Moore’s award winning garden on daylily convention tour

BY Jan Murray jmurray@southeastsun.com

Moore’s award winning garden on daylily convention tour
This year marked a first for Daleville as the the society, more commonly called the Wiregrass Daylily Society, toured the garden of Frank and Rita Moore during their three day spring convention.Rita Moore has grown daylilies at their Leigh Street home since 1974, inspired by daylily hybridizer Sarah Sykes, who lived near Rita’s family in Crenshaw County. The design of their garden has evolved since the Moore’s retired from careers in education and his worldwide service as an officer in Lions Club International.The Moore’s front entrance garden features a large rose garden of hybrid teas, miniatures, mini-floras, floribundas and old garden roses.The Moore’s backyard garden is comprised of more than 600 varieties of spider, double, miniature and full form daylilies, enhanced with companion plants which include hydrangeas, amaryllis, azaleas, woodland and tall garden phlox, dahlias, coral vine and Shasta daisies.Rita Moore served as chairman of the Region 14 meeting steering committee. Her garden was one of three that two Southern Coaches tour buses full of self-proclaimed daylily addicts toured during the three-day convention that ended with an awards banquet May 21.The culmination of the banquet was the announcement of the awards that had been voted on by the tour attendees. The Moore’s garden earned five of the 11 awards presented.The Moore’s winning categories were the Best Eyed of Eyed and Edged Daylily with Hotlanta; Best Spider or Unusual Form Daylily with Christmas Times A Coming; Best Use of Daylilies in Landscaping; Best Purple Daylily with Bluegrass Memories; and The Presidents Cup for Best Clump with Suburban Nancy Gayle.“Didn’t I come to see something just gorgeous,” asked Susanna Patterson from Hattiesburg, Miss., as she surveyed the Moore’s garden during the first tour bus stop at the Daleville home. A member of the Hattiesburg Daylily Society, Patterson said she is an avid gardener. “But daylilies are just one of the things that I have in my front yard in Hattiesburg.”Debbie Smith, from Grand Bay, is the AHS Region 14 president this year. “We just come on the tour to look and enjoy,” she said, explaining the distinction between hybridizers, who actually create new daylilies, and collectors. “Collectors consider themselves addicts,” she said with a smile.“This is my first tour,” said Clint Fussell, from Chipley, Fla., who grows more than 1,500 varieties of daylilies. “I’m here with my mother and we are having a very good time.“We have a lot of well known hybridizers with us,” the fourth generation farmer said. “But I guess the reality is that we are all addicts,” he added with a smile.
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