by Nikki Schmith of Reg. 2 Zone 5 Southeastern Michigan
Here is a summary of my personal experience with grooming and selecting daylilies for an exhibition show. Good Luck with your entries!
Two Days or So Before The Show
Take a walk around your
garden a few days before the show to see what may be opening on show day.
Take a walk around your garden a few days before the show to see what may be opening on show day.
In the days before the show, keep your garden deadheaded in order to make sure spent blooms do not interfere with new ones opening.
It is not recommended to overhead water for a couple of days before the show. Some blooms can get "water stained".
Look for scapes that are straight and close to registered height.
Select scapes that have little insect damage, or have damage that you can easily shave clean off.
The Day Before The Show
Fill out your tags with your name and address on both parts of the tag. If you know which cultivars you will be showing, fill out the cultivar name too.
Get the official show schedule and figure out which sections the flowers you will be entering. DO NOT USE EUREKA for measurements. The AHS Checklists or CD_ROM are the only acceptable sources.
Transporting your daylilies: Get your transporting containers ready to go. A plastic milk crate with empty 2-liter soda bottles works great. A 5- gallon bucket with PVC tubes and newspaper works great, too. Build a contraption that WILL FIT INTO YOUR CAR and is light enough to carry.
The Morning Of The Show
Don't select more daylilies than you can groom in time for the show.
Don't select so many daylilies that they will be crammed together and ruin each other on the way to the show.
Remember the large flower section is usually the one with the most flowers, so try to pick flowers from other sections, too.
Do as much grooming as you can at home. The show location is crazy.
Grooming The Daylilies
The key is to make the flower look its greenest and freshest.
Remove spent blooms.
Remove insect damage (Do so without hacking the heck out of the scape).
Remember that anything below the lip of the display container is NOT judged.
Remove buds or other open flowers that distract from the best blooms on the scape.
Trim away brown edges from bracts.
Freshen up bloom scars by slicing away the scar with a razor blade.
Blow or brush pollen from the pistils and sepals with a Q-Tip or makeup brush.
Do not remove anters or pistils!
Grooming is the area some judges hit the hardest. A beautiful entry that is poorly groomed hardly ever win.