Thursday, August 15, 2013

American Peony Society Report
By Dana Tretheway, President 

The American Peony Society Board of -Directors and members recently met at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA, for the 2013 Convention and Exhibit. The entire affair was a wonderful
experience for all the members who enjoyed behind the scene tours of the daily operation at Longwood and casual strolls through the many individual gardens and conservatory. Flowers, unusual plants, water fountains and features were just everywhere on the property. 
On Friday the 31st of May, the members enjoyed their tours followed by a wonderful lunch in the “Founder’s Room” of Longwood Garden Restaurant. During the afternoon, many of the members just wondered  the gardens and conservatory taking in all the beautiful sites and scents. The APS Board of Directors met for their annual meeting. As an interest to all, the board voted for ‘The Mackinac Grand’ to be the 2013 Gold Medal Peony. In the evening we all met at the Longwood Gardens picnic area for our  “Taste of Philly” picnic, hosted by Eleanor and Bill Tickner. Everyone enjoyed sandwiches and drinks while catching up on all the “peony” stories. Many thanks to Eleanor and Bill for all the ground work they did preparing for the convention and exhibit. 

On Saturday, it was a busymorning for the exhibitors with set-up starting at 7am and judging starting at 11am. I was very impressed with the number of stems that made it to the show. With Design and Seedling classes included, we had  over 430 exhibits that made it to the tables. I could only imagine the vast amount of flowers we would have had if our more northern members would have had an opportunity to bring some along; unfortunately, it was just too cool of a spring in Minnesota and Wisconsin. After all was said and  done, ‘Boreas” came out as the “Best of Show”, presented by none other than Carol Adelman from Oregon. A listing of the entire results will soon be published at our website. 

Saturday evening was perhaps the most outstanding convention banquet I’ve attended, hosted by the staff of Kingwood Center in the highly ornate ballroom of the conservatory. After cocktails in a private courtyard, prior to dinner, we found our way to the dining area and were greeted by Dr. Jim Harbage, Director of  Floraculture at Kingwood Gardens. I won’t go into to details of the meal, but to say the least, it was  marvelous, well presented and very tasty indeed. 

On Sunday, many of the members headed out to Winterhur Gardens and Museum for a tour of another du Pont property while others stayed back at  Longwood to discuss peonies with the multitude of visitors to the exhibit. The exhibit was cleaned up  just after 6:00 pm and those members still around said their farewells and headed home.  

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