Thursday, June 18, 2015

2015 AHS National Convention

 Hello Daylily Friends,

The AHS National Convention was such a time of excitement.  On Thursday morning the garden was ready, but the rain came.  I was so pleased with the rain because this meant that the plants would look their best on Friday morning, when the buses would arrive.  Although the rain meant that there would be a little more clean-up that would be needed, the clean-up was minor compared to the benefits of the wonderful rain.  I took just a few pictures just to show the Thursday morning rain.

On Thursday afternoon we had the "Hybridizer's Forum," which was well attended.  Our speakers included Karen Pierce who spoke about Guy's work in producing great daylilies using TET. ROSE F. KENNEDY.  Rich Howard of Connecticut spoke about his work in producing great introductions including EXPLOSION IN THE PAINT FACTORY and YANKEE PINSTRIPES.  Then Sandy Holmes told us about her work with spiders and unusual forms.  Sandy has done so well that she has become a great hybridizer for producing such beautiful UF's including WALT LOWRY.  I regret that I didn't get a picture from the Forum, but each speaker's performance was first rate: The very best!  Thanks Karen, Rich and Sandy for your wonderful presentations.

Friday morning came and the first buses arrived.  I quickly saw my friend, Don Eller, and the day was off to a wonderful start.  My Daughter Kelley drove her Mom's car to help those who might have trouble walking up the long driveway.  We tried to help everyone who needed help, because we didn't want anyone to be too exhausted just from the walk to get to the garden.

We were particularly pleased to meet Ms. Marsha Zech, the Director from Region 8 (Washington), who purchased the privilege to be able to name Seedling 3-374.  Marsha went through a spirited bidding process, and paid the amount of $1,000.00 to have the "naming privilege."  I am now ready to send 3 fans to Marsha, but I will have to check with Marsha and find out when she wants the fans mailed.  I am so delighted with Marsha's willingness to be a part of the bidding process, and claim the naming privilege.  Thanks Marsha.

And then quickly the garden was filled with visitors.  It was so good to see so many friends from so many states, from California to Maine, from Michigan to Florida.  Visitors from all over the US and from across the world: we even had two visitors from China.  They enjoyed the garden just behind the house as well as the very large seedling garden.  I like the established flowers behind the house, but my joy is working to make new daylilies.  New introductions.  I thought for a moment that I might guide people through the garden, but alas, daylily friends want to explore, and this is what they did.

I have to add that Mr. Kelly J. Huff, who is a Reporter from The Marietta Daily Journal, a local newspaper, came to report on our AHS Convention.  Mr. Huff was lost in the crowd because so many of our members also had cameras just like Mr. Huff.  I thought that perhaps our Convention could be mentioned in the "Lifestyle" section of the Newspaper, but Saturday morning was a giant, incredible surprise.  I opened the Newspaper, and the whole story was on the "front page" of the paper.  There in bold color was a very large picture of my introduction this year, that is named "FULLY BLESSED."  

One of the stories reported by Mr. Huff had to do with my Seedling 4-564, which I wrote about beginning on page 40 in the Spring Edition of The Daylily Journal.  To refresh our collective recollection, I'm showing a picture of this Seedling that I took this morning.  It is growing quite well, and I was eager for my friend, Rich Howard of Connecticut to see it growing.  I had converted Rich's introduction, YANKEE PINSTRIPES, and I wanted Rich to see Seedling 4-564 pollinated with TET. YANKEE PINSTRIPES.  Our friend, Joann Ferguson, of Oregon was with us, and as I was pollinating Seedling 4-564, Mr. Kelly snapped a picture.  As I pointed out, the picture made it to the front page of the Newspaper.  We all really enjoyed our Convention being on the front page of the newspaper, and I particularly appreciated the story about the pollination of Seedling 4-564.

Having a great National Convention that was reported above the fold line on the front page of the Newspaper, was a wonderful and grand surprise.  But for us in particular, the story continues to be incredibly exciting.  On Saturday night, after the convention had ended, we were watching as so many of our members won AHS Awards and Honors.  We were so delighted for everyone who received an honor, but then, near the end of the evening, it was announced that my introduction, BLAZING CANNONS, was selected by our members as being grown in the most impressive clump found in all of the eight gardens on tour.  In short, our BLAZING CANNONS won "The President's Cup."  We were just shocked at the selection of our plant.  As my good friend, Barbara Kirby noted in a wonderful card she sent to us, BLAZING CANNONS joins FRANCIS JOINER and MARY'S GOLD, as the 3rd Georgia Daylily to have won The President's Cup.  We just want to say, "Thank You" to all of our AHS friends for this selection.  Thank you, thank you and thank you.  I'm showing a picture of myself and Diana, standing with Oliver Billingslea, just in front of BLAZING CANNONS.

I also want to add a note of thanks to our friend, Carl Harmon from New Hampshire.  Carl came to our garden Thursday morning, just after the rain ended, and worked so hard all day long, deadheading the Greenhouse as well as a large section of the outside garden.  Carl then still had the energy to go see the Atlanta Braves play baseball.  Many thanks to Carl!

Then came Sunday morning.  We were so blessed to have so many friends come back to the garden, and the visits lasted most of the day.  You would have thought that we would have been so tired, that we would have collapsed, but this didn't happen.  Instead, we were so glad to get to visit with our daylily friends, that it was just another most enjoyable part of the Convention.  I note this particularly with a picture taken of myself, in my barn, with my friends Michael Falconer and Dave Mussar from Canada.

So many good things happened during the time leading up to and including the Convention.  So many thanks in particular go to David and Camilla Arthur who worked almost 3 years to make this Convention come to life.  Thanks especially to David and Camilla.

By the way, we're seeing so many exciting new seedlings that I will have to write about on another day.


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