NORTH FORSYTH — The Forsyth County home of Barbara and Herbert Metz is among the eight stops on a metro Atlanta garden tour that is part of the 2015 American Hemerocallis Society National Convention.
Hundreds of avid gardeners are expected to attend the convention, which opens today and runs all weekend, at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel and Convention Center.
Organized by the Cobb County Daylily Society and the Daylily Society of Greater Atlanta, it offers numerous educational workshops and lectures about all things gardening and daylilies.
Beginning this morning, Barbara and Herbert Metz will open up their gardens and 5-acre working farm off Doctor Bramblett Road to the touring gardeners and convention-goers.
“We are expecting to have people from every state except Hawaii here this weekend,” Barbara Metz said.
The couple has lived in Forsyth since 1998. Visitors likely will delight in some of the more whimsical features of their gardens, including “The Wizard of Oz” characters.
“We have a special connection since we are both originally from Kansas,” Herbert Metz explained.
The Dorothy and Scarecrow characters that tower over the vegetables keeping the crows at bay are especially striking. Barbara Metz said her friend and Sunday school classmate, Jean Kemp, is responsible for the scarecrows.
“She is an amazing seamstress, she has so much talent,” she said.
The Tin Man, created by one of the couple’s four grown sons, watches over one of the daylily gardens. Nearby, a small Wicked Witch of the West peaks out from amongst the flowers.
Barbara Metz also fashioned a tiny garden at the front of the house, complete with fairies and fairytale characters.
The couple’s farm has ample spots to sit and take in the beautiful scenery, which ranges from gorgeous daylilies to rows of tomatoes, corn and other vegetables.
The daylilies are striking. Every plant is a different variety, and labeled to help visitors.
Most are surprised to learn that more than 60,000 varieties of daylilies exist. Herbert Metz explained that many people hybridize their daylilies and sell them at the home tours, but that he and his wife do not.
“We will sell our vegetables at the Cumming Farmers Market and online,” he said.
Daylilies often are called “the perfect perennial” due to their beautiful colors and ability to thrive in many climate zones. Because they tend to tolerate numerous types of soils and light, they are popular across the country.
Both Barbara and Herbert Metz are Master Gardeners committed to conservation and sustainable farming.
On their property, visitors will find many collectors that gather rainwater, which is then used on crops, flowers and grass. A pond, complete with frogs, trickles in the shade of tall backyard trees.
And while the American Hemerocallis Society has thousands of members from countries around the world, they all have at least one thing in common — a love of daylilies. And they likely won’t be disappointed in what awaits them at the Metz’s farm.