Gardening Glimpses

By MRS. HERMAN MCKENZIE,

All over the U.S.A. tonight, possibly a hundred people are bustling to get themselves ready for the last daffodil event of the season.

Or maybe it is the first daffodil event of the 2018 season. Officially the occasion is entitled the Fall Board Meeting, and some 30 souls gather together, sit for hours in useful but sometimes dull business sessions, visit with a comparative few of their close friends who always wind up on the board, perhaps attend a judges’ seminar, and go back home, saying just the ‘same old, same old’ happenings.

But this is the Midwest Region, the heart and center and sparkplug of daffodil growing, showing, working with, recruiting, just plain caring about working with daffodils, getting more things going.

Sure, some destinations, such as Williamsburg,   Va.,, and Portland, Ore., have topped the list for numbers of conventions; but that is mostly accounted for by the great natural beauty of our nation’s coastal areas, and even more, to the great work of a few great hybridizers.

Right behind these two are Nashville, which is also a Midwestern whizbang of a city, and will be telling folks all this coming weekend about “Come to Nashville” in April of 2018, for their fifth convention, celebrating their 50th anniversary.

 

Our first stop this trip is Nashville, for a chance to visit with the sparkplug of the Daffodil Society, Becky Fox Matthews. All this is new to Vicki, who is looking forward to driving the Trace (now open all the way) and seeing Becky once again and meeting David Matthews, who doesn’t “do” daffodils, but doesn’t mind daffodil folks coming to if they don’t disturb his early bedtime.

Then, on Friday, we’ll get into Becky’s car and wend our way northeast, to Cincinnati, Ohio.

It has been such fun, preparing for all the events of the best fall meeting I think anybody’s ever produced, but I think even more has been enjoying Vicki’s delight in another “road trip” and a daffodil gathering.

And knowing all the things that she’s not imagined, but without which her imagination will forever be filled with, by the time we get back to Madison County next Tuesday, or even perhaps Wednesday.

(No, fall board meetings don’t last that long, though this one does fill parts of four days, but garden lovers always manage to add other adventures and explorations.)

 

What all is it that is going to make this 2017 convention, which I am already calling the best ever, and we haven’t even gotten there?

Creative people who think up extra things. A few years ago a Californian said “Why don’t we have an experimental autumn flower show?” Tried it, it worked, moved to the heartland of the nation, and now it’s a done deal, readily accepted.

One of the more quirky Midwesterners dreamed up a weird bulb auction and drawings, and the more civic-minded members recruited speakers with exciting speeches and pictures about the great nature-lovers paradise for visitors here, with invitations to come visit on the free time (what free time? Oh, that’s why you are staying over until Tuesday or perhaps even Wednesday.)

Our special “extender” is a trip to Lob’s Wood, the great nature preserve created by Carl Krippendorf and made famous forever by Elizabeth Lawrence. This will be my third visit to Lob’s Wood, but I do hope not my last.

The major seminar is a prime attraction about hybridizing, by two different creative geniuses from both coasts. Oh, and there’s a photography competition (which I sort of steered Vicki toward, gauging her natural talent.)

And if you just don’t quite want to get back to the home grind, you could say it would be a shame to miss a chance to see the Huntsville Botanical Garden, my newest “bucket list” destination.

I’m going to say it in print, for you folks who have worked so hard to put on such a great event - I would be willing to to predict that there will be 100 people there, for at least one or two of the events.

And when I come home, I’ll be telling you all about it - you sort of suspected that.

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