Frank Smith at RADS Dinner last Sat

gonegardening(7 VA)October 20, 2006

Last Sat I drove down to Richmond to attend the above dinner. It was at the Omni Hotel (very nice) and at each of our place settings was a small gift bag. It contained a small spiral pad and take notes, I suppose...very handy and very thoughtful!

Anyway, Frank Smith began his presentation with a slide of a daylily that appeared to have a very blue eye (multiple blooms, so very impressive). I am always uncertain if the true color is represented, but, if so, it was quite something. I digress to tell you that he mentioned he has used Elizabeth Salter's daylilies and that he highly recommended them. Said you can pick up some older ones now fairly cheap.

Anyway, most of his slides were unnamed futures. He talked about how he now has 9-10 inch flowers...these are full forms (or whatever they're called), not spiders, etc. One, he jokingly called hubcaps! The petals are like six inches and the sepals are three...hard to imagine,huh...but if you can get down to Mecca next year, you can see these amazing flowers.

He had several from Crazy Ivan. A couple tet conversions he really likes are Tet Connie Burton (said the kids have very wide petals) and Tet Peppermint Delight...for red eyes. There was one he showed (with the red eye) that was an incredible'd have to see it.

John Benz (hope I spelled that right) was mentioned in the same vein as Elizabeth good daylilies, not too expensive, to hybridize with for purples, blacks and reds.

A couple of new names I wrote down were Holy Water and Patsy Cline (which I think must be a giant orange one)...also Catnapping...but, I am not sure about that one!

Another thing that caught my ear was he said that Moment in the Sun with pink/lavender daylilies tends to produce muddy colors. Well, guess who has seedlings outside with Chartered Course x MITS and Spring Chorus x MITS!! His advice was to breed seedlings to Michael Miller and the colors clear wonderfully.

As an aside, Michael Miller has been hard for me to find. Since the Michael Miller is a very active member of RADS, I stepped a bit outside my shell and emailed him to ask if he might have some for sale. He didn't, but highly recommended two of his new intros. He was very nice, called me, and I ended up purchasing his last fan of Small World Snow Fox which he says is better than Michael Miller! It didn't hurt to learn that Frank Smith had also bought it...

Okay, that's all I can think of for!

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numama(z7 AR)

Very interesting reading Katie! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your ventures and took my own notes! THANKS FOR SHARING!
I am going to have to do this Mecca thing, where can I find information about Mecca 07?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 12:52PM
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GG, sounds like you had a wonderful time AND I'M JEALOUS! I never hear about any daylily events in my area, and there are no active clubs near me. Must think about moving or something . . .

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 12:57PM
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gonegardening(7 VA)

Nancy: On the Frank Smith website, he talks about his party and I think on the Trimmers' website, they talk about theirs. Up here, I think RADS is trying to get a bus together to go down, maybe inviting another club as I think last year they didn't have enough participation. At the dinner lecture, Frank invited everyone and talked about his party and how fun it is.

My understanding (others will know better) is that it (daylily mecca) is peak bloom time in FL and in conjuction with a local regional, the big hybridizers are all open. I guess because daylily addicts flock down there, it got the nickname of Mecca...a good place to make new friends and see old friends. I think it would be something to see, as pictures are never as good as the flowers others have pointed out. There must least five (probably more) big hybridizers around, I know you loved Jack Carpenter's place (would love to visit there myself!)...think that times five!

IF I go, (I'm thinking) I would probably drive myself as my parents usually winter somewhere around there and I can kill two birds...(see the parentals and daylilies).

Chris, yes, move on down! Although I don't live near stuff, I can drive and am willing to, as long as it isn't forever. DH thinks it will take me three hours at most to get to Camp Hill for Lilyhemmer.

And also, I have decided that if I want to do it, I just do waiting around for or on others! Very liberating! Strangely, it doesn't bother me to go up to a table and say, "Is this seat taken?" Years past, I'm sure I wouldn't have done things by myself!

Once I adopted this mindset, it was amazing the things I began to look around and see. I also enjoy garden symposiums, lectures, etc. in general. I'm not sure how much information actually sinks I figure surely some must, at least!

I sat next to someone at the RADS dinner who used to live near Longwood Gardens (PA)...and boy, did that sound like fun! The classes you could take, the events they sponsored...all kinds of cool garden, they surely need/want volunteers.

If and when we move again, besides the land issues, that's another requirement...gotta have neat garden opportunities within range!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 2:10PM
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highjack(z6 KY)

Anyone that can make it to FL during peak bloom should do it. Stamile, Trimmer and Reilly live next door to each other. Abigian and Lambertson aren't too far away.

Frank Smith is about 30-45 minutes away from the Stamile exit, through the country, easy driving.

You can do a day trip to Kinnebrew on the east coat and stop at Dan Hansen on the way. It is about an hour drive from the Stamile exit. Again, the drive is easy, no traffic hassles.

Two parties in two days, tons of blooming plants, go for it. Hubby is going down next spring.

Brooke - pouting

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 6:21PM
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laurelin(z5a/4b Upstate NY)

Sigh - it sounds WONDERFUL to take a road trip and see daylilies and friends at the same time. I've GOT to do something like that for myself next year. I'm going to the AGO (American Guild of Organists) conference for a few days with my husband next spring. Wonderful music, interesting talks, but it's my husband's passion, not mine. Surely I can find SOMETHING related to daylilies/gardening to do for myself a little later in the summer in the Northeast, since I'm not likely to make it down South for Mecca. . . .

It's nice to hear that such a good hybridizer is recommending using "older" cultivars for crosses. I'll have to check out his daylilies in more detail. I REALLY REALLY need to join the AHS this year.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 7:47AM
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