Staff Photo: Frank Reddy Dorothy Moon of Loganville loves daylilies. Her front yard contains hundreds of varieties, all of them blooming now, during her favorite time of year: summer. Friday was the first day of the season.
LOGANVILLE -- There's a whole world outside Dorothy Moon's front door. It's a realm of velvet-petalled, colorful dimensions that makes her heart swell with happiness.
The first day of summer holds personal meaning to many. For Moon, it's a time when her vast collection of daylilies are in full bloom: their red, pink, yellow, white, cream-colored beauty astounding her anew every June morning as she steps through the perennial garden, plucking spent flowers, making room for new growth.
Outside their home -- situated between Snellville and Loganville -- Moon led a tour Friday morning, the first day of the season, through the expansive garden. "I've forgotten the name of a lot of these," she said, bending down to pick up one of the tiny signs at the base of a plant. She rubbed the dirt off the plastic cover to reveal the word "Vanilla Fluff."
Other varieties of daylilies in Moon's garden: Diamonds and Pearls, Shady Lady, Strawberry Fields Forever and Red Volunteers. Some she chose to plant because the name held personal meaning: Like Ethel Buccola and Ida's Magic. Her sister's name is Ida, and Ethel was the name of her mother-in-law.
In each flower, Moon, 81, sees "God's beautiful world."
Her husband, Walter Moon, 84, said the woman is fond of her garden. The depth of her obsession is difficult for the man to explain. He just shakes his head. "She just ... loves those daylilies."
Walter is partial to veggies. He's got rows of Silver Queen Sweet Corn and homegrown tomatoes: "You can't buy tomatoes that taste as good as raising them yourself."
But his weakness for vegetable gardening is overshadowed by the woman's enthusiasm for daylilies.
With many of the flowers blooming and wilting within 24 hours (hence the name "daylily"), the perennials' beauty is fleeting. Moon said the staggered birth and death of each individual flower makes each moment precious.
It's a series of moments she'll enjoy into early July. Awaiting peak season for the daylilies has been tradition at the Moon household since the early 1980s, when Dorothy planted her first flower in the front yard.
"In 30-something years, this is the prettiest they've ever been," she said, attributing the unprecedented growth to the large amounts of rain over the past several months.
"God's been so good to us," she said. "He shows us glimpses of beauty, and we live in this beautiful world where we can each find something we love ... something with his touch on it."