Showing It Off! | Daylily Blog about Show Season 2012

Daylily exhibitions get better each year. The quality and quantity of exhibits, the skill at grooming, and variety of show formats keep me interested from year to year.  Show season is my favorite part of "doing daylilies" and the 2012 season did not disappoint.

This year I was able to show in one, chair one, and judge three.  I traveled to four different states (three different AHS regions) to experience the madness that is a show day.  Georgia, Illinois, Missouri and Michigan played host to four amazing shows, each one with something different to offer.  There are a few "legendary" shows that I have yet to visit, and I'm hoping in 2013/2014 to be able to see at least one in Alabama, Mississippi or Texas.

Here's a quick summary of what I saw in 2012.  Enjoy the show(s)!

2012 - Combined Show in Atlanta, Georgia

Georgia, in my opinion, is still the reigning queen of superb daylily shows.  It is the state that boasts the highest number of judges and accredited shows each year.  Here is the post I wrote when I came home from this show.  

This show made a massive effort to reach out to the public with good plants for sale, a great educational exhibit, and a ton of clearly-identified members who were NOT busy with show duties to answer questions and smile at visitors.  Here is an aerial view of their "public area." Sorry for the pole in the middle of the photo, but look at all those volunteers dedicated to selling plants, showing educational displays and gaining new daylily friends!

Below on the left is the Best In Show winner from this show, H. 'Arctic Tern' exhibited by Claude Carpenter.    (Lambertson, 2006 height 38", bloom 7.5", season MLa, Rebloom, Semi-Evergreen, Diploid.)  Claude can not only shoot a great photograph of a daylily, he also grows and shows them impeccably!  I am glad to not be competing against him on the show table!  After seeing this one on a few show tables, I added it to my own collection this year for arrival in 2013.


2012- Columbia, Missouri

For the first time, I traveled WEST of the Mississippi River for a daylily show!  I was invited to judge the Region 11 CMDS show at the most beautiful Columbia Library and I had a wonderful time!  

The club organized a large design division, and I was in awe at the skill and imagination of the entries.  I love to see daylilies in standard flower shows, and learning how to create a winning design is not something that comes naturally to many people.  Here, here and here are some of my misadventures in design.  The last link is the funniest story.  I re-read it before I posted it for you here, and laughed just as hard as I did three years ago writing it.  (I can't believe its been three years!)

Here are more shots of their show, cleanly organized at the library.  While a location like this does not allow for many outside visitors, the members were able to gather together and enjoy their exhibits and share time with one another.

2012- Alton, Illinois

I threw down a personal gauntlet when I moved to Illinois in 2011 that I would bring the Daylily Exhibition Show experience to this area.  The Southwestern Illinois Hemerocallis Society rose to the challenge and hosted an accredited AHS exhibition show with over 100 entries and a boatload of fun and goodwill!  Here is the whole post about my experience at this show. 

This club used minimal resources and a ton of donations from supportive friends like the Shale Lake Winery (thank you for the free bottles!), and Richard Norris, Kimberly McCutcheon, JR Blanton and Dan Bachman, who donated recent cultivars for our head table prizes!  The total financial burden to the club was under $500, which was offset by the huge plant sale that they held in conjunction with the show.  WAY TO GO, SWIHS!

2012 - Rochester, Michigan

The show season ended with a visit to my daylily club "alma mater" in southeast Michigan.  What a joy it was to judge their show.  They have tough competition in this club, and very generous donors for their head table prizes.  The 2012 season was a strange one, and having a show the last weekend of July was a nail-biter for them.  Many growers had nothing left to show, and others were showing rebloom scapes!  Many others were thrilled to exhibit daylilies that are usually not in bloom when the show is held, as they are very late bloomers.

My panel started with the seedling section - which was also the largest section in their show by a few entries.  What a variety!  John Kulpa, Martin Kamensky, Chad Bush, Ken Kuzminski, Brian Howarth, Elaine Schultz, Greg Schindler, Kathy Rinke, and so many other local hybridizers (sorry for not remembering all of you!) exhibited in this section.  I am glad that these hybridizers are showing off their seedlings in accredited exhibition shows!  

Here we are below with our panel and our clerks - (from left) longtime judge and exhibitor Phyllis Cantini, youth/Canadian member Alex DesMarais, me, Garden Judges Liaison and Indiana resident Laurel Richardson, and super-friend and daylily enthusiast Patrice McCollum.  I think combined Phyllis and Patrice have over 45 years of service to this club and to AHS at various levels and they are valuable resources.

I want all local daylily groups to believe that they can do a daylily show, too.  It doesn't take thousands of dollars and a fleet of able-bodies.  It simply takes a commitment to follow provided protocol and a desire to share daylilies with the public in an interesting way.  Shows have their challenges - physically and philosophically - but their place in the educational mission of the AHS cannot be denied.  AHS holds about 60 accredited shows across the country each year.  We continue to grow and change the system to meet the changing form of our favorite flower.  I hope if you are interested in holding a show with your own local organization, that you know you can email me for encouragement and information.  

Do one in 2013.  Whether it is exhibiting for the first time, organizing a show for the first time, or even just going to one for the first time, you wont be sorry that you did!



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