Each year, Region 2 hybridizers send seedlings to specified gardens to compete for the prestigious Englerth Award. The seedlings are grown in a Region 2 Tour Garden, and visitors to the garden during the meeting can vote on which seedling they believe to be the most worthy of the award.
This year Region 2 hosted the AHS National Convention, so we were blessed to give all 600 attendees to this meeting the chance to vote on our regional seedlings! The bed was hosted by MarLee Farms and boasted over 55 entries!
Since 1987, Region 2 hybridizers have competed for the Englerth Award for Hybridizing Excellence. The purpose of this award is to encourage and promote Region 2 hybridizers. The award is named in memory of Lawrence and Winifred Englerth of Hopkins, MI. Winifred was known for introducing daylilies with high bud count such as 'Mini Minx', 'Skippy Skeezix' and 'Pinkie Pinkerton'.
Everyone took their vote seriously and I took the time to eavesdrop on some of the conversations. Below are David Hoffmann of Missouri and Joel Park of Michigan (two cool dudes!) discussing the merits of some of the seedlings.
The seedlings in this bed were laid out with care, and even though we are experiencing record drought and temperatures, many were blooming wonderfully. The convention tour-goers spent most of their visit to this garden evaluating what they saw, and making a choice for the winner.
Even though some (most) of the entries had already bloomed out, voters even took the time to evaluate the spent scapes of the clumps that were not showing any bloom!
The award medallions have been donated by John and Geraldine Couturier, who now reside in Region 10. Each medallion is engraved with the winner's name and at the Saturday Night AHS Awards and Honors Banquet, I was pleased to announce this year's winner- Steve Williams of the Metropolitan Columbus Daylily Society and O'Bannon Springs Daylilies!
His winning seedling is the one featured in the opening photo of this post, and also seen below, in this gorgeous photo from my friend Susan Okrasinski.
On our tour day, this clump must have had 25 blooms open. I especially enjoyed the reverse of the flower and the abundance of blooms. We were there in the heat of the day, after a rain, and as you can see from the photo (taken by someone on my bus), it did not melt or slick in the rain.
Here are the second and third place winners, a double from Dottie Warrell (seedling 7WPCD) and another beauty from Steve Williams (seedling 813.1076)!
This double had a few blooms open, they were all double and the branching was very nice. The scapes held up the large blooms and I thought the colors were nice and saturated.
The eye brought some distinction I enjoyed. This double is a daylily I would spend money to own...I hope Dottie decides to register it and offer it for sale.
The third place daylily was (in my own words) a tall, stippled, reverse bitone. It towered over some of its neighbors and was very photogenic. This one was also entered by the winner of this years competition, Steve Williams.
These three were my top three as well. I actually had some entries in this seedling bed (they had already all bloomed out and I was bummed) but the spent scapes looked good and I heard some nice discussion about the foliage condition despite the weather. This was the first year I entered this competition, and will certainly do so again.
I encourage any hybridizer in region 2 to send a few fans (the more the better) to the 2013 and 2014 Englerth beds. In 2013, the bed will be hosted by Gail Braunstein from Ohio and in 2014 it will be hosted by Mark Jankowski from Wisconsin.
You could go to your seedling beds right now and ship several fans to these two hosts. The more fans, the better. In order to win, you want more fans to increase your chance to have it blooming on tour day. You also might not pick those seedlings which bloom early. They might be bloomed out by tour time.
Here are the addresses of who to ship your seedlings to if you choose to enter this competition for the next two years:
Gail and Dick Braunstein
3010 McIntire Road
Morrow, Ohio 45152
4297 Deprey Road
Abrams, Wisconsin 54101
Congratualtions again to Steve Williams of O'Bannon Springs Daylilies on his win! I know he has been a contender in past years, too. I hope to make it to his garden someday to see what is going on in person. Many people visited after the recent National Convention and I hope they enjoyed the visit!
BONUS: My brain is finally free of summer's grasp to flow a haiku. Welcome back to Daylily Haiku Thursday, friends. Thanks for three years of creating 5-7-5 prose about our favorite flower...
dark as cold midnight,
in the unrelenting sun.
not melting. stunning!