“I would definitely consider this show a success,” said Patty Acree, President of the NWGDS.
Not only was the show officiated by six nationally-endorsed horticultural judges, but growers came to exhibit from all over the state, said Acree.
The show also represented a personal success for Acree. Her “Eyes of Faith” bloom won best in show honors from among the 120 blooms, a first for Acree in her 16 years of working with daylilies.
“I’m thrilled,” said Acree. “This represents a huge benchmark for me.”
Acree’s illustrious growing career began as a hobby with her father, but growing and exhibiting daylilies proved too appealing to limit to a hobby, said Acree.
“I never met a daylily I didn’t like,” she said.
“The color and composition of a daylily garden changes everyday. Every morning there’s a new garden waiting for you. That’s what really got me hooked.”
Acree’s fellow growers in the NWGDS said they were proud of her achievement.
“She deserves it. Her bloom was everyone’s favorite,” said Terri Mullins, officer of publicity for the NWGDS.
More local winners at the show included David and Doris Bishop, secretary and treasurer of the NWGDS, respectively.
“One of our blooms won the popularity poll,” said Doris Bishop.
“We’ve worked hard on these,” said David Bishop. “We’re real proud.”
But for the exhibitors who didn’t come away winners, next month’s show represents a fresh start, said Acree.
“We’ll have just as many growers at the next show,” she said. “July is peak season for daylilies.”
Although only members of the American Hemerocallis Society are eligible for best in show honors, everyone is welcome to exhibit, said Mullins.
There will also be many daylilies on sale at the next show for those looking to enter the competitive world of daylily exhibition, said Mullins.
The NWGDS, which currently has 8-10 members in Calhoun and surrounding areas, is looking to generate more local interest in daylily growing and exhibiting.
“The NWGDS is having a special right now,” said Acree. “If you register as a member of the NWGDS this summer, you will receive a free daylily.”
Acree said that she hopes this will inspire local enthusiasm in daylilies.
“There’s nothing more rewarding,” she said.