2023 Photo Contest Winners
Category 1-Single Bloom
Cosmic Blast photo taken by Theresa Schwandt
Elrond Ring photo taken by Cynthia Wadsworth
Category 2 Multiflower/Clump
Echo Park photo taken by by Genni Kleckner
Ezekiel photo taken by Barry Rowe
Category 3 Landscape
Photo by Pat Sturdevant
Photo by Sue Hill
Category 4 Artistic
Bee with Pollen photo by Scott Elliott
Grandadaughter photo by Becky Robinson
THE WISCONSIN DAYLILY SOCIETY – An Overview
The Wisconsin Daylily Society (WDS) is an organization of friendly folks dedicated to the love and promotion of daylilies. Founded in 1990 in Madison, it was the first daylily club formed in Wisconsin and is the largest of the three now in the state. Though meetings are held in and around Madison, the club has members from as far away as Illinois, Georgia, Michigan, and Massachusetts. The WDS is open to anyone who wishes to learn more about daylilies (genus Hemerocallis) and enjoy the camaraderie of people with similar gardening interests. We encourage participation by all age groups and welcome youth members by keeping our dues low, our programs interesting, and our events engaging.
Meetings are held monthly from January through May on a Saturday afternoon. Plan to set aside two to three hours filled with fun, facts, and delectable refreshments. A brief business meeting is always conducted first. Programs vary between presentations by nationally renowned daylily hybridizers (breeders), talks from our own club’s pollen dabbers (hybridizers), and a photo contest replete with gifts for the winners. Each meeting ends with a sizeable raffle of fabulous door prizes.
The WDS also offers the following exciting yearly activities:
- February – We staff our colorful educational booth at the Garden Expo held at the Dane County Alliant Center in Madison. This three-day exhibition is one of the foremost gardening shows in the upper Midwest and attracts more than 20,000 visitors.
- July – in alternate years, the WDS sponsors an all-day Bus Trip to member’s gardens, daylily hybridizers, botanical gardens, and nurseries. In the opposite year, we host our Dazzling Daylily Show which is a friendly but fierce competition where members enter daylily blooms from their gardens to vie for top honors. Winners are chosen by the general public and prizes are awarded. There is also a drawing for an attendee to take home a free daylily.
- July – a Self-guided Tour of members’ gardens is offered.
- End July or early August – Our Auction & Adoption Program is a highly anticipated and attended event. The Adoption is where the latest and greatest cultivars are taken home by lucky members to grow for three years. During year three, two fans (divisions) can be kept and the rest returned to the club to be claimed by winning bidders in the always-animated Auction.
- August – Our premier event, the WDS Daylily Sale, officially holds the title of the largest and most profitable hemerocallis sale in America. Between 750 to 950 varieties are available for purchase by gardeners who come from far and wide.
- October or November – The Annual Meeting rounds out our event-packed year. It includes a dinner, a business meeting, the election of board members, the selection of the organization that receives our sale donation, and the daylily popularity poll. A presentation by a nationally recognized daylily hybridizer is enjoyed and a spectacular raffle completes the occasion.
Additional club benefits include:
- The WDS Hybridizer Group. This sub-group of the WDS holds its meetings several times a year and often a summer trip is planned. Should you wish to learn how to propagate your own daylilies, this is where to gain practical knowledge. From seed starting to planting to tracking parentage to registering your very own unique creations, this hands-on group can show you what works and what doesn’t. You must be a WDS member to participate, however.
- The WDS Dollars Program. This club “money” is earned by volunteering at certain Society functions, working at the Sale, providing a treat for a monthly meeting, hosting a tour garden, chairing a committee, and serving on the Board. WDS Dollars can be applied toward purchases made at the Sale and the Auction, or used to pay membership dues.
- The WDS Newsletter. Our informative and entertaining quarterly publication is delivered electronically. A hardcopy is sent to those without tech capabilities.
- The WDS Display Beds are located at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station and at Allen Centennial Gardens where you can view cultivars that will be available to buy at future Sales.
And finally, more opportunities to expand your circle of daylily friends:
The Wisconsin Daylily Society belongs to the national organization of daylily clubs called the American Daylily Society. The ADS is divided into fifteen regions, or groupings of states, that are fairly similar in climate and growing conditions. We are in Region 2 along with Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.
- Region 2 has two gatherings each year. 1) The popular and fun-filled weekend-long Summer Meeting is hosted by a different regional club annually during peak bloom season. The WDS sponsors a bus for those members eager to attend. 2) The Winter Symposium is a 2 ½ day educational bright spot that takes place at the end of February, often in the same locale for several years. Many times interested members carpool, which just adds to the fun.
- The ADS National Convention is the epitome of the summer season and is convened in a new location every year. This event spans four days brimming with seminars, banquets, garden tours, buying opportunities, and a world-class auction, not to mention connecting with daylily lovers from around the country. The festivities are enjoyed by some of our members who join with 400 to 600 daylily-centric conventioneers to celebrate our favorite perennial.