Sunday, July 28, 2013

2013 AHS National Convention.

Hello Daylily Friends,

I'm sitting here in my living room easy chair resting from the wonderful experience of attending the AHS National Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The hotel was very nice, and immediately after we arrived we were able to see so many friends.  Friends that we knew and friends that we had met this past winter when we traveled to visit with three of the clubs in the Midwest.  After we arrived I went and gave the presentation about how to grow an "introduction quality" daylily.  We later went to the auction handled by Paul Owen from North Carolina, and soon we went to bed to rest for the activities of the coming day.

We got up Thursday morning, and people came to Bus Three where Diana and I served as Bus Captains.  Our friend, Tim Harding, served as our "Navigator,"  Soon we were enroute to the gardens of Mike and Kathy Lamb.  The morning was just perfect.  The temperature was around 70 to 75 degrees, and by the time we arrived at the Lamb garden the blooms were fully open.  One thing that I noticed at the garden was a stone building that had no roof.  I looked over the structure, and it looked to me as if it could be used now with the addition of a roof.  The structure looked genuinely sound.  I took a picture.

Our next stop was at Karol and Dick Emmerich's "Springwood Gardens."  It was wonderful to see the gardens, but I had to make my way over to see the progress with Karol & Dick's work in rebuilding their 1862 home that was initially built by Minnesota settlers.  They have done an incredible work in making the home new again for the year 2013, and beyond.  I just adore the beauty of the home because it looks to me like a French estate where the great
artist Monet might have lived.  I particularly liked the front gate which I understand is modeled after Karol's introduction, HEARTBEAT OF HEAVEN.  When I reached the front gate Karol was nearby, and so I had my picture taken at the gate with Karol and our friend, Elizabeth Trotter from Kentucky.  We were also able to see Karol's Greenhouse, but it was locked and most everything had been removed.  I admire Karol so much because she committed herself to being an outstanding hybridizer, and indeed, she long ago reached this goal.

Our third stop of the day was at the garden of  Kyle Billadeau.  As I walked toward Kyle's home I immediately saw a miniature garden that was just incredible.  Indeed, seven years ago I had seen Kyle's miniature garden, but this new garden was filled with many, many new treasures.  The scene that I liked the most was of  Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.  I took a picture.  You can see the Yellow Brick Road, and the wonderful colors of the plants.  I studied all that Kyle had done, including her "Cat Garden," and it was all so wonderful.  We walked around to the rear of Kyle's home
and there was this grand pond.  I don't remember the pond from seven years ago, but it was clean and beautiful.  The daylilies were built into the landscape, and everything seemed to be in perfect alignment.  Kyle is a very talented woman.  In fact, I believe that she must spend more time on her garden than Karol does on her 150 acres.  I was finally able to wrestle Kyle away from her many admirers and have our picture taken with her in front of the Castle of Oz.  Thank you Kyle for allowing all of us to come and visit with you at your wonderful home.

When the first day of our adventure in Minneapolis was finished, I thought that we had seen the best of what there was to see on our trip, but yet more of the best was yet to come!

On the second day of our trip we first went to the "Keith Miller Garden" which primarily consisted of many beautiful hostas.  It is in a shaded area, and Keith maintains the property for himself and for four of his neighbors.  Keith has the hostas arranged so that the water is circulated from a pond to the top of the hill, where it is then released over and through the hostas.  There are many bridges and decks and rocks, and the whole area is delightful.  Keith must have a happy life, being able to care for such a wonderful area just outside his back door.  I also must add that his neighbors are very fortunate to have a landscape architect to care for the multiple properties.   If only we could get Keith here where we live on McDaniel Road in Marietta, Georgia.  At Keith's property I took a picture of our friends on our bus, along with Keith, who is dressed in red with a white hat at the very front of the picture.  Thanks Keith for allowing us to come and visit.

We next went through the town of Stillwater, and it was a magnificent town to see.  Just across the river is Wisconsin, and a bridge is being built so that travel will soon be much easier back and forth between the two states.

Our next garden was at the home of Judie McGraw.  We arrived and the wind was beginning to blow.  We were early and caught Judie by surprise just as she was exiting from her Kitchen.  She had worked so much to prepare for our coming, and Diana and I were fortunate to have our picture taken with Judie at the front of her driveway.  One of the things that I particularly noticed was that Judie had an "Asiatic Lily" that was a double.  I suppose that this plant has been available for some period of time, nevertheless, it was a "first sighting" for me.  It was beautiful.  I also liked Judie's birdhouses that were made of ceramic.  This will surely protect the homes of the little birds from the squirrels.

The last garden on our journey was the garden of Steve Horan.  He built a paradise just behind his home, and notwithstanding the misting rain, I looked at everything.  Someone on our bus soon noticed Don Bachman's flower called POULTRY IN MOTION.  Wonderful name.  The flower is very tall, and I particularly noticed the multiple colors along with the green throat.  I liked the flower so much that I took a picture. Of course, the flower is dormant.  It is about an eight inch unusual form, and it has a very strong and big scape.  The flower must be eight or nine inches.  Just a wonderful daylily.  Now I do not travel to find more daylilies to grow, but I bought this particular daylily from Dan after I arrived back at the hotel.  I also bought a shirt from Dan and Jackie at the "Boutique."

Indeed, I bought several raffle tickets at the Boutique at the beginning of the convention, and I am so glad that I did.  Unfortunately, I took the wrong side of my ticket and put it in the raffle box beside an Afghan that I wanted for my beautiful granddaughter, Little Lily Rae.  I hoped that I would win, but we all know that we hardly ever win a raffle.  Then, Diana checked my ticket against the number of the "winning ticket," and indeed, I did win the Afghan.  I was so pleased!  Then my friend, Dr. Kathleen Nordstrom from Iowa, told me that since I put the wrong side of the ticket in the box that I had been "disqualified."  Fortunately she quickly confessed that she was only kidding, and she awarded the Afghan to me.  Little Lily Rae will be so pleased!  It will be so wonderful for her to use during her afternoon naps.  Thanks to the AHS National Convention for this wonderful Afghan.

It is good to go to the National Convention.  We've enjoyed them all, and especially this convention.  The gardens were immaculate, the conversation was great, and everything was so, so much fun.


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