Gardening GlimpsesBy MRS. HERMAN MCKENZIE,
The first real day of the Nashville American Daffodil Society convention began on Thursday, April 5. As I’d suspected, when I waited not too patiently until 5:30, the hour at which my pill schedule lets me wake up, and when I want a hot cup of coffee, Vicki couldn’t believe I really meant we had to get up, eat our in-room breakfast (which she had chosen wisely - bananas, fruit loops, and an old favorite of mine I’d not had in years - Cheezits.
But I patiently insisted, and she got up, reluctantly. Later she agreed I was right about our necessary schedule, but she wasn’t going to drink any coffee unless it was really good.
Becky Fox Matthews had planned Nashville’s fifth ever convention (I’ve been to four of them), to celebrate the Middle Tennessee Daffodil Society’s 60th anniversary. And you may remember that I promised you, a month ago, that all this deadline-meeting and what might seem like high prices, would be worth it. And I predicted far and wide that it would be one of the largest conventions ever.
One way was the involvement of many local people, far more than usual. Another was the showing off of the Nashville area, and all the really “cool” area around Franklin, Tenn. Yet a third way was making lots of “cool stuff” available free to the public, conveniently abandoning the showrooms to non-daffodil but flower-loving people of the area.
What we had to do, in a rush, was get downstairs with our photographs and get them entered, shop at the newly-opened boutique, which has to be about the best stocked one I’ve remembered, meet and greet Pennsylvania friends who’d normally have been up all night in the showroom, but were now ready to say hello, and in the case of Rebecca Brown, receive accolades for her timely logo (she is our resident artist, but had to have just a smidgen of help with the cowboy hat (not familiar in her native Chicago area). But Rebecca must have “known something,” because this was the convention of the hat, the cap.
We soon realized that there were going to be so many fine photographs that we’d be lucky to get even one ribbon.
That was just what we got, one apiece, but when we were told that this national show had just about the same number of entries, 103, as the recording-setting Chicago convention of 2008.
But great-grandson Mason did win the Youth Award, the first year it was ever offered as a junior Knierim Ribbon. History repeats itself - his mother, Ashley, won the Youth Award in Cincinnati at the 2002 convention, at the first ever photography competition.
And then I said to Vicki, come on, now let’s go to the showroom, where we couldn’t go last night. The showroom itself was deserted, finished, completed. I enjoyed watching good friend Pete Kinne marvel over the little miniatures - doesn’t his wife Sara ever let him help with these?
Vicki, who has the smartest Smart Phone I know, zeroed in on the flower arrangements, just eight of them, and something she’d never imagined.
Let’s go where the fun is, I told her, up in the staging room. But we were crowded there, and several people I steered her away from, as the very serious exhibitors. Instead, I spotted an Indiana Hoosier friend of Sara’s that I thought, correctly, would be a “wild child,” and her daughter who had won some extremely prestigious extra award for daffodils at the Indiana State Fair.
And then I took pity on Vicki and said “Let’s go to the café and eat. Our waiter Mike remembered us, concocted Vicki’s special blue drink, and my favorite recipe.
Meanwhile, back at the hotel, casual visitors got their chance to tour the showroom, but before that, there were a pair of informative sessions.
Outgoing President Mike Berrigan gave a basic lecture on the types of daffodils and how you groomed and entered them in the show.
Brent Heath, the prime lecturer in all the ADS, took as his topic “Undaunted Daffodils,” all the various color codes, and just anything you might imagine you wanted to know.
And thus ended Vicki’s first day in the education of a first-time convention goer.