Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland

Fw: NZ Champion Bloom

September 10, 2008

Categories: Judging, Shows, Societies and groups

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Bob Spotts, Bill Lee, Mary Lou and others,
  I really hate to get involved in this argument – but I’m from Ireland with an inevitable ‘up and at’em attitude’ if I disagree. I know I’ll  ‘get my head in my hand’ for expressing my views and I should really keep my mouth shut –  but I’ve been provoked!  
  In my view you have all defended the indefensible – just because ‘it is a rule’. But rules –  and regulations are made by falliable people, they can be changed and should not necessarily be followed like indoctrinated religious dogma.
  I’m full of cliches this evening – but I believe in KIS – ‘Keep it Simple’ (note how restrained in leaving out the second S.)
  Why bother with such an exclusion rule? Shows should be inclusive!
  If someone has the interest to come along to a show with flowers and he/she does not know the names of the flowers why immediatly make them feel stupid/different/inferior by shovelling them off to a separate class like lepers? 
  The attitude should be ‘Come in and welcome -if you don’t know the names of your flowers, we will try to help stage them in the right class, but if we can’t give you names, just mark them ‘Unknown’ . Maybe some of the judges, or someone else, might know and note suggested variety name on the label’
  That ‘Unknown’ label is so simple, and as far as I know, it is accepted throughout the daffodil world except America. It encourages the exhibitor, makes him/her feel welcome and included,  it invites help, it is not patronising – and it is so within the KIS principle, ‘keep it simple’, and you do not need separate classes.
  The ‘educational’ argument does not hold water (another cliche!) –  such newcomer flowers seldom grab the attention of show visitors – but if and when they do, what an opportunity for publicity to draw attention to them and  the Show and to search for correct names.
  I shudder to think of the reaction, on the numerous occasions over the years when I was presented with a bucketful of flowers and asked “What do I do with these”?  if I had said – ” Oh, go and stick them over there in the lepers class” 
  I may have over stressed, deliberately, to make the point. For me, as for Ivor, the subject is closed – I do not expect a sacrocanct rule to be revised for a while, when the defences are up – but in time? 

As you all know I do love the ADS – but sometimes I think it has a pre-occupation with rules and regulations.

I’ve done it, I’ve been unwise,  – have I the shoulders for the reaction?
Brian Duncan

Ivor,Please don’t lay blame on Bill Lee. Daffodil shows in the USA are sanctioned by the American Daffodil Society. Under ADS regulations, un-named daffodils are not eligible for show awards.

This rule serves the purpose of encouraging exhibitors to keep track of the names of their daffodils. That way, when a show visitor sees a bloom s/he covets, the name of the variety is there for her/him.


At 09:13 AM 9/10/2008, you wrote:

Thanks Bill
You prove my point, You are experienced enough to register anything you might find or breed.
The small grower with his unnamed bloom would not know how to do this but you are not prepared to let him or her to take his chance against you.It would not be right for someone who found a good Bloom in his garden to beat you would it
Ivor Clark


6 responses to “Fw: NZ Champion Bloom”

  1. Kathy Welsh says:

    Brian and others,
    In the same line of thought, what is your feeling about flowers that are misnamed? Flowers that are labeled with the wrong name.  Is this penalized in your shows.  It could cause confusion.

  2. Niels Benatar says:

    Dear Brian,

    Thanks for having spoken so clearly and benevolently.  I have stood by the sidelines more than just this once and am surprised, almost aghast and slightly saddened by the ferocity and belligerence with which single individuals (this time Ivor) have been “taken down”.  Where is the friendliness and civility in this group interested in flowers??  I think it is time for the moderator of daffnet to remind everyone to tone things down a bit and avoid becoming personal and/or insulting.  To continue in this manner would certainly be one good way of antagonizing newcomers.

    Niels Benatar

    —–Ursprüngliche Mitteilung—–

  3. Ian Tyler says:

    Hi Kathy,
      In the UK it is the Judges task to try to name unknown or misnamed flowers if possible, so judges are asked to keep themselves up-to-date with old and new cultivars.
    But when it comes down to it, it’s flowers we judge not names, this way the Best Flower in the show, is the Best Flower from which ever section of the it comes from.

  4. As I recall, Richard McCaw had a beautful Patois at the Belfast Show this spring that was labeled incorrectly. Its name was changed by the judging panel and went on to be the best Div. 9 in the show I believe.
        David Burdick

  5. Carla Stanley says:


    I love your point of view & I am an American and member of the ADS.  Oh, to be so inclusive.  Although, I have never been turned away when I’ve asked for help at a show, in naming and/or staging my blooms.  I do feel the rules encouraged me to learn about my flowers and label them correctly.  Since I live on property where daffodil varieties have been growing, cross breeding etc. for the last 100 years, sometimes they are difficult to name.  It is also alright to take your best shot at guessing at the shows I’ve entered and sometimes the judges accept the name or they may make a suggestion on the name.  I’ve found the American Daffodil people to be wonderful, but I agree maybe a few less rules would be more inclusive – it is difficult to win the top prizes unless you know the ropes.


    Carla D.Stanley


  6. Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland Brian Duncan says:

    Perhaps Ian Tyler has answered. Judges should try to help provide a name IF they are SURE the flower is misnamed. Many judges are very good at flower recognition of flowers that are exhibited frequently in which case I think they should judge what they consider to be a wrong ‘un and write the correct name on the label. This is helpful to the exhibitor and the visiting public.
      But I would add, judges often do not know if a variety is correctly named and they need to be very careful about suggesting a change of name – never mind disqualifying the bloom. Daffodils, as we all know can perform and look different under different climate and growing conditions eg. many large solid red cups can look like small rimmed flowers in some parts of America and the form can change a bit too. Then, can judges be expected to know all the old historics and the newest introductions?  I think it takes a lot of courage to say DEFINATELY that a flower is misnamed and relatively few judges have that ability. I am very hesitant about suggesting a name is wrong.
    So, in answer to your question I say Yes, judge them all and let them have the top awards if they are good enough.