H. "Rooty Tooty" (Pickles, 2011)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I can't believe that the first day of autumn is already here. I'm still busier than ever creating new garden beds and moving plants around. But the summer flew by and it's partially because of all the daylily events that took place. After a stranger than strange spring, daylilies began blooming about two to three weeks ahead of schedule and threw all the AHS shows and scheduled conferences into a panic.  How can you have a daylily show without daylilies? But because of the diversity of daylilies, many late blooming cultivars were blooming and daylily fanatics were able to view flowers blooming that normally are not open in time for the shows and meetings. That just proves there's a silver lining to every cloud !! The Region 10 AHS Meeting in Chattanooga, TN and hosted by the Tennessee Valley Club on June 8,9 was a huge success.  It was quickly apparent after the conference started that hours of planning had gone into the meeting as all the scheduled events took place just like clockwork.  And if they didn't, it certainly was a well kept secret from the meeting participants.  Thanks to Jane Dixon and the Tennessee Valley Daylily Society for a wonderful meeting.  And Jane, now that we have discovered your talents as an auctioneer, you will NOT be forgotten. I am still searching for places to plant the cultivars I purchased in Chattanooga at the auction.  About the time the Chattanooga meeting was ending, results of the club shows started appearing on my Facebook page. Thanks to social media, I knew almost the same time as the show winners did of their awards and often had pictures posted on Facebook.  Attached is a picture of Brenda Macy and her Best in Show entry "Octavian Princess" at the Daylily Society of Louisville show.  I still marvel at how Brenda knew to wear purple that day so that she would match her award ribbon. This is the first year that I have had so many daylily friends on my Facebook page and I must admit, the daylily comments and pictures were a bit overwhelming at times. Never let it be said that daylily enthusiasts are not passionate about their hobby. All the Facebook activity seemed to crescendo just after the National Convention which was held in Columbus, Ohio on July 11-14.  I was able to attend the conference and must say that the gardens were spectacular in spite of the dry weather. Within hours of the conference ending, hundreds of pictures and comments started appearing on my Facebook page. I'm sure it was at that point that probably most of my non-gardening Facebook friends decided to unfriend me.  But regardless, apparently everyone seemed to be in agreement that the national convention was one not to be forgotten.  I would like to end with reminding everyone that even though the season may be ending, there is still something to look forward to - the 2013 Mid-Winter Symposium.  Thanks to Lee Pickles and David Kirchhoff, the speakers are already lined up and the program schedule completed. The registration form and program are available on the AHS website portal for Region 10, the Region 10 website, and the AHS website. Being held again at the Hotel Preston in Nashville, TN, the dates are January 18-21, 2013.  I hope to see everyone there!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February, 2012

Well, the Mid-Winter Symposium has come and gone, just as my initial rough draft of this blog came and went as I played with inserting the pictures and formatting the article. However, hopefully my thoughts are just as fresh of what I wrote only two hours ago as the memories are of the recent MWS.  Regardless, with the passing of the MWS comes the onslaught of acute spring fever brought on by our unusually mild winter and a desire to 'get it started'. One personal rite of spring that I have is the annual sowing of daylily seeds from crosses that I made the previous summer.  I've been doing amateur hybridizing a little over 10 years sowing several several hundred seeds each year and finally feel that I may register a few this year.  It's mind boggling to think that in a span of 10 years, AHS registrations have increased almost 25,000, from 50,000 to 75,000 !!  For this reason I have been especially cautious with my possible registrations, wanting to register only those cultivars that are truly different and make a contribution to the current cultivar pool. I've had several to bloom that seemed to match recent introductions, but when viewed with the critical eye as to whether or not they were truly different or just a repeat of what was already available - they didn't meet the litmus test, and went to the compost heap. 
Several have asked about the status of the Region 10 Daylily Appeal and this was discussed during the MWS business meeting. A Fall/Winter edition was not printed, but it is hoped to post it on the AHS membership portal in the near future.  In the meantime, work has already started on the Spring/Summer edition with a goal of printing it as normally scheduled in the spring. The year 2012 brings to the Region a new slate of officers that are eager to continue the previous growth of Region 10.  Advisory, newsletter, and finance committees have been named, all to provide additional support to the Region 10 Board of Directors and utilize the wealth of experience available from within the ranks of Region 10 members. I am excited about the potential ahead as I hear about the innovative ideas people are tossing around for Region 10 members.
There will be MWS highlights in the upcoming Daylily Appeal, but from a personal perspective, a few stand out. First, there was the enlightening lecture by landscape architect, Duncan Callicott.  Utilizing his previous experience as Executive Director of Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and landscape projects throughout the southeast, we all gained a better insight of how to incorporate our daylilies into an actual garden, and not just line our daylilies up as soldiers in orderly rows as I am prone to do sometimes. And apparently, Duncan was impacted by the MWS also as he was overheard stating that he hoped to add a daylily bed to his gardens this year after seeing the array of new daylily cultivars. Another personal highlight was listening to Mary Fisher talk about the Doorakian introductions.  I have had Hemerocallis  'Emerald Starburst' in my garden for several years and have always been intrigued by this hybridizer.   And of course, I can't end the article without commenting on the Saturday night auction.  I paid much more for H. 'Neon Flamingo' than any sane person should have, but I was a determined bidder after having seen this cultivar in bloom on the Region 10 summer garden tour of 2011 in Louisville. I had no idea who I was bidding against during the auction, but only knew to kept my hand up and stare forward.  Only after it was over, did I find out that I had been bidding against the formidable Brenda Macy, and her insatiable appetite to add another daylily to her renowned 'flamingo theme' daylily bed.
That is all for the month of February - remember - if you want any upcoming club activities added to the blog, please feel free to drop me a line at wcoltharp@comcast.net.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

January, 2012

Winter Garden of Duncan and Virginia Callicott 
Happy New Year to Region 10 AHS Members - 2012 has started with a flurry of activity as preparations are underway for the 22nd Annual Mid-Winter Symposium held in Nashville, TN on January 20-January 22, 2012 at the Hotel Preston. I've had an opportunity to review the schedule of speakers and it promises to have something for everyone from hybridizers to landscape architects speaking on daylilies in the landscape. The garden picture on the left was taken in the garden of Duncan and Virginia Callicott just outside Nashville. Duncan is one of our featured speakers and  a landscape architect whose garden has been featured in Southern Living magazine multiple times as well as nationally published garden books. I first met Duncan many years ago at the Tennessee Botanical Gardens at Cheekwood when I did a short stint as the Education Director and Duncan was serving as the Executive Director. He designed many of the gardens at Cheekwood and I remember him working with Virginia Peck, early pioneer of tetraploids at the time, as they incorporated some of her daylilies into the gardens. I've been trying for several years to get him as a guest speaker for MWS and he finally consented this year. During my time at Cheekwood while working with Duncan, I remember actually calling Virginia Peck after seeing her daylilies, not fully understanding her significance in the daylily world or how hectic her schedule was. Unfortunately, my memory of Virginia Peck stops there since when I called and asked if I could visit her garden, she quickly told me that she was much too busy for garden visitors.  But I can truthfully say that I did actually talk to Virginia Peck, even if it was for only a minute !
I hope everyone has registered for the MWS - it's not too late to get the reduced hotel rate since the hotel extended their offer until 1/10/12. If you need to see  schedule of activities, it may be viewed on the AHS website under Conventions/Meetings tab under Region 10 at http://www.daylilies.org/ . Hope to see everyone in a couple of weeks!!