Gotta Garden

Friday, August 31, 2007

AHS Region 3 Meeting in PA.

Time to do a bit of catching up. Well, a lot of catching up! Gotta start somewhere...

As you know or at least surmised, daylilies, especially in summer, capture my gardening heart. Not that I don't like other things or appreciate gardens in general (see my posts on Chanticleer...which I mean to get back to), but, to me, summer is daylilies (okay, tomatoes, too...but this isn't about them!).

One of the highlights this year was getting to attend a regional meeting. All regions have regional meetings (duh, you say), but I didn't quite get that they were public and more like a gathering than a meeting, per se (although there are those kind of meetings...attendance is optional or restricted to officers, board members, etc....that's cool, they can do the heavy lifting!). Anyhow, after much back and forth, (the garden volunteer group (MWH) was conducting a program on, of all things, daylilies, on exactly the same date as the, I ask unlucky is that?? I was torn between feeling obligated to the garden group...although it wasn't my program...and wanting to go the regional. I finally compromised with trying to help with the garden group program, knowing they are supremely capable, and going to the regional. It helped that the regional extended the registration date because with all my dithering, I had missed the original date...and thought my decision was made for me...but, maybe not!) I headed off to Pennsylvannia for a weekend all about daylilies...what could be better?!

After stopping at Chanticleer (giant happy sigh), I managed to get lost (so much for my mapquest directions) going to the hotel and arrived just after dinner had begun. I hurriedly checked in and raced to the tent where dinner was being held...a barbeque buffet type thing. I was able to just get in line and then found a seat. Traveling by yourself has advantages and disadvantages. I don't generally mind it. As an introvert, it does challenge me (probably for the good) at situations like the dinner. I have to introduce myself to folks and ask if the seat is available. Once past that, however, it's usually a good time...and you meet new people. This was the case here. Not only that, I found myself agreeing to write an article on one of the gardens on tour (what was I thinking?? okay, actually, I didn't mind.).

Following dinner, we all headed off to a meeting room where the auction was held. Because I was a latenick, I didn't get my registration packet...with all kinds of goodies...including daylilies...upon check in, but the registration person graciously registered me before the auction. Nice, because it was "closed". In hindsight, there were plants in the auction that went for very good prices (in this case, I mean lower than they probably could have brought) because I'm sure there were people like me who hadn't seen some of these plants...but, guess what...we would see some of them on tour the next day...and wish we would have made a run at them on the auction! Anyway, I was very disciplined (yes, I was!) and looked at the list and decided on one, just one daylily, I would go for. However, (with a steely glint in my eye) I would have that one! That, by the way, is never a good way to approach an auction. You're sure to pay too much. I did get my plant! It was for a good cause. These plants are all donated and the money raised benefits the club hosting the regional and the regional itself. I left after that, not wanting to tempt myself...and let me just say, at that time, it was one of the higher prices. I can only hope I was "topped" later! (Not a record I would like to have)....but, I got the plant (repeat to oneself, over and over).

I should back up here a minute and explain something. Remember when I visited the AHS Display Garden in Maryland? Well, that garden owner, F, is a wonderful person who helped send me further on my daylily journey. When she found out I was planning to attend the regional, she encouraged me (read that as the push in the back I needed) to take the garden judge classes. I had read up on them on the AHS website, but I wasn't confident it was for me. I'm not the "open garden" type. Too many weeds and imperfections. Too likely to stress over it and not squeeze one iota of enjoyment out of it. I'm a "Gardening In"' person (yes, yes, yes, I know...I keep alluding to this...and I really will...maybe this winter...bring that all out...finally) and open gardens are clearly "Gardening Out". Well, F took care of that for me and basically said, "Go to it. Call this person." And, you know, I did. Got myself signed up for the garden judges classes...I'll tell you more about it as I go along.

Saturday morning, up bright and early to catch a bus for the gardens on tour. Those of us taking the Garden Judge 2 class would all ride on bus 1. Easy enough and no decisions necessary. The last garden on the tour, we would actually have a class in the garden. In the meantime, the rides to the other gardens were full of lots of good information, most relating to the class...but lots of other good daylily stuff.

The first garden, the Bastian Garden, we arrived at (the one I would be writing about) was actually a farm. No, not a daylily farm, although there were certainly plenty of daylilies around. It looked like a picture. There was the sparkle and glinting of water reflecting through the woods, a huge John Deer tractor near the barn, chickens and a chicken house, horses in the barn, you name it.

We hopped off the bus and found a full breakfast buffet being served in front of the barn.

You now know something I didn't. They feed you on these tours! Some, most, even gave away daylilies! Did I mention the farmhouse? Here, too, were the daylilies that various hybridizers had sent that were being grown. I think they send them two years or more in advance, so they can grow and settle in. These are also some of the plants that were auctioned off the night before. Some pictures:

Pompom Poppies (or so I call them):

Welcoming front door:


Gemini Jack:

Lavender Blue Baby:

Forsyth Dark Eyes:

Next, we went to the garden of the Stauffers of Kissel Hill. This was of particular interest because I have bought their daylilies for years from a local nursery chain. Where we visited was the personal home of the founder (recently retired from the business; think his son maybe runs it now...they have their own stores in PA). As you can see, they love daylilies here, too. We were fed here, as well, and given a daylily (Porcelain Ruffles). I was just amazed at all of this...the generosity of everyone...the time and effort they've gone to preparing for all of was hard to take it all in. A very lovely stop.

Quite the 55 mph garden, wouldn't you say?

Always Afternoon:

Porcelain Ruffles:

Primal Scream:

Then (I think...I may have this slightly out of order, but you'll forgive me), we actually went to lunch! Lunch! Let's see...I had had a major breakfast at the first garden, complete with whoopie pies for the road, snacks at the second garden...and now I was to eat lunch. I guess somebody has to do it (hehehe). We had sandwiches, etc. at a restaurant that managed our four buses with ease...along with a nearby soccer tournament that was going on, so clearly a place for crowds.

Next, we went to Don Herr's garden. He is a wonderful hybridizer (check out his site) and this was a chance to see his daylilies. For me, most of his I had only seen online or maybe in a picture. I was blown away! I want, I want, I want. Does that say it all?? Oh yes, never fear...we were fed here, too. All kinds of goodies, including these blueberry scones with white chocolate chips...and Shaker Tea...yum.

Some of his seedlings (only a few...there were so many beautiful ones):

Some of Don's introductions:

Flamenco Twirl:

Strawberry Margarita:

Whistle a Happy Tune:

Award winning You Are my Sunshine:

Seedling bed:

Some other hybridizers' flowers that he grows:

Bella Sera:

Shores of Time:

A couple that were $300 upon introduction:

Peace Beyond Understanding:

And, Holy Guacamole:

Betty Ford which won, I believe, Best Red, on the tour:

Spacecoast Starburst, which seems to have been a great parent for Don:

I noticed current judges walking around with their ballots as Don had some of his up for awards clearly marked (smart man!). This is something I'll get to do next year, but more on that later on. I took lots of pictures here (the want thing).

Our final stop was another beautiful place, The Tomlinson Garden. This one featured some of hybridizer Joe Tomlinson's beautiful flowers and also the seedling bed for the tour (seedlings...not yet registered...of region 3 hybridizers). This was also, as I mentioned, where we had our garden judge class (no. 2, no. 1 would be on Sunday). Here, I (and others) began to put into practice what we had been reading and talking about. How to look at daylilies, what makes a daylily award worthy, how to fill out the forms, what do the different categories mean, how to look at daylilies in different settings (this was the last stop...and afternoon...and hot), etc. Lots of things to take in. We divided into small groups to practice. Unfortunately, I would have loved at least another 30 minutes in this garden to just look around for myself...but, you can't do everything. I did a quick run around...and then it was time to get back on the bus. I think they fed us at this garden and had daylilies, but those of us doing the classes missed it (like we needed more food...!).

Swirling Water:

Virginia hybridizer Jim Murphy enjoying the garden:

The seedling bed where we spent much time learning:

A totally gorgeous flower, by Joe Tomlinson...Lyndell's Forever Pink (I don't think this one's been introduced yet):

I'd like to thank all of the garden owners. Their efforts were so appreciated. The food, the bottles of water, everything, was just perfect. Thank you so much!

Back to the hotel we went. Four gardens is enough, really. I was kinda tired. We still had the dinner and the night's speaker to look forward to. I think I just kicked back for a bit in my room (nice) and then got ready for dinner. Because of nice conversations (and even nicer people), seating was not a problem. On our seats were various gifts...Did I mention the boutique? I don't think I did. After the bus trip...we were given a bus plant! Darrel Apps, I was told, donated a bunch of them. We came inside and were handed a daylily (score!) and then I made my way to the boutique. Daylilies were for sale in there, too (who knew) as well as all kinds of items. I...ahem...did buy one or two (I had to get a Don Herr one, don't you know).

Anyway, dinner...was very good...I think an Amish buffet...lots of hearty food...then we listened to professional photographer and author Derek Fell give a presentation. I was sorta surprised to learn that he does not do digital, he uses film. As you might guess, the slides were magnificent...his work has appeared in major magazines, calenders and books. One of the things that struck me was that he talked about how a lot of photography is simply luck. (I think so, but having a great eye, throw a little talent in...can't hurt, you know?) He made his point by showing us a picture so beautiful...and said it was just because he happened to be there...then, at that time...not earlier, not later. He even showed us (along this vein) several taken at the exact place, but at different times...or at the exact place, but a year later. Nature does that...a continuously changing show. Seeing his pictures was an enjoyable event. Books of his were for sale (you know I love books, especially garden books), but, for some reason (I forget now), I managed to escape without one. Hmmm, there's always amazon...

Anyway, the dinner and speaker kinda wrap up the regional meeting. There are awards presented...Don Herr won more than a few (most deservedly)...note to self: you have to pay attention and write down daylilies in each garden because you will absolutely not remember when it comes time to vote...and thank yous....and it was done. Kudos to DVDS! I cannot imagine the enormous amount of time and effort that went into putting on such an event. It was just terrific! Did I mention our goodie bag (another note to self: they give you the bag for a year, take it on the bus to hold all the things you acquire...) had a cd with pictures from the tour? Daylily note cards? That's just a was quite nice!

So, Sunday morning arrives and people are leaving...but not us folks taking the garden judge no. 1 we went to the meeting room. I was actually pretty excited and nervous at the same time. There would be a test...and when was the last time I have taken a test?? (Not that I have missed them, mind you.) We were all accounted for and the lecture began. They were very good, btw, Kevin Walek (AHS President) and Julie Covington. Very enjoyable...we laughed, got to ask questions...and I am telling you, I will never, never, never look at a daylily the same! The test was given...and I did fine (Did you doubt me??!! Ha!). All that was left was to fill out my application and wait for approval. Since I have taken so long to do this, I can tell you.....(drum roll)....I'm in! And, for those in the know, I sent in my ballot! (Should I add that to my profile?? I'm just kidding...!!)

Here ends another daylily adventure. Not that it is the last of my adventures, by any means...just all for now. I must get out in the garden and rip out some tomatoes that are smothering the daylilies. Not to worry, the tomatoes will be safely taken off and put into the window sill (which is looking rather bare of late...see Gotta Eat). Take care now.


P.S. Guess where the regional meeting is next year? Richmond, VA! (Will I see you there?)


ROR said...

Thank You GG/CC
That was an awesome tour, I can tell, as I read your description of your tour I felt I was right there with you. I should have atteneded this great trip/tour..but I had to treat myself to a vacation..shame on me..LOL I think after reading your article here, I shall be going to Richmond...nothing like being back "Home" in Va..:) Thanks for taking the time to write this and to put up these lovely photo's....what a pleasure to get to feel like part of the tour!

A wildlife gardener said...

What a fantastic tour! Truly a marathon! you are the queen of the daylilies :)

Would you like to come for a visit to see a little video of the butterflies which came to our garden yesterday?

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

There should be a "wow" meter on your site. Everytime I see the daylillies, I go wow, wow, wow...oh WOW...people look up to see what I am looking at!

Andrea's Garden said...

What a great tour! I am jealous! It made me feel as I was right along with you. The daylilies are just beautiful. I cannot believe they are still blooming. Thanks a lot.

kate said...

What an incredible post. Your weekend sounded great. You visited incredible garden, ate well and you were most restrained in the plant-buying department.

Congratulations on becoming a judge! I didn't for a second think that you wouldn't have passed ... and with flying colours.

I think I've fallen in love with 'Swirling Water', among others, but this is the one I'd love in my garden. Hopefully, it doesn't cost 300$!

Okay, so I just noticed as I scrolled down reading your post that your first name is the same as mine... we're the same age and both Sagittarians. How cool is that!

Gotta Garden said...

That's great, Rick! The one in Richmond is shaping up to be very nice...there's a preview of the gardens (five, I think) on tour on the site now. Thanks for the nice words!

Yeah, a wildlife exhausted me! Ha. But, I'm back now! I'll have to get over. Sorry I haven't been over sooner. Oh...and I wish on the queen wouldn't believe the collections some folks have...I'm an amateur.

You make me smile, tolam! Thanks for that! Some days I get lucky with the camera.

Hi Andrea...well, I don't have any blooming now...that was in July, pretty much peak for that area...except the first garden...that one was still in the early stages. I'm wanting some blooming!

Kate, I wanted so bad to say when you first came over! I was so delighted! I actually am a Katie, which is really strange with the Catherine...but I have to blame the parents. They told me I was a Katie because there were too many Kathys! How funny is that! For so many years, I never heard another Katie...then, when I was around 18, I remember being in a store and hearing "Katie, Katie, Katie"...I turned around wondering who on earth was calling me...and it was a mommy calling her little girl...that was the, they are everywhere! I'm probably one of the oldest,!

I wish Canada wasn't so far away...and all our restrictions...I'd so love to share some daylilies with you! I have one called "Katie My Love"...hahaha!

Tomorrow will be a yard day...daylilies to dig for the RADS sale, some to mail...and oh yeah, FINALLY (the neighbors are probably calling me names!) to weedwhack the front yard...that knee high grass/weeds probably isn't very attractive!

Thank you all! I'll try...famous last be better about posting...

Le Jardin de Vérone said...

Wahouuuuuu !!!
Magnifique !
Je vais revenir souvent sur votre blog !!!
Je suis passionnée d'hémérocalles daillily !!!

Gotta Garden said...


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