Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Region 10 Mid-Winter Symposium

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All images, except as noted, taken by Susan Okrasinski of Kingsport, TN and used with permission.

The 21st Annual Region 10 Mid-Winter Symposium is now history. Approximately 115 daylily lovers from around the country showed up in Nashville, TN January 21-23, 2011. The MWS is the first large daylily educational symposium of the new year, and what a great time we had. It all starts on Friday afternoon with the Wineception where attendees bring their favorite beverage and snacks, which were excellent. Here at the wineception is Chris Schardein talking to David Kirchhoff. Mary Collier Fischer is in the background talking to one of our terrific speakers, Barbara White from Canada. David was responsible for developing this year's program and did an outstanding job.

Mort Morss from Daylily World in Kentucky and Mark Carpenter of the Lily Farm in Texas talking daylilies at the Wineception. Mark recently took over ownership of the Lily farm from his uncle, Jack Carpenter.

The evening festivities begin at the make your own sandwich buffet line at dinner. On the left is Herbie Phelps of KY.  Next to him is Mary Collier Fisher our esteemed AHS president talking to Mort Morss, an artist in the daylily community. On the right side of the photo are Clint and Barbara Barnes, regulars to the MWS who come all the way from Montgomery AL. And in front of them is Glenda Jordan. She and her husband Jimmie worked tirelessly to bring the meeting together this year.

The meeting began Friday evening with Mike and Sandy Holmes from Kentucky showing their hybridizing programs. Sandy is mainly interested in UF's and Mike does the bagels. They compliment each other. Mike also gave a presentation, assisted by Mary Collier Fisher, about the new "Members only" daylily website. Watch for the announcement of this wonderful new addition.

The evening ended with a spirited panel discussion entitled, "Choosing The Right Parent", led by David Kirchhoff. Panel participants were (l to r) Nancy Eller, Terrah George, Larry Grace and Jim Murphy. This image was taken by Lee Pickles.

Saturday morning's highlights included Bob Selman from North Carolina. I understand that this was Bob's first daylily "talk" and what a wonderful job he did showing images of his hybridizing and his gardens in NC.
Always a crowd favorite, Jamie Gossard gave us tips on hybridizing for toothy daylilies which is one of Jamie's favorite forms. Being from Ohio, his cultivars are pretty hard dormant. 

The morning ended with a presentation from Lee Pickles entitled, "Memories". Memories can be of a long term or a short term variety. I talked about how I happened upon  a daylily show in a Chattanooga Mall back in 1986 and saw the cultiver, H. 'Lullaby Baby' which started my interest in daylilies. I then talked about my mentors, Denver Scott of Harrison, TN and Charles E Branch of Piper City, IL. Both of these gentlemen took me under their wings and taught me about daylilies. I talked about the 2010 4" Christmas snow and two weekends later, the 8" snow. I spoke of memories and highlights of the first ten Mid-Winter Symposiums with pictures of some of the speakers and participants. When asked, "How many have attended all 21 MWS, less than a hand full raised their hands. I talked about the famous 1996 MWS which was hindered by the snow and ice storm that covered the south. And, I ended my presentation with an image of my late friend, Bob Carr. Yes, people are important and make up many of our memories. That is what the MWS is all about, meeting old friends and making new ones.

Another of the features of the MWS is being able to meet some of the most famous hybridizers in daylilydom. Here I get to pick the brains of Don Eller of Georgia and Larry Grace of Alabama.

I know I keep harping on this, but daylily bloom only last for a short time, but friends are forever and I count many of you as friends. 

I guess this is about enough for one day, please keep our military in your thoughts because it is them that enable you to have thoughts.

Life is very, very good.




  1. What a great summary of this fun meeting.
    Thanks for starting the whole thing 21 years ago.

  2. Mary, It is I who should thank Region 10 for giving me the opportunity of chairing this meeting for 11 years (or so). I did it for the love of the daylily and I think a lot of us are forgetting that we need to give back to the flower that we love. I certainly did not cover the entire meeting, but that which was special to me. I also had fun doing the research for the "Memories" presentation.