Friday, February 5, 2016

Join us at the 2016 World Daffodil Convention!

The Greater St Louis Daffodil Society extends an invitation for you to join us in St Louis, Missouri, USA from 06-10 April for the 10th World Daffodil Convention.  This is an international event that is held every four years to bring together daffodil enthusiasts from around the world. Every sixteen years the American Daffodil Society has the honor of hosting the prestigious World Daffodil Convention.  This convention is an opportunity to make new friends and renew old friendships among the worldwide daffodil community.

The 2016 World Daffodil Convention will be held at the Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel, which offers complimentary shuttle service to and from Lambert International Airport, as well as complimentary free covered and uncovered parking facilities.  The hotel has newly renovated rooms, excellent meeting and exhibit facilities, and a commitment to first-class service. 

  • Engage in educational opportunities, listen to thought-provoking presentations, and have fun with regional and daffodil-themed events.
  • Observe and participate in a fabulous on-site daffodil show including horticulture, artistic design, and photography sections.
  • Visit the world-renowned Missouri Botanical Garden, a National Historic Landmark and the oldest public botanical garden in the United States. Tour the grounds and visit the Garden’s Peter H. Raven Library, one of the largest botanical libraries in the world.
  • Tour the historically significant Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum, St. Louis’ 166 year-old grand cemetery featuring magnificent architectural finery and a Level II accredited arboretum.
  • Visit Haeffner Farm’s extensive daffodil collection of over 2,500 varieties and tour historic downtown Hermann, Missouri for a day and evening of fun in Missouri’s wine country.
  • Visit PHS Daffodils in Flora, Illinois where numerous varieties are grown for small scale commercial production, breeding, and evaluation, and view the family’s award-winning collection of antique farm implements.
  • Visit the historic naturalized plantings of daffodils at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, Missouri, a showpiece for native Missouri plants and Ozark ecosystem restoration.

Registration, hotel reservations, and more can be found on our Convention website.

Hope we see you there!

By Lynn Slackman,
2016 World Daffodil Convention Chairperson

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April Daffodils!

The following article was submitted by Cindy Haeffner and published by the Hermann Advertiser Courier

Earlier this month, the Greater St. Louis Daffodil Society hosted their annual show at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Exhibitors entered daffodils in the horticulture, design and photography classes.

Winning entries from local exhibitors include Brenda VanBooven with her National Classic winning entry of ‘Broomhill’. The classics comprise daffodils registered with the Royal Horticulture Society  and  the American Daffodil Society between the years of 1940-1969. 

In the youth division, Breckyn Koeller won the best Youth bloom in the horticulture division with ‘Maria”  and the Purple Ribbon Sweepstakes in the Youth Design.  Macy Bader, a seasoned exhibitor, winning the Best Youth Horticulture and Best Youth Design last year, won a red ribbon this year with her design themed “Animal Shot”.

Cindy Haeffner won the Gold Ribbon for the best standard bloom of the show with ‘Elegant Touch’.  This bloom was selected from the ‘Red,White and Blue’ 5 stem collection, also selected as the best 5 stem collection of the show.   This class must be 5 daffodils hybridized in the USA.  For information on everything daffodils and more visit:  Entries for the show is open to the public and welcomed.
The Greater St. Louis Daffodil Society focuses on youth, the future of gardening.  Macy Bader and Breckyn Koeller spray painted recycled plastic containers for young children to make daffodil bouquets while visiting the show at the Missouri Botanical Garden.  This very popular activity is directed by the Youth Chairman, Jason Delaney, member of the Society, and also Missouri Botanical Garden North Gardens Bulb Specialist. The bouquets are very special for the children visiting and free of charge. 

Every 4 years, the World Daffodil Convention is held.   It rotates from USA, Europe, New Zealand and Australia.  In 2012 the World Convention was held in Dunedin, New Zealand and next year the 2016 World Daffodil Convention will be held in St. Louis, MO, at the Westport Sheraton Hotel, April 6-10, 2016.

Tours will include a trip to Joy and Cindy Haeffner’s farm to see the collection of daffodils..  While in Hermann, the group will have a  chance to visit shops &  take in the German hospitality at the Heramnnhof Festhalle, along with entertainment by the Loehnig German Band.  For information visit:

By Cindy Haeffner, President, Greater Saint Louis Daffodil Society

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Enriching our Community with Daffodils

On December 07, 2014 the second installation for MODOT’s Growing Together project took place just outside the community of Gerald, MO where approximately 2,500 daffodil bulbs were planted along the highway’s right-of-way.

The daffodil bulbs were donated by Dr. John and Sandy Reed of Oakwood Daffodils of Niles, MI.   Sponsors and support came from the Gasconade County Master Gardeners, the Greater St. Louis Daffodil Society, and Gerald’s Boy Scouts’ Master, John Colombo, and three Scouts from his troop.

In total, eighteen energetic volunteers planted the bulbs on a gloomy, cloudy day, only visited by the sun briefly, but the mood of the group was bright.

The Greater St. Louis Daffodil Society’s by-laws require community outreach, and this project provided a perfect opportunity.  The Gasconade Master Gardeners, too, have a yearly requirement for community outreach; those attending were able to earn some quality service hours for their effort.

The long-range goal is to fully plant the right-of-way to greet travelers with drifts of spring-flowering daffodils as they enter the community of Gerald.

Initially, the daffodil flowering will appear sparse, but as the bulbs settle in they will greatly increase.

The growth habit of daffodils requires a delayed mowing of this area, to enable the daffodil’s leaves to fully mature; by doing so, the bulbs will produce enough energy to form the next season’s flowers.  Mowing should be delayed until after June 25 of each year.

Be sure to visit the site next spring, to see all of the color, and each spring thereafter.

By Cindy Haeffner, President, Greater Saint Louis Daffodil Society
Member of Gasconade County Master Gardeners

Friday, November 14, 2014

Planting hope...

Community "Growning Together" beautification site
Community "Growning Together" site - Spring 2014

November 10, 2014 blew in with sunny skies and windy warm breezes, along with 120 high school students, eager to plant thousands of daffodil bulbs!!! With shovels digging, bulbs being sent under the ground, and smiles from energetic youth, the day flew by quickly! The planting site is located directly across of the high school campus along Missouri Highway 19.

High School Students ready to plant daffodils
High School students eager to plant daffodil bulbs.
This was the setting for the “Growing Together” beautification planting site in Owensville, MO at the High School. Planting began in 2011, and has continued under the sponsorship of the Greater St. Louis Daffodil Society, Gasconade County Master Gardener’s and Sherry Bryam’s horticulture students.

Students receiving planting instructions
Students receiving bulb planting instructions.
The Missouri Dept. of Transportation has a beautification program that fits the growing habits of daffodils. The highway department mows half of the right-of-way in early summer, so we plant on the other half, which is mowed in late summer, giving the bulbs time needed to restore energy.

Students planting daffodils in Owensville, MO
Students are busy planting daffodils at Community beautification site.
Students planting daffodils at community site
Another set of students at the planting site.

During the winter, students may soon forget the day spent on that beautiful November day, but come spring, the daffodils blooming will bring them back to that day as a reminder of how easy it is to bring color into their world.

More students digging and planting
More students digging and planting daffodil bulbs
Thank you to everyone who participated this year!

By Cindy Haeffner, President, Greater Saint Louis Daffodil Society
Member of Gasconade County Master Gardeners

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review of - Lilies…Try Em…You’ll Like Em

On November 9th, Lynn Slackman took us on a journey from discovering Lilium at a local Lily Show to appreciating, nurturing, and finally spreading the joy of these beautiful cultivars with other garden and bulb enthusiasts.

Lilium (members of which are true lilies) is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants growing from bulbs, with prominent flowers. They have been around for hundreds of years, growing as far north as the Arctic Circle and as far south as the sub-tropics. There are native species that thrive in the North Eastern and Western portions of the US. Many species are also native to China and the Balkans.

Lilium bulbs are composed of fleshy scales, without a protective outer surface. So they need to be kept fresh and moist. In addition to the basal roots at the base of the bulbs, they also have stem roots. Both root systems supply food and stability to the plant. Lilium flowers are varied in size, shape, and color, but always have 6 tepals (petals & sepals) and 6 anthers. Lilium are never truly dormant, so they need to be treated as a living perennial.

Are Lilium Edible?
Lilium bulbs are starchy and edible as root vegetables, although bulbs of some species may be very bitter. The non-bitter bulbs (L. lancifolium) are grown on a large scale in China as a luxury or health food. Lily flowers are also said to be effective treatment for pulmonary (lungs) affections, and may have some tonic properties.

Are Lilium Toxic?
Asiatic hybrid, Easter, rubrum, Stargazer – all are highly toxic to cats!  Even small ingestions (such as 2-3 petals or leaves) – even the pollen or water from the vase – can result in severe, acute kidney failure.

Some Species from our gardens:

Lilium Regale is a trumpet flowered lily, whose flowers form a 'highly scented' umbel at the top of its 4 to 5 foot sturdy stems.

L. pardalinum’ is one of the native California lilies that grow outside of its native environment. It has bright orange-red petals that are splashed with golden leopard spots. Its leaves form a whorl around each stem…similar to the Martagon and American Hybrid lilies.

The Graceful Martagons:
The specific term Martagon is a Turkish word which also means turban or cap. It has a widespread native region that extends from eastern France east through northern Asia to Mongolia and Korea.

Martagons have been cultivated for centuries. L. martagon was used in hybridizing with L. hansonii at the end of the 19th century by Mrs. RO Backhouse of Hereford, England.

Martagons have stem-rooting and they are 4 to 5 feet tall and have a wide range of flower colors; pinks, mauves, scarlet and wine reds as well as white, yellow and orange. The flowers are usually lightly scented, and numerous flowers are borne on each plant...sometimes between 40 to 60 flowers can be found on vigorous plants. Martagon lilies are very cold hardy and flourish as far north as the Arctic Circle.

The Delightful Asiatics:
Asiatic Lilium is by far one of the most popular, easiest to grow, and readily available lilies. They're very hardy, need no staking, and are not particularly fussy about soil, as long as it drains well. Well-drained soil is an absolute must! Asiatics can have Up-facing, Outfacing or Pendant flowers.

The Dependable LA’s:
These hardy and easy to grow hybrids are derived from crossing L. longiflorum (Easter Lily) and the more familiar Asiatics and add a wide splash of color between your Asiatic and Trumpet bloom times. They multiply well, and bulbs left undisturbed for several years can reach a large circumference. LA’s are perfectly at home in the Southern Garden, and also perfectly at home in the cold winter climates with the severe climate zones that thaw slowly in the spring and go directly into summer.

The Lovely Trumpets:
The lovely, trumpet-shaped flowers of this group of Lilies are borne on long, graceful and strong stems. Their intoxicating scent can perfume an entire garden and are often especially night-fragrant. The flowers generally bloom after Asiatic Lilies and before Oriental Lilies.

The Magnificent Oriental Trumpets:

The last group of lilies to bloom in my garden is the magnificent Lilium of Oriental and Trumpet parentage. This hybrid inherited the best traits from both types of lilies. Orientals give them outstanding fragrance and a full range of beautiful color. Trumpets gave them the ability to withstand hot St. Louis summers and add height to the cultivar. The "OT” hybrids thrive in our St. Louis gardens.

Daffodils make great Companions for Lilium...
It turns out that Lilium make good companion bulbs for daffodils.  They like the same sort of soil composition, the daffodils act as a camouflage when the Lilium are just emerging from the ground, and they provide gorgeous blooms throughout the summer.  So I was pretty happy with these newly found bulb companions.

It starts with the soil…
Lilium like to grow in soil that is filled with organic material and has good drainage. They need oxygen and nutrients in the soil to grow and survive. Adding Turface to the soil will add oxygen, monitor the moisture content, and reduce compaction.

Water for the Lilium…
During the growing season at MBG we add about one inch of water per week to the Lilium in the Bulb Garden. In my own garden I tend to water less than MBG, and do more concentrated watering where l can provide individual amounts of water for each group of Lilium.

Staking Lilium…
Lilies with huge heads of blooms sometimes need staking. Tie the stems naturally and gracefully . . . don’t strangle them!

Digging Lilium...
Lilies will usually thrive for years in the same spot, especially if well cared for.  The clumps need to be lifted when many spindly short stems indicate crowding. Carefully pull them apart, and plant them elsewhere.  If you must replant in the same spot, replace or reinforce the soil first with additional fertilizer and organic material.

Mulching is one way of conserving moisture in between watering and it keeps the soil cool and loose. (Cool Feet Hot Head!) Mulching also delays soil freezing and allows roots to continue growing longer. It insulates the soil against fluctuating temperatures, delaying the emergence of frost-tender shoots in spring.

Disease Prevention…
Many of the troubles that beset lilies can be prevented by proper planting. Good drainage will forestall bulb rot; Good circulation of air will help eliminate fungus diseases and even infestations for aphids; Proper placement and mulching may prevent frost damage.

The right location for Lilium… 
Lilium, like other living cultivars, need the right location. At MBG the Lilium bulbs have been shared with other areas at the garden. As a result, some bulbs have thrived outside of the bulb garden, but fizzled-out in the bulb garden environment. Read about the characteristics of the Lilium you are planting and do your best to meet those requirements.

Try growing Lilium in your garden...


Monday, July 28, 2014

Review of - Roses in the River City

Dave Gunn at GSLDS meeting
On July 20th, Dave Gunn, Missouri Botanical Garden’s Rosarian, presented Roses in the River City. Dave enlighten us with information about recent renovations and future plans of MBG’s rose gardens, complications with growing roses in the Midwest, and varieties old and new that will dispel the myth that roses are fussy.  This article is a review of this presentation.

Roses have been around for close to 5000 years.  They are reliable, bloom from spring to frost, and they are fragrant.

Over the years, people have experienced problems with growing and cultivating roses.   Many problems occur because of the following issues;
-    Wrong Rose in Wrong Place
-    Obsession with showing only “Latest Roses”
-    Using too many chemicals
-    In the Midwest, we also have hot summers, cold winters, and high humidity to deal with.

Roses at Bulb Exchange

What can we do?
-    Get the Right Rose for the Right Place
-    Use good horticultural practices
-    Don’t believe the Hype

Some of the fundamentals for cultivating roses;
-    Choose the right location for your rose
-    Buy a Healthy plant from a reputable seller
-    Use Healthy soil for your plant
-    Give your roses adequate water
-    Give your roses appropriate nutrients
-    Put a bit of work into your rose cultivation

Rose Rosette Disease

This disease is spread by eriophyid mites. Most eriophyid mites make their home on the surface of leaves where their feeding can cause bronzing or reddening but some are also responsible for creating galls on leaves or witches-broom on stems and flower buds.

Adult females overwinter in cracks and crevices of twigs and in bud scales. Females lay eggs in the spring. The young insects that hatch from the eggs resemble the adult. Numerous generations are produced each year. They are primarily spread by wind.

There is no scientific evidence that cutting out the affected area will cure this issue.  The best practice is to dig-up and dispose of the affected plant.

Roses Gardens at the Missouri Botanical Garden

The Gladney Rose Garden was overhauled and rebuilt with new healthy rose plants during 2012 and the Lehmann Rose garden was rebuilt during the spring of 2013 using bare root roses.  The Lehmann garden now has Species roses in the lower area, Old Garden Roses (pre 1867) in the middle area, and Modern Roses in the Upper area of the garden.

Roses that do well in our area of the country;

William Radler, based in Wisconsin and concentrating on developing “cold hardy” roses
-    Knockout Roses, Double Knockout, ‘Carefree Sunshine’, ‘Carefree Celebration’

W. Kordes & Sons (German Hybridizer), their roses are bomb proof, disease resistant, and vigorous
-    ‘Rosanna’ climber, ‘Larissa’ floribunda rose, ‘Winter Sun’

Dr. Griffith Buck, based at Iowa State University developed disease resistant and cold hardy roses
-    ‘Quietness’, ‘Perlie Mae’, Prairie Harvest’

Meilland International from France created ‘Peace’ in 1945 to commemorate WWII.  Their products are sold thru Conard Pyle/ Star Roses in the USA
-    Drift series roses  ‘Sunshine Daydream’, ‘Peach Drift’ is a groundcover

David Austin, based in England, specializes in old garden roses that are perpetually blooming and hardy like modern roses
-    ‘Lady of Shalott’ , ‘Princess Alexandra of Kent’, ‘ Sharifa Asma’, ‘ Strawberry Hill’

Ping Lim, from Bailey’s Nursery with roses known for their superior disease resistance
-    ‘Music Box’, ‘Kiss Me’, ‘My Girl’

Other miscellaneous favorite roses are;
-    ‘Touch of Class’, ‘Granada’, ‘Queen Elizabeth’, ‘ Louise Odier’, ‘Alba Maxima’, ‘Julie Child’, ‘Petal Pushers’, ‘Chrysler Imperial’, ‘Mister Lincoln’

We also reviewed one of the beautiful Species roses - Rosa setigea, a Climbing Prairie Rose.

Questions addressed;

Rose Amendments;
-    Compost, horse manure, and chicken soup for roses (organic minerals)
-    Irrigation overhead in the morning so plants dry during the day
-    Keep center open to help alleviate black spot. You can also peel leaves with black spot

Pruning Shrub Roses;
-    Keep the shrub open and prune from the bottom-up

Use of sustainable methods;
-    The garden has stopped using wood mulch and now uses leaf mulch on the rose beds.  This method results in less weeds and ability to hold more moisture.

We really appreciate Dave Gunn’s excellent presentation on Roses at our July meeting.  His knowledge and expertise will definitely enrich the roses at MOBOT and help them evolve and grow to their former glory.

-by Lynn Slackman

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Presidents Message - Summer 2014

July 8, 2014

Our beloved daffodil is but a faded memory along with the foliage.  One would think that we would be completely done with any thought of daffodils, but contrare.   GSLDS’s schedule is just heatin’ up along with the summer.  Our upcoming events include our summer meeting with David Gunn, Rosarian of the Missouri Botanical Garden.  Although daffodils maybe most of our members favorite, we all covet many other plants including roses.  Attend the July 20, 2014 meeting to learn more about roses. 

Haeffner Family Farm

In August, the Haeffner’s will be hosting the 7th GSLDS daffodil bulb cleaning.  Yes, we are a group that not only loves to play in dirt, but clean and play with daffodil bulbs.  Who doesn’t love to slip the skins of bulbs down to the smooth, caramel color?    The cleaning event serves several purposes, the obvious is cleaning and preparing for the upcoming bulb sales of the fall, but also the social aspect, we all enjoy visiting while we work.  The carry in lunch is always a culinary delight, members bringing special dishes enjoyed by all!  Looking forward to the upcoming months to meet and see each other again.

Cindy Haeffner
President, Greater St Louis Daffodil Society