2012 National Convention Recap | The Osman Garden

About ten years ago, I visited a garden on a National Convention tour that brought me to tears.  Many of you might have been there at Faded Flamingo Gardens - owned and created by Ralph and Becky Adams.
I mention this here because there are those places in time, that grab your soul and change the way you want to garden.

My visit to the Osman Garden during the 2012 National Convention was such a time. It transported me to a place of giving - a deep giving of the gardener's soul.  1400 cultivars spread out over five acres awaited me as I got off the bus.  
It was misting heavy, so I got a chance to use the large, white umbrella I sought for just this occasion. No one complained about the rain...not even I, who chose a white cotton dress for the day's tours.  The custom white sails on the Osman pier made for a nice snapshot.  I'm saying - "Come on y'all, let's go see some more daylilies!"

The rain did not spoil the blooms at all. This collection of daylilies reminded me of my own; no one form dominates, colors are saturated and lots of textures are present.  I also saw many things I had never even heard of!

The purples were regal...

H. 'Foxy Filly' and H. 'Heartbeat of Heaven'

H. 'Henry Boykin' and H. 'Quicksilver Girl'

The yellows and blends were radiant...

H. 'Give Me Eight' and H. 'Bonnie Holley'

H. 'Peasant Blouse' and H. 'Dream Machine'

The fabulously gaudy things were not to be outdone...

H. 'Candie Dwyer' and H. 'Moses in the Bullrushes'

H. 'Love and Dazzle' and H. 'Magnify the Lord'

Aside from the pier at the beginning of this post, the best part of this garden, and quite possibly the best feature seen in any of these tour gardens, are the large beds at the back of the property filled completely and exclusively with WOMEN hybridizers.  All around this pavillion are daylilies hybridized by women!

Yep, this one is for the ladies!

As I walked the paths, I saw living history.  These are mostly modern women, and the most moving part is that I have met or know most of them very well.  

Im not sure I could have felt more proud, seeing the triumphs of women I know overcome so much personally and professionally.  Women who are still fighting battles - and winning on all fronts.

Each woman had a hand-made sign near their introductions, and I saw many women featured in these beds standing by their signs getting photos taken.  It was like a red carpet and this was the Grauman's Chinese Theatre of daylilies!  

Here is Carol 'Seajay' Mock's H. 'Supreme Tangerine'...

Nan Ripley and Karol Emmerich were featured, and were on my bus!  I saw daylilies from Margo Reed and Kathy Lamb and Pat Salk and Heidi Douglas and Gerda Brooker and Nancy Eller and Cindy Dye and Jane Trimmer and Grace Stamile and Bobbie Brooks and so, so many other women I admire and cherish as friends.  

It is a thoughtful tribute, a time capsule and a total treat.  The signs for the women's feature were hand made by her and her husband all winter long.  What a wonderful effort, and a lasting legacy for daylilies!

Nan Ripley's H. 'Love of Ruth' and Karol Emmerich's H. 'Wall of Fire'

Call it 'Girl Power', but this bed had a ton of energy in it.  I enjoyed seeing a body of work from one hybridizer on display.  I liked seeing several of Kimberly McCutcheon's introductions growing in clump strength in one place.  It is a testament to the whole of the work.  

You rarely get the chance to answer the question:  
Are all of the plants from a particular hybridizer worthy of adding to a collection?  

Seeing the daylilies on display like this helped me to fall in love with hybridizers work I may have not otherwise considered.  

For example, I had the opportunity the night before this garden visit to win Carol (Seajay) Mock's H. 'Supreme Tangerine' in the auction at a very reasonable price.  I did not purchase it; the picture used wasnt that great and I had never seen it in a garden before.  Buuuuut, seeing it in clump strength the next day in this garden made me regret not taking the chance.  It was a real stunner for something that someone may describe as just-another-orange.  Here is a close-up:

The paths were packed with photographers and gawkers and some visitors in tears - seeing collections of women who have passed on, and some who were just deeply moved by the sentiment contained in the creation of this display. 

So many neat treats here - the pond, the pier, the snacks (fresh quiche), the wagon ride (how wonderful for the walking challenged), the abundance of smiling faces, the seating areas, the perfectly mowed expanse of lawn...  

The Osmans also had a wonderful bed for Guest Plants, seen below, with a great totem featuring the names of all the gardens who had sent plants!  I'm not sure you can get more thoughtful than this...

Looking back at the Women's Hybridizer Bed, I can see the magic hovering above it.  The horses playing in the morning mist added to the majestic mood of the area.  I just cant get over how carefully laid out these beds are, and how proud the women who were featured must have been.  

I wish I would have had another hour here.  Or maybe even another day.  This is the one garden I felt cheated for time.  Happiness lives here and I wanted more.

Here is a wide shot of the Women's Hybridizer bed, looking out from near the house - the horses were out of the barn in the back left corner.  

Dear Osmans- from all of us, thank you.  

Your years of hard work and attention to making every part of our visit meaningful could not have been better spent.  You played our heartstrings and our creative minds, and I am sure you inspired more than one of the 600 us to go home and do something meaningful in our own gardens.


Bethany Benton Art said...

Oh, how beautiful! All of the dayliles are gorgeous. I can tell from your post that much thought was put into this lovely garden. I almost bought 'Give Me Eight,' and for some foolish reason, I didn't go through with the purchase. I'm slapping myself right now for that mistake. 'Give Me Eight' is impressive! Thanks for taking us along on the lovely tour, Nikki. :-)


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