You know I love my Hemerocallis. In fact, I am a bit of a Hemnut.
However, I never entered a daylily show until yesterday. I always enjoyed seeing others’ flowers, but I, selfishly, didn’t want to cut my scapes. I was also a wee bit intimidated because I knew nothing about showing. Last week, though, a plea went out from the club asking for us to enter. I decided this was the year. Please, feel free to laugh as you read.
I took ten or twelve different AHS registered flowers, and by the time I escorted them to the exhibition hall to be prepped, two already had broken petals. I threw away H. ‘Karen’s Curls’ because it looked pi-tee-ful. My friend, Laurie Barger, entered ‘Karen’s Curls’, and it won as best Unusual Form. I went ahead and displayed H. ‘Killer’ because I wanted the public to see a truly sunfast purple. After judging, the show is open to the public for viewing, and seeing all of these flowers is a good way to get to know daylilies which perform well in a particular area. This is one of the reasons we show them. Daylilies aren’t too inspiring when held as a double fan. So, I didn’t know what I was doing, and everyone was trying to help, but they had flowers to prep too. I used other members’ tools, and I thank them. I didn’t even have the first clue how to complete the entry forms, but thank goodness Stephen Durham and Laurie showed me how, while Nick Barger ran back and forth to the computer to get section numbers for proper placement. Finally, my flowers, for better or for worse, were placed, and I couldn’t do anything else to them. About that time, Clint Barnes, who owns Prairie Lace Gardens, came bearing his flowers (dozens it seemed). I stood and watched him prep his daylilies with the utmost care, and I paid close attention. Once he finished, they looked as if he’d just picked them, as in “fresh,” a term used by daylily judges a lot. I then realized I need lots of practice. Laurie asked if I wanted to clerk for the judges. Right before I headed off with ribbons, stickers and hole punch in hand, she said to remember not to get my feelings hurt. I didn’t know what she meant, but I nodded.
The clerk silently follows the judges as they make their determinations. Dean clerked with me as it takes two. I learned so much from the three judges’ comments about presentation. The judges can’t touch the vase or the flower, so Dean or I turned the vase for them to see all around the scape (stem) because daylily judging isn’t just about a pretty face, but also plant habit and grooming.
Daylilies shouldn’t be over half bloomed, and a scape with more buds (that don’t interfere with the flower) is better. Later Nancy K. told me why. “Your first flower is your biggest flower.” All these years I’ve grown daylilies, and I never knew. Bloom scars must be trimmed to look as though the spent bloom has just fallen. However, scapes should not be over groomed. If possible bracts should be left intact unless they are brown. If you must trim them, they should be trimmed to a point. Complicated, isn’t it? The flower should have the correct form for its type, and its color should be vibrant and rich. Washed out blooms need not apply.
The judges don’t look at the blooms to see if the flower is a new cultivar, or one they particularly like; only that it corresponds to type. I can attest they don’t pick favorites, and often, an older daylily wins simply because the form is perfect. H. ‘Brown Witch’ is a good example. The judges loved the bloom, and I’m sorry I forgot to take a photo of it. I just hate that daylily. The funniest part of the show for me and the most humbling was when they got to one of my blooms, I don’t remember which flower. Having heard a lot of people were showing for the first time, they were especially kind, but coming onto this one, the judges’ expressions bordered on horror. They sighed about how the scape was mostly bloomed out, and said the grooming was “deplorable.” Inwardly, I cringed as they continued, but I said nothing because the clerk is to remain completely silent. Besides, what could I say? Finally, one judge turned to me and asked if the club had a grooming class this year. I didn’t know because I hadn’t been to a meeting recently (too much going on at home). Dean spoke up and said, “Yes, the last meeting was an education meeting on grooming for those who came.” Now, don’t think Dean was getting on to me. He wasn’t. The entry forms are folded so that no one knows whose entry it is, so he didn’t know it was mine. I bit my lip, turned scarlet, and we all thankfully moved on. I hope, by now, you’re laughing. It’s good to be humbled once in awhile. Keeps the mind fresh, and I soaked up every bit of information I could from those judges. Next year, with my new grooming kit, I’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
By the way, several of our members won prizes. Clint’s flower, H. ‘King Kahuna’, a double, won “Queen of Show” which means it was the best of the best. Laurie won two medals, and I know Judy F. also won. I’m sure I’m leaving someone out, but if they will just comment, I’ll add them too.
There are also entries for best display which is interesting and difficult because daylilies, being so water soluble, only last a little while. Below is one of the winning entries. I think the theme was “photo finish” or something similar. I thought it was beautiful.
Laurie sent the show results, and they are as follows: Best In Show: “King Kahuna”, Crochet, 1994), Clint Barnes, Exhibitor Section 2 – Best Large Flower – Siloam Pink Platinum, Henry, P. 1998, Clint Barnes, Exhibitor Section 3 – Best Small Flower – Flash Force, Santa Lucia, 1995, Laurie Barger, Exhibitor Section 4 – Best Miniature Flower – Siloam Tom Howard, Henry, P. 1985, Clint Barnes, Exhibitor Section 5 – Best Double, Polymerous and Multiform Flower – King Kahuna, Crochet, 1994, Clint Barnes, Exhibitor Section 6 – Best Spider Flower – Rococo, Biery, 1972, Brenda Jindra, Exhibitor Section 7 – Best Unusual Form Flower – Karen’s Curls, Reinke, 1997, Laurie Barger Exhibitor The Howard Memorial Award – Peach Whisper, Stamile, 1991, Judy Farabough, Exhibitor. The Howard Memorial Award was established by the Central Oklahoma Hemerocallis Society in 2001 as a memorial for two longtime members: Howard Estes and Howard Brown. The cultivar selected by the judges must be a Purple Ribbon winner exhibited in Division I, Section 2: Registered Large Flower. In addition to having the winning exhibitor’s name added to the Howard Memorial plaque, the exhibitor shall be awarded a $25.00 daylily gift certificate.