What happens when a bank executive falls in love with a grape farmer?
The script writes itself! Those of us lucky enough to live in Amador County are the beneficiaries of this unlikely love story. When Jeanne Deaver met her husband Ken, she retired from her banking world in the big city and joined Ken here in Amador County in the Shenandoah Valley where she promptly started her own daylily growing business, Amador Flower Farm.
The farm, opened to the public in 1996, covers more than 14 acres and hosts 4 acres of demonstration gardens, a waterfall, pond and picnic area, a nursery, a pumpkin patch and corn maze every fall, and rows upon rows of flowers every spring and summer.
Visitors are welcomed with no admission fee and encouraged to wander the garden paths, picnic on the grounds, enjoy the flowers and tranquility, and seek inspiration for their home gardens. Parents with young children visit the farm to enjoy the wildlife. The recent years have seen an upswing in numbers of critter sightings at the farm: mallards, blue herons, egrets, wood ducks, king fishers, hawks, and even a coyote.
When the farm began there were 600 varieties of daylilies planted in the growing grounds. Now, 19 years later, there are over 1200 varieties in the garden and available for sale at the farm’s nursery and on the farm website, amadorflowerfarm.com.
Fortunately, daylilies are a drought tolerant plant and as the nursery industry in the west adjusts to dryer conditions, Jeanne’s daylily farm has been able to help its customers convert their water hungry landscapes to more water-wise gardens. The nursery is also focusing on succulents with many new varieties being added this year.
The farm has been on the forefront of the grow-your-own, eat local, veggie movement as well, offering hundreds of varieties of seeds and vegetable starter plants every spring. In addition to growing wine grapes, the Deavers also grow fruit, nuts, pumpkins, gourds, and more that is available at the farm seasonally.
Local children enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt every spring in the daylilies that is organized by Jeanne and sponsored by the Plymouth Rotary. And the pumpkin patch and corn maze at Amador Flower Farm have become one of the region’s most popular fall outings- a real home town, old-fashioned affair for the young at heart with tram ride tours of the farm and farm animal babies to visit.
The pairing of this banker with her country-lovin’ man has blossomed into a flower farm fit for this flower lovin’ county!