over hot crust. Stir remaining morsels and nuts into reserved crumb mixture. Sprinkle over chocolate filling. Bake 25-30 minutes or until center is set. Cool before cutting into squares. Makes 30 bars.
2 pkg refrigerated crescent rolls
2-8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 c mayonnaise
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
Assorted raw vegetables, cut up 9celery, pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, carrots, black olives, onion, etc.)
Pat crescent rolls evenly on a greased pizza pan to form crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, watching that crust does not get too brown. Cool. Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise and dressing mix. Spread on cooled crust. Top with raw vegetables.
Butter No-Bake Cookies
2 c sugar
1/2 c milk
1 stick butter
1 c chocolate chips
1/2-3/4 c peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 c quick-cooking oats
In a medium saucepan, sugar, milk and butter to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and immediately add chocolate chips and peanut butter, stirring until melted. Stir in vanilla and oats, until well-combined. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper.
Macaroni and Cheese Casserole
2 c macaroni, uncooked
† lb Velveeta
3 T butter
Salt and pepper
Cook macaroni in boiling salted water until tender. Drain. Return to pan. Add milk to top, but not covering, macaroni. Add cheese and stir over low heat until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper. May be served immediately or placed in a casserole dish and baked at 350 degrees until golden and bubbly.
Grandma Flo’s Famous
Rice Krispies Snacks
1 c sugar
1 c light corn syrup
1 c peanut butter
6 c crisp rice cereal
11 oz bag peanut butter and milk chocolate chips
Combine sugar and corn syrup in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture bubbles, stirring constantly. Stir until peanut butter. Stir in cereal until well combined. Pour into a buttered 9” x 13″ pan and pat down. Melt chips in microwave at 50% power for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir and then pour over. Cool. Note: For stickier bars, measure the corn syrup over the pan, letting the cup overflow.
How to Hard-Boil Fresh
Eggs for Easy Peeling
Bring eggs to room temperature. Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil. Ass a dash of salt. Gently lower eggs into water with a slotted spoon. Cover and boil for 14 minutes. Drain and immediately place in ice water. When cool, lightly crack each shell over entire egg. Gently roll egg between hands. Remove shell and rinse egg in cold water.