Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi

unnamed flowers

September 11, 2008

Categories: Judging, Shows, Societies and groups

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—–Original Message—–
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Sent: Thu, 11 Sep 2008 5:58 pm
Subject: unnamed flowers

Like some of the rest of you, I intended to stay out of this one—but couldn’t.

I think some people are overlooking some differences. I believe that in other countries, there are many many shows bringing together lots
of different plant families in competition.  That gives a different slant.
In our country, rarely do we have the pleasure of such a delightful show. (And the last one I attended, about 30 years ago, as a lowly clerk,
I had to listen to judges rule out every flower in the triandrus class “because the heads are drooping.”)

In ADS shows, there is no such thing, technically, as Best in Show.  The Gold Ribbon (best named standard, though not historics nor containers, because they were originally judged by different standards), the Mini-Gold (ditto, for miniatures)

I think the New Zealand show mentioned by Margaret, with one NZDS class, but other daffodils, could very well have a unnamed daffodil as best in show from anywhere in the show.

In the American judging schools it is taught that “the schedule is the law of the show.”  The schedule can’t violate rules of the ADS FOR the ADS awards, because that has been decided (until it has been undecided). But I would think a local show could decide they wanted a Best in Show from everywhere, and it could be any criteria they wanted—it just couldn’t win any sort of ADS award.
Our local shows are filled with special awards, often named for people, and as long as they’re not competing for ADS ribbons, they likely could be unnamed and still win.

I don’t agree that this naming is losing or deterring members. That is never cited with those who don’t join—we get other reasons we try to
remedy. If you think that’s why you’re losing members, think about whether you’re guilty not of being too rigid but of being preoccupied
with making your own entries.

If we are gracious and welcoming to newcomers who need help, with names and other information (let me refer you to Jim Chaney and Annie Hibbs, CMDS’ newest ADS members, about how they can be welcomed), and find people who know what they need to know, and HELP THEM TO ACHIEVE A HIGHER STANDARD OF ENTRY, they feel a lot better about themselves and us than if we just say, “Whatever….”

The one place I do think we can bend the rules a little—the time frame for making corrections, just before the show starts. When things can be changed. If you have a few extra minutes, look around for the newcomer and the errors they can stil fix. So what if the judging starts ten minutes late—that might be the Gold ribbon you help somebody win..

Get a nice prize, make a big to-do over the winner in “Unknown” and put it up on the Honors table and maybe give them a small prize of a gift certificate, if your show does that.

One reason for requiring names is being sure something is in the right division.  I am sure, around the world, we’ll all accept the need for flowers to be entered in the right division. Otherwise we’re judging apples against oranges, and it might be your luck for your orange entry to be judged by an individual who loves apples and is violently allergic to orange juice. (for which substitute doubles and splits.)

Why do people have unnamed flowers:
l. They move onto a piece of property where many daffodils already exist.
  Likely these are Historics, and the Historics people I know can identify almost anything.
  If it’s a newer mystery daffodil, the odds are still good somebody will figure it out.
2. They had the name written down and lost it.  So be it! They’ll remember next time.
3. They were given a batch intended  for landscaping.
4. As Bill Pannill suggested, if it’s a real winner and still unnamed, it could likely be one of the hybridizers’ “rejects.” It has no name, no
  number, and should not, cannot, be exhibeted, without the hybridizer’s number. That person chose not to introduce it and you can’t
  exhibit it, name, number, or nothing.  I must have twenty slightly different division 7s, bought from Elise as mixed batches, and all I can do with them is hybridize with them (small chance!) or just enjoy them.

If someone has a whole bucket full of beautiful flowers, and no names, and no time to fix them, maybe you can find a container and do a centerpiece and find the individual with the best handwriting to note that this bouquet is courtesy of…

Loyce McKenzie

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