Monday, October 5, 2009

Visiting the Tri-Cities Daylily Society

Hello Daylily Friends,

This past week end Diana and I had a wonderful trip. We were invited to come and speak to the Tri-Cities Daylily Society that meets at the Kingsport Public Library in Kingsport, Tennessee. The Society made reservations for us at the Mariott Meadow View Conference Resort and Convention Center. What a wonderful hotel! Large, spacious, and just beautiful. Close to the interstate. When we went into our room there was another surprise: The Society left many gifts for us in a large container that was embroidered "Kingsport, Tennessee." There was a bottle of wine personally made by the Society's Vice-President, Dennis Marshall. There was a bird feeder station built by John Neely. There were maps, post cards, and most importantly, there was a Card from the Society. The Card reads as follows:

"Welcome to Kingsport!!! This is a small token of our
appreciation. Thanks so much for taking the time to
come and visit with us. Sincerely,
Tri-Cities Daylily Society"

So, we arrived in Kingsport, went to a grand hotel, received many gifts from the Society, and the next adventure was to go to dinner.

We went to dinner at a local, and fine, Italian Restaurant. We were greeted at the Restaurant by Dennis Hall, President; Dennis' wife Rebecca, Dennis Marshall, Vice President, Susan Okrasinski, Secretary, and John Wagner, the Society's Treasurer. We talked about how Dennis Marshall traveled to Italy, and how he became a master at producing his own wine in his house. Very, very interesting. We talked about the Eastman Chemical Company, and it is LARGE! It covers a tremendous area in Kingsport. Then, we also talked about growing daylilies. I like to talk about daylilies. It is the most fun subject that exists.

On Saturday morning Diana and I went to "Bays Mountain." It is a beautiful place and overlooks the Tri-Cities area. We stopped at a lake on the Mountain and had our picture taken. We then went to see the many animals that are kept in a zoo type enviroment. First, we saw many deer including a large buck. Since we have had "trouble" with deer in our garden, we were not glad to greet these woodland creatures. They should stay in the woods and stay out of our garden. We saw wolves, otters, bobcats, and many birds. We saw one of the caretakers at the zoo carrying a Black Vulture for his morning stroll. This Vulture is not attractive. Its mother might find it attractive, but it has an unpleasant appearance. It has a bare head, flat feet, blunt talons, and a long beak, and, because of its diet, it could be called a "garbage disposal." It actually helps keep diseases under control and disposes of deceased creatures. I am showing a picture of the Black Vulture.

The meeting of the Society was to begin at 2:00 p.m., and so we went to town to see the City. We drove through "Church Circle" which is a famous landmark in Kingsport. It was apparently designed when the town was initially planned, and the three Churches in the Circle are First Baptist, First Presbyterian, and First Methodist. We continued to drive around town, and you would never guess the one place where we stopped. Well, it was "Ward's Feed and Seed." As you know, we are gardeners, and of course, we are attracted to any "Feed and Seed." I'm showing Diana as she walked toward the front door of Ward's.

Soon it was time to arrive at the Public Library. We went in the front door, and saw many citizens at computers, saw them reading newspapers and books, and just browsing on a Saturday afternoon. We asked the lady at the front desk where the Society was meeting, and she directed us to the Conference Center. We brought about 18 plants for the Society's planned auction, and our new friends, John Wagner and Dennis Hall, helped us carry the plants inside the Center. The Society's members had a wonderful buffet, and it had so many delightful enticements that I had to have a substantial helping. Fortunately, we had lunch with many of the Society's members and thoroughly enjoyed our conversations. Then it was time for the presentation.

I have talked "too long" at some of my presentations, so I tried to stay under an hour. I am confident that this was "almost" accomplished. It just was so delightful to speak to the Society. I felt as though we were all good friends because I had come to know so many of the club's members. It was like talking to my friend David in the Greenhouse. The auction was "spirited." I had pictures of each daylily that was auctioned, I spoke about each plant, stated an amount that I would accept for the daylily, and then Dennis, the Society's President, auctioned each plant. Nothing was sold for a minimum price. Indeed, I was particularly pleased that IRISH HALO and EMERALD LACE both sold for the published costs. It was sad that we soon had to leave Kingsport and head home. I'm showing a picture of the Tri-Cities Daylily Society.

Diana and I also want to particularly thank Susan Okrasinski who suggested to her Society that we be asked to come and speak. Susan also serves her Society as its Secretary. It is good to have Susan as our friend.

On our trip back to Marietta we went through 100,000 football fans who were in Knoxville to see Tennessee v. Auburn. I like football, but I like daylilies the best.

This is how our week-end proceeded, and we are glad that you stopped in to read our Blog.



  1. What a treat your visit was - we could have listened for another couple of hours at least! Your photos of your beautiful garden have made us all want to climb into Denise's new van and come and visit lol. I look forward to seeing you both again at the MWS in Nashville this winter. Thanks again for a wonderful program and auction.

    Susan Okrasinski
    Tri Cities Daylily Society

  2. Hey Mr. Waldrop. That is where my dad grew up. His dad(or my grandfather) was vice president of pricing for eastmen. And yes, it is big. We visit during the summer to their lake house on Boone Lake. If we travel back to Kingsport we pass by eastmen. (Boone lake is in Johnson City.)My family has visited bays mountain also, he has wonderful pictures of it on Hope your trip was wonderful.
    Luke Van de Vate

  3. Hi Susan, Our visit to your Tri-Cities Club was just tremendous fun. We're looking forward to seeing you in Nashville.

    Hi Luke, It is fun to visit a place as nice as Kingsport. It was also a delight to see your seedlings growing in your yard and in your raised bed.