Wednesday, December 12, 2012
11:15 AM awards, designing with the daylily, exhibiting daylilies, floral design, new thoughts No comments
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)!
GREATER ATLANTA / COBB COUNTY DAYLILY SOCIETIES
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.
CENTRAL MISSOURI DAYLILY SOCIETY SHOW
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.
SOUTHWESTERN ILLINOIS HEMEROCALLIS SOCIETY
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!
SOUTHERN MICHIGAN DAYLILY SOCIETY
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.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
10:42 AM awards, day lily, daylily, daylily blog, daylily expert, daylily haiku, daylily photography 1 comment
Last week I posted about H. 'Laura Harwood' , a daylily that is contending for this year's Stout Silver Medal. Many commented on that post, on both sides of the coin. Some shared my like of this daylily, others questioned my sanity and taste in daylilies. The good news is that everyone is right. Either way you fall on the daylily, I'm just glad you commented.
With well over 70,000 registered daylilies and millions of seedlings each year to enjoy all over the world, its okay if you hate some daylilies I like. We should still be friends.
So this week I thought I would share some of my photos of other daylilies who have made it to the top of the AHS Garden Judges Ballot as contenders for the Stout Silver Medal.
This is H. 'Creature of the Night' and although I have shown this photo before, I am so in love with this daylily you needed to see it again. I found a clump of it for sale at the Central Illinois Daylily Society sale this summer and snatched it up for $10! It is still in a pot waiting for a home in the garden, but at least its here. It will add some real drama to a bed that features a few new upright Japanese maples.
I also like H. 'Thin Man', (seen below) but I only saw this one in tour gardens outside my region the last few years, so I don't really have a gauge on how it does in Region 2. As I saw this one, it is striking in the landscape and towers above many. The coloration and form isn't groundbreaking to my eye, but it is consistently large and a real attention-getter when it has multiple blooms open on one day.
standing tall in red
bright and deep in the garden
calling out to you.
So, yes, neither of the above daylilies are my typical "thing" that usually gets my heart pumping in the daylily world. They aren't beefy and full-formed and laden with ruffles. But... I'm coming around. Especially to Jim Murphy and Margo Reed's creations. Have you seen the Woodhenge website?
Here is the matte-colored H. 'Jane Trimmer'. I like the texture of this one and it consistently bloomed with no color breaks or form flaws in both my Illinois and Michigan gardens. Thanks to Nicole Willis for sharing this one with me. I might not have otherwise added it without your personal recommendation and gift! (Nicole is also the hybridizer of next year's release H. 'Nikki's Haiku'!)
Here is the complete list of contenders. How many do you grow and what would you vote for if you were a Garden Judge? (Ill be giving a presentation on "Demystifying AHS Garden Judges" at the upcoming Lilyhemmer convention in Pennsylvania. How these daylilies get on the ballot in the first place is quite a process and one that everyone should understand.)
Carnival In Mexico
George Jets On
How Beautiful Heaven Must Be
Margo Reed Indeed
Spacecoast Gold Bonanza
Catcher In The Eye
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Spacecoast Sea Shells
Creature Of The Night
Heartbeat of Heaven
Symphony of Praise
Heavenly Angel Ice
Palace Garden Beauty
Her Best Bloomers
Lies And Lipstick
Brer Rabbit's Baby
Mandalay Bay Music
Shores of Time
Thursday, August 2, 2012
4:04 PM 2012 national convention, AHS, awards, daylily haiku, daylily photography, garden tour, region 2 1 comment
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!
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!