Mid-Century flower class(es)

November 3, 2009

Categories: Classics, Daffodil Types, Historics

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All –
At the Spring ADS Board meeting, Bill Pannill raised basically this same issue/query, and many in attendance i talked to about the issue recognized the issue/need. My short response, and as i’m on digest mode apologies if i’ve missed a bunch of commentary, is that a second time period class should be created, and that a committee to establish a good end date is needed, with at least a couple of long-time hybridizers involved with intimate knowledge of the history of hybridizing. If the pre1940 date is extended, there will be even more apples to oranges competitions than there are already with the most modern forms consistently winning out. There are many reasons for WWII as the great divide, and i believe it should remain. Further, if there’s another class then there is reason for more folks to grow a wider array of flowers, hopefully keeping more in active commerce, and keeping the oldies but goodies alive is the true end goal, for me at least. I don’t know that the rolling 50-year-date as is used in historic structures preservation is appropriate, i think it might cause more confusion than is warranted. As here the phrase has been coined of “mid-century antiques” to cover the 1950s and 1960s modernism design movements, i thought it was a cute and catchy term. As to an end date of circa-1960 or circa-1970, i’m about the last person to ask. But i think it ought to be addressed, and i find it interesting so many folks are thinking along the same lines – methinks the time has come.
ADS Historics Committee, chair

To all interested in historic classes
It has been suggested to me by one of the New Zealand Daffodil growers interested in historic classes that perhaps it is time to divide these daffodils into three groups for exhibition –
Up to 1900 1901 to 1940 1941 to 1960 One premier or best flower only, be chosen from the three groups overall.
By including the new group 1941 – 1960 could have two beneficial effects: 1. The classes could become easier to enter and hence more popular
2. It could save some of these important varieties from this new group becoming extinct.
Would appreciate comments on this idea.
Cheers, John
John A. Hunter

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4 Responses to Mid-Century flower class(es)

  1. Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi
    Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi
    November 3, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Sara’s heard me on this topic many times—let me get on a soapbox with a wider range.
    The historics are appropriately dated, ending with the beginning of World War II. All you historians out there know that when the war began, daffodil cultivation and hybridizing in Europe effectively ended for a time period. (Matthew Zanbergen wrote eloquently about all thisl)
    When it began once again, after hostilities ended and things were better for everyone, and for the fields of daffodils, the new cultivars were markedly different from those that had gone before.
    This should be the “forever” divide for Historics—pre World War II.
    But, many of us still grow with great appreciation the favorite flowers that came to light and to our gardens through those two decades that followed. I personally think 1969 is a good ending date—think of all the other things that happened then, from the Moon Landing to Woodstock.
    Go to your own garden, or to the show reports of today for flowers introduced between 1940 and 1969, which are still key blooms in winning collections of some of our finest exhibitors.
    I just would like to see a permanent single five-stem class just for this time period—haven’t yet thought up just the right name…
    Loyce McKenzie


  2. Bob Spotts, California
    Bob Spotts, California
    November 3, 2009 at 4:27 pm


    How about “Classic Daffodils” for the 1940-1969 period?



  3. Daniel Bellinger, Ohio
    November 3, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Dear Loyce,

    I like Bob Spotts idea.
    Daniel Bellinger
    Wadsworth OH
  4. John Beck, Illinois
    November 4, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    I think most following this discussion know that I am very much in favor of more attention to the mid-century, classinc, post-war groupling John Hunter mentioned.

    One premier or best flower only, be chosen from the three groups overall.

    I would defer to Judge Quinn- a judges job is to award ribbons-or something along that line- let us determine how to award ribbons plural in this group.

    I apologise for missing the fall board meeting- I could have raised the concept-

    John Beck