a Girl and her Garden

...learning about daylilies one blog post at a time!


"Who IS Nikki Schmith?" Find out using the links at the top right of this page!

Click on above links for more information...

...or read bout a 20-year obsession in the posts below!

a Girl and her Garden

filled with tales of digging daylilies and dishing the dirt!

Exclusive Introductions from Nikki Schmith

selected for distinction, show performance and garden value

Welcome to 'a Girl and her Garden'

Since 2009 I have been using this space to share my photographs, haiku and daylily adventures. I am so glad you are visiting today! Relax and enjoy your stay here. If your group is looking for a fun and informative seminar on daylilies- please email me for more information. My garden is also open to garden groups during peak season to come and enjoy over 500 unique hybrid daylilies integrated with other perennials - some seen no where else on the planet. I dig the daylily beacuse it is forgiving, surprising and beautifully brief. Why do YOU enjoy the daylily?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Reviving the Past by reinventing the Future | Regional Meetings

<posted March 12, 2015>  It is no secret that our in-person AHS functions are struggling to meet the needs of our membership – especially regional meetings.  Those who continue to religiously attend summer regional meetings note the rising registration costs (typically $119-$169) and yet also note the scaling back of tours, gluttonous food options at the hotel and in the gardens, giveaways, auction lists, printed materials, free plants on the bus, and the swankiness of the hotel. 

Others have cancelled their regionals due to low attendance, lack of interested planners and geographic constraints.  Our aging membership and “the economy” are two other factors oft-cited in our quest to figure out how to get more bodies together in one place, in person, to commiserate on the daylily.  Some regions have taken to scheduling fall, winter or spring events to not compete with the summer AHS National and have been successful at growing from year to year.  Multi-state regions offer state-specific regionals to relieve travel burdens.

When I attended my first regional meeting in 1999, I went home with two gifted tote bags overflowing with free and desirable plants, brochures, magazines, pens, and t-shirts.   I ate three meals a day for two days, and was offered more snacks in each garden than I could have consumed in good conscience.

Financially, local clubs are no longer able to fund the up-front costs required of such an event.  Deposits for buses, catering and host hotel space can run in the thousands.  Not only do they not want to come out of their treasuries to do so, they do not feel an allegiance to AHS to step up to do so.  (a topic for another day.)

Here is my bold statement:  you have to sacrifice something in order to create distinction: Old schedules, big names showing up all expenses paid with their dog-and-pony show, customers that demand more than you should give. Giving up old ways of thinking in the short term for higher profitability in the form of attendance and regional fellowship in the longer term is soul tearing. Saying ‘good bye’ to something that worked so well for a while (and may be still working somewhat) is extremely hard.  Our biggest cost putting on the regional for 210 people in 2011 was the bus.  It cost almost $70 per person for one day and a half for buses alone. But something has to change.  I think we can only revive the past by reinventing the future.  It wont be easy, and it wont be quick, but it will be done.

So, in 2016 our regional summer meeting will not be hosted by a club.  It is hosted and organized by 6 individuals who wish to put on one heck of a party for Region 2.  The regional board voted to subsidize our efforts with budget oversight and we are having a ball planning so far.

We're thinking along the lines of this:

Day One (Friday):  An AHS-Accredited Daylily Show, (yes - a REAL show at a regional meeting) Open Gardens, Dinner on your own.  A very structured "Meet and Greet" social evening event to let attendees catch up and prepare for the weekend.  Several 15-minute quicky presentations from hybridizers in Region 2. Hospitality and Judge's Clinics held in the later evening to accommodate travel restrictions.

Day Two (Saturday):   Sun up to sun down bus tour of gardens throughout central Illinois with lunch in one of the larger gardens, daylily sales in some of them and a shopping stop at a huge nursery along the way.  Sit down dinner followed by Live Auction.  No clinics, no meetings, no rush.

Day Two (Sunday):  Regional Business meeting and Q&A served over full, hot breakfast buffet and omelet station.  Attendees will NOT TOUR VIA BUS on Sunday, but instead choose four 30-minute Workshops from a list of 10 or more for education and fun.  Open Gardens in the afternoon.

And we are shooting to do all that for a $100 registration fee.  Can't be done, you say?  We cant wait for you to see us do it.

Would YOU come to a Daylily Regional like that?

I like this structure and I think it resonates with people's need for choice and control with their money and time.  

Here are some topics we are considering for the seminars:
Plant Sales
Holding successful live, silent and other types of auctions
General Fundraising
Club Programming Ideas/Building a Better Club
Soil testing
Garden Design
Sharing Your Daylilies on the Internet (PPT, YouTube, Flickr, Blog, Website)
Hosting an Accredited Daylily Show
Daylily Genetics
Building a raised bed
Eye Candy (this workshop would be a well-crafted PPT or movie of seedlings and upcoming intros with hybridizers in the audience to answer questions)
Working with Water beds (as they relate to daylilies - LOL)
Hybridizing 101 (where pretentious know it alls are not allowed to dominate
the meeting and intimidate others)
Advanced Hybridizing
Building Youth Involvement
Publishing Newsletters
Keeping Records (databases of collections and/or hybridizing efforts)
Ask The Expert Panel Discussion (must submit three questions with your selection of this option and this workshop will have the BEST emcee)
Facebook/Twitter/Portal/Daylily Cyberspace  (general 101 primer on the options "out there")
Flower Design (hands-on)
AHS Open Forum - "Ask The Regional President"
Writing Press releases and communicating with the public (Publicity 101)
Building Robust Archives/History
Photoshop Tutorials / Demonstrations
Registering a Daylily (why, how, when, vocabulary)
The list is endless...

Regional Meetings should not be mini-nationals. Let AHS worry about all that fabulousness.  The more elaborate you try to be, and the more we try to "one-up" the meetings of the past, the fewer clubs will take on the job of hosting them.  I belong to the region with the highest membership in AHS and we still struggle to find local clubs to host a regional meeting.  

Region 2 cultivars:  (H.'Braided Lightening' and H.'Eat Our Wake Pintaheads')

Region 2 cultivars: (H.'Peasant Blouse' and H.' Swallowtail Kite')

I hope you'll plan to come to Peoria, Illinois in the summer of 2016 and see what might be the future for regional meetings.

Here is a link to register for this year's regional in Indianapolis.  I'll be there and cant wait to see and enjoy what they do!

Til next time- keep thinking creatively.  Nothing needs to be the way it always has been.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Daylily Blog | Popularity Polls In Accredited Shows

<posted March 5, 2015>  This is the daylily, H. 'The Milkman Did It' taken in the Bear W Daylily Garden during the 2014 AHS National Convention.   It's a gorgeous 28" tall, 2011 introduction from Chris Rea that shows off a 5.75" bloom and is an evergreen, tetraploid with 22 buds and 4 branches.  This was the first time I had seen this in person and it was simply stunning.

Over the past two weeks, I have received three emails relating to daylily exhibition shows and the Popularity Poll section in those accredited shows. Unrelated and coincidentally, a discussion on this very topic occurred at the Fall Board meeting of the AHS in Louisville last October.

I thought I would use the blog this week to clarify some of the finer points of exhibiting Popularity Poll winning entries at accredited exhibition shows.

What is the AHS Popularity Poll?

From the AHS website at www.daylilies.org, 
"As a service to its members and to the general public, each year the American Hemerocallis Society (AHS) conducts a popularity poll among its members to determine the favorite daylilies from each region. (Click here to see what AHS Region you live in.) It is the hope of the AHS that this Popularity Poll presents a true picture of which daylilies perform well in a given area and which are best liked by the membership. Popularity polls are important to daylily growers -- both AHS members and nonmembers -- who make daylily selections for purchase."
Click here to view last year's results.

Displaying Popularity Poll Winners In AHS-accredited shows
There is a dedicated section of the AHS-accredited daylily exhibition show for winners of the current year Popularity Poll. 

Until the last decade or so, exhibits in this dedicated show section were limited to only the top vote getter for that region.  So, expectedly, the entries in this section were often scant. In order to increase the size and scope of this section, the AHS Board of Directors voted to allow a show chairman to choose one or many of the TOP FIVE winners in the regional popularity poll.  While this did increase participation and display in this section, it also has increased confusion for some exhibitors and show planners.

For 2015, the Exhibitions Chair (with the support of the Judge’s Education chair and after a full-board discussion at the Fall AHS Board of Directors meeting in Louisville) has clarified this point in all communications regarding the show and judges education materials.

There had been questions from all over the country regarding ties in the Popularity Poll and how this should be handled for accredited shows.  The language for show schedules and judges for 2015 will be:
Section 9: Regional Popularity Poll – List one or all of the cultivars in the top 5 positions in your own region’s Pop Poll (including ties). 
This leaves some interpretation and CHOICE open to the local show chairman.  

The chairman/local committee can decide which cultivars will be restricted to this section.  

If a cultivar is listed in the show program as being allowed in Section 9, IT CANNOT BE SHOWN IN ANY OTHER SECTION OF THE SHOW. Chairmen/committees should consider this fact when choosing which cultivars will be restricted to Section 9.  PERIOD.  If a cultivar is shown on the Popularity Poll winners list for a region and is NOT chosen to be restricted to Section 9, then it can be shown in whatever section its registration data dictates.

For example, using the data found here, the regional popularity poll winners for Region 2 are as follows:

1. 'Webster's Pink Wonder'                        

2. 'Primal Scream'                              

3. 'Ruby Spider'                  

4. 'Heavenly Angel Ice'           

5. 'On The Avenue'

Here is 'Ruby Spider' showing off a random form:

If I were the local show chairman for a show in Region 2, I can decide that only 'Webster's Pink Wonder' will be shown in Section 9.  That will be published in the show schedule and 'Webster's Pink Wonder' will not be allowed in any other section of the show under ANY circumstances.  (This might be a good decision this year since it is also the reigning Stout Silver Medal Winner.  But this might be a bad decision because maybe few people in my club grow it, therefore this section will be thin or empty on show day.)

I could also make a different decision to allow 'Webster's Pink Wonder,' 'Primal Scream' and 'Ruby Spider' in Section 9. That will be published in the show schedule and those three cultivars will not be allowed in any other section of the show under ANY circumstances. (This might be a good decision because it will ensure more entries in Section 9.)

You see, the local chair/committee has some choice in what will or will not be restricted to this section.  STRATEGY TIP:  You have to also remember that according to AHS rules, only ONE cultivar in each name class can receive a blue, red, yellow or purple ribbon.  So, if there are 10 perfect exhibits of 'Webster's Pink Wonder' shown, only one is going home with a blue, one with a red and one with a yellow (if merited.) That will leave possibly 7 perfect exhibits with NO ribbons and 3 judges with headaches. 

So, back to the bigger picture:

In the event of ties in the Regional Popularity Poll results, the rule highlighted above still applies.  "One or all of the cultivars in the top 5 positions in your own region’s Pop Poll (including ties)."  For a region with ties, (like Region 9 for example in 2014) they could choose to restrict more than 5 cultivars to section 9.  The rule says "top 5 POSITIONS" not top 5 cultivars.  In this example, Region 9's results looked like this:

1-3. 'Desert Icicle', 'Sandy B' and 'Skinwalker' (Tie)         

4-7. 'Aspen Blues', 'Primal Scream', 'Shores of Time' and Allison's Curls' (Tie) 

Here is a cool pic I took of 'Desert Icicle' in New York years ago:

Theoretically, the show chair/committee in this example could choose to restrict all 7 of these cultivars to Section 9 of the show.  Whether this is a good idea or not, is the decision of the local planning committee.  Remember, if it is listed on the show schedule as being shown in Section 9, it is not allowed in any other section under any circumstances.  If I were chairing a show in Region 9 using the results shown above, I would probably choose to restrict positions 1-3 to the Popularity Poll section of my show.  I would publish in the show schedule that 'Desert Icicle', 'Sandy B' and 'Skinwalker' would only be allowed to compete in Section 9.  The other cultivars showing on my regional winners list are now eligible to compete in their respective sections.

Don't make it more difficult than it needs to be. 

If you want to have one cultivar in the Popularity Poll section of your show, cool. If you want to have all of the top 5 positions (and that may be more than 5 cultivars), cool.  
If you want to pick a few of the top 5 positions, cool.  
If you want to pick two cultivars from the top 5 positions, cool.

Whatever floats your local boat is cool, as long as you are picking from your regional list, and you are only picking from your top 5 positions and you are clearly communicating which cultivars you have chosen.

I hope this has helped to stimulate your brain about Section 9 and it has helped you see the strategy behind what to select (or not to select) for the Popularity Poll section of your AHS accredited show.

Hoping this clears up the mud a bit.  If I can answer any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me.  If I do not know the answer, I certainly know who to consult.

Til next time- stay warm, friends.  Spring is coming.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Daylily Haiku Thursday | A New Day!

<posted February 26, 2015>  This is the daylily, H. 'Empire of Desire' and it was the most photographed flower in the yard last summer.  Another one of my photos of it was recently featured on the back cover of the Daylily Journal.  I just love this cultivar.  You can find it here.

With a lump in my throat, I’m paging through my digital photos from our family in 2014.  Because I am obsessive a scrapbooker, I organize all my photos, regardless of content, by year.  For example, I have a master folder entitled MY PICTURES, then a sub folder of CARTER, then in that folder I have 2005, 2006, and so on to the present year.  For a garden related example, I have a NATIONAL MEETINGS folder, and within it are folders for each year I have attended the AHS National Convention (11 of them now.)

Each year I always kick off my creative juices by finishing the family scrapbook from the previous year.  Well, that worked great until January 2011, when I was consumed with life and the possibility of the impending (and ultimate) move to Illinois and I didn't get our 2010 family scrapbook done.  We moved in August 2011, and sad to say, I didn't get 2011 done, and here I am with 2013 or 2014 not done, either.  "Years behind" is a big deal to someone who for five years documented our memories almost as fast as we created them.  I am so proud of my scrapbooks.  When Carter graduates high school, or when he gets married, or when he shows up on an episode of “Cops,”  I will have volumes of ready-made photoautobiographies.  

Thanks, mom.  You’re the greatest.

So back to the obsessive scrapbooking part.  Over the holiday break I finished the 2010 family scrapbook, finished scrapping 2nd and 3rd grade and got really far into completing 2011.  It was a very busy two weeks.  I also organized ALL of the photos I took last summer and deleted the less-than-spectacular ones, and chose 50 prime photos to be used for Daylily Haiku Thursday this year.  The goal is to put out a full 50 in 2015 and publish the e-book of the haiku archives.  
I'm excited for the possibilities.  The hard part was simply getting started.  But once I had momentum, it was like butter.

The warm weather at the end of October and early November at the end of last year allowed me to plant these new purchases you see below living on my patio in pots most of the 2014 late summer...and enjoy a third rebloom of Heidi Douglas' 'Blonde on the Inside' which I adore even more now that it is a consistent rebloomer.

I also enjoyed the late-feeding finches and the last of the monarchs and skippers flitting about the yard.

'Unforgettable Wonder' also rebloomed in late October and the edge was just as sparkly then as it was when it bloomed first in June.  This is a wonderful cultivar from Herbie Phelps.

All of this feels like yesterday, when spring seemed like a lifetime away - but here I am now, getting ready to flip the calendar to March.  Wow.  As you can see, I've been doing a lot of reflecting.  I get many questions about how I got "into" daylilies.  The story is always the same.  I told it here in one of my first posts six years ago.

Let's think about that first time you saw hybrid daylilies.

Did you admire a neighbor's yard before striking up a conversation about their garden?

Were you bustling through the mall or library when you stumbled on a daylily show or sale?

Did you crack open the internet and accidentally discover the daylily world?  

We can all remember "that" moment.  Your eyes widened, your left-brain shook as your right-brain filled the trunk of your car with possibilities.  However it might have occurred, you're here now, with the rest of us, wondering how you dug this rabbit hole, how much you have spent while you have been here, and what happens next.  I know I am.  

Daylilies are part of the fabric of my life.  
A few thousand people visit the blog each month to see what I'm up to, my Facebook feed is full of flowers, my Inbox is a constant stream of questions, support and discovery.  I travel thousands of miles each year searching out new collections, exhibiting in shows and sharing my daylily adventure.  My closest friends, those who might know my green heart the best, are daylily friends. Some of them only exist in my daily life electronically, or in my snailmailbox - their handwriting offering a hug on a day when I need it most.  

I discovered the whole of daylilies much like I discovered the layers of music. My tastes in music today are rooted in my early exposures - The Doors, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin - which floated from my dad's garage and filled my summer days.  I can remember devouring Fleetwood Mac's studio album in 1987 -Tango in the Night.  It was the first time I bought a 33 with my own money, took it home, and listened to the entire thing in one sitting - letting the landscape of the tracks take me on a journey - appreciating the highs and lows, the fasts and slows, coming to an end with the last track on side 2 that still haunts me.  

Daylilies aren't much different.  The first ones - the thick substanced polychromes with saturated colors that make my heart flutter - shape my tastes in daylilies today.  I wonder if I would have been enamored instead first with the lilting shapes and finer textures of H. 'Miss Jessie' or H. 'Kindly Light', my garden wouldn't be overflowing with spiders and unusual forms.

I often wonder how I got here and where I might be if I weren't. But I am sure glad you're here with me.

Til next time - 

Friday, December 19, 2014

"Cast In Amber..." | Daylily Blog about Inspiration...

This is Missouri hybridizer Dave Niswonger's H. 'Gasping for Breath' blooming in my Illinois garden.
<posted December 18, 2014>  Are your tastes in daylilies rooted or related to the moment you fell in love with daylilies in general?  I definitely think mine are.  I gravitate toward full-petaled, polychrome or monochrome daylilies with heavy substance.  Those are my first choice if someone would ask what my taste in daylilies is.  I think I feel that way because the first hybrid daylilies that turned on the daylily light bulb for me had those characteristics.  25 years into this addiction, those types of daylilies still make my green heart sing.  

Apply that theory to books.  If you are an avid reader, you have a genre that you really enjoy.  Maybe its a guilty pleasure like romance or adventure, but whatever it is, it is likely so because when you first started to love reading, you read books in that genre whether by convenience, availability or recommendation of your parents/teachers/mentors.  I think the same can be applied to daylilies.  Your heart remembers the first time you fell in love and it will seek out that feeling at every opportunity.  

My first purchased hybrid daylilies included H. 'Golden Scroll,'  H. 'Tani' and H. 'By Myself,'  shown below blooming in my Illinois garden in 2014.  I still have the same plant I bought decades ago.  

The name H. 'By Myself' appealed to me and the time in my life when I bought it.  I was going through some early-20's angst when daylilies appeared in my life, so the names played a big part into their interpretation in my garden.  Not much has changed in my current garden.  The names are smoke signals to another time and place, and sometimes my heart aches to return there when I see them in the garden.  Its all good stuff - even if the memories aren't always happy ones.

It was also introduced the year I was born, which was a novel connection to me as a novice collector.  As I peeled the onion of this hobby more deeply, I learned that H. 'By Myself' was hybridized by Dr. Virginia Peck, a lady who has an entire chapter dedicated to her in A Passion for Daylilies.  This book is an absolute must-read for everyone who loves the people who love daylilies.    And it is an awesome travesty that its available used on Amazon for $0.63 plus shipping.  You should go buy 5 copies and gift them to your most rabid daylily friends.  Right now.  Click on the book picture below to do it.  You're welcome.

Reading about her attendance at the now-famous 1961 AHS National Convention where the Chicago powerhouse hybridizers were presenting their first strong findings on conversions. (Bless the hearts of those modern braggadocios who think they are the pioneers on conversions.  That was over 50 years ago, friends.) Van Sellers, recent Stout Silver Medal Winner, defines Dr. Virginia Peck as "not only the first, but THE major contributor to the tetraploid gene pool and the front-runner in every color."   That is so huge.  Most people don't know that the tetraploid revolution began in the Chicago-area, let alone one of its early champions was a woman.  Its.  Just.  Cool.  Stuff.  

She died in 1990, a few years before I would buy my first hybrid daylilies, and 20 years after her introduction of H. 'By Myself.'  
They called her a super mom of daylilies; a lady with a doctorate and a tiny, weather-worn face.  My favorite quote of hers shared in the book is, "I found out I couldn't do everything."  Amen, sister.  

The more I learn about the people who came before me in this community, the more I love both the flower and the people.  I often think, If I wrote a book like Sydney Eddison's today, what does someone 30 years in the AHS of the future need to know about the people in today's daylily community?  
What did we DO?  
Who did we inspire? 
What are we doing as a human collective that benchmarks OUR time in the daylily world?  
What does the table of contents of THAT book look like?

Those are deep thoughts to consider over a fire and some egg nog this holiday season, and Id love to hear what you came up with.  Please share!

Richard Norris' H. 'Remembered Kisses'
In the meantime, here are some fun daylily-related links you might enjoy:

Friday, November 21, 2014

DAYLILY Blog | What's making me happy this week? | Daylily Haiku Thursday

<posted November 20, 2014>  The daylily H. 'Spotted Fever' is a really neat one to have in the garden.  It always doubles and has a different face each time. Sometimes its more pink, sometimes darker - but always full and interesting.

Inspired by a regular feature of a favorite podcast, I thought I would share with you some things that are making me happy this week.

1.  The release of the new 'Illustrated Guide to Daylilies' released by the American Hemerocallis Society.  You can order it easily online here or by mail following the directions here.  As its description says, 
Written with the beginning gardener in mind, this is a completely new revision of an old classic, with up-to-date information about all things daylily.  Of particular value are chapters on how to obtain and select plants for growing in your area; when, where, and how to plant; how to prepare your garden, and how to care for your daylilies.   For the novice and the experienced gardener, it is a lavishly illustrated, full-color book, with superb photography submitted by nearly 100 members of the American Hemerocallis Society.  For the first time, there are complete chapters on the Stout Medal winners (1950-2014) and the Lenington All-American recipients (1970-2013), each of the Leningtons now illustrated with a beautiful photograph.  There are chapters dealing with daylily shows and the use of daylilies in arrangements; chapters on pests and diseases, as well as beneficial denizens of the garden.  There is information on how to hybridize and register daylilies, how to photograph them effectively, and how to make use of them as a culinary delight.  There is a brief chapter on companion plants, featuring many of the “Perennial Plants of the Year.”  Having opened with chapters on the history of the daylily, its foliage and flower, the book concludes with a detailed history of the American Hemerocallis Society, a glossary, a bibliography of daylily books, and a complete index.
It boasts 128 pages and 278 illustrations.  I cant wait for my copy to arrive.  I think these are some of the best educational, affordable outreach tools we have in AHS.   And, I might be biased because I was a contributor to the book, but dont let that influence your decision to pick some up for the holidays for your casual daylily-loving friends.

2.  The cool variety of videos about daylilies on YouTube.  Check out these results!  There are interesting videos on germinating and planting seed, some on cooking Daylily Fritters and others on dividing and planting.  Some (and by some I mean most) were not created by AHS members.  I wonder if these enthusiasts know about AHS?  This was a fun 10 minutes.

3.  Spontaneous emails from faraway friends.  Twice this week an email popped into my inbox from unexpected senders.  Both were full of quiet encouragement and happiness without even trying.  

4.  Receiving the engraved AHS Achievement Medal last weekend from Jim Cruise, chairman of the 2014 Central Illinois Daylily Society exhibition show. It was the only one awarded in Region 2 in 2014, and this region hosted the second largest number of daylily shows.  It is an interesting medal to seek, and I'd encourage hybridizers to enter this section of an accredited show.   
Having the medal in hand took me back to the hot heat of that July 5 day and the room filled with 'scent'uous daylilies on display.  Here's the back of the medal, showing the nice engraving done by AHS.  You can click on it to see it larger.

He's loved this flower since its maiden bloom, which he was the only one to see and takes great pride in retelling the story of the day he saw it open for the first time.  (I love both the flower and the story very much.)

If you've forgotten what the AHS Achievement Medal is, and want to read up on it to prepare your 2015 strategy for winning it, you can check out full information on it here

This is the entry that won the Achievement Medal.  It was registered as H. 'Beer and BBQ', as an homage to my favorite childhood tale involving my dad.  Its pod parent is Dan Bachman's H. 'Susan Ruoff.'  Cool dude, cool lady and cool flower.  Cool all around.  Yes, please.

As 2015 is just around the corner, NOW IS THE TIME to rally your local group around the idea of a public daylily display in the coming year.  Here is a link to a post I wrote about why daylily shows are important to hybridizers.  

(FUN FACT: In the center of this photo below is Dolores Bourisaw, the lady responsible for my addiction to hybrid daylilies!  She's the one second from the left.)

We had many first-time exhibitors that day, and I'm hoping they agree to put on a show again in 2015.  

So that's a bit of what's making me happy this week, friends.  What made you happy?

Til next time- 

Friday, November 7, 2014

DAYLILY Blog | This Fence on Daylily Haiku Thursday!

<posted November 6, 2014> So we paved paradise and put up a parking lot.  Actually, a fence. 

It's like what happens when you paint a room and get a bit on the ceiling.  No matter how hard you try, you always notice that one spot.

That one spot (about 20 of them, actually) was driving me crazy.  When the fence went up this week and I walked out in the garden, it was a totally different experience. I was focused on what was INSIDE the fence, not on what was OUTSIDE, and out of my control.  I like my neighbors a whole lot, but I've learned over the last three gardening summers that I like my privacy more. 

This fence puts a limit on my scope.  It gently says, "here are your boundaries - stay in here."  With the open plan of our subdivisions backyards, its easy to see/think that your backyard is the whole swath.  And my type-A vision sees that whole swath as "ours." No matter how fabulous my fraction of the swath is, I still notice  that broken broomstick in the above picture that I want to sneak over and yank out of the ground every time I step outside.  


This fence changes the shape and the elevation of the gardens - at least my perception of it.  The beds seem taller, the plants seem closer to me, the grass seems greener and the hardscapes look more grand.  The installers got a kick out of all the plant markers; I chatted up daylilies, of course, noting there are now almost 80,000 registered varieties and how I show some of the plants I grow competitively.  At most, they were mildly entertained and very gracious.

There are two 5' gates on each side with self-closing hinges, which makes it very convenient to continue to host garden tours and for the dogs to discover their own backyard safely, without a leash.

Although I no longer can pretend imagine the community backyards are all mine, all of this makes a ton of sense on many levels.  These are my boundaries.  

It's kinda like a hug for my house.  It feels so good.

Til next time!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What about getting back "in" the box? | Daylily Blog

<posted October 23, 2014>  This is a haiku featuring the daylily H. 'Happy Holidays To You' by Mike Holmes.  Mike and I share the same birthday and we share a similar extreme taste in daylilies.  His adorable wife Sandy is also a daylily hybridizer, and she will be speaking at the Greater St Louis Daylily Society banquet next month!  HOORAY!

I have been in two conversations this week where it was pointed out I might be thinking too far "outside the box."

Why do we have to think "outside the box?"

What if we aren't completely sure of what is "in" the box?

Aren't our skills better utilized perfecting the box, then what is in it, THEN work on what is outside of it?

What if the person who presented the notion that we are more courageous, productive, brave, creative if we are OUTSIDE of the box just couldn't figure out the box so they got out of it?  What if they just didn't understand how to function in the box?

<pours more chardonnay>

I obviously have more questions than answers today.

This weekend is the American Hemerocallis Society Fall Board Meeting and I'm traveling to Louisville, Kentucky to be a part of it.  I am the current Director for Region 2, so I must go and represent the near 2,000 AHS members in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.  Some of these folks are among my favorites in  all of daylilyland and I am so excited to see them!

Enjoy this Indian Summer, y'all!