Thursday, June 28, 2012
11:52 AM collecting daylilies, color inspiration, day lily, daylily, daylily blog, daylily expert, daylily haiku, daylily photography, daylily specialist, designing with the daylily, garden tour 4 comments
Signs that peak bloom season is here:
1. I fill at least three grocery bags with spent blooms each night.
2. I have lost track of what has bloomed and what has not.
3. Although most daylilies are not fragrant, when you get 300 of them exploding with bloom in close proximity, the scent is heavenly.
4. H. 'Raspberry Goosebumps' has at least 15 open blooms per day. EVERY DAY. (seen in foreground of the above photo...and it does this for at least three weeks!)
5. My hands are stained from deadheading and I don't bother to scrub them totally clean each day - in 12 hours they will be purple again, anyway.
6. The batteries in my headlamp are dead from overuse. (Don't ask.)
7. My camera lens is treated to lots of "twinning" pictures.
H. 'Carolina Pink Pinwheel' (Gene Tanner, Browns Ferry Gardens)
A couple years ago I complained about the "automatic" $100 price tag on new introductions. I expressed my opinion that the $100 should not be a given if hybridizers expected the larger daylily community to embrace their efforts more quickly. That year, unrelated to my rant, Gene Tanner offered several of his new introductions for below $100 and I ordered H. 'Carolina Pink Pinwheel.' I am so glad I did. 4-way branching on something that was divided and replanted late last fall is a good thing! It has an amazing show scape. I'll overlook the occasionally moddled sepals for that clear bubble-gum pink and large flower that does not hang up when opening.
Here are a few others worth drooling over today...
H. 'Curtis Montgomery' (Mort Morss, Daylily World)
H. 'Hippie Crash Pad' (Tim Tassin, DaybyDaylilies)
H. 'Megs Pick' (Joe Goudeau, Daylilies, Etc.)
H. 'Pictoee Magic' (Martin Kamensky, Michigan)
Although many have noted that this is their worst daylily season ever (due to weather, drought, etc) I must sheepishly say that it has been my best. Once this bloom is over, it is back to garden construction season for me...building a second, massive mixed perennial bed. I am also in talks with a local landscape architect on the plans for our front foundation gardens. Let's just say there will be boulders. Lots of big, Illinois-farmed boulders. More on that this fall...
I'm off to Kansas City this weekend to take in the Region 11 Garden Tours and Summer Meeting. The tour will take me to places of the US where I have not seen daylilies grow in person before, so I am excited to see how they "do daylilies" on the plains - even if it will reach 100 degrees on tour day. I have packed my large white umbrella and plan to use it a lot!
Have a wonderful day, even without this weeks Daylily Haiku Thursday. I'm still giving my brain a break from creating haiku during bloom season. In the meantime, write your own inspired haiku. Simply make the first line five syllables, the second seven and the third five. Let's hear some creativity inspired by daylilies blooming today!
Thursday, June 21, 2012
9:08 AM buying daylilies, collecting daylilies, daylily expert, daylily photography, daylily specialist, humorous stories 3 comments
So, you remember the Tale of Two Clumps...click here to refresh your memory. Seems we have come to the end of the tale very early in the daylily season.
WARNING: The tale does not have the expected or anticipated ending.
Seems the second clump - the one on the right in the picture below - the one that went completely dormant early last fall - the one I bought for a too-good-to-be-true price sold as the beautifully purple H. 'Bella Sera', isn't H. 'Bella Sera' at all.
<insert sigh here.>
See for yourself.
I thought I was buying a second clump of the gorgeous purple thing in the photo here. I already had about 4 fans, but like this flower so much I wanted a larger display of it, so I purchased it from a live auction last fall.
But instead, I got this unruly, in-your-face character that seems to be mocking me and my disappointment in its identity crisis.
So, whoever at the Greater St Louis Daylily Society auction last fall who intended to donate pots of H. 'Bella Sera', maybe you can help me identify whatever this actually is...
In the meantime, I enjoy the unexpected interloper and the laugh it gives me. I imagine it has a thick Boston flare to its voice...and a sick sense of humor.
P.S. Taking off from Daylily Haiku Thursday this week and next. I have so much to blog about and my brain is in such sensory overload from the gardens that I cannot focus on such details like syllables and simile. :)
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
9:08 AM awards, competition, day lily, daylily, daylily blog, daylily expert, distinction, exhibiting daylilies 9 comments
I cut the scape the night before (as you know I grow all my seedlings about 30 miles from my house) and I was worried that it wouldnt open. Even if it did open, the chances of the bloom being perfect was slim. Seedlings hardly ever win a purple or a blue ribbon, as 25 points of the 100 they are allowed goes for distinction. If the judges do not think the seedling "speaks" to them, shows some qualities superior to other observed daylilies, or contributes to the daylily landscape in general...then the chances of winning 90 of those 100 points aren't great.
But, knowing that seedlings are a tough section, I needed to bring this scape.
She towers over everything else in the bed, and for a red, the surface and hue are flawless. You know red is not my color. Red in the daylily garden rattles my rhythm. It is so hard to mess up red. Its browny-red, or purple-red, or brick-red, or tomato-red. I like crayon red. Real, rosy, radiant red. And I think this daylily has that color in spades. It is clear and clean and I wanted judges to comment on it. I cut it 13 hours before the show, immediately plunged the cut scape into cold water and left it outside to soak up the moonlight.
5am came early, and I thought about this scape before my feet hit the floor. I shuffled outside, still shaking the dreams from my hair and the sleep from my eyes, to see how she faired.
I ran back inside. I wanted to scream. But the house was still silent, gentle snoring coming from two bedrooms and no one awake to celebrate. I did a solo happy dance anyway.
None of the other exhibits in my buckets compared with the screaming red one on the left. She not only opened well, but was perfect. I packed the car carefully...knowing that if I was going to lose this flower, it would be in transport.
I took 39 scapes. Many seedlings, since this is the first opportunity I have had to really show anyone what Ive been doing the last five or six years in hybridizing. Until this summer, I have only seen these daylilies once or twice a season, and for only a day or two even then. I think I took 12 seedling scapes and entered 8.
The big red one stared at me in the rearview mirror the whole way to the show. I watched it bounce up and down as I seemed to hit every big bump on the road there. In the picture above, its the one on the far left. You can't miss her. With my favorite tunes blaring, I enjoyed the 45 minute ride in...
She was the first scape I entered with classification. I wanted the exhibit on the table as soon as possible to avoid any accidents near grooming and placement.
The rest of the morning is a blur. Grooming questions and placement questions and computer database questions and wi-fi issues kept me busy. Keep in mind hardly ANY of these volunteers have been to a show, let alone WORKED at one, so we had lots of teamwork and patience in play. Everyone rocked. Seriously rocked. I am so proud. (On a side note, 16 people came to my gardens the week before the show to learn how to select, transport and groom daylilies. They were serious about doing this right!)
There was a nice representation of daylilies in the show except for unusual forms and spiders. In those two sections, there were only 4 entries. I thought about my own garden and was disappointed I hadn't looked more closely for some of those.
H. 'Dyna Girl' and H. 'Threshold of a Dream' - both by Paul Owen of Slightly Different Nursery
I took Paul Owen's H. 'Threshold of a Dream' and his H. 'Dyna Girl' and scored purples with both! It is the first time I have used his cultivars in a show and they really rocked! The branching on TOAD was bananas. Had it not been for a tiny color break on a petal, I think that one would have won the section. Sigh. H. 'Dyna Girl' had two well-spaced blooms open and was a contender as well. They are both great garden plants and translated very well inside, too!
When the dust settled, 13 exhibitors won blue ribbons! Almost half of the 111 scapes were awarded first place honors! I won 22 blue ribbons, which made me the Sweepstakes Winner! I have never won that award before, so I am so excited to check that one off the list!
And, as the Best In Show ballots were tabulated, it was revealed that this seedling had won Best In Show!
Are you kidding me?
I almost cried.
WHO CRIES AT A DAYLILY SHOW?
Had it not been for the existence of Facebook and YouTube, I may have broke out in that happy dance again, but I was not risking an appearance on America's Funniest Home Videos, or worse, someone else's blog doing a really bad macarena. Thank God I have the threat of social media to help curb my outbursts in public...
So, that's it. We did it. A third Best In Show, and a real boost of encouragement for our daylily eye in the seedling bed. A big shout out goes to my dad, who first saw this seedling in 2008 and told me that there was a red daylily I would finally like. And he was right. I love it.
We will divide up this huge clump once it is finished blooming, and if it does well next summer after the dividing, we will introduce it next year. The name is already reserved, and was suggested by my darling husband, Steve. If he has to admit to liking daylilies at all, he says he loves the red ones.
Here she is in the garden, standing on a 45" scape with a consistently extra large 8" bloom.
Congratulations to all the winners of the first AHS-accredited daylily show for the Southwestern Illinois Hemerocallis Society.
Way to go, folks! WE DID IT!
Monday, June 18, 2012
9:54 AM collecting daylilies, competition, day lily, daylily, daylily blog, daylily club, daylily expert, exhibiting daylilies 1 comment
On June 9th, I arrived at the Cobb Galleria Centre early in the morning to soak in the atmosphere of potentially the largest daylily show in the country, and find some zen before starting to serve as a judge for this show.
Two clubs in the Atlanta area come together to put of this event, and I am happy to report that they did not disappoint in 2012. 368 scapes were judged, and scads of purple ribbons (flowers that scored at least 95 of 100 points) were awarded!
In this same mall, as if the largest daylily show wasn't enough, they were also hosting a very large knife show, which made the parking lots and entrances very colorful places to overhear curious conversation, read t-shirt slogans and hear politicians stump for support. I passed by a conference room holding a seminar entitled "Surviving Civil Unrest." A title that could very well be related to the daylily show! (I kid.) A very interesting mini-study in political science and sociology nonetheless. Many of the knife-wielders also seemed to have green thumbs! Many patrons to the daylily sale put on at this show were from the knife group!
You never know where the next daylily addict will come from...
You never know where the next daylily addict will come from...
The mall location provided natural light, which allowed the daylilies to sparkle and show off their substance and texture. This view below is of all the large flowers (registered 4.5" and up to 7"). My panel judged only a piece of this section. The winner of all these flowers ended up being H. 'Kennesaw Mountain Hayride.' It was a tough decision.
Below is the sale/education/social area of the show. These members sold daylilies and talked about our favorite flower all day and I think they made good money doing it!
Two tables butted up against each other provided for deep displays. The clear bottles serving as the perfect foil for dripping color above. Clear containers and white tablecloths brought out the color clarity - as there were no competing colors to distract the judges eye from the bloom...
What I enjoy about judging out of state is the different mix of flowers exhibited. In Michigan and Ohio, I would have never seen the majority of the flowers exhibited in Georgia. Each region has its "ringers" that can always be counted on to show up and place at exhibitions. In Georgia, those stand-bys are different than other places. That is an awesome aspect of the daylily show in a public place- exposure for daylilies growing well in that geographic area. I saw many show visitors writing down names and addresses to contact exhibitors about flowers they saw at the show. I am sure many sales are made after a great exhibit at a show. (another benefit for hybridizers to show...increased sales!)
The two clubs also planned a wonderful sit-down lunch for about 100 people, complete with the announcements of the award winners and a great kudo fest. These two clubs really did a wonderful job under the leadership of Diana Waldrop. I didn't get any shots of the lunch because I was too busy trying to steal another piece of that delicious strawberry cake.
What is even more spectacular about this show is I got to meet Beth, the writer from Daylily Soup. She and her husband (an engineer who is drafting plans for the best daylily transporter ever) drove in almost 4 hours just to see the show! She is just a joy and full of enthusiasm for all things daylilies. Ill keep blogging as long as there are people like Beth to meet. Her excitement fuels mine, and I was thankful she came to chat. Here we are cheesing for the paparazzi:
Here are the winners...RED ICICLE, AT JACK'S, HEAVENLY UNITED WE STAND, BROOKWOOD BLACK KITTEN, KENNESAW MOUNTAIN HAYRIDE and ORANGE VELVET.
The Best In Show award went to Claude Carpenter's exhibit of H. 'Artic Tern.' He also took home the Sweepstakes award, and that is also his exhibit of H. 'Heavenly United We Stand.' What a great competitor!
H. 'Artic Tern' - the Best In Show Winner
Thank you to both clubs for inviting me to judge and for all the hospitality during my stay! See you this Fall, Georgia!
Thursday, June 14, 2012
11:07 AM AHS, awards, competition, day lily, daylily blog, daylily haiku, exhibiting daylilies, waldrop daylily No comments
Along with fourteen other judges, I saw some amazing exhibits. Many hybridizers were represented, and many blue ribbons were won. Someone sent me the above photo on Facebook. Bill Waldrop might have taken it, and I love it and distinctly remember the moment it was shot.
Now here is my own photo of what I was looking at in the above photo...
4 near perfect exhibits of H 'Lydia's Regal Robe' entered by 4 different exhibitors!
What a treat for the hybridizer and the judges to see it represented so well. We lamented over the awarding of the Purple Ribbon winner. See, in shows, if more than one of the same cultivar is entered in the show (in this case 4 scapes of the same cultivar were brought) the rules only allow one of them to receive a purple, only one can win blue, only one can win red. Even if they all score enough points to win a purple, only one of them can win it. So, all of these were near perfect, so we had to choose one winner, and leave one with nothing at all. What a rip off for the third runner-up in this case, but that is the rule. You can tell in the picture above which flower won which award...
I love that we caught both sides of this quandary on film and I could capture it here to remember.
This was a great competition among 4 great competitors. It really caused my panel to use concise measurements and detailed judging.
Every grain of pollen out of place counted negatively!
Every blemish on an otherwise black-velvety surface subtracted points!
What a race!
flowers do what they do
despite our moods and motions
to be something else!
Monday, June 11, 2012
11:40 AM collecting daylilies, color inspiration, day lily, daylily, daylily blog, daylily expert, hayride, kennesaw, waldrop daylily 1 comment
(H. 'Kennesaw Mountain Hayride' and H. 'Red Sapphire')
H. 'Marietta Melon' - YUMMY!
H. 'King Cobra' (Jamie Gossard)
No matter how many gardens I visit, or how many people come to mine, I always learn something new and get new ideas. I come home rejuvenated to try something new. Thank you to Bill and Diana for giving me time on a day that begged for them to be doing so much else. Sammy the Cat was not too fond of my presence, but I think the rest of us had a grand visit. I appreciate their hospitality (especially the fresh raspberries) and encourage you to see more of their daylily life on their website and on Bill's blog.
More soon on the joint daylily show put on by The Daylily Society of Atlanta and the Cobb County Daylily Society...that will be part 2! Until then, enjoy the pictures and enjoy each other!