poetry and prose about place

abandoned spaces: day-lilies

with 2 comments

The orange day-lily (Hemerocallis fulva) is also called roadside day-lily, outhouse day-lily, wash-house day-lily, ditch day-lily, and railroad day-lily, giving a hint of the spaces where it is found. When gardens containing the orange day-lily are abandoned, the flowers persist and spread on the site, and also escape to live in nearby ditches and fields.




The day-lily is an herbaceous perennial with an extensive tuberous root. The flowers are borne on a long scape and each flower blooms and lasts only a day. It spreads via stolons and seeds. Although pretty, the orange day-lily is considered an invasive species. Its colonies can out-compete other native species.




This time of year, orange day-lilies are everywhere in New Brunswick. In the abandoned community of Beaufort, Carleton County, orange day-lilies line the roadside on the way to the former community.



the road to Beaufort … the long isolated road gives a hint as to why a community in the area was abandoned … a long way to other communities, hard winters with deep snow and few opportunities for young people


The New Brunswick Archives says:

 … settled in 1879 following the adoption of the Free Grants Act: named for William Beaufort Mills who persuaded the government to give aid to Anglicans burned out in the Saint John Fire of 1877 and encouraged settlement in this area: PO [post office] 1881-1946: in 1898 Beaufort was a community with 1 post office and a population of 100.



Today, there is only one, modern house in the community. But remnants of old gardens in the community still remain. we saw:

many apple trees at the roadside and in overgrown orchards …






a young crowded stand of Balsam poplar, perhaps the hybrid Balm of Gilead …






and a flower I have not yet identified … does anyone know what it is?


DSCN0624 flowers.jpg




Sad to think of the people who lived in Beaufort, planted their gardens and struggled to make their lives there.  But they left their mark, on the communities they moved to and in the plants they left behind, now beautifying the former community.


All my best,


Written by jane tims

August 15, 2018 at 7:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. in many places we find the remains of someone’s loved garden – kind of sad…

    Liked by 1 person

    Maureen Sudlow

    August 15, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    • Yes it is sad, but I love knowing that people want to craft the spaces they live in and us ‘gardeners’ work in a time-honoured tradition.

      Liked by 1 person

      jane tims

      August 16, 2018 at 6:35 pm

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