Daylily Haiku Thursday - and more symposium summary

a jewel in a crown.
(as heavy as it may be)
most things are worthwhile.

H. 'Dyna Girl' (Owen, P. 2010) 28" 5.25" Image from Slightly Different Nursery

Yesterday I spent about 2000 words spinning my version of the past weekend in Cincinnati for the Region 2 Winter Symposium. I could have included 2000 more, but chose to leave some of my most cherished highlights for today's post (that's not to say that all the experiences of the weekend were not cherished, just some stood out in a particular way...)

Steve Horan's presentation on Ornamental Grasses was unbelievable. The seasonal photos, the botanical names, the depth of knowledge and the eagerness of the audience to internalize it all was very inspirational. I'm not sure I heard as many questions from the audience for any other speaker. I had not heard him speak before, nor did I get to see his garden during the Minnesota National a few years ago, but you can bet I will not be absent from the tour when it returns to his garden in a few years. Pens were feverishly capturing bits and bites from his presentation. Not only did he provide many photos, he also provided culture information and answered all the questions from the audience with the calm precision of a master speaker. It was refreshing to hear "something other than daylilies" from someone who understands the mind of a daylily addict. Thank you, Steve, for an enlightening presentation.

His passionate gardening photos reminded me of ones I took at the now famous "Faded Flamingo" gardens at the AHS National Convention in 2003. Although they don’t directly relate to this weekends symposium, here are some shots…

Sorry for the digression, I had to let you see those photos!

Back to the symposium, Wanda Evans and Lisa Klette teamed up to take the audience on a daylily tour of the internet. I believe this is the first time this presentation was given in "prime time" and they covered everything from the Lily Auction to the Region 2 website to the PlantStep program. It was nice touch to have a live connection to the internet to see Tinker's, Dave's,, and more come to life before our eyes.

And then there was a presentation of a "slightly different" kind. Paul Owen took us on a tour of his daylily life in North Carolina. Now, although some of us yankees consider "the Carolinas" the south, Paul's hybridizing efforts are proven in the north. He took the microphone and we were off on a journey of super fun proportions. Photos of his travels, of his rolling property, of his challenges with weather, of his garden parties and events, of his charity work, and of his daylily introductions. My first big daylily order of recent introductions for 2010 was made with Paul. I ordered several of his beauties to add to my collection. In these economic times, when I am writing a check for a few hundred dollars for daylilies, I am discerning. Its not easy to write those checks, but it is easier when you know you are appreciated as a customer and your order will be just as expected- and more. He communicates with his customers more than any other vendor I have used in 15 years of ordering daylilies. His website sent me a thank you. His newsletter is fun and super informative. His daylily names have story, history and meaning; he told us of many during his presentation. If you like big, full, saturated, northern hardy plants, check out his website. If your club is looking for a speaker for a general meeting, banquet, summer meeting, or other event, Paul needs to be your first call. I may be partial, but his DYNA GIRL is a jewel.

DYNA GIRL was dedicated to me. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am never one to toot my own horn; I'd rather toot someone else's. But, this is the first flower to be associated with me or my name. I was speechless when Paul asked if I minded if he named a flower for me. DO I MIND? Are you crazy? To be honored in this way is almost beyond comprehension. Its like being named in the dedication of a book, or named in an Oscar thank-you speech. DYNA GIRL happens to also be in my favorite color- pink. He sent a small clump to me last year before its introduction. It grew here in Michigan all summer last year, and when the first snows fell, it had already multiplied to 8 big fans with lots of smaller ones and it is among the most anticipated blooms of 2010. I won't divide it this year, but my mom already wants a piece of it in her garden in southern Illinois. I hope to take it to the show for exhibition. You may still be able to get DYNA GIRL for spring delivery.  He says its a winner. I think he's a winner, too.  

Come to think of it, the whole weekend was a winner. The feedback forms returned to me showed that most of the attendees thought Dan and JR, along with their team of planners put on another one-heck-of-an-event.  I can say that if you have thought about attending one of these winter events, stop thinking and make plans to go.  You wont be sorry.

Thank you to everyone who supported region 2 with their time, efforts and funds last weekend. It was the best way to kick off another year of "doing daylilies."

For a closing image, here is what you can do with that old box seen at the Faded Flamingo Gardens in the Carolinas!


Melodyec said...

Old box springs? OMG, what an incredible idea!

Unknown said...

Hi Nikki - I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog and check in every week to see what's new. In addition to being entertaining, your blog provides a real service to the rest of us daylily fans! Thank you for all you do - Paul couldn't have picked a better person to honor with his wonderful daylily.

Susan Okrasinski
Kingsport Tn.

Nikki Schmith said...

Howdy, Susan! Thanks for stopping by. You should start a blog of your amazing photos, as you always capture events and people like no one else!!

Anonymous said...

I saw a guy driving down the road in a pick up with a box spring torn to shreds. i bet he was getting ready to do that to it.
-Catherine P


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