Leslie Ramsay, New Zealand


March 31, 2010

Categories: American Daffodil Society, General, Growing Daffodils, Landscapes and Naturalized Daffodils, Shows

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Hello All,

 We have arrived home and are now settled into our usual routine.  We have thanked the Murphys team individually for their wonderful efforts and now wish to join in with all the others who have congratulated the organizers.  The highlights for us at Murphys were:

 1.  The morning tour of Murphys.  We had a marvelous docent who had us in fits of laughter all the way. He even got us into the Masonic Lodge to see the Grand Master’s chair  which is  in Ripley’s “Believe it or Not” !  His explanations of the history of the village were not only informative but at times hilarious.  A great start.

 2,  The venue.  Before leaving NZ Peter remarked that going to a Conference in a winery was like giving a burglar the keys to a bank!  Well, it didn’t quite turn out that way but by the end of the Conference we had tasted all of the white wines –  at a very reasonable price which was unexpected.  And the setting was magnificent – wonderful daffodils growing in large barrels as well as the huge area of acclimated plantings in the fields.  The Banquet Room was also truly magnificent and the meals were right up to the best standard.  And having a range of rooms suitable for meetings, seminars and other displays was a big plus.

 3,  The flowers – we were pleasantly surprised at the standard of the blooms – right up to the standard of most US Conventions.  Melissa has raised the bar with well grown flowers – she deserved all the blues that she received.  But with Kirby, Bob, and Nancy plus lots of others this was a show which had depth.  We were especially pleased to see Kirby win the class for New Zealand raised daffodils.  He has been a real supporter of Kiwi flowers and it was not surprising to see five NZ breeders represented in the five flowers in his entry – Brogden, Brown, Hunter, Hamilton and ourselves.  Kirby became the first recipient of the NDSNZ Gold Medal which has been struck for NZ Classes in overseas shows.  It features “Trena” – perhaps the most famous NZ raised variety.  The medal will, of course, be retained by the winner but there will be one available for all upcoming ADS Convention Shows.  Elsewhere we were delighted to see John Reed varieties doing well – Peter was pleased to find that he has a bulb of Millennium Perfection acclimating here – it is a lovely variety.  And finally the miniatures – what can one say, apart from the obvious?  This was the best collection of miniatures that we have seen anywhere in the world.  Peter had the pleasure of spending half an hour with Harold discussing breeding and touring the long bench of minis.  While we do not grow many minis Lesley has judged mini classes at the NDSNZ National shows fairly often – she too was very, very impressed.  For once a feature lived up to the hype!

 4,  The tours.  It  was a hard decision to make but we chose to go to Columbia Forest Park.  We were not disappointed. Magnificent scenery on the way and, again, we had an excellent docent who guided us through the village which was a real “Wild West” town.  Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was filmed here as was High Noon, one of Peter’s favourite Westerns.  We were shown the window where Grace Kelly fired the shot that took the villain down as Gary Cooper was reaching for his six shooter!   And Dotty Sable shouted Peter the biggest ice cream he had ever seen – just marvelous on a sunny, warm day in the mountains.

 4.  The entertainment.  High class sums it up.  Wonderful variety from organ recitals through history and educational seminars, to the hilarious “Jeopardy” competition.  We were proud of our Kiwi team (David Adams, Graeme Miller and Lesley) who answered every question correctly!  Which incidentally, their vocal support team couldn’t.  What talent!  While somehow and mysteriously we only came second, a silver medal is always acceptable in our little Nation.  And the after-dinner speakers – Keith Kridler was magnificent while the other bloke, who drew the unenviable Sunday spot. did his best.  He was very touched by the waiata (song) performed by his fellow Kiwis at the end of his presentation – an honour given to the kaumata ( a senior, important person) as a token of support and respect.  He is not sure that he deserved either ….

 5,  And, of course, the people.  Bob and Nancy had left no stone unturned to make this an international event and, outside of World Conventions, it had the most “internationals” present.  Much of this was down to Bob’s world-wide network.  For us, to meet up with friends from Australia,  Northern Ireland, England, Wales (if you count Wynne),  Canada, Scotland  as well as many states of the U.S. was a  wonderful not to be missed opportunity.  So to Bob, Nancy and their  team,  congratulations.  You have given all of us magnificent memories and have set a standard that we will try to meet when the World Convention comes to New Zealand in 2012. Perhaps some of the Murphys organizing team might like to migrate to help us with the organization!

 We look forward to meeting all Daffnetters there!

 Lesley and Peter

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