Jack Holland - Somerset County Daffodil Show

by Dana Kester-McCabe

Now that the weather is warming up daffodils are blooming everywhere on Delmarva. Recently I spoke to Jack Holland, a past president of the Somerset County Garden Club about their upcoming daffodil show.

I not only learned about their upcoming flower show, but I also learned all about the different kinds of daffodils.

Jack Holland:
"We're having our 50th Daffodil Show this year, and it is a two day show. We'll have both horticulture and designs, flower design with daffodils."

"There will be 150 horticulture classes and six design classes with four entries in each class. So there will be 24 designs with daffodils. We'll also have an educational exhibit. One of the titles is: "How it all started. An introduction to daffodils in America." And promoting the American Daffodil Society. And we are going to have a lecture that is free and open to the public. And that is on Saturday from 2-3 pm by Betty Howlett who is a National Garden Club accredited judge and she's also a daffodil judge and instructor. She's going to give a lecture on double daffodils: what they are and how to judge them. I think it will be worth your while if you are interested in flowers and gardening, and particularly daffodils."

This show is endorsed by the American Daffodil Society. It is free to both to attend and to compete in. General entrants are awarded ribbons. Somerset County Garden Club members have a chance to be awarded trophies that are passed on from year to year to the latest winners. Entries must be delivered the day before between 7:30 and 9:30am in order to be judged. The design categories show off at least two daffodils in arrangements with other flowers. Gardeners can bring their own arrangements or if they want to simply show off the type of daffodils they grow they can bring specimens. Jack told me about the many possible varieties of daffodils.

Jack Holland:
"There are categories for one stem. There are categories for three stems. And we also have collection categories of five, and our largest collection category has twelve daffodils in it. They are staged on risers. And, they are in a clear glass bottle and wedged with boxwood. "

"There is a system of describing daffodils. They are of the amaryllis family. And Daffodil is the common name for the genus which is narcissus. So every narcissus is a daffodil and every daffodil is a narcissus. But they are divided into thirteen divisions based on form mainly. That is how our horticulture exhibit will be organized according to divisions."

"Division one are trumpet daffodils. Division two are long cup daffodils. Division three are short cup daffodils. These are all determined by the length of the cup or corona. So, double daffodils is division four. That is self explanatory. And then we have daffodils that have been hybridized from species and that have created certain classes. They have different characteristics. They have either reflex petals or pendant blooms, or multiple blooms on a stem. So division five is triandrus with pendulant flowers. Division six is cyclamineus daffodils which have reflex petals. Division seven is jonquilla daffodils. They are small flowers, sweetly scented with a reed like foliage."

Division eight are tazettas which have multiple blooms on each stem. Division nine are poeticus which are late season bloomers that have single blossoms on each stem but have white petals with small red rimmed cups. Division ten are the hoop petticoat daffodils and division eleven are those with split coronas. There is a miscellaneous category. And Jack says that the last division are the wild hybrids.

Jack Holland:
"We have a really good area for growing daffodils. So we have quite a few. You'll be able to see a lot of quality daffodils that you would see even in a larger metropolitan area because we have people from Delmarva who are daffodil hobbyists."

"One of our founding members of our club hybridized daffodils: Meg Yerger. She hybridized the first poeticus miniature daffodil in the world. And I know she received recognition from the Royal Horticulture Society for doing that. She has since passed. She also had a flower called Sweet Somerset."

It is no wonder that daffodils are the official flower of Somerset County. If you would like to learn more about daffodils or just enjoy their beauty you can see this year's show April 2nd and 3rd at St. Andrew's Parish Hall in Princess Anne. Saturday hours are from 1 to 5. Sunday is from 10 to 3. If you would like to enter the show, call Jack Holland for details at 443-614-3934.

50th Annual Daffodil Show - April 2-3, 2016
Saturday 1 - 5 pm; Sunday 1 - 4 pm.
St. Andrews Parish House - 30513 Washington Street - Princess Anne, Maryland 21853