2012 National Convention Recap | Pretty Petals Gardens

It is hard to digest the last week in my daylily life.  Finding words to describe a five-day daylily celebration is a daunting task.  I find myself quiet about the event, and holding the memories quiet in my own mind.  There are over 700 pictures from the 2012 American Hemerocallis Society National Convention on my camera, bags full of new plant acquisitions and sunburned shoulders to remind me of the trip and I hundreds of stories to tell.
I started my "Week of Wonderful" at Pretty Petals Gardens, where I worked to help prepare the garden for a tour.  This picture is the sunrise on Thursday morning, the day 200 daylily friends were scheduled to tour her gardens. A sign of such fiery beauty signaled a day full of joyful power and humble wonder.

I made my special Strawberry Sangria for her event, coaching David Kirchhoff through my recipe.  We iced hundreds of cookies, pulled thousands of weeds and laughed a million times.  We painted benches, scrubbed pots and planted colorful annuals.  The buses showed up and the show was on!

This tour was in addition to the two days of tours that were planned for the convention, and it was sold out almost as soon as it was announced.  Although she had experienced severe drought and heat and a tough school schedule, we were ready for the wonderful day.  Guests enjoyed music and shady places to sit while enjoying my special strawberry sangria.  One of the most fun moments of this day was coaching THE David Kirchhoff through my recipe for this drink, and watching him wield a knife cutting the fresh fruit was hilarious.  Our mimosas and lemon-raspberry cookies were a hit.  I think I liked the cream cheese fruit pizzas we made for the afternoon bus better than the lemon cookies, but that is still up for debate.

Kimberly has introduced daylilies like H. 'Big Red Express', H. 'Peasant Blouse' and H. 'Starry Eyed Piranha' along with about 25 other worthy and interesting plants.  These three are big and wonderful and full of intense color.  The scapes are tall and well-branched, and most of all - they are worthy of adding to your garden.  You can find her stuff here, and can email her for convention specials.  She might still be offering her "Buy 3 Get The 4th Free" Sale she offered the day of this tour.  Here are the three I mentioned above, showing off in the tour gardens:

H. 'Big Red Express' (6.5"+)

H. 'Peasant Blouse' (6"+)

H. 'Starry Eyed Piranha' (6"+)

If you asked me, I would also recommend H. 'Purple Eyed Pirate' (highly) and H. 'Deep Pearl.' 

Kicking off day one with a beautiful sunrise and great hard-working friends was just what we all needed.  We were able to reconnect and get ready to celebrate our favorite flower with 600 of our closest gardening friends. This day was only the beginning...tomorrow I will post about Day 1 of the official AHS National Garden Tours.  We saw 8 wonderful gardens over two days, so you are in for 8 straight days of eye candy!

Kimberly and I celebrate the end of a successful and fun day in the garden!



patchesandpeachs said...

What fun that must have been, Nikki! I love reading your blogs and checking out your pics. That's a fabulous sunset shot! I would so like to do one of these conventions someday, but I feel I would suffer anxiety being away from my daylilies for that length of time. I would have to do one in an area where the peak season is in May or June instead of July. Helping someone weed their beds in preparation for a tour sounds like it would be right up my alley. - Karen


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