Driving down to Richmond, I was excited about the prospect of entering my two daylily scapes. Having attended the class on scape grooming, this would be my first foray into actual competition. I wasn't sure if I would like it, to tell the truth. I don't think of myself as competitive.
Unfortunately, traffic stopped suddenly and unexpectedly on I-95 and with that stop, I instinctively reached out and...yes, you guessed it, hit one of my daylilies with my hand. I couldn't believe it! All that careful selecting and planning and in an instant, doom. Sigh.
As I pulled into the Lewis Ginter parking lot, I was sure it just wasn't worth my time to take the scapes in and groom them for the show. Luckily for me, I ran into Michael Miller who peeked at them and told me to enter them anyway. I was going to just donate them to the designers busily working on flower arrangements.
So, I went into the room set aside for grooming and it was bustling with activity. At the very first table, I made a new friend who kindly shared her space with me and offered encouragement. To say I was nervous was an understatement. I managed to groom both of mine and get them to the designated table for entry in plenty of time.
I had volunteered to help and was given the task of handing out the People's Choice Award ballots, but wouldn't actually be needed until the show opened. After all the scapes are checked for registration, they are placed on tables inside the show room where they will await the judges views. The room is closed for several hours while they do their work. Upon completion, the doors are opened and everyone can stream in.
I should mention that this is a particularly thoughtful club to belong to. There was a RADS Cafe open down the hall that supplied food and beverages (both breakfast and lunch) free to participants and members attending. With time on my hands, you can guess where I went! I was off to explore the gardens of Lewis Ginter which, from my many posts, you surely know I love. I thought this time I'd try to get over to the shade gardens.
I returned shortly before the doors were due to open (Yes, I took lots of pictures of the gardens and will put those up in a post shortly!). After a little delay, I was allowed in early to take up my position and get the ballots ready for distribution. Having never participated in a show, everything was new and interesting to me. I discovered there's quite a bit of difference in just attending, looking and admiring....vs entering and helping. It's like seeing it with new eyes.
Here's what I saw upon entering:
Very shortly, it would look like this:
Entrants eagerly looking to see how their daylilies have done and attendees eager to see all the daylilies!
Here's what the program looked like:
Enough of being rather blase about it all, I could hardly wait to see how my own two humble entrants were judged (I hoped they were kind, at least!). Here's what I found:
!!!!! I was so excited!! My damaged one got the red ribbon, which I thought was something considering....then I thought, drat! If I hadn't damaged it, imagine how it would have done! But, the shocker, was that my second flower did as well as I could have hoped (short of moving to the head table...which, let's be real, I didn't think I'd have that kind of beginner's luck...although, I must brag on one of our little scape grooming class members...he did have a daylily that won big!).....a first place ribbon and a purple indicated it scored 95 or better (out of a possible 100 points). Yes!
Here are my entrants...first, my "winner":
Hermitage Newton, having a particularly fine day:
And, the damaged Wineberry Candy:
I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I didn't get a good picture of the head table with all the top winners, including Best in Show....can you believe that! Well, I was distracted with my little job of handing out ballots...that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!
The daylilies are also exhibited off scape, single blossoms. Here's one I was interested in:
If you can't read the tag, it's Moment in the Sun...a famous daylily and a parent in some of my daylily crosses.
I did get a few pictures of the incredible arrangements.
Did mention there was a plant sale? I wasn't going to buy anything, but did find four...somehow. I guess I'll just have to move four out of the garden! But, that wasn't all. There were a couple of raffles...and I won a plant! I won Michael Miller's Small World Alli, which you might remember from my post of visiting their gardens. If I could have chosen one out of that particular raffle (there were three daylilies in it), that's the one I would have picked! I felt extraordinarily lucky! Hmmm, maybe I should have played the lottery. Too late now.
Clean up was next and there were enough of us that it went pretty quickly. I learned a bunch of things, not the least of was that competition can actually be fun. Who knew!
In case you forgot, here's what I wrote about last year's show.