Kaye Furneyhough, vice president of the Albany Hemerocallis Society, said visitors to Saturday’s Daylily Show at the Albany Mall will be able to not only see one of a kind flowers, but also take advantage of good pricing at the society’s plant sale. (Staff photo: Brad McEwen)
ALBANY — The Albany Hemerocallis Society is hosting its annual Daylily Show this Saturday at Albany Mall and members are hoping the community will come out to enjoy the fruits of its members passions.
According to Kaye Furneyhough, an avid daylily grower and vice president of the society, the Daylily Show, which is the 32nd the society has held, is a way for the 35-year-old club to introduce citizens to the many colors, sizes, forms and shapes of the daylily.
“The purpose of the club is to educate people about all the different things about daylilys,” Furneyhough said. “Every daylily seed is unique, just like children.”
One of the reasons for the uniqueness of each daylily is that since they were first cultivated by gardeners in China and Japan centuries ago, growers have continued to crossbreed the plant and create hybrids. Known as hybridizing, crossing the genetics of different daylilys creates new flowers with different colors and shapes which are then registered.
Furneyhough, who runs her own hybridizing operation, said the key is keeping track of the different plants and trying to combine different types to optimize the different characteristics of the parent flowers to create something new.
Making things even more interesting, Furneyhough said, is that within daylilys there are also multiple varieties including double-flower, unusual form, spider and polytepal. On top of that there are different sizes such as mini, small, large and extra large.
Furneyhough said that while some larger growers and hybridizers grow in greenhouses, many like herself, grow their daylilys outdoors because of their hearty nature.
“Daylilys are very hearty, fairly disease resistant and love water,” said Furneyhough. “They can take plenty of sun, half a day sun is best and about an inch of water a week. (The growth success of daylilys each year) is very weather-related.”
Weather can also have an effect on when daylilys bloom, said Furneyhough. Peak season is typically around late May, but the plants will begin blooming in April and continue blooming into October.
Furneyhough added that daylily blooms only last one day, so the hope is that they will produce multiple blooms throughout the season.
“Certain ones re-bloom, sometimes multiple times,” Furneyhough said. “There’s green foliage all summer and some varieties stay green year round.”
The show, which will take place just inside the back entrance of the Mall between Belk and JC Penny, will begin at 8 a.m. when entries for judging will be taken through 10:30 a.m. Judging of the plants will take place at 11 a.m. and the display of the blooms opens to the public from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.
There is no cost for admission and there will also be a plant sale starting at 10 a.m. and will remain open until everything is sold.
“There will be some really nice plants for sale at good prices,” said Furneyhough. “There will also be an education table where members will share information about daylilys and tips on getting started for anyone who is interested.”