Daylilies forum: Best tips for showing daylilies

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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
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bluegrassmom
May 15, 2016 6:00 AM CST
I thought this might be a good topic. I have shown iris but never dayliles. It would be over a 2 to 3 hr drive to even get to see one.

Does anyone on this forum show daylilies? If so, could you give us your best pointers for grooming, transporting etc. Does other clubs mind if you are from another state lol.

Thanks,
Teresa
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
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Polymerous
May 16, 2016 12:09 AM CST
I've only done it a few times, but grooming is ultra important.

To start with, forget any blooms or scapes that show any kind of slug, snail, or insect damage. You will also get dinged if you have thrips or ants on your exhibit. (Ants can be sneaky. Rolling my eyes. They like to get deep down into the bud, going after something sweet there.)

Bring a pair of hand pruners, and cleanly and carefully cut each bud scar so that it looks green when cut, and not brown. (DO NOT, as I did my first show, cut off a branch full of empty bud scars, to "make it look better"... the judges will think that there was no branch full of blooms there, and you will get dinged for poor branching and/or a low bud count. Rolling on the floor laughing )

Bring a small makeup brush or some Q-tips, and very carefully brush off any stray pollen or specks of dirt from the bloom.

Bring a small fingernail scissors, and carefully trim any brown bracts, so that what is left is all green, and has a natural pointed shape.

If you brought a flower whose petals or sepals didn't open quite right (why did you?) you can sometimes carefully poke and prod them into a natural and pleasing shape. (If you don't, or if you damage the petal or sepal in doing so, that's another ding.)

If you brought a scape with two or more blooms, it is imperative that they all be the same top quality (you will get dinged if any one of them is worse than the other(s)), and it is also imperative that they DO NOT TOUCH. It is better to sacrifice the lesser or touching blooms, keeping only the best bloom(s), and only if they don't touch each other. (Top ribbons seem to go to the exhibits having two or more blooms, but only when these rules are followed... exhibits with one bad bloom or two or more touching blooms will not win top ribbons.)

I clerked for two shows (iirc, that was some years back) and it was very eye-opening as to the reasons why exhibits got poor or no ribbons - it was almost entirely due to poor or no grooming.

Others perhaps will help you out with the transport issue.
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
May 16, 2016 12:20 AM CST
Thank you for posting. So if the top bloom is spent, you trim but not the entire branch?
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
May 16, 2016 1:21 AM CST
Correct. There must be a fresh cut to the bud scar, so that it looks green. And it needs to be a clean, not jagged, cut. (If you don't bring a hand pruner, then you can maybe make do with a dog nail trimmer. Try it out beforehand, though.)

I forgot to mention that you shouldn't cut the scape short, either... I don't remember the details, but if it is a tall scape normally, then it should be a tall scape in the display. I very vaguely remember somebody doing something that I thought was shocking (but it was perfectly legal) which may have had to do with using folded paper or cotton balls or something to help secure or fix the scape inside the bottle or whatever the exhibit goes in. (You need to put that cotton or paper or whatever support down into the bottle or whatever so it is out of sight... hopefully someone else will chime in here about that. I've only seen it done once and that was a great many years ago (I have not exhibited in all those years, obviously).)

As you can see, you may as well assemble yourself a small toolkit for all of these grooming gadgets. If you are going to exhibit a lot of entries, then also bring your return-address mail stickers with you - it makes it quicker and easier to fill out each exhibit tag (which has to have your name on it). So bring a pen too...
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
May 16, 2016 5:10 AM CST
Brings back a lot of memories for when I used to go to shows. Sounds all correct to me. I used to use a razor blade to trim all spent blooms and brown bracts.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
May 16, 2016 6:10 AM CST
Thanks for all the good info. Nothing like experience! If I do get to show I will not be upset if I don't win, it will be good to just try and also learn from the others. Hurray!
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
May 16, 2016 11:47 AM CST
Very good tips, Polymerous!! I will have to print this out. Our club is having a show next month.

Thanks for posting the thread, Teresa!!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
[Last edited by blue23rose - May 16, 2016 11:48 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1150591 (7)
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
May 16, 2016 2:21 PM CST
I would expect that normally clubs that are having shows, would give the club members a brief refresher course at the club meeting prior to the show. At least ours did, back in the day. (I no longer belong, because of an inconvenient distance. I may rejoin, though, and just plan on some overnight trips, and then a stop for a hike as I make my way home after the club meeting.)

One thing that I forgot to mention does not have to do with grooming, but with getting your blooms as big as they can be. (This is actually important, because one of the things that is judged, iirc, is that the bloom size must meet the registered bloom size for that cultivar.) What was recommended at our club was that a week before the show, to "plump up" the daylilies by going to daily watering. This gets the blooms as big as they can be.

You do have to be careful with the watering, though, not to splotch the blooms (on those that are susceptible to that kind of damage). That'll get you a ding. Whistling

Another way to get dinged is if your bloom does not match the color description in the AHS registry. I gather that there has to be some allowance for local climate and soil (this is where it may be helpful to have local judges familiar with the cultivar), but you can still get dinged. (I once got dinged for an entry of 'Scatterbrain'; when I asked one judge why (not complaining, but wanting to learn for the next show (it was only my second show)), I was told it was because there was green on the sepals. (I thought it was supposed to be that way. Confused ))

And while I am thinking of it... not only must your blooms more or less match the description that is in the AHS registry wrt to size and color, they must also match the description in regards to form. This is very important. So if you have something that is registered as a single daylily, but which occasionally and typically throws polys or some double-type petaloids, you need to make sure to bring only blooms that are singles to the show. The judges may or may not be familiar (from personal experience) with that particular cultivar, and so they may not recognize that the petaloids or extra tepals are typically a sometimes feature. They WILL go by the official AHS registration data, which says that the cultivar is a single, and judge accordingly. (I think they are mandated to go by the registration data, regardless of their personal observations... but I was never an exhibition judge so I don't know that for certain.)

As an example... back at my very first show which was probably 20 years or so ago, I brought an off-scape bloom of 'Four Star'. The AHS registration (both then and now) has it that 'Four Star' is a spider double, which it is not. 'Four Star' is actually a polymerous daylily, but at the time of registration there was no polymerous classification. (I gather that the AHS registration data has not been corrected in all of these years since the poly classification came into being.) Moreover, the blooms on 'Four Star' were typically (in my garden, anyway Whistling ) something of an asymmetric mess. Anyway, I was excited about polys and not wanting to sacrifice the scape (because, seeds) I brought a single bloom to the show, for the off-scape single bloom class. As I recall, the judges did give out ribbons (maybe not official AHS ribbons and certainly no rosettes, but there were ribbons... at least that is my recollection), but I got either none or the lowest possible color ribbon for that bloom. (Being a newbie, and all excited about the polys, it was a bit of a disappointment. Hilarious! ) The bloom that I brought was very typical for that cultivar, being both polymerous (it ran about 85% poly in my garden) and asymmetric, but it did not match the registration data, so that almost certainly was why it did not do well.

So just ask yourself.... if you were a judge standing in front of an exhibit, and you didn't know the cultivar, and the AHS registration data said that it should be a spider double.... how would you judge this thing?



Be certain that your bloom, in size, color, and in form, matches the AHS registration data for that cultivar.
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Region: Virginia Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Heucheras Cat Lover Hummingbirder
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floota
May 16, 2016 3:22 PM CST
Goodness! The AHS has prepared much information about this subject, which can be found at this link:
http://www.daylilies.org/EnteringAHSShows.html

Yes, correct, as a Senior Exhibition Judge, I along with other accredited judges, am bound to judge daylilies according to their registration data and the point scoring data that we are trained to use. Over the past few years, our judging Panels have frequently checked the database while judging if none of us are familiar with the cultivar (s).

Usually I do a quick walk through of all sections to be judged by our panel before the panel begins judging just to look at everything in those sections we are assigned to judge. When I am chairing the judge's panel, there have been quite a few instances when I or another judge spotted a cultivar that needed to be moved to a different section. ( better to spot it and get it moved BEFORE the judging begins!) The classification chair is then called over and asked to re-check the registration data and if the cultivar has been placed in an incorrect section, then it is moved to the correct section. At one show I judged last year, there were at least four cultivars improperly placed in the three sections my panel judged. All of them needed to be moved elsewhere. It is good that we spotted them before we began judging, because they mostly were moved to sections that other panels of judges were judging. Sometimes this issue also comes up: A judge sees an entry that he or she KNOWS to be the incorrect cultivar. It is usually not the fault of the exhibitor. Perhaps they bought the cultivar in good faith and it was labeled incorrectly. We have to mark those entries as "judged," ( no ribbons) but if I'm chairing the panel, I make a note on the entry form that it is the incorrect cultivar. If one of us thinks an incorrect cultivar is being shown, we ALWAYS look it up and compare it with the database image to be sure.

Exhibitors should not enter cultivars which would not show true to form according to the way the cultivar is registered. For example, if a cultivar is registered as a single bloom and that day it is blooming with extra petaloid material or perhaps is a polymerous bloom, do NOT BRING IT to the exhibition. Judges would have to deduct point(s) because this is considered a fault. It is extremely informative to take the Exhibition Judges Clinics, even if you don't become an exhibition judge. I highly recommend it! I've come to really enjoy judging shows, although it involves a lot of time and travel. This year I've decided to take the year off from traveling to Regional and National meetings, and from judging shows. ( I've been away from my own garden for at least 4-5 weekends in a row during peak bloom season and have barely gotten to enjoy my garden for at least the past four years.) Sadly, this decision meant I've had to turn down invitations to judge in at least 4 shows. Hopefully next year, I'll feel more like traveling. This year, am staying at home and enjoying my garden!


Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
May 16, 2016 4:14 PM CST
Polymerous, you photo of Four Star looks like a poly to me Thumbs up
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Region: Virginia Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Heucheras Cat Lover Hummingbirder
Clematis Lilies Birds Garden Art Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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floota
May 16, 2016 4:30 PM CST
Regarding the cultivar Four Star, both Bob and Eric Tankesley Clarke are still alive. It appears they must have registered a seedling of Frank Kropfs after his death. ( this makes sense, as all are from the same region, AHS Region 11
- MO and KS) Kropf was known as primarily a hybridizer of layered doubles, so my guess is that they registered it as a double spider because it exhibited the characteristics of both forms. It may also correctly be registered as polymerous if it indeed polymerous. When it blooms poly, are you able to count extra "parts" as judges sometimes call the pistils and stamens in shows. IF a cultivar is missing some of its parts or if one is deformed( sometimes exhibitors may not notice this) that is also counted as a deduction. So be sure to notice all parts- a deformed or missing stamen could mean the difference between a purple and a blue ribbon. IF you think you have a poly bloom, you MUST see an extra stamen for the extra segments!
One more thing - since the hybridizers are still alive, only THEY can change the registration information. If you believe this cultivar is polymerous, why don't you contact them and ask? ( Of course, they would have to pay a $6.00 fee to change the registration data at this point, some hybridizers won't change it because it costs money to do so.)
[Last edited by floota - May 16, 2016 5:32 PM (+)]
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
May 16, 2016 5:08 PM CST
Teresa - Thank you for starting this thread! Thank You!

i have found all the info shared ..... quite interesting! If there were any clubs near me that I could join and had shows, I'd certainly give it a try just for the fun and experience of it! Sounds like something that any daylily lover would enjoy being part of. Thumbs up
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
May 16, 2016 5:16 PM CST
Wow, Julie. I never realized that judging would mean sacrificing seeing one's own garden in bloom. That would be a terrible thing to miss, even though you enjoy judging.

I hope your garden is the best it's ever been this year for you to enjoy!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
May 16, 2016 5:18 PM CST
Thanks, Julie, that is interesting regarding the number of stamen that must be present in order to not be downgraded in judging. I could not recall, offhand, what 'Four Star' did in my garden; I do vaguely recall that some of the early diploid polymerous daylilies could be inconsistent in the number of stamen, even when displaying 8 tepals. (The only dip polymerous daylilies I still have in my garden are 'Give Me Eight' and a few seedlings, and I have not been paying all that much attention to the number of their stamen.)

Looking at the images in the ATP database, it appears that 'Four Star' was one of the inconsistent ones:



I am editing to say that I cannot recall with 100% certainty if 'Four Star' ever produced any true petaloid tissue. If it did so - in my garden - it must have been a fairly infrequent event. Certainly most of the blooms were 4x4, regardless of the number of stamen present.
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
[Last edited by Polymerous - May 16, 2016 5:22 PM (+)]
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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
May 17, 2016 11:07 PM CST
Thanks for all the info. I want to watch the video also on showing daylilies.
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
May 20, 2016 6:08 AM CST
I was wondering why some of the shows are only a bloom and others the entire scape. I like to hybridize on my best plants and will not cut those to take to a show Angry
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
May 20, 2016 7:19 AM CST
We have both at our southeast Michigan show. You can show a single bloom or show an entire scape.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
Image
bluegrassmom
May 20, 2016 8:01 AM CST
Thumbs up I think that is a good idea? Let the person decide which to bring.
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
May 20, 2016 12:02 PM CST
The exhibition judges can tell us for certain, but it was my (perhaps incorrect) understanding that it is up the club organizing the show, whether or not to have an off-scape bloom category. I've exhibited in perhaps a total of four shows, and iirc only the first show had an off-scape bloom category. (At least, that was the only time that I ever recall seeing that category, and I clerked for the last two shows I exhibited in; I was with the judges throughout the entirety of the judging, and there were no off-scape blooms judged.)
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Doris&David Bishop
Cartersville, Ga. (Zone 7b)
Daylilies Cat Lover Clematis Region: Georgia Garden Art
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Casshigh
May 20, 2016 7:02 PM CST
Poly, I think that you are correct in stating that the local club decides if they shall have an off scape category. Personally, I believe that it would encourage more people to show their flowers. Many new members are intimidated by their lack of experience n grooming, plus they don't want to sacrifice their only scape of it, they'd rather see all of the blooms in their garden. Also, that off scape bloom is only going to last that day, so others can see it and admire it. Some clubs actually have more entries in off scape than on scape. So, someone must be in favor of it. You can tell that I am for it. Encourage your club to include it, they might see that there are several exhibited. The public probably doesn't care, and isn't that what we are supposed to be promoting- more people liking DLs?
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
http://daylilyfans.com/bishop/

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