show schedules

January 19, 2010

Categories: Show Prep and Exhibiting, Shows

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Has anyone added to their local show schedule a collection for Wister Award daffodils?


13 responses to “show schedules”

  1. Bill Lee says:

    We have not in Cincinnati, although we have a 5-stem collection for daffodils registered more than 25 years ago. This was a favorite class of Peggy Macneale because she loved growing the older cultivars. At some point we renamed the class the Peggy and Neil Macneale Trophy class.
    It’s a good idea, though.
    Bill Lee

  2. Lynn Hoffmann says:


    What a great way to honor Peggy.

     I was thinking as I went through the list of Wisters that these were great daffodils but many wouldn't stand a chance in their classes.  Offering a 5 stem collection would also be an opportunity to let the public see good garden daffodils.


  3. Lynn Hoffmann says:


    That's precisely the reason I suggested this.  We are so caught up in exhibition daffodils, that we forget our audience includes a lot of beginners who may want to get into daffodils.  These garden daffodils are usually less expensive and closer to being almost guaranteed successful.  I think we want first time gardeners to feel successful.  If we show they are worthy of showing, it shows they are worthy of growing.  And it also gives the public some variety names to look for out of the seemingly thousands available.

    The seasonal issue is one I hadn't thought of.  Thanks!


    On Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 9:23 PM, Chriss Rainey < title=> wrote:

    No.  I think perhaps it might be because Wister flowers are chosen for their garden worthiness, not necessarily for their show bench appeal.  (not to say they could not win, but it just isn't their claim to fame)
    Another thing to consider is whether they all or many of them bloom at the same season.
  4. Edith Godfrey says:

    Lynn and Chriss,

    I’ve always advocated that we make our events “Beginner-Friendly”!  By that, I mean we should put the beginners’ classes at the beginning of the show schedule so that a newbie would not have to pour through a complicated, confusing schedule to find where in the world they might enter their one or two stems!  Minnesota has put its “Unnamed,” “Novice Grower,” and “Youth” sections at the very beginning of its schedule.  The next section is the step up to single stems, then vases of three and smaller collections of five.  The more complicated classes and larger collections (those coveted by long-term pros) are at the very end of the schedule.  This is the logical progression that someone getting into our favorite sport would follow as they gain knowledge and their garden collection of daffodils increases.  I’ve noticed that this is the reverse of the order that the handbook and national shows list things.  I don’t think we should always assume that a national show only attracts long term pros.  They, too, are opportunities to attract someone, either a newbie adult or a youth, from the local area where a show is held.  The classes for Wister Award winners would be a perfect expansion of Beginner-Friendly classes.  Maybe we need some type of laminated poster to explain the Wister and Pannill Awards in the same fashion as the Historic poster (that poster is always a good read by show attendees).  The posters for Wister and Pannill could have a blank space where the Show organizers could attach the most recent list of winners (so the poster wouldn’t be out of date the first year it is printed).  These sections of a show would be excellent educational tools for the public.


    Just thinking out loud.

    Edie Godfrey


    Still a good foot of snow excellently covering everything.  Above average temperatures for January, but that just means we are flirting with temps close to freezing.  Folks are still “walking on water” (ice fishing and driving on our frozen lakes) and will be until the end of February.  Snow should start to melt late March or early April.


  5. Melissa Reading says:


    I think your Minnesota idea of having unnamed, novice, and youth sections is wonderful.  We in NCDS do have "small grower" and "youth", but we do not have a section for unnamed daffodils. 

    I wholeheartedly agree with you about the need to encourage beginners.  It isn’t so long ago that I was in that state myself, and I know that the encouragement I received  from NCDS was important to my taking up the hobby.

    Here’s what I had sent off-list to Lynn in reply:
    I like to think that all types of daffodils are show worthy, even though only some may win ribbons. I’ve exhibited a trio of Magician. They weren’t of great form. But the color was so startling! Visitors to the show were exclaiming about them. And I do believe that we have a responsibility to our visitors, not only to teach them about symmetry and perfection, but to give them enjoyment where they are prepared to recognize it. Color is one of those areas.

    We have many show visitors who want to know about daffodils that will do well in the garden. They sense that perfection may come at a cost. I think the idea of having a separate section for the Wister winners could be a good way to be able to show these visitors, in person, some varieties that might do well for them. The Wister section might even have criteria based more on condition than form, whether these criteria were implicit or explicit. Here at NCDS we have a "small growers" section that usually has a lot of Ice Follies. Someone gets a blue ribbon and is thrilled. And they come back the next year, and begin to love daffodils.


    From the northern California Bay Area, where in Livermore the temps are Highs in the mid 50s and lows in the mid 40s, and we’ve had about 6 inches (15.2cm) of rain in the past 5 days, in a climate zone where 14.8 inches (37.6cm) is the annual average!

  6. Donna Dietsch says:

    My take on the subject – A beginner friendly show is not one where there is a class for unnamed cultivars. It is not a show where the schedule has the beginner classes at the beginning. It is a show where every member of the host club is dedicated to telling everyone who visits about daffodils. I have to repeat what I have said for many years. Cecile Spitz of Columbus was the most beginner friendly person I ever knew. Many members would agree that once she got hold of you, you would get into growing daffodils – and many of us became interested because of her, including me. She never failed to watch the visitors at the show and, when she saw them lingering on anything, she would go over and tell them more about what had piqued their interest. I still do the same thing she did and love to take someone who leans over to smell a bloom to the tazettas and jonquils and let them sniff something with real scent.
    Although I have no objection to a Wister Award class, having the criteria for judging similar to the historic section, does not allow the winners to advance to a higher honor. Don’t ever think that the Wister winners are not show worthy and are only garden flowers. When grown well, many of them could be Best in Show at many shows, or at least win a blue ribbon. I do object to the designation “garden flower” since that seems to mean that a show flower is not garden worthy, which is not the case. I have been asked, too many times, if the flowers in the show can be grown in a garden.
    Anyway, what I am saying is that you have to become beginner friendly in order to make your show the same.
    Donna Dietsch

  7. John Beck says:

    Thank you Donna
    I am not convinced that we know what makes a difference but I was able to tell several people who asked about growing daffodils at the last St Louis show that ALL of my flowers
    were grown in an open field. And we had a local vendor there!
    I need to get him to bring catalogs next(this ) year…
    John beck

  8. George Dorner says:

    I’ll add to this welcome thread by recounting one of the nicest things that I have seen in daffodildom this year. And it relates to the previous contributor in the thread, James Rogers – though in his alter ego.
    A few years back a nice lady from Chicago, I’ll call her Ms. X, showed up at our MDS show at the Chicago Botanic Garden. She had a number of blooms to enter but was totally green at what should be done. Most of us were busy grooming our own blooms so, after cordial welcomes and directions to the properties and basic information, we returned to our tasks. James Rogers had traveled from the St. Louis area for curiosity and not primarily to enter. I asked him if he could help the newbie enter her blooms. Many were unnamed and most of those which were named were incorrectly so, the names having been chosen from bulb catalogs and general references. James worked with her and corrected many entries by assigning names from his experience– better educated guesses, entering those he couldn’t identify in our Section U Unnamed. She got some ribbons and her enthusiasm was further bolstered. Her entries the next year still had some unnamed varieties and a few which were wrongly named.There were fewer errors in the following year, but she persevered, attended our meetings, and agreed to take an office of the MDS.
    At our local meeting just prior to the convention this year, we ran out of show cards. I promised to get some to Ms. X, but with convention arrangements foremost it slipped my mind. Just before I left to pick up two convention attendees at O’Hare, Ms. X called about the show cards. I told her I would drop them off on the way to the Garden when I left O’Hare. She offered to serve us coffee if we would stop for a brief visit. When we got to her house, a typical Chicago bungalow with very small yard in front and back, both full of blooming daffodils. She insisted we stay for coffee but presented us with coffee. cabbage rolls, and a delicious chocolate torte! My guests were wide-eyed in amazement at this hospitality which took place in her dining room surrounded by vases of blooms at the ready for the national show.
    During the judging the next morning, one judge asked me if I knew Ms. X and commented that she had entered some blooms that were incorrectly named. (No Section U at the national show!)
    So, with this background, you may imagine my delight and that of Ms. X to find that she won the Small Grower’s Award at the 2009 ADS Show in Glencoe with a beautiful bloom of Jamboree 2 Y-O.
    It’s a long story, but I wasn’t sure that James Rogers realized how his help some years ago may have contribute to the outcome.
    A photo of the winning bloom is in our October 2009 newsletter at I think I’ll move it to the home page.
    George Dorner

  9. Donna Dietsch says:

    Thanks George,
    Lovely story. We just need many more of them if we are to retain our ADS membership and increase it in the future.

  10. Ross Hotchkiss says:

    Dear George…

    Thank you!

    Your message I just read strikes at the very heart of the secret of our (ADS, TDS and the local societies) success or, the lack thereof. It can be summed up very readily as the difference between being “inclusive” rather than “exclusive”.

    Had Ms. “X” been given the ‘cold shoulder’, or “Gosh, I’d love to help you, but I do not have enough time to finish entering my own blooms!”, then there is better than a 50/50 chance that Mrs. “X” would never have reappeared. Moreover, she would probably have told at least a half-dozen of her friends something along the line of…”Those daffodil folks are the most stuck up people I’ve ever met, I wouldn’t associate myself with them for….”. You know what I mean.

    We all need to take the time to assist newcomers and make them feel welcome while tactfully pointing out how they can become more successful as exhibitors. I know that it sounds strange, but if we do not do that, then we run the risk of running out of exhibitors! Hey, where did all the exhibitors go??? They all died off because they did not take the time to pass along their knowledge in an enthusiastic manner!

    Regards and all the very best,


    Ross A. Hotchkiss
    Richmond, Virginia

  11. Bill Lee says:

    Indeed. And for those who don’t know “James Rogers”, that is a sometimes-traveling name used by John Beck. John has visited our Cincinnati show numerous times as well and is always good about helping both the staging committee and newcomers.
    If he asks about coming to your show, give an enthusiastic YES!
    Bill Lee

  12. Donna Lynn Shields says:

    I was once Ms X! After driving the l-o-n-g drive from from Zebulon, NC to the VA daffodil Show in Richmond,I was welcomed with opened arms by Mrs Betty and Mr Ross Hotchkiss. Here I was with one daffodil bloom, knowing nothing about how to enter. Mrs Betty helped me with the pitful bloom and entry blank. Even though I didn’t receive a ribbon, ( I groomed it as I would have a daylily) I gained a blooming friendship with them and many others in the club. Also Mr Clay and Mrs Fran Higgins were a delight to meet and invited me to the new club that was being formed in eastern NC.
    The advertised motto for Virgina is…… ” Virgina is for lovers”……I say it is…. “Virgina is the home for friendly daffodil people”.
    Lynn Shields
    Zebulon, NC

  13. David Adams says:

    Hi everyone,


    I’m interested in the comments about welcoming people to shows. I suggest you go back and read the articles on pages 77 and 79 of the NZNDS Annual of 2009. The first article probably created more interested comments than for any other article I have written. If you haven’t seen the articles then you would be welcome to join the NDS and be able to receive the publications first hand.


    David Adams