The first day of the 66th annual American Hemerocallis Society National Convention kicked off on Thursday with clinics, meetings and forums for garden judges and other specific groups. I breezed into the hotel to facilitate the Regional Officers Forum, where we discussed issues in each of the 15 AHS Regions. Once some business was out of the way, we enjoyed Happy Hour and prepared for night #1 of the Live Auction.
We auctioned about 100 plants to a room full of daylily enthusiasts. I didnt get any pictures of the auction festivities, as I was the only person making sure the right plant was given to the right bidder each time, and I was also supporting the auctioneers with spotting and calling bids. Auctions are an art form.
The auctioneer has to understand the needs of the crowd, the crowd has to be in tune with the auctioneer. Its a delicate balance to keep a good vibe in the room to make people feel good about spending a boatload on money on daylilies. Some do it well and others do not. It was an exhausting night after an equally as exhausting day, but we raised a lot of money for AHS and had a ton of fun doing it. We finally hit the pillows about midnight - ready to dream about the Friday bus tours!
The buses started to load at 6:30am, so I needed to get to McDonald's for some sweet tea before departure! I quickly made a run for several drinks and some breakfast refreshments before leaving the hotel on the fleet of buses. Paul Owen was our bus captain, and unless you have been hiding under a daylily rock for the last decade, you know he is full of energy, joy and a passion for people. I could not have landed a better captain for the weekend tours. Our bus pulled away on time, and our adventure was on!
The first stop was Angel's Paradise, the home garden of Doug and Stacy Sayer. We were greeted by Doug and his youngest son on the bus and quickly deboarded to devour our first stop.
From the first view, this garden is a designer's palette. A large sweep of wild grasses frames the front yard and accentuates the otherwise straightforward front yard. This clever way of "framing" creates a space where there is none, and I found it incredibly interesting.
I spent the first few minutes taking in the serene rock stacks, wonderful confier plantings and textural mixes in the perennial islands. The daylilies were sprinkled about this AHS Display Garden - neatly marked and spaced appropriately. There were many forms, shapes and sizes of daylilies, and I took a few minutes to sketch one of the circle beds so that I may replicate it in my own front yard next spring. I'm looking for a low-maintenance, but diversely planted circle for near the road of my front yard, and the circle on the left below is the one I enjoyed:
The 20' circle inspired me with texture and shape, and the rim of daylilies punctuated the shape perfectly. I loved the blue spruce in the center, playfully footed with echinacea, sage, golden globe arborvitae and daylilies. I plan to use all one color of daylilies in my version, though. I think cream ones will work very well with the plan I have. At home I have H. 'Banana Cream Beauty', H. 'Boundless Beauty', H. 'Nikki's Haiku' (2013), H. 'Buzz Saw', H. 'See Me Feel Me Touch Me' and H. 'Cha Ching' that will work perfectly in this new garden. I'll have to find a few more, but I think the creamy colors along the border of this bed will really set off the blue spruce and purples of the sages and echinacea. I think Ill try to get deep magenta colored echinacea for this project... Oh, the possibilities!
H. 'Eat Our Wake Pintaheads' by Dan Bachman was in full bloom and putting on quite a show in this garden. Here it is filling my lens...
This was not a garden overflowing with rows and rows of daylilies, which made it a wonderful way to start the day. We were treated to many different plant materials, planted with ease and deliberate complement. You know its a good garden when I have no comment on the food- since I never made it there to see what they were serving. :(
Many wonderful cultivars bloomed happily here, and a few of my favorite were:
(L-R: H. 'Cory Tipple', H. 'Tropical Pirate' and H. 'TNT')
I also LOVED the unbelievable branching on H. 'Orange Pushup' and started my new obsession with Jim Murphy's introductions with H. 'Pattern Evolution.' Needless to say, I have added a few things to my wish list!
Four gardens are on the agenda today, and this is only our first stop. Paul blew the whistle and he had to force me to get on the bus to leave. I dawdled behind, enjoying some last views of two pirates - H. 'Crimson Pirate' and H. 'Tropical Pirate.' (the latter seen above.)
Kimberly McCutcheon and I - ready for the day! (how much do you LOVE that dress?!)
This is a wonderful way to kick off the first day of this convention! Thank you to Doug, Stacy and their beautiful family for putting together a really smart and fun garden for us to enjoy.
Your hard work is certainly appreciated!
Tomorrow's post: the Hensley Family Garden- a suburban, corner gem!
(and also the garden that prompted me to immediately order some garden art from my iPhone on the bus!)