There are countless ways to enjoy the wonderful daylily. Photographers, writers, collectors, painters, landscapers, designers, website creators, authors, editors, auditors, planners, judges, teachers, administrators, speakers, donators, growers, sellers, and ambassadors all cherish the diversity and delight that a daylily brings to the perennial garden.
We buy and sell them in all sorts of ways...
We can sit in dark rooms and listen to hours of lecture on them...
We show them in designs, in so many creative ways...
We tour gardens all over the world as a group - learning together. Getting stuck on buses together, sitting around pools together, sharing a laugh over a good gumbo...
There are many ways to love daylilies. It takes many different kinds of people to keep our daylily universe humming along.
Make sure you search for "daylilies" on Facebook and join some of the groups out there that are sharing photos and stories every day - every minute - about our favorite flower from all over the globe.
touring the Reilly Garden in Enterprise, Florida (2009) - that's Mort Morss on the left!
one of many shade houses at Floyd Cove Nursery - Enterprise, Florida (2009)
The American Hemerocallis Society organizes almost 10,000 people around the daylily. They provide sales, shows, symposiums, and tours all over the country.
Local daylily clubs bring in speakers who share their passion for growing daylilies. Some lecture on photographing them, growing them, hybridizing them or collecting them.
<posted 4/3/2013> This is the daylily, H. 'Texas Feathered Fancy'
Spring is coming. Her approach is slow, sure and maddening, but coming nonetheless. The temperatures are just warm enough for me to be out in the garden, but still too cold to let me do anything on the growing to-do list for Spring Chores. That means a lot of nervous energy and ideas buzzing through my vitamin-D deprived brain.
I got to thinking about what plants I'll sell this year, and the list was longer than I would have imagined. Many clumps are now 20+ fans and I could make several pots of many cultivars to sell at my Farmer's Market booth this summer. I'm only picking two days at the weekly event in Alton - two of their busiest days - to set up shop.
I'm going to really put on a show, complete with my new A-Frame thingy to display off-scape blooms. I built two similar to this to have in my booth.
a feature of an AHS-accredited daylily show by the Southern Michigan Daylily Society
The booth is going to be just as much selling plants as it is talking daylilies and getting people energized about bringing them into their gardens. I have a great collection of vintage tablecloths that Ill use to decorate, and have some other ideas to stand out in the crowd. It'll be my most public display of personal daylilies that I've done since moving to this area, so we will see how it goes. This is a Farmer's Market that is really getting going with popularity, so I think it will be a hit. The manager of the place wants to arrange some daylily "talks" too, so maybe that will bring in more addicts like us.
I'm only selling once in June and once in August, and for the June sale I plan to use potted daylilies that I'll dig very soon - maybe 20-30 cultivars for which I have awesome photos and can sell for a good price. Not the discards. Not the has-beens. Not the ones I don't want anymore. Not the typical $5 lot seen and "wanted" by the general public. I'm going to step it up, give the daylilies some personality and draw some attention to these gems.
I find that digging and dividing them this early in the season (like this weekend) disturbs most established cultivars very little. It also provides for a great specimen for the customers. Once the dates are set, I'll publish them on my calendar of events, which you can find here.
I know people have been selling at public markets forever, but I'm excited to put my own spin on it. This is my big "new thing" for the year, and I am very excited!
Something historic, which may only typically
have two branches but the clump puts up 14 scapes, should be equally
appreciated on the show bench as a cultivar which may show 5-way branching, but
it is the only scape that the same-size clump produces.
Here's the scenario:
A panel of judges approaches these two scapes
on the show bench.
Exhibit A: two-way branching, with 18 buds
Exhibit B: five-way branching with 18 buds
Observes Exhibit A: Sees one wispy scape with
only terminal Y branching and perfectly spaced blooms. Takes 5 points off for branching (half
of the allowed points earned for branching) because “It just isn't there.”
Observes Exhibit B : Sees beefy scape with 5-way
branching and perfect blooms. Scores perfect points for branching because it
looks stunning in the vase as a single example.
The first one, registered with 2 branches, is
doing exactly what it is supposed to do.
Branch 2 ways. Should judges take
points off for branching because “it isn't there?” In my opinion, no. I am lenient (yet observant) on branching, until it gets to the head
table. Then, I ask classification for
registration information on branching if my Best In Show scores are close. (NOTE: I've taken to using my iPhone/iPad
during the show to access the AHS Database so I can get the information myself.)
The branching points aren't to be used to
measure what we would like to see the branching be…it is what it is. Of course I’d like to see every cultivar have
wonderfully spaced 5 way branching, but that isn't reality.
cannot translate garden-value judging to the exhibition-value judging. Those are apples and oranges.
Judges should use caution when taking off points for branching simply because it
is scant as it appears on the table. You aren't asked to judge whether you think the cultivar has good branching, you are judging whether its branching is showing as it is registered. You might think that cultivars that only branch with a terminal Y are "scant", but if that's how it is registered, then it is not "scant" it is "as registered."
While judging sections, unless I see something that is not proportionate or strange that causes me to check the registration data for branching and bud count, I do not tend to deduct much for branching and bud count. But that's just me. On the right is a wonderfully branched scape of H. 'Holy Water' from Frank Smith. This was observed in one of his shade houses during the 2009 National Convention.
MORAL OF THE STORY: A registered cultivar should
only be expected to perform to the standards indicated in its registration
data, which is provided by the hybridizer.
While judging an exhibit, judges should never say, “Well, look at the
branching on THAT one,” pointing to the
exhibit that is showing somewhere else in the section. That is an inappropriate comparison to make since
registered cultivars are only judged
against others in its name class until it reaches the head table. The
exhibit competes against itself and its registration data- not other cultivars
in the section.
I think some exhibitors are under the
impression that only a beefy scape with high branching and high bud count
should/could/would win the show. That couldn't be further from the truth. Using the AHS
Scale of Points correctly, any daylily from any year, any hybridizer or any
grower could win Best In Show. What do you think?
Its been one hot mess of a week with a cough that wont go away, an extremely successful elementary school book fair that has eaten more of my life than I will admit to, a new puppy, a growing (and challenging) seven year old and a pending weekend of travel. When I can slow down enough to wrap my own hands around my own neck, I will surely choke myself for another overbooked week. But, to be fabulous, you have to lose some sleep. AND you have to be a neurotic great list-maker.
Daylily collecting comes with many opportunities to make lists. Lists of what plants you own, which plants you used to own, which plants you are buying, which plants you WISH you could buy, which plants are dormant, which plants are rust-resistant, and which plants you want to sell. I made a big list of "Plants I Want To Sell" this summer and used that list for the Central Illinois Daylily Society's Summer Plant Sale. This sale has two facets, one for the club to sell donated plants to make 100% profit, and another where individual sellers can set up their own booths to sell plants. The sellers share 30% of their sales with the club and everyone goes home happy. I had a booth at this sale and wanted to generate some cash to help pay for the soon-to-happen front yard boulderscape plan. So, I needed to sell a ton of plants. In the first picture above, that is the view from my booth. The Washington Park Botanical Garden was a great setting for this sale. All those tables above are color-coded, which means the plants on the table roughly matched the color of the tablecloth and balloon. Great organization.
Above is another booth, manned by Coates Daylilies. She had her double fans clearly marked and had a master board of all the photos of the daylilies. I picked up six fans of H. 'Moroccan Sapphire' from her at this sale. I've wanted that one for a long time and I couldn't resist buying it from her for $5 per double fan!
Here is my booth below. I did not bag the daylilies (wasteful of time and resources, IMHO) and showed off the healthy, thick roots to my customers. Another seller remarked to me as I was setting up - "Wow, I don't think I've ever seen anyone just plop the daylilies right on the table before."
Well, leave it to me to do something no one has ever seen. I would argue the bag tied/taped around the roots creates a hot house of moisture and a great opportunity for rot to occur, but Im not going to open that can of worms. No one complained, I sold out of all but a few, and left a happy camper. I used my own photos on the picture board and had everything clearly marked with a price. I had some for $5 and others for $30 and even two that were $50- just in case a daylily gourmet happen to sashay by looking for a must-have. And indeed, they did!
Here are more happy shoppers, making more lists of plants they need to add to their collections. I even had someone drive almost 2 hours to buy plants from me. She is an avid follower of this blog and it was great to put a face to an email. Thats what this blog is about. Starting a conversation.This blog, and these plants sure give me the opportunity to meet some awesome folks who brighten my life with their stories. I am very grateful for the connections.
If you are in the market for a computer program that will help you track your garden plants, sales, income, make plant labels, plan crosses, track parentage, store photos, publish a website, generate a catalog and much more, you should be using PlantStep. Visit this link to learn more. You can buy it online, upgrades are always included and the technical support is awesome. Its easy data entry, and you could be up and running with a great daylily database before you know it this winter. Check it out here. Good demonstrations of the program are there, too. I love its label printing feature, and I love its easy catalog generation capabilities. I have no stake in the company and am not being compensated in any way for my mention. Its just my customer testimonial for my friends. This program helps me manage my busy life by making "list-making" easy and fun.
Im currently checking out an application called BENTO for my iPhone. (google it) A friend recently showed me what it can do for daylilies and I was impressed. He created a cool database for his iPhone that allows him to store his collection (with pictures) in an easy-to-scroll-through catalog on his phone. I need that. More lists.
Anyhoo, the CIDS folks meet in Springfield, Illinois and they would love to have you at their next meeting. If you are looking for a local club to join and learn more about daylilies, check out this link here.
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...
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!
"Things I learned at the 2010 Southern Michigan Daylily Society Exhibition Show"
Guest Blogger: Teresa Dillon | Durand, Michigan
This was my first time to participate in exhibiting daylilies, unlike my brave friend Nikki; I am not known to be an exhibitionist. I hope that I do not forget what I learned from this show before I have another opportunity to participate in a show. Next year SMDS will not host a show, because we will be playing host to hundreds of folks during the “Great Lakes Gathering” 2011 Region 2 Summer Meeting. Meanwhile, I will have lots of time to ponder over the daylilies I would like to enter in the 2012 show.
This year I learned that you certainly cannot depend on scapes that are cut the night before to produce flowers that are perfectly opened. I cut several scapes just before dark, since it was supposed to rain during the night and early morning on show day. Working with scapes that were so near the end of the bloom season was a real test of grooming skills and patience. I sat for hours grooming them, only to find several of them reluctant to show their pretty faces the next morning because the skies were so dark.
So after 4 hours of sleep, along with my umbrella …. I tracked back to the gardens, to see what flowers awaited me in spite of the inclement weather. Of course there were some lovelies, so I clipped them and headed to the garage to start over. I was anxious to see if a trick I had recently been made aware of, for removing water without leaving spots would work. I took a cotton ball saturated with isopropyl alcohol and very gently touched all the dark sections of my future entries to remove the water. They looked great. Still not convinced that they would not be spotted, I prepared myself to discard them upon arrival at the show, if the spots were evident then. They were not!
Since this was my first time to enter daylilies in the show, I did not have a fancy carrier to transport my scapes. I could not see the point of making one until I was convinced that I would need one for future use. So I scrubbed and sanitized several large buckets of various heights. I taped the handles straight up in the center of the bucket so they would not fall on my scapes, then I added about two inches of fresh water to all the buckets. I used masking tape to secure each scape to the side of the bucket that was appropriate for the height of my scape and loaded them into the car.
The trip to the show usually takes 1 hour. This morning it took two hours, traffic was slow due to the pouring rain, there was an accident that stopped the flow of traffic completely and finally, there was a detour. I asked “Why am I putting this stress on myself?” I was sure all of my efforts were going to be in vain, and I promised myself, should it turn out as such, it would be a sign to me that I should not be bothered with such a waste of time anyway.
Once I arrived on site I had less than forty-five minutes before show time. Thank goodness for daylily show troopers like Martin Kamensky and Kathy Rinke. They soon were at my side and coaching me where to go and what to do. Had I known ahead of time that I could have my entry cards already filled out, that would certainly saved me some time and stress. I also would recommend future shows have a marked area for grooming, or a greeter to guide new participants. I was already stressed when I arrived, then I had to ask around and find someone to tell me where I should go and what I needed to do prior to bringing in daylilies.
Once I arrived at the show and saw so many entries, I tossed several scapes into the trash. Afterwards, I wished that I had not acted so hastily. I cut many flowers that I felt may not be show worthy but I feared that due to the late date of the show and the previous days storms in southern MI, we may need daylilies from farther north to make the show a success. I did not want to disappoint Bordines, or the show visitors expecting to see hundreds of daylilies.
So to sum it up for the things I learned about daylily shows:
1. Get your show entry cards ahead of time and have them filled out.
2. Leave for the show early. You never know how many delays may befall you on your way to the show.
3. Take extra flowers. Petals get broken…etc, etc.
4. Keep a grooming kit stocked: Show entry cards, knife, ink pen, return address labels, cotton balls and swabs, a vial of alcohol, scissors, masking tape, small soft artist type paint brush. I had my kit with me and was glad I did. I was fortunate enough to be able to share some supplies with a friend. Do I have a claim to any of her wins???
5. Enter as many scapes as you can. The more entries, the more chances to win. After seeing some of the daylilies that the judges awarded ribbons, I wished that I had not trashed any. After all … beauty IS in the eye of the beholder.
6. Seedlings must be totally unique or outstanding.
One of the seedlings I entered in the show received a comment of “not distinctive enough”. I was thrilled with the size of the bloom, the clean clear color, the buds and the branching this plant produced on its first year of bloom. I just knew the judges would be impressed when they saw the scape, otherwise I would have entered the flower in the off scape division. How were they to know that it was a brand new seedling? I was looking into the future, the judges(as it should be) were only seeing the flower that sat before them. Another lesson learned.
I also learned that being a beginner can be lots of fun. At my age, there are not too many things that are “new” to me. I met the challenge and I am so glad I did. I left the show with at least a ribbon to account for every entry I made. I intended to use the show as a learning experience and once I endured the venture I would decide if I ever wanted to enter a show again. I know the judges did not know whose flowers they were judging so they did not give awards just to “suck me in” and get me hooked on daylily shows. However, I am afraid I am hooked.
Now who wants to see my ribbons, my rosette and my crystal?
(as seen in the photos above, wearing the peach-colored shirt)
H. 'Scandalous' is an older cultivar that always provides interest. In a daylily world of many near-white with purple eyezones, its form is floppy and formal at the same time and the eyezone captivates each day.
I saw this for the first time at Iron Gate Gardens at the end of the National Convention in 2003. Gloria Hite and I made a "quick" pitstop on the way to the airport at Iron Gate and we barely lived to tell the tale. I missed my first flight out of Charlotte due to the daylily buying (and the fight with security over my large black trash bag filled with live plants that I INSISTED go on the plane with me.) From that shopping trip, I still grow this one and H. 'As We Were.' Gloria and I had many gardening road-trip adventures over the last decade...I sure do miss her now that she is in Florida. Her dad, Howard was one of the early, leading tetraploid hybridizers and she sure picked up the gene.
If you haven't seen her website, or her very cool spider and unusual form efforts, you can see it here. She has a near-black (and I do mean black) wide-petaled thing featured out there that I am DROOLING over.
Spring is here and my gardening rhythm has not adjusted to the new location yet. Im still on Michigan time, which means I have about a month or so until I can get serious about being out in the garden. Here in southern Illinois, I feel I am already a month behind!
One of my short-term goals is to obtain "Display Garden" status for my new gardens here in Illinois. The American Hemerocallis Society bestows this designation on gardens that exhibit the daylily in its various forms in wonderful ways. Specific criteria can be found here.
Carter (my precocious six-year-old) made the announcement at our New Years Eve Dinner that he wanted to do some daylily traveling with me in 2012. There was never a more obvious opportunity to instill the love of gardens and gardening people than this one! Carter and I decided we would plan a set of trips this summer to see all the AHS Display Gardens in Illinois - just he and I.
There are over 70 in our region, and about 15 in Illinois, so I think we can see all the ones in our state this year.
Will he have good garden etiquette?
Will he be patient in the gardens?
Will he enjoy the sights?
Maybe he will take his own camera and capture the journey...
I'm already excited.
Here are some memories of my visits to other daylily gardens in our region. The large picture below is Daylilies by the Pond, which is a great mail-order source and a family owned business in Ohio. I visited there on tour in 2010 and they have an amazing website with tons of information and reasonable prices. I placed my spring order today for 4 FAB daylilies I saw there when I visited.
So, Carter and I will set out together this summer on a two-person journey to see Illinois' daylilies. I hope that in the future someday he will remember this trip and have good stories to tell his own kids about how he and his mom hit the road and invaded other peoples gardens.
Its bound to be a trip full of stories and texture. I will post our proposed route soon- maybe you want to caravan along!
I love the "big-picture" I find on these trips into someone else's green universe. I like to see how established clumps contribute to the landscape, how hardscapes are used to accent the daylilies, how mono-cultures are kept interesting and beautiful and how these garden jewels shine in others lives.