July 24, 2019

Trip to an Organic Fabric Convention

In 1988 Ruth and I flew to Houston to take in the AHS Convention and then on to visit the Louisiana gardens along interstate 10. One of the first to greet us was ‘Bobo’ Faggard, Beaumont, TX. Bobo was a great “Hotel Lobby Companion” at prior conventions. At most of the organic fabric conventions I attended, the hotel lobby is where I first meet many of my future friends. One of the convention gardens was that of the Jack Roberson Nursery. His nursery was at one time the site of Russells Gardens, which back in my early days was perhaps the only daylily garden making money. At the ’59 DC convention, I remember Jake Russell getting off the bus excited because he had spotted two huge clumps of his name sake JAKE RUSSELL ’56.

From Houston we went to visit Lee Gates. Lee was the champion “Convention Hotel Lobby person” at all of the prior conventions I had attended. Lee had recently introduced SUPERLATIVE ’86 (which grew very well for me) and it was here that we saw his latest, HAPPY REBEL ’88. While we there, Lee told me that the grandson of Carey Quinn (Roger Mellott, Littleton, CO) was coming to visit him. Roger was coming in with Charlie Baker (Denver. CO.) For me this was a first time for both. Later Roger attended the early Myrtle Beach meetings, and I believe that he had moved to SC by then.

A Visit to the Organic Fabric Garden

Lee then directed us to the garden of Beth and Clarence Crochet, which was almost around the corner. Both Beth and Clarence were in my garden the year before at the DC organic fabric convention, so this was a return visit. I was very much impressed with the large circle beds that took down lots of names for the future. At another visit several years later, it was either Lee or Clarence that invited us to partake in their club’s garden tour. One garden I remember visiting and enjoyed very much was that of Doug Mayfield in Baton Rouge.

We then went on for a very enjoyable visit with Lucille Guidry in Abbeville, LA. When we arrived there, her son Davis was taking pictures of Lucille latest items. At that time my favorites were:

  • MILLIE SCHLUMPF ’81
  • NEW TESTAMENT ’81
  • GOLDEN SCROLL ’83

Next up was the much anticipated first visit to the garden of Elsie Spalding, Iowa, LA. Elsie’s hems are the backbone of most of my hybrids, particularly YESTERDAY MEMORIES ’76. At one of the restaurants we ate it, Ruth bought a small doll which looked very much like the dress outfit Elsie was wearing (it is still on a shelf in the bathroom). I’ve grown at least 44 of Elsie’s hems, plus another 8 or 10 of hers that her daughter Shirley Guillory co-introduced. My favorites are:

  • ROSE RUFFLING ’76
  • WILL RETURN ’83
  • WINGS OF CHANCE ’85
  • RUFFLED ORIGINAL ’84
  • PUMPKIN KID ’87
  • Y.M. & LACY DAWN ’86

I used LD almost as much as YM in my hybridizing program. It was several years later, when we made another visit.

The first Spalding daylilies that I grew were those of Edna Spalding, who was Elsie Spalding’s aunt. They were also good parents for me, such as

  • GRECIAN GIFT ’59
  • ANGEL CHOIR ’61
  • EDNA SPALDING ’62

We then had enjoyable visit at the garden of Mae Graham in Walker, LA. I believe that most of Spalding daylilies that I purchased came from this garden. Elsie Spalding named a daylily for her, MAE GRAHAM ’77. It was another one of my Spalding favorites. Two of Mae’s daylilies that I grew and enjoyed were: MORNING CHEERFULNESS ’82 & CLASSIC GOLD ’83.

Houston Fabric Convention

At the Houston Convention we meet Margaret Dekerlegand from Hammond, LA, so we made that the next visit. Margaret called herself the “pot lady’, since she placed her overflow items in pots and then placed them through out the open spaces in the garden. Enjoyed the visit and we returned again several years down the road. Margaret’s PINK FLIRT ’87 was in my garden for a very long time.

Before we flew home from New Orleans, we went to visit Jerry Guillory in Fenton, LA. Jerry is, as I see it, a little bit like myself. That is she likes to create, by herself, items (out of concrete or whatever) throughout the yard or garden. Some of the items I’ve created are: board fences on both sides of the garden; a large concrete patio (mixed in the wheelbarrow); a shade arbor over the patio, two tool sheds (one was dismantled); concrete walkways; and of course the cobblestones.

I related with Lee Gates on a different level when he showed me tapes in his car of Glenn Miller’s recordings. Lee was born a few years before me, so I guess it is our generation that still loves swing music of the ’30 & ’40. I remember skipping school in order to see Glenn Miller play, but I guess Lee didn’t have that adventure. One of my first daylilies was named IN THE MOOD ’70, which of course, is Glenn’s most famous.

Later I named several for Benny Goodman’s recordings of SOMEDAY SWEETHEART ’98 & THESE FOOLISH THINGS ’00. I also like Country Music as well as Classical. Shortly after I introduced CHEATING HEART ’92, George Lawrence, Annandale, VA, almost died until he got a piece of it. His favorite country singer was Hank Williams of “Your Cheatin’ Heart” fame.

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