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Beauty of a daylily is in its impermanence
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Daylilies come in many varieties, like this one known as "omomuki." - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Annual daylily show and plant sale
What:
North Georgia Daylily Society daylily show
When: Judging at 11:30 a.m., plant sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Lakeshore Mall, 150 Pearl Nix Parkway, Gainesville
How much: Free; plants available for purchase
More info: 706-629-7227

A daylily bloom only shows its colorful face for one day during June, its peak season - and that is what fascinates daylily growers.

"It's like a fever ... you look forward to getting up every morning to walk out to your garden and see what's blooming today because that flower only lasts one day. So if you miss today, you won't see that flower again," said Joe Wood, a member of the North Georgia Daylily Society based in Dahlonega. "If you are a hybridizer, the most exciting part is to get up in the morning and see a brand new one that you have hybridized. There are no two daylilies that are identical; there are always some differences in each daylily."

Ron Brechter, also a member of the daylily society and a Hall County Master Gardener, made growing daylilies his hobby just a few years ago. Wood and Brechter will be two of many daylily enthusiasts competing in the annual daylily show on Saturday at Lakeshore Mall in Gainesville.

Brechter said he loves the summer blooms of daylilies because there is so much variety.

"The only color that you cannot get in a daylily is blue; there is no true blue daylily because it doesn't have a blue gene," he said. "My oldest son collected daylilies, I started buying some and then I joined the North Georgia Daylily Society."

Brechter said he has hundreds of the flowers in his yard, and Wood said at his Alto home he has more than 300 daylilies, which he started growing in 1998.

"I was fortunate the second year that I entered the show to win best in show with one I had hybridized," he said. "That year was the best show we ever had - we had 503 entries. So my one little flower won best in show that year, so I was quite lucky."

This year Wood expects many entries in the show because of the rain Northeast Georgia has received.

"The daylilies look the best than they have in many years. The foliage is greener and prettier, the scapes (stems) are taller and the flower itself is larger in diameter," he said.

Last year was Brechter's first year competing in the daylily show; he won three blue ribbons with the five flowers he brought.

According to Wood, the most common daylily locals see is the "old roadside orange."

But for enthusiasts like Brechter and Wood, a daylily garden has a greater variety of colors and shapes. Brechter's garden includes daylilies like Alicia rose kiss, flamboyant eyes and Halloween hocus pocus, which come in colors like coral, purple, maroon and pink.

But he won't know until Saturday morning what he plans to enter in the show.

"I'll have to come down here Saturday morning and see what's available," he said.

Along with the daylily show, the flowers will be on sale.

"They are priced very reasonable, starting at $5," Wood said. "When you buy them, the sooner you can get them planted the better off you are. ... If you get them in the ground now, you would have some beautiful blooms next year."

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