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Ask The Ombudsman

Donna Peck was the Ombudsman for the American Hemerocallis Society until 2014. 
This set of questions and responses were some that she chose to share with the membership as they may also answer these questions for others as well.    Should you have questions on these articles, contact Donna at dpeck@unm.edu

Starting in 2015, our new AHS Ombudsman is Charles Douglas.  You may contact Charles with your questions at ombudsman@daylilies.org

An Ombudsman "is an independent, neutral party who is able to look at problems that comes up in an unbiased fashion." In this series of articles, she will present a problem that has been asked her and write an answer that she hopes will benefit, not only the member that had the problem, but others as well.  If you have a problem, question or situation with which you need help, contact Charles at ombudsman@daylilies.org.

In the columns recapped below, you will find information on:

PROBLEM: We understand that AHS has introduced a new voucher program that allows new members free daylilies. Our club does not fully understand just what they need to do to join this program. Can you help us?

SOLUTION: It is really a very simple process that your club needs to do. As soon as you have a new member, send in their name/s with the membership check/s to Pat Mercer (Executive Secretary-Membership) P.O. Box 10, Dexter, GA 31019. The member will soon receive a letter from Pat explaining the program, the voucher that entitles the member to obtain the daylily, and the list of hybridizers who will honor the voucher. Some hybridizers require you to order a certain amount before they honor the voucher, while others will just send you the daylily which can be worth $25.00 and in some cases more. You will probably be required to pay shipping. An important note on the voucher program is that it applies to all new AHS members as well as current members with a one-year membership who upgrade to a three-year membership.

For more detailed information check the membership information page on the AHS website www.daylilies.org or contact AHS Executive Secretary Pat Mercer through email: secretary@daylilies.org.


This question came from Kathy Figueroa from Region 4 in Bancroft, Ontario. When she knew Donna was going to use her question in the column, Kathy contacted other members to help make this column helpful to those who have display gardens. I think we found many good ideas and hope they help those of you with display gardens. Any further questions should be addressed to Mary Lou Lundblade, who is chairman of AHS Display Gardens (displaygardens@daylilies.org).

QUESTION: I've heard members talk about "display gardens." Can you explain just what a display garden is?

RESPONSE: According to the AHS website, this is the explanation. "An AHS Display Garden is established to display the very best daylily cultivars to the general public. Its purpose is to educate the visitor about modern daylilies and how they can be used effectively in landscapes."

If it is an approved AHS Display Garden, it has to meet certain criteria. Again, check on the AHS website (www.daylilies.org) for a complete list. But here are a few of the criteria:

• The owner must be a member of AHS for at least 2 years
• The garden must include a wide variety of daylilies
• The garden must be well maintained
• Plant markers should have the name of both cultivar and hybridizer
• The garden should be open to the public

The RP of each region or a designated representative should visit each Display Garden in the region at least once every 2 years.

QUESTION: Now that I have a display garden, are there any pointers that people could provide me with about what do with it?

RESPONSE: Kathy Figueroa (who as this is written has applied to be a display garden, but hasn't received the final notice) holds a big annual open garden "flower festival" on the first long weekend in August. She is also hoping that her garden will be included in a local art studies tour where her photography, which, of course, features mainly daylilies, would be on display. Sometimes she provides her visitors with a small gift perennial in a 4 inch peat moss pot. During this open garden, she sets out patio tables and chairs, has a musician or two at the garden and invites people to bring their cameras to photograph the flowers. She also gives an informal talk on daylilies. Her garden is "pet friendly'. She offers water for the pets and the welcoming committee consists of three very sociable cats! She is hoping to officially become a display garden soon.

Kathy d'Alessandro from Pennsylvania says she also has an open house and has a table on her covered patio with the following materials: Daylily photo albums for anyone unable to walk about the large garden, AHS and local club pamphlets with membership information, and her business cards. Providing food isn't necessary but a nice gesture and of course water is essential.

Elizabeth Trotter says "I love having an AHS garden. Having an official sign out front designating our garden is a great incentive." When she knows she is having visitors she has cold water, lemonade or tea, some goodies like cookies or scones. If someone visits who is totally new to daylilies she sends them home with one. She says, "I usually have daylilies potted up for the club events and perennials also so I can use those for gifts to visitors." When Elizabeth was doing PR for the Blue Grass Hemerocallis Society last year, she gave the reporter a potted daylily as a thank you. The Society got a front page spread in the Garden Section! She also tried to promote their local club and AHS by showing visitors a copy of the Daylily Journal and their Daylily Appeal (region 10 newsletter). Elizabeth says, "When I show visitors such quality, attractive publications, it's not hard to convince them to join."

Another comment from Judy in Mechanicville, Virginia was that she has an annual plant swap which draws over a hundred people (each bringing a minimum of 5 plants – most bring 10) who love to swap any type of plant. She provides lots of homemade refreshments and since her home was built in 1820, she gives a tour of her home as well as her gardens. A local garden club also held their meeting during bloom season in her garden and her daughter catered a luncheon for them. They paid $10.00 and Judy said "they certainly got their money's worth." The other thing that Judy does is to put a sign beside her road during bloom season, just is case someone wants to drop by.

Rozanne Tuffnell, owner of the only display garden in New Mexico, has had a variety of experiences. The local garden clubs love to meet in her garden, and then Rozanne gives a talk about daylilies, how to grow them and on various companion plants. She, along with her husband, Alan, was part of a fund raising tour for local gardens. She gets many phone calls from a variety of people, who just want to come over, see the garden and "talk about daylilies.

One bit of trivia. Did you know that there are more than 300 AHS Display Gardens throughout the US and parts of Canada?


This was written by Eloise Koonce, a member of the Ombudsman committee and, a lifetime member since 1982, along with her daughter Ann, a new member, to offer insight to this question. They are members of the Desert Daylily Society in Scottsdale, Arizona.

QUESTION: Why join the American Hemerocallis Society?

"Half of my buds dry up before they bloom? How can I stop this?"
"What fertilizer works best in this area, and when and how do I apply it?"
"I moved from across the country. What daylilies grow best here and where can I buy them"?
"I have a gorgeous seedling. How can I register it?"
"How do I get my blooms ready for a daylily show?"

You can find answers to these questions – and thousands more - inside the friendly world of the American Hemerocallis Society.

My local club members say they take advantage of different parts of AHS. One gardener new to daylilies likes the quarterly Daylily Journal, with its photos of new cultivars and how-to articles on daylily care. Others say they enjoy selecting new daylilies from the catalogs sent to members by hybridizers as well as taking advantage of the $25.00 plant voucher offered by some hybridizers for first time membership. They also love the low prices and high quality of the plants offered at club sales and regional auctions.

One local hybridizer can't do without the daily posts of daylily-growing information on the AHS e-mail robin. Another joined AHS to exchange information with other national and international hybridizers, and so he can place his new "babies" in other regions to see how they perform in different climates.

Then, of course, there is the fun of putting on and entering daylily shows with other AHS members. Everyone gets a chance to show off the beauty and variety of daylilies to their neighbors. (Winning a ribbon, they say, is not their primary motive…but it helps!)

Most important, everyone says, are the long-lasting friendships, sometimes with people in other states and countries. AHS members are the most interesting, friendliest people around…willing to listen, to visit your garden to cheer you on and to pitch in to get big jobs done.

Of course, you miss all this…if you're not a member.

By Eloise and Ann Koonce
members of The Desert Daylily Society
in Scottsdale Arizona


Written by Melodye Campbell – Chair of the Popularity Poll

QUESTION:  What is the AHS Popularity Poll?

RESPONSE: Very simply, the Popularity Poll is a record of the most popular/favorite plants in each AHS region for a given year.  To find out when it originated, I asked the AHS archivist and historian, Ken Cobb. He said that “some believe that the Pop Poll began in 1961 with the David Hall Medal. Not so! Some believe it began in 1950 with the AHS Awards System.  Not so!  It did not even begin with the formation of the Midwest Hemerocallis Society.  It began in the min-1930s and was published annually in Herbertia, the journal of the American Amaryllis Society.”

QUESTION: How do the results help the members?

RESPONSE: Results from the popularity poll present a picture of which daylilies perform well in a given region and which cultivars are best liked by the AHS members. The results are extremely useful in recommending cultivars to those new to growing daylilies. The winners are also important as a category in Daylily Exhibitions.

QUESTION: Why was there a change in the voting of the Popularity Poll in 2009?

RESPONSE: During my years as an AHS member, there has always been dismal participation in popularity poll voting. On average, a region is fortunate if 20% of the membership participates. From our archivist, I learned that there is mention of the poor voting percentage as far back as the 1930s. The old format was a “fill in the blank” ballot; members simply wrote down their 10 favorites. As a result, the votes were spread over hundreds and hundreds of daylilies, thereby diluting the results and making them less meaningful. In the past daylilies were winning our regional polls with as few as 5 votes. About 60% of cultivars in each of the regional results received only 1 vote and only about 20% of the cultivars received more than 2 votes. The new Pop Poll voting procedure was instituted in 2009 because of this vote dilution. It was decided by the AHS Board that the new process would make more efficient use of our time and our votes and would produce more meaningful, more press worthy results. To start off the new format in 2009, each region’s ballot was comprised of their top 75 vote getters (including ties) from the previous year.  Each member could select 10 from the ballot or select 5 from the ballot and write in 5 of their choosing.

QUESTIONS: Won’t the ballot become "stale" and how do newer cultivars get on the pop poll ballot?

RESPONSE: After the new format was approved by the board, RPs and RPDs were given several suggestions on how to keep the ballot "fresh" year after year. Regions have responsibility for their Pop Poll ballot and may optionally select additional cultivars to add to the ballot and each region may determine the method for selecting these cultivars. Cultivars with write in votes will also help keep the ballot fresh. After looking at some of this year’s results, I am happy to report that several regions had daylilies with sufficient write in votes that enable them to be added to the ballot for next year.

QUESTION: What did it try to accomplish and did it succeed?

RESPONSE: The purpose of the new format is to increase participation, thereby making the results more statistically relevant and meaningful to our members. Change is always difficult so I cannot state with certainty that the new format has increased participation. All the results from 2010 have not been analyzed so I can’t comment on this year but in 2009, the % increase in several regions was significant. We’ve taken the first step to improve our popularity Poll and time will tell. I’m already excited about the next year’s Pop Poll!

Ombudsman comment:  I always buy the top five daylilies which are chosen in my region which is Region 6. These cultivars have never failed to please me.  I don’t understand why more members don’t vote because the results are so beneficial to the members. Hopefully next year the Pop Poll results will increase.


This column was written by Rebecca Board (Chairman of Registration and Technology), along with suggestions from Gary Rieben (a member of both the Ombudsman and Registration Committees).And with changes from Kevin Walek, after he became registrar in 2010.

QUESTION:  If I register my daylily online, why can’t I find out immediately if it is accepted?

ANSWER:  There are more steps to the registration process than most people realize.
When the Daylily Registrar, Kevin P. Walek, receives a registration request, he reviews the data provided to ensure that it is complete, then searches the database for name conflicts. Sometimes the requested name has already been registered, but other conflicts are more subtle – such as a name that might sound alike when spoken, even if the spelling is different. The AHS follows the guidelines of the ICNCP (International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants) when evaluating potential names. The document is long, and provides several specific cases, but the rules can be reasonably summarized like this:

1) The name must not cause confusion by echoing a name already in use.
2) The name must not exaggerate the merits of the plant.
3) The name cannot exceed thirty characters in length.
4) The name must not give the impression that the plant is derived from or related to another plant, if that is not the case.

(The full list of rules may be found on the AHS website; under Registering a Daylily.
A new edition, with some changes, was published in the fall of 2009.)

Since many of these requirements seem subjective, more than one person reviews the names so there is a fair assessment of potential confusion.  For this reason, all names are reviewed by a nine-person committee, and a majority must approve the proposed name.  As the annual deadline approaches, groups of name requests are sent to the committee daily. At the beginning of the year this slows to once a week. When names are sent to the committee, Kevin includes his own findings and comments, but does NOT include the hybridizer’s name. If he rejects the name, the reason is provided. If he believes there is the potential for confusion or other problems, these are noted for closer examination by the group.  Sometimes a committee member will suggest an obscure conflict the rest of the committee must consider, and sometimes the committee will find the chance of misunderstanding slight enough that a name is allowed.  The committee has also been recently asked to watch for spelling, punctuation, and capitalization issues. While the code permits intentional errors, we hope to ensure that accidental ones are not accepted and published. If a name is rejected, then the hybridizer may submit an alternate and the review process repeats. If a hybridizer believes the committee is in error, s/he may appeal and the name can be re-examined in light of any new information provided.

Once the name is approved by the committee, Kevin must ensure that an image and payment have been received.  Then the plant information is entered into his database, and the hybridizer is notified and given a chance to correct any errors before the official publication.

Previously the online database was updated annually, but we have recently included names approved in the current year, just as we also show pre-registered names and reserved names. Since the information about the cultivar may still be revised prior to publication, the name may also be revised during this period.  The ICNCP does not acknowledge publication on a website as establishing a name, so names and descriptions are not official until they are printed in the annual checklist.  In spite of these necessary limitations to the display of the in-process names, we believe that our members are finding this feature helpful.  At this time the online database is updated every couple of months, but we plan to make this even more frequent.

For your information, the online database shows 2527 registrations in 2008.

QUESTION: Okay, that’s a lot of work, but how long would it take?

ANSWER: Please allow twenty-one days for the process to complete. During peak times, it could take longer. Contact Kevin if you have a question about the status of your request, but keep in mind that initial twenty-one period and then allow at least a week to process and research your question before asking for a follow up. The recent system improvements have allowed Kevin to complete registrations for the month of August 2010, on a 3-day average turnaround from the day of receipt.

QUESTION: Who should I contact if the Registrar doesn’t give me the answer I want?

ANSWER: Concerns and complaints should be sent to the chair of the Registration Committee. As of now it is Rebecca Board – registrationchair@daylilies.org
If one doesn’t get a response, then email the Ombudsman, Donna Peck at ombudsman@daylilies.org.  She tries to have a 48 hour turnaround for answers.

QUESTION:  My daylily appears in the online database, but the image I sent isn’t there. Why not?

ANSWER:  Under the current system, processing of images is time consuming. They must be resized, watermarked, and the file names stored in the database--not much work if you are doing one image, but now consider having several hundred or a couple thousand to do. During peak times, images are not processed to prevent an even longer backlog for name approvals. During the quieter times of year, the images are processed and uploaded in groups.

Current contact information:
Kevin Walek - Daylily Registrar - registrar@daylilies.org
9122 John Way,  Fairfax Station, VA 22039-3042



QUESTION: I heard that one of the daylily clubs included a photography exhibit at their flower show.  I am the chairman of our flower show for next year and would like to include photography.  I’ve looked in the judges’ manual under show rules and schedules and I don’t see any information about including photography.  Do you know what the other club did that I can also do?

RESPONSE: One of the clubs you are referring to might be my club, The Albuquerque Daylily Society.  And I think other clubs are now including photography also.  We have had numerous requests about this issue, so I’m glad to be able to answer it.  We started the photography division about four years ago when our chairman, Connie Elmore, included this for our members who enjoyed taking photographs of daylilies.  And she believed that the visitors who came to the show also would be interested.  It has proven a great success.   We started with about six photographs the first year to twenty-nine last year. And this year we had 45.  And for a small club like ours, we were very pleased.  We have a professional photographer judge the photographs.  After the judging last year, the judge held a half hour seminar evaluating the photographs and answering questions.  Our members and visitors learned a great deal which will help them with their entries next year.

The photography awards are called “local awards.” If you look in the rules about the Show Schedule in the Judges Manual, there is a section called Local Awards and Rules.  Even though the club can give local awards for the best photographs, they are not AHS awards.

In our show schedule, printed for our members, we titled it Daylily Photographs, Division V.  Under that Division V the rules are:

A Daylily or Daylily related photograph. Any 5”x7” or 8”x10” black and white or color print. The print must be matted. The outside dimensions of the mat must be 11”x14.”  Exhibitors are limited to two photographs in each class. Photographs are to be displayed on easels. [Our club supplies black plastic easels.] 
            Class A. Single Flower
            Class B. Clump of Growing Daylilies
            Class C Landscape Design featuring Daylilies
            Class D Special Effects featuring Daylilies
            Class E: Photo of floral design featuring Daylilies

The first year we did this we only had Class A and B.  But this photography division proved so popular that we added the other three classes.

This information must be in the club’s show schedule that you submit for approval
to the Exhibition Judge Chairman, Gisela Meckstroth flowershows@daylilies.org.
If you add this local award to your flower show, I’m sure your members will enjoy it.


This column is written with the assistance of Gail Korn who is the Chair of Round Robins.

QUESTION:  I’ve heard many members talk about the daylily Round Robin. What
exactly is it?

RESPONSE:  The dictionary defines a round robin “as a letter sent among members of a group, often with comments added by each member in turn”.  Another description of a robin is a group conversation that has shared information.  A daylily round robin does exactly these things.  AHS members sign up to share their daylily knowledge with other daylily growers, as well as ask questions that they need answered.

Here’s a little history about the daylily round robins. Prior to 1994, the only round robins were those sent through the mail.  Each member is given a “Flight List,” a list of all the participants with their addresses and phone numbers.  When each member gets the packet of letters, that member takes out his or her old letter, writes a new one and sends the entire packet along to the next person on the list.  Friendships are formed and information exchanged.  Pictures are often included.  Sometimes plant trades are arranged.  Getting a robin packet full of letters from 7-11 other daylily growers is a special treat.  It’s great to get to know gardeners around the country!

QUESTION:  How do I join a Robin?

RESPONSE:  It’s as simple as contacting the Robin Chair. Currently the chair is Gail Korn. Her email address is gkorn@abbnebraska.com or roundrobins@daylilies.org.   If you prefer to send her a note, write to Gail Korn, 85261 Hwy 15, Wayne, NE 68787.

Gail will forward your request to the leader of the robin you are interested in. Membership in a robin is a benefit of belonging to AHS and is a way to get to know other members and to get answers to your questions.  (The Ombudsman will answer them also, but the Robin has access to many seasoned daylily gardeners and hybridizers.)

QUESTION: It sounds as if there is more than one Round Robin. Can you tell me my choices?

RESPONSE:  There are 9 paper robins for which you would write a letter and send it with the other letters to the Robin member that is the next person on the list.  In general, membership in one of these robins will require you to write between 3and 5 letters per year.  The advantage to the paper robins is that people write real letters about their experiences and experiments.  You get to know the members and they become a circle of friends. These paper robins were discussed above in the first question.  Two of these robins – Daylilies All Over and the Region 1 Robin (for members who live in Region 1) – are general interest robins and anything concerning daylilies may be written about.  Others are about more specific topics.  They include Doubles, Landscaping, Nostalgia, Rust, Season Extenders, Spiders/Unusual Forms, Mini Daylilies and Tetrobin.  For your information, the Tetrobin discusses hybridizing tetraploids.

Several e-mail robins exist also.  The advantage is that answers can come immediately.  To join the big e-mail robin (over 1,300 AHS members); send a request to Tim Fehr at fehrtj@charter.net or webmaster@daylilies.org.  It is a general interest robin and anything and everything about daylilies is discussed.  To join this or one of the smaller e-mail robins, send an e-mail to Gail Korn and she’ll forward your request to the robin leader.  The small e-mail robins have about 30 members in each and participation is required at least once a month. Some of them are general interest robins but specific to regions of the country.  They include Region 2, the Mid-Atlantic, the Pacific Northwest, and the South E-Mail Robins.  Others are about specific topics.  They include Historical Daylilies, sculptured daylilies and patterned Daylilies.  One can join more that one robin.

Note: Gail currently participates in 2 paper robins and 3 email robins. Gail mentions that if a paper robin packet happens to arrive at a very busy time for her, it’s okay to just pass it on.  Writing each time is not mandatory.


QUESTION:  What are some ideas that can make our local club meetings interesting, educational and enjoyable?

I have been asked this question many times.  It has been asked on the AHS Robin, by various members who are now is charge of programs for their club and even by my own club’s program chairman. I have asked various members for ideas and have received many terrific ones.  In fact I received so many I’m doing at least two sections about this subject.

Here is the first segment of wonderful suggestions. And I hope some of you will send me more for the next column at Ombudsman@daylilies.org.


1. I think the most important answer is to make everyone feel welcome.  At every meeting the club members should meet and greet all new members.  And don’t forget the old members.  Some people report on having attended a daylily meeting without anyone ever coming up and speaking to them.  Julie Covington (AHS chair of Awards and Honors) said, “How uncomfortable can that be!!  I can’t imagine returning to a meeting where no one spoke to me, no matter how much I loved daylilies.”
2. At the end of the year, have each club member write on a sheet of paper what they would like to see changed or have the club do doing the next year.  Maybe those who just sit at meetings will become more active if given a say in what the club does each year.  You could take a vote on the most popular and go from there.

3. Have a plant exchange for a meeting – but no daylilies allowed. Have members bring companion plants, perennials or even house plants. This offers a little different “twist” but has worked very well in the clubs that have tried it.

4. One club has a Daylily Festival where the club sells daylilies on the City Square.
They show people how to plant and care for daylilies. They report that they do get new members into the club that way.  Many clubs have daylily sales along with their flower show. (We have ours at our garden center because the mall we had used won’t let us sell daylilies there). But along with the sales they have a master gardener, and a person to explain all about daylilies.  The clubs usually get the plants from a reliable hybridizer and/or get freshly dug plants from their own gardens.  Just make sure that the “home dug plants” are healthy, disease free, have nice clean fans and are named correctly.  Our club has a special box for daylilies without names.  Some of our healthy plants in our gardens lose their name tags so we name them “surprise plants” and we sell them for two dollars.

5. Tee Money, the new Region 14 RPD, is going to have a Pop Poll party.  She will send ballots to club presidents along with a CD to show all the daylilies on the ballot so the members can recognize the cultivars they vote for.  Then have every club in her region have a drawing for a nice door prize for each member voting. She arranged to have one of their region hybridizers donate two 2011 introductions for the drawing prize.  Betty Parr, also from region 14, thought about taking that theme and having popcorn and soda with the slide show.  Sounds like fun doesn’t it?

6. An activity one club does is to provide great door prizes for attendees. Not only do they have daylilies, but also nice house plants. Each person gets a number. The first person’s number that is selected is able to choose among the prizes.  They do this at the end of each meeting, and you have to be there to receive the prize.

7. Setting up an event or meeting with a nursery is always a popular meeting. Have the owner or a worker give the club a tour of the nursery and a talk about something that is of interest to them.  Usually at the meeting the nursery will provide a discount on the purchases that day.  Our club had the owner talk about companion plants among daylilies.

One club reported that the nursery set up a daylily day.  On that day the nursery publicized the event, had experts there on growing daylilies as well as other plants, and opened the day up to everyone.  That day the local daylily group had a mini flower show to let the public see the variety of daylilies. They gained new interested members and also educated the public about daylilies.

8. Make sure your club posts their meetings and regional events on the regional website.  The regional meetings also post on the AHS website, www.daylilies.org.  Explain special events to the newer members. One member reports that she read the regional newsletter for years before she attended a meeting. And then when she learned about some of the club’s special events, she discovered she was missing out of a lot of fun and lots of daylilies.

9. One of the most popular meetings for our club is to have a hybridizer talk.  Discuss at a meeting who they would like to meet and have as a speaker.  Then find out what that speaker requires.  Usually all their expenses are paid by the club.  But everyone we’ve had talk, brought plants with them to auction off or sell, which more than covered their expenses.  Have a potluck before or after the meeting so the members really get to talk to the guest. For a few of the very interested have them also meet the guest at a restaurant maybe the night before the talk.

10. The last idea, for this segment, really shouldn’t be last, because it is very important.  But always have good food at the meetings.  We have a hospitality chair, and each meeting she sends a list around for volunteers to bring food for the following meeting.  The Chair has a hospitality box which contains paper plates, cups, napkins, condiments for coffee, lemonade mix, etc. She comes early to the meetings (we hold ours at 9:30 am on Saturdays) and sets up. We usually hold the meetings in members’ homes, so this takes the stress off the host or hostess.  We always brag that we have the best food of any meetings we attend!  The men especially enjoy that part of the meeting!

I hope these ideas will help.  I have at least another ten to share.  But do send me your ideas for part 2.  I think these are valuable to recruit members, retain them and keep our veteran members happy.

And now, part 2, as promised...

QUESTION:  What are some ideas that can make our local club meetings, interesting, educational and enjoyable?

This question had been asked by a number of program chairmen. Julie Covington said “Although we have a great club, I sometimes feel we’re in a rut.”  I put ten ideas in part 1 of my Ask The Ombudsman column, and here are another ten.  I hope they will help your clubs have a successful meeting.


  1. This suggestion is similar to number one in the last Ombudsman column. But it is so important.  Make your members feel welcome.  Greet members at the door.  One club designates club greeters to do this.  Always announce new members at your meetings.  If you have guests announce them also.  Remember they are potential new members. Joe Goudeau says, “Do not be above bribery to gain new members.”  Give new members and even guests a new daylily.  And even follow through with a personal note welcoming them after the meeting.

  2. Get your veterans as well as the new members involved.  Don’t wait for them to volunteer, ask them personally – not by email – to help out.  Members like to feel they are a part of something.  If members miss a meeting call them and make sure they know the date of the next meeting.  One club has postcards and passes them out with names of those missing the meeting.  The member chooses a card and crosses out the member’s name that she/he is going to send the card to.  Can you imagine how delighted the member will be to receive that postcard?

  3. This suggestion might not seem important, but have name tags; especially with not only their name but also the office they hold printed on it. Put their address on it, because it will be surprising how many members will live near each other and could “car pool” to the next meeting and other events.

  4. This isn’t as stuffy as it sounds….but have a book review at your meeting.     Assign a gardening book to four or five people.  And have those members
    report on the sections that you have chosen for them.   I did a report on a book called “100 Names for Flowers and Where They Got Their Names.”  I assigned various members to report on three or four of the flowers which I chose to be the most interesting ones.  At the end of the meeting we drew a name, and that member won the book!  Other excellent daylily books that would make great meeting reviews are “Passion for Daylilies”, Encyclopedia of Daylilies, and Delightful Daylilies Cookbook, to name a few.
  5. Have you tried Daylily Bingo?  Our program chairman tried it for one of last year’s meetings and the members enjoyed it.  She was able to obtain 7 or 8 daylilies from a hybridizer at a much reduced rate.  She just bought an inexpensive Bingo set at a toy store and used that. Every member received one free card. If the member wanted to have more than one card she/he would have to pay an extra $3.00.  Your club could make up your own rule about how many cards and for how much. We just played Bingo and whoever won received a free daylily plant. 

  6. This idea one club called “adopt a plant.”  Have your club buy a couple of current collections.  Give them to members to grow during daylily season and at the end of the year have them return a couple of fans for an auction.  The proceeds will giveback to the club the money paid to buy the collections.  If the daylilies need an extra year to grow, then have the auction the following year.  It’s an excellent way to get new daylilies in the member’s gardens for a reasonable price.

  7. The North Texas Daylily society has another idea for distributing a new collection from a hybridizer.  They use the daylilies each meeting as a door prize drawing.  Everyone is eligible.  According to Gwen Pennington, a member of NTDS,” this potentially puts newer introductions in the hands of members who might not be able to afford these plants.”  The president started this practice and he takes care of the plants until he brings them to a meeting.

  8. Wanda Evans, President of the Cincinnati Ohio Club, suggested a “Show and Tell” meeting.  This could be in the winter when we are all missing our daylilies. Assign a few members to take pictures of their garden, and especially close-ups of their favorite daylilies.  At a winter meeting, have the members show and tell about their gardens.  Each member needs to only have about five minutes to show his or her pictures and tell about them.

  9. Wanda has another good idea about having the founding members or other knowledgeable members talk about their club history.  They talked about how their club was started, who was behind some of the awards they give out each year, and some of the members who gave a lot of time to the club and what they accomplished.  It would be good to have the history written out in pamphlet form to give all new members to read when they join.

  10. Gail Rasberry from Arkansas suggests that some of the Robin members discuss a sampling of the Robin issues.  Think of the various subjects that could be discussed. One member could actually print out various subjects and views the Robin members had. A few subjects I think your clubs would enjoy discussing that were discussed recently were:
                    - unregistered daylilies
                    - control of garden gnats or deer and other creatures
                    - germinating daylily seeds.
                    - favorite daylilies that were black, purple, red, etc.

    Actually I am on our club’s program this year concerning questions I received as AHS Ombudsman.  My club is curious on “what I do,” so I will have a series of questions and my responses to them.

I’m afraid I just couldn’t stop with 10!  Here is one more from Nikki Schmith.  I liked her idea of an off-scape show.  If your gardens are small and the members are hesitant to cut their new scapes, have them bring only the daylily flower and have an off-scape show.  This wouldn’t be AHS accredited, but would be fun and educational to see the various daylilies.  You’d need special vases or glasses to hold the off-scape daylilies.

I hope these ideas help. 

I would also like to write part 3, so keep your ideas coming to me at ombudsman@ daylilies.org.

We are organic farmers with a permaculture food forest in Santa Barbara.  We would like to include daylilies in our designs and wonder if anyone knows which are the tastiest daylilies (bud and petals).

I love this question because whenever I give a presentation about daylilies I talk about eating them, and everyone is amazed. I used to own a restaurant and before the evening meal, I would go home and pick some daylilies and use them in the salads. It was wonderful for interesting conversation.

It sounds as if you already know that daylilies are edible. But for those readers who don’t realize it, they are delicious! Dr. Daniel Apps, a talented daylily hybridizer, reported that he encountered a wide variety of food products made from daylilies, including sugared daylily flowers, in a Shopping Center in Seoul, Korea.  The islanders told him that they dig up shoots and eat them like asparagus in spring and then eat the buds and flowers later in the season.  This information and other fascinating facts can be found in one of my favorite daylily books called The Delightful Delicious Daylily* by Peter Gail.

One can buy bags of daylily buds and flowers in many Asian food stores in the US.
Or you can harvest your own. We have a friend who every night would go out and pick the daylily flowers and lets them dry out.  Then in the morning when he makes himself an omelet, he would throw some of the dried petals in.  He said it was not only beautiful but also tasty and healthy.

You asked about the flavor. The fresh buds have been compared in taste to green beans and asparagus. Since flavor is influenced by scent, the more fragrant daylily cultivars may taste sweeter than those without a strong scent. It has been said that dried daylily buds have a mild beef broth flavor.  Dr. Apps reports that red flowers are bitter while the yellow, orange, and pastel flowers are not and are the tastiest.  And in the late fall and early spring the white tubers are crisp like water chestnuts.  And by scrubbing the tubers and slicing them, they can be used in stir-fried dishes instead of water chestnuts.

Daylily buds and blossoms have almost as much protein as spinach, more vitamin A than string beans, and about the same amount of Vitamin C as orange juice!  The flowers are good just buttered and simmered. The recipe in The Delightful Delicious Daylily is so simple for buttered daylilies. You just take 8 daylily blossoms, 1 cup chicken broth, 3 Tbs. butter with salt and pepper to taste. You simmer the daylilies for 4-5 minutes in the chicken broth. Drain, add butter, salt, and pepper to taste and serve!  Are you going to try it??

However some people do warn about some disadvantages of eating daylilies. Eating too many fresh daylilies can create a mild laxative effect and raw green buds may cause throat irritation.  If you collect daylilies from along the roadsides, they could be contaminated by automobile pollutants and/or herbicides and might cause upset stomachs and other problems.

Have fun experimenting with eating daylilies. It is delightful to try them out with your friends and neighbors.  My favorite is simply adding a fresh daylily to a salad and watching people to see if they have the “nerve” to eat it.

More information can be gotten from the following book:
*The Delightful Delicious Daylily by Peter Gail
Goosefoot Acres Press
P.O. Box 18016
Cleveland Ohio 44118-0016
(216) 932-2145


Donna Peck, the AHS Ombudsman, receives many questions from AHS members each week.  Some questions are about subjects that are very complex and some about subjects which she thinks all members should be familiar with. But when this question about judging came through her email, she realized that anyone who doesn't judge probably doesn't know the facts about exhibition judges and garden judges. So she sent the question to Joann Stewart, the chair of Exhibition Judges Records. Joann sent back an excellent answer which Donna wanted all members to get a chance to read.  Thanks to Joann for the excellent response.

QUESTION:  What is the difference between an "Exhibition" judge and a
"Garden" judge?

RESPONSE:  An EXHIBITION JUDGE...is trained to assess the degree of perfection attained by an exhibit of a cut scape in a flower show (i.e. is a daylily flower show judge).

Training consists of two classes.

In the first class, the various characteristics of daylilies are discussed, as well as a recommendation of 'how many points to deduct' from a total of 100 points allowed in each exhibit.  Live plants are used where possible, but a power point presentation may be used during the non-blooming season.

The second class gives students a 'hands on' session in which attendees 'point score' three cut scapes of registered cultivars and three scapes of seedlings. Their scores are compared to a composite score agreed by three senior judges, who have seen and scored the exhibits before the class begins.

Once a student has taken both classes, he/she becomes a 'junior judge' and is eligible to judge on a panel with senior judges. Judging at least once, along with other responsibilities, is part of the requirements to become a senior judge. Judges should know as many daylily cultivars as possible, should grow daylilies and should also enter daylilies in shows themselves.
A GARDEN JUDGE........should more correctly be called an 'awards and honors' judge, because they are the judges responsible for assessing the garden merit of both registered cultivars and seedlings.

Garden judges also take two classes for training and have the responsibility of visiting hybridizers, other gardens, assessing cultivars in each, and voting on a ballot once a year. From these ballots, the national awards and honors list is drawn up, and awards given to both plants and hybridizers at the national convention each year.
And both types of judges have fun doing their jobs!  It's a great way to meet other people in your region or in other regions, and a dandy way to add to your wish list (because you see such lovely flowers in shows, and most shows also have a plant sale occurring at the same time).


Question: What is the For Members Only Portal?

Part One – Why do we need the For Members Only Portal?

By Donna Peck, AHS Ombudsman, with comments from Julie Covington and Mary Collier Fisher

Over the past several years, it became clear to several Board members that a different method for the rapid updating of AHS information on the web was needed. The type of platform that supported www.daylilies.org changes were extremely labor intensive for our capable Webmaster. The AHS President asked Technology Chair and Committee to research additional methods. In the course of that research several social networking companies were identified. The concept of AHS having an interactive social networking site that would not only allow materials to be uploaded from PDF documents easily but that would expand greatly the services we could offer our members. This was discussed widely among the Board, Staff and Committee Chairs who felt it would be an enhancement to our Membership Services.

So in May 2010, at the Board of Directors meeting in Valdosta Georgia, the Membership Chair, Joe Goudeau, noted that this research was underway to explore the feasibility of establishing a member’s only section on the web. When Joe brought the proposal up again for a vote at the fall 2010 fall board meeting, the AHS Board of Directors approved funding to authorize the development of the Members Only Portal. The site opened for members in early March, 2011.

The Portal has now been set up for nearly a year, and I am still getting questions about WHY AHS is doing this and HOW it works. This column is devoted to the WHY question. Next time we will have the HOW column.


Over the last decade, AHS has been seeking incentives for individuals to join AHS and incentives to retain members. Membership numbers had been declining steadily since 2002. The voucher program is working very well, the trial membership we started last year has over 200 members who have already joined, and our fantastic Daylily Journal is a must read for daylily growers. Our Board and our membership chair, Joe Goudeau, kept trying to provide members with more benefits. By the fall 2010 Board meeting in Columbus, Ohio Membership and Technology presented the proposal that AHS work with the YourMembership firm to build a robust social networking site for AHS Members only, to enhance the capabilities AHS has to provide services and information to members. This proposal passed the Board unanimously.

The site could be used to search for AHS member’s name, city and state by other members, for Regional and National Publications, for educational forums, regional and other groups such as Garden Judges, promotion of regional and local activities via community and regional calendars, automatic reminders of many AHS deadlines including membership renewal via email messages. It provides members with a safe environment to post pictures, participate in a forum and connect with other members. It even allows a protected group for our AHS youths to network about daylilies without non-youth members allowed. The benefits are still being explored and developed.

Another benefit many members took advantage of over the holidays was the AHS store which has daylily merchandise. Tee Money has volunteered to design some great daylily merchandise. She is even able to accommodate one-time special orders for clubs and groups. The Members Portal is a source of ‘One-stop Shopping’ for our members. Items can be purchased, memberships can be issued or renewed, donations can be made, interesting programs can be purchased (some are even free) using credit cards, e-checks, and PayPal.

Julie Covington, AHS President, mentions that “beginning with the spring 2012 issue, you will be able to view the Daylily Journal online at the Portal. The pages are viewable in a .pdf ‘Book format,’ and you can also zoom in on pictures and articles on each page. Under the ‘Daylily Journal’ tab will be a complete page of archived items reprinted from past Journals and you can suggest other articles you’d like to see added.

Several other changes have been made to the front page. We are featuring different members on the left rail, and hope to do that more frequently in 2012. Be sure to look under the ‘Contact Us’ tab, where you can find a link to a leader of all AHS sponsored robins and other ‘go to’ people, as well as contact information for the Portal leaders, AHS officers, Staff and Special Chair contacts. Another new tab is called ‘Administrative Files.’ While this contains AHS and Regional files, this page is not intended for Regional and National officers only, as we wish to keep the working of this organization transparent for all of our members. One feature on the page is called ‘Regional Offices at a Glance.’ Anyone who is asked to accept a position as a Regional Officer or Liaison can check these pages and quickly find out what is involved in the job!

The direct link to the Portal is http://www.daylilynetwork.org. Another way is to go to the AHS website (www.daylilies.org) and then, click on the AHS Home page. When that appears, look on the left hand side and click on AHS Members Portal.

Next column Julie Covington along with MaryAnn Pruden, Portal Community Manager, will discuss in more details about HOW to access the Portal including how to find your password (which I’ve had many questions about). Also check out the excellent Portal article in the 2012 Spring Journal written by Sandy Holmes.

If you have any comments about the WHY we have the portal and the information that Julie and Mary have given here, please email me and I’ll include that in the next column… email me at Ombudsman@daylilies.org . I’m hoping to hear from you, either with your positive comments about the Portal or further concerns you’d like to discuss concerning this subject.

Part Two: How Do We Access The Memebers Only Portal?

MaryAnn Pruden is the Portal Community Manager and gives some excellent advice about logging on to the Portal.

Any AHS member can access the Portal by going directly to www.daylilynetwork.org. Or through the link on the AHS website (www.daylilies.org) and then, look on the left hand side and click on AHS Members Portal. Julie makes a confession. “My computer has been directed to ‘remember’ so I don’t have to type it in every time, and that makes it much easier.”

If you have never signed into the Portal, your temporary username and password can be found on the Membership Card provided on the outside paper cover of the last few Daylily Journals. If you do not have your membership card, use the Contact Us form on the Portal (found in the upper left navigation area) and your log on information will be sent you.

After you enter your username and password in the designated area on the Portal, you should now have full access to all the Portal features. If after logging in, you still see the log in box, than your computer is not currently set up to allow session cookies.  In basic terms, a session cookie acts like a key allowing your entry into different pages of the Portal without having to re-enter you password each time.  Session cookie settings can be changed through the tools section of your web browser, i.e. Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc. If you need any help with session cookies or accessing the Portal, please use the Contact Us form and someone will help you.
The first thing you should do after logging onto the Portal for the first time is change your temporary password and username to something unique that you will remember.  To do this, go to the My Profile Box on the right hand side of the Portal. Click on Manage Profile and then Edit Bio. Next to both Username and Password there is a “change” link. Clink the link and easily change your log on information. At this time, please make sure that all your contact information is correct, including name, address, phone number and email.  You can control how much of this information is viewable on the Portal by clicking the associated boxes. The default setting does not allow phone numbers or email to be seen unless you want it to. There is also a step-by-step available for this in the Help Directly under Profile Help.

If any time you forget either your password or username, click on the Forgot Your Password? link. You will be asked for either your username or email address. If we have your correct email address on file, a link to reset your password will be sent to you.  Just click on the link, reset your password, and your profile information will come up including your username. If your email address is not on file, then use the Contact Us form and we will reset your password for you.

Julie suggests that “if you haven’t visiting the Portal regularly and are still feeling intimidated, take a minute and scroll down to the HELP DIRECTORY and view the short Power point tutorials. At about this time last year, I viewed these tutorials in order to learn my way around the Portal because I too felt intimidated and found them a huge help in getting started.  These tutorials are designed to enhance your Portal experience and they are quite short.”

You will soon be hearing of some special events and fun contests planned for Portal users, so don’t hesitate. Jump right in, the water’s fine!! Our former AHS President, Mary Fisher is so passionate about the Members Portal that she is serving as its General Manager. Feel free to address your question or concerns directly to her as well at portalgeneralmanager@daylilies.org.

Mary Ann says, at any time, if you have any trouble on the Portal, she also advises to please use the Contact Us form. “We normally answer the forms within a few hours and are happy to help. Enjoy the Portal.”

After reading the Part 1 and Part 2 explaining our AHS Portal, I hope all of you will now log on and enjoy! There is a wealth of information that will be of interest to you, not only about daylilies, but also the AHS members. 

Is A Daylily A Lily?

by Donna Peck – AHS Ombudsman

I usually write a column when I get asked the same question many times.  This question, Is A Daylily A Lily? gets asked often. And when I take non-daylily growers through my garden, that question is always asked.  So this column is a combination of research done by two Ombudsman committee members, Eloise Koonce and Susan Bergeron, and by ex-Chair of the Scientific Committee, Pat Loveland.

“I was on your wonderful website when I read something that astounded me. Daylilies are not Lilies. Are they in the lily family? I have an allergy to lilies so can I safely grow daylilies? This is very curious to me.

Eloise Koonce’s research found that according to the AHS Website the daylily (genus Hemerocallis) is placed in the family Hemerocallidacae and is not considered to belong in the lily (genus Lilium) family Liliaceae, although older references may still indicate the latter. In the fall 1987 Daylily Journal, Dr. Thomas C. Barr, Jr. wrote an article titled Hemerocallis and the New Plant Biosystematics, Are Daylilies Cousins to Asparagus? In the article he explains the history of plant classification from the beginning in the second half of the 18th century by the Swedish botanist Karl von Linne` (Linnaeus) to the changes made in the present day.

To quote Dr. Barr, “Some of the more prominent differences between Hemerocallis and Lilium are the rounded or prismatic black coated seeds of the former versus the flat, stacked brown, thinly coated seeds of Lilium; the sepal nectaries (in the carpel walls of the flower base) versus the perigonal nectaries (at the base of the tepals); and the fleshy roots emanating from a crown in Hemerocallis versus the Lilium bulb composed of leaf scales.” Look up Dr. Barr’s article for more information.

 In 1982 Hemerocallis was assigned its own family name by the plant taxonomists Rolf Dahlgren of Copenhagen Denmark and Trevor Howard at the University of Queensland, Australia. Botanists and taxonomists are changing plant names all the time as they continue to learn more about plant relationships. So no, the daylily is not a lily.
Pat Loveland put this question to her scientific committee and this is their answer on how daylilies differ from lilies.

Daylilies have fleshy, tuberous roots and sword-like foliage which grows from a short crown just beneath the soil surface. The flowers are borne at the top of a leafless stalk called a scape, which also grows from the crown.  See the diagram at http://www.daylilies.org/ahs_dictionary/ImageMap.html.

Lilies are comprised of a bulb which has fleshy scales growing from the top of a basal plate, and roots growing from the bottom of the basal plate. A shoot that grows from the top of the basal plate forms a single stalk, along whose length the foliage grows. The flowers are borne at the top of the stalk.  Roots may also grow along the part of the stalk that is still underground.

Most of the daylilies that people grow today are hybrids developed over many years from the species daylilies, which are natives of Asia.

Now…what about allergies?  Daylilies and true lilies are not in the same botanical family but that is not the crucial factor in allergic reactions. The question should be whether or not daylilies have the same compounds that cause an allergic response.  If it is a chemical in the aroma of lilies that causes an allergic reaction, for instance, daylilies should be no problem. If it is a protein in lily pollen, this might or might not also be present in daylily pollen.

The following article describes aroma composition of the oriental lily ‘Siberia’ and their effects on humans.  (Siberia is not a daylily). Walking by them in a garden one can tell that they differ in aroma, and sometimes in stench. http://www.actahort.org/books/925/925_45.htm

The chemical difference might be clearer using an example of an allergy to nuts. Some people are allergic to walnuts but not to almonds: some are allergic to both.  These two nuts are from plants that are not closely related and their nut meats differ greatly in chemical composition. However, like most plants they have some chemicals in common; they have some similar proteins, for example.

Below are pictures that easily describe the differences between a daylily and lily.

In the photo immediately below, the parts of a daylily are shown.  The roots emerge from the crown, the leaves also-  the roots growing down, the leaves up. Flower scapes, which have no leaves also grow up directly from the crown.  Unlike a lily, there is no bulb. 
daylily parts

Below are three lily (lilium) bulbs. Each bulb is made up of a number of fleshy scales joined to a basal plate. Beneath each bulb you can see the fleshy roots that emerge from below the basal plate. On the two bulbs on the left, which still have the flower and leaf stalk attached, you can see the roots that grow above the bulb that will help feed this bloom season's flower stalk. These roots die back each fall, as the flower stalk dries up. The basal roots that feed the bulb remain. On a lily, the leaves are all attached to the flower stalk, on a daylily they grow directly from the crown.
Lily bulbs

Question: Why Host A Flower Show?

By Donna Peck – AHS Ombudsman

During the past few years I’ve had a number of people ask me this question. Why does our club need to put on a flower show? I was surprised to learn that many clubs don’t have a flower show because ever since I became a daylily club member, our club has always held a show!

I belong to the Albuquerque Daylily Club in New Mexico, and I think our show is one of the highlights of the year.  I joined in 1990 and we automatically put our show on our calendar of the year’s activities.  We enjoy showing the daylilies to our community, and we have many visitors who come see our show each year. We even give them a voting slip for them to vote on their favorite daylily and arrangement. We also hold a plant sale at the same time, and it is always very successful.

Since we are the only club in New Mexico we need to “import” judges from other states such as Arizona and Texas.  We have a big potluck for them the night before the show, which is a wonderful way of getting to know them and also socialize with our members. We do give them a free night at a hotel and a stipend to help with traveling expenses. We treat the judges to lunch after they finish judging and some even stay another day at their own expense for extra sightseeing.   Our club members volunteer to pick up the judges at the airport, if needed, and transport them to the dinner and to the show the next day. It is a very special time for our club.

I asked Nikki Schmith (Judges Education Chair for the AHS) from Region 2,  Joann Stewart (chair of Exhibition Judges Records) from Region 5, and Gwen Pennington (member of the Ombudsman Committee) from Region 6, for their thoughts on why a club should hold a daylily show.


Joann says “like an Easter parade, an accredited daylily show gives you the chance to show off your plants, garner admiring looks and comments about your entries, and earn accolades on your grooming and plant culture.  Perhaps more importantly this is also the best way to spotlight your club, to show not only that you grow plants which are worthy of garden space, and you’re a group of divergent members with a common interest, but that you’re a group which is congenial, willing to share ‘self,’ information and plants and don’t look down on beginners or strangers.”

Nikki feels that those in the club who resist having a show are a “loud minority”. The theme is generally the same around the country – “we don’t have the money,” “we don’t have the energy/manpower,” or “we don’t like what the competition brings out in the members.” But Nikki encourages those who have the desire to host such an event to MOVE FORWARD WITH YOUR GRAND PLANS DESPITE THE RESISTANCE.  Nikki promises that if “you bring scapes to the show and participate with an open mind, you will realize it is WORTH THE EFFORT. You will have connected with the club, you will have connected to the national organization and you will have connected with other daylily fans like yourself. You will have a GREAT TIME.

Nikki hears many negative comments from the members who aren’t personally enthused about a show. Here are a few comments and Nikki’s answer to them.

  1. “I don’t want to waste a whole scape to bring it to the show.”  If it’s a new cultivar, or one you are using for hybridizing, then don’t cut it.  Just bring in one flower for the off scape section. But, on a clump that is surely going to produce multiple scapes, you won’t miss one! Nikki feels that once you cut one, clean it up and bring it in to exhibit you will wonder why you never did it more in the past. 

  2. Another comment one hears is “I don’t need a ‘judge’ telling me my flowers are pretty. I can see that for myself.” Nikki points out that “exhibiting daylilies isn’t about the ‘prettiest’ flower, it is about STANDARDS. Judges look for traits such as scape height, growing conditions, flower texture, flower color, grooming etc. Judges are judging on a defined set of criteria for each individual flower. The standard the judges use is the hybridizer’s registration information. Remember the judges aren’t judging YOU, they are judging flowers by the registered standard.”

  3. “I don’t like competition” is another comment one hears.  You need to remember that the “mission of an accredited AHS Exhibition Show is PUBLIC EDUCATION – not competition.”

  4. “I don’t grow any new or expensive daylilies.” This is no excuse!! The year, cost or hybridizer does not matter in exhibition shows. Nikki points out that the average year of introduction for section winners in the last decade was 1988.  Any daylily can win.  And does.

Joann says “that clubs who don’t have shows have few other ways in which to troll for new members, educate the general public on our wonderful flower, or extend the number of places where modern daylilies can be seen.”

Gwen agrees. She says “this is one of the best ways to attract new members. I joined a daylily club after I accidentally stumbled into their annual show that was being held at the city’s botanic gardens.  I was totally amazed at the incredible blooms. So many colors and forms…they were unbelievable. The club members were friendly and knowledgeable……they obviously were having fun sharing their hobby.”

A show does not have to be accredited in order to be successful in goals which have been discussed. But Joann feels that accredited shows give the better chance to educate the public about what criteria are used in judging flowers and why some entries might not win.  It is true that one AHS member pointed out that an unsanctioned show is faster and much easier to set up.  So your club might start with an unaccredited show for the first time, to see if they enjoy the experience.

After a few years in the club, Gwen has found that the annual show provides great learning opportunities to hone her daylily growing skills. “Exhibiting in a daylily show is all about the bloom and scape. However, no amount of grooming can produce a winning bloom. This begins with good gardening habits. Exhibiting will encourage each gardener to increase his or her knowledge”.

Nikki gets emails from members who are struggling to get their members “enthused about such an old-fashioned thing to do.”  She created a new colorful, informative PowerPoint presentation.  She filled it with photos that are meant to stimulate discussion, enthusiasm and encouragement around accredited AHS Daylily Shows. She also peppered it with some educational information to get members excited about doing a show. Nikki is offering this presentation to your club if you need more ammunition to get your club to do a daylily show. You can download it here.  https://www.box.com’s/9pmgfetjmfufvijllkdm.  This is for your private use and not for mass distribution in any other form like Facebook.

The next column will continue this discussion and concentrate on HOW TO MAKE SHOWS MORE FUN FOR THE CLUB MEMBERS…. If you have any comments on this article, or something to add about what your club does to make the show more interesting for your members, please email Donna Peck ombudsman@daylilies.org.  I’m hoping these comments will help make more clubs host a daylily show. I’m sure your members will enjoy the experience.

Why Host A Flower Show? (part two)

By Donna Peck – AHS Ombudsman

I hope all of you have read Part One on Why Host A Flower Show? (above).  I had mentioned that I write a column when I have received numerous questions from AHS members on the same subject. The last couple of years, and also on the Daylily Robin, this subject has come up often.  So I asked Nikki Schmith (Judges Education Chair for the AHS) from Region 2, Joann Stewart (Chair of Exhibition Judges Records) from Region 5 and Gwen Pennington (member of the Ombudsman Committee) from Region 6 for their thoughts on why a club should hold a daylily show, and for this part of their response, how a club can make the show more fun and interesting for the public and club members.


Joann Stewart writes “education is the key to getting the public involved.”  She suggests having easels with information about judges (i.e. judges are accredited after taking classes and serving an apprenticeship) and ‘rules for judging’ located close to the exhibit tables, not off to the side where no one sees the information.

These can be focal points for an impatient public while judging is taking place (and will give onlookers something to read while they wait). There should be an explanation somewhere about the ribbons and their significance, and about the significance of the head table entries.

Most people aren’t aware that hybrid daylilies are registered. If, however, the public is made aware that entries are judged by their adherence to registered characteristics, the judging process makes instant ‘sense’ to them, even if they’ve never seen a registration.  Samples of daylily registrations might also be on an easel, with the AHS point of points shown beside it along with the explanation that exhibits are judged only in comparison to others in the same name class, not against ‘all other entries’ till they reach the head table.”

Joann wants to make sure to “get the public involved. Have a big sign saying PEOPLE’S CHOICE. Ask onlookers to vote for their favorite daylily.  Make up containers for tickets at each exhibit, and after judging is concluded put them out at exhibits in a central location.  Give out a limited numbers of tickets to onlookers with instructions to drop their tickets in their choice in each division. (gives you a chance to explain the divisions of a show) and give a prize (ideally a club or AHS membership) for a name on a random ticket drown out of the cup containing the most votes.”

The reason for the prize won’t matter. It just adds to the potential interest and helps keep people’s attention long enough to get them interested.  If you don’t think a selection by division is appropriate you can ask the public to pick ‘the best red’, ‘the best yellow’, etc.”

At our Albuquerque Daylily show we have a ballot that we give the public that has them write in their favorite daylily and daylily design. It is a little simpler than what Joann suggests.  So whatever you decide to do, the public really enjoys choosing their favorites.

Joann also suggests to “give the most outgoing person in the club the job of standing near the education table, handing out information, smiling and explaining. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of SMILING at passersby, and engaging them if you can.”


The Albuquerque Daylily Club has a potluck the night before the show for our judges.  Since we get our judges from out of state, they usually arrive the day before the show.  So as judge’s chair, I host a ‘Gourmet Potluck.’  Our club member’s sign up for what they are going to bring and it is always one of the best meals of the year.  We have it early in the evening so the members can get back home to prepare for the next day.

For our winners, we give a daylily nursery gift certificates which the members love spending! Many clubs give crystal or other prizes, but we know our members would rather get a daylily so the gift certificates are perfect.  And all the commercial nurseries have them.

Some of our members have small gardens and are reluctant about cutting a scape for a show. So we have added a photography exhibit. Gwen also mentions that “this is a way of allowing members to share other interests.” The photography exhibit can also be in various categories. This year not only did Albuquerque have a class on Single Flower or Clumps of Growing Daylilies but one for Landscape/Design featuring Daylilies and one for Special Effect featuring daylilies. The Photography Division has been very popular with many of the spouses.

Joann has another idea of adding incentives for club participation. “Daylily clubs have a limited number of members who are actively engaged in club affairs, and these members generally feel overworked and underappreciated by the end of the year.  Shows do take energy! Some clubs have member benefits (like bonus points) to reward workers. If your club doesn’t have this system there are other incentives a club might offer to get more members involved.”

Joann goes on to say “Determine your show goals (more people to help set up, take down, enter exhibits, become clerks, etc.) and find ways to entice helpers.  This might be as small as a $5 gift certificate to MacDonald’s or Chick-fil-A for people helping set up or take down or as large as a drawing for an AHS membership, a really nice daylily or a nice bottle of wine.  The gift might be instead a volunteer who spends two hours weeding for them, or helping divide clumps for a plant sale.”

Nikki gives some ideas about how to get the exhibitors enthused and organized. She suggests to having the chair “get the tags early from AHS and distribute them. Have a quick learning session on how to fill them out correctly and completely. Have a grooming clinic a couple of weeks before the show. Add an off-scape section.” She also suggests adding a photography contest. “Add a novice section that allows first-timers to enter without too much fear. Carpool to nearby shows (if possible) to see what’s being done. Offer a raffle prize of good value (a new introduction, AHS coffee table book, 3-year memberships in AHS, etc.) to all exhibitors.  Offer them one chance to win for every scape they enter.”

In closing this discussion Joann writes “Once they’ve done it, and realized that the companionship and sense of accomplishment is there in putting on a good show, they’re likely to repeat the experience. Above all, having fun is the most important part of a show, so try to create ways in which to achieve that goal.” Nikki adds “The purpose of a daylily show is to get people inspired about daylilies and we can’t do that if our members don’t bring in a few to share. I promise, if you bring scapes to the show and participate with an open mind, you will have a GREAT TIME. You will have connected with the club, you will have connected to the national organization, and you will have connected with the other dayily fans like yourself.  Having a show for your local gardening public IS A TRADITION WORTH THE EFFORT.”

P.S. Since writing this article, I’ve been to the National Board meeting where this subject about daylily shows was discussed. The discussion centered on having non-AHS daylily shows. Some of the clubs have more “unorganized, non-judged shows.” Many of the members don’t want to cut their scapes during bloom season, so they only bring in their flowers, minus the scapes. If your club has never had a show, I think this is a good way to start.  But many of us during this discussion felt the members and public miss a good deal by having a show this way.

There was a committee formed to discuss this further. So keep posted and you’ll be hearing more about various daylily shows.


Donna Peck – AHS Ombudsman
This is a question which was asked by Daniel from Olathe, Kansas. I’ve never had this question before and I sent it to Michael Bouman, an Ombudsman committee member, and I learned a great deal from his answer. So hopefully some of you might be interested, along with Daniel, on what he answered.
QUESTION:  I am new to this and I am looking for something white to brighten up a green yard. I like Stella De Oro. They are low to the ground and bloom for a long time. Is there a white daylily similar to the Stella De Oro?
RESPONSE:  Michael Bouman contacted a hybridizer, Mike Huben.  Michael writes, “He is the leader these days in breeding for continuous bloom in northern daylilies. He is in cool, coastal zone 6 in New England. His near white rebloomers appear to surpass Stella De Oro in performance.”
Mike Huben answered with these comments: “I have introduced three near-white varieties that rebloom continually.  They are:
Snowy Stella (Huben 07)           24” E Re 3.25”, NearWhite Self, Dor Dip                                                                                       
Vanilla Stella (Huben 09)           18 “   E Re 3”, NearWhite Self, Dor Dip
White And Nerdy (Huben 12)   28” EM Re 4.5”, NearWhite Self, Dor Dip
All are available from: http://www.harmonhillfarm.com/mikehuben.htm
Huben continued,  “I am still in the process of evaluating Encore d’Ivoire.
Encore d’Ivoire (Wetzle 08) 19” EE Re 3.75”, Ivory Self, Dor Dip Ext
Of these, the closest to Stella De Oro in plant habit is Vanilla Stella. The largest and whitest is White And Nerdy. All increase rapidly. Mine seem to be zone 4 hardy.”
Precious d’Oro (not registered) is sold as a near-white, but it is not nearly as white as any of the others. It has not yet rebloomed in my garden, where the others do rebloom. The flower is pretty, but I think the sales pitch is exaggerated.
Michael Bouman added, “The prices you will see for these daylilies are typical of the market for new hybrids and exceed by far what you pay for Stella De Oro at Home Depot. However, rapid increase reported for some of Mike’s whites suggests to me that if you buy one or two plants this year, you’ll have bloom this season and an opportunity to divide your plants and expand your planting every two or three years. When they say ‘rapid increase’ in New Hampshire, you can expect the same or better in the Kansas City area.”

This is a question which was asked by Daniel from Olathe, Kansas. I’ve never had this question before and I sent it to Michael Bouman, an Ombudsman committee member, and I learned a great deal from his answer. So hopefully some of you might be interested, along with Daniel, on what he answered.

QUESTION:  I am new to this and I am looking for something white to brighten up a green yard. I like Stella De Oro.  They are low to the ground and bloom for a long time. Is there a white daylily similar to the Stella De Oro?

RESPONSE:  Michael Bouman contacted a hybridizer, Mike Huben.  Michael writes, “He is the leader these days in breeding for continuous bloom in northern daylilies. He is in cool, coastal zone 6 in New England. His near white rebloomers appear to surpass Stella De Oro in performance.”

Mike Huben answered with these comments: “I have introduced three near-white varieties that rebloom continually.  They are:
      Snowy Stella (Huben 07)   24” E Re 3.25”, NearWhite Self, Dor Dip
      Vanilla Stella (Huben 09)           18 “   E Re 3”, NearWhite Self, Dor Dip
      White And Nerdy (Huben 12)   28” EM Re 4.5”, NearWhite Self, Dor Dip

All are available from: http://www.harmonhillfarm.com/mikehuben.htm

Huben continued,  “I am still in the process of evaluating Encore d’Ivoire.
Encore d’Ivoire (Wetzle 08) 19” EE Re 3.75”, Ivory Self, Dor Dip Ext

Of these, the closest to Stella De Oro in plant habit is 'Vanilla Stella'. The largest and whitest is 'White And Nerdy'. All increase rapidly. Mine seem to be zone 4 hardy.”

Precious d’Oro (not registered) is sold as a near-white, but it is not nearly as white as any of the others. It has not yet rebloomed in my garden, where the others do rebloom. The flower is pretty, but I think the sales pitch is exaggerated.

Michael Bouman added, “The prices you will see for these daylilies are typical of the market for new hybrids and exceed by far what you pay for Stella De Oro at Home Depot. However, rapid increase reported for some of Mike’s whites suggests to me that if you buy one or two plants this year, you’ll have bloom this season and an opportunity to divide your plants and expand your planting every two or three years. When they say ‘rapid increase’ in New Hampshire, you can expect the same or better in the Kansas City area.”

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