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Iris and Daylily society kick off seasonal meetings

During a rainy afternoon Sunday at the Thomson-McDuffie County Library, the Thomson Daylily and Iris Society held its kickoff meeting for the new growing season. Approximately 14 members from Thomson and surrounding cities attended the meeting, which included a light lunch, auction and slide show.

Over lunch, which was called "munch," the members held a casual discussion about where to find certain varieties of daylilies, troubles in growing, and what makes the best show flowers.

"We talk about daylilies and irises, how to grow them and how we kill them," said Faye Story, club member.

Key speakers for the meeting were Jim and Peggy Jeffcoat, hybridizers, growers and owners of Singing Oakes Garden in Blythewood, S.C. Singing Oakes is an American Hemerocallis Society display garden with more than 2,000 different daylily cultivars.

The Jeffcoats gave a slideshow presentation of their garden including their award-winning introductions such as Catawampus, Fair to Middlin', Heavens to Betsy, My Niche, Good Intentions and Splish Splash.

The Jeffcoats also explained how to prepare soil and properly plant a daylily garden and how to fertilize and control pests organically.

Mr. Jeffcoat said all of his hybrids are unusual forms, meaning at least three of the segments are twisted and curled.

"My flowers are the type that you either hate them, or you love them. I like all the twisting, it adds movement to the garden," he said.

Following the slideshow, an auction was held to raise money for the local daylily show in June, which costs the club around $1,000. Plants auctioned were donated by Singing Oakes garden and other club members, and brought approximately $165, according to Ms. Story.

The local club takes daytrips to visit gardens, shows and meetings in Dublin, Milledgeville, Edenton, and Augusta. Annual membership dues are $5. Meetings are held during the growing season, which is January through September. The next meeting will be at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb 26, at the Thomson-McDuffie County Library.

Web posted on Thursday, February 2, 2006

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