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History: Hattiesburg Area Daylily Society

Prepared for the 25th Anniversary

The unofficial beginning of the Hattiesburg Area Daylily Society (HADS) was Sunday, May 24, 1992 at a gathering in the back yard of Don and Nell George. The official beginning was June 14, 1992, when 22 daylily enthusiasts met at the Hattiesburg Garden Club and voted to organize.

The group elected officers, set dues, and made some plans to encourage a larger membership. Nell George, HADS first president, stated, “We hope to keep the club a happy blend of educational and social activities with lots of garden visiting during the bloom season.”

HADS continued to hold meetings at the Garden Club Center until 2003 when increased membership caused a need for a larger meeting place. The group moved to the Forrest County Extension Service center and continues to meet there on the 3rd Sunday of September, October, January, February, March, April, and May.

Through the years, HADS has educated its membership through programs that feature speakers sharing information about growing-soil, fertilization, disease control, hybridizing, companion plants, preparation for shows, and other pertinent subjects. Nationally recognized hybridizers are frequent visitors to HADS meetings.

To educate the general public (and encourage them to grow daylilies), HADS began hosting “Open Gardens” in 1993. The public is invited to visit the gardens of HADS members, see daylilies growing in the landscape, and talk with garden owners about growing daylilies. People come from far and wide to this event, now held annually on Memorial Day weekend.

Another educational event for the public is the annual daylily show. The first show was held Saturday, June 1, 1996 at Turtle Creek Mall. In 2007, the show was moved to Lake Terrace Convention Center, and continues to be held in this beautiful venue. Daylily shows include a design division and a plant sale. The plant sale enables the public to purchase registered cultivars at very reasonable prices.

Because of the show, in 2007, Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree proclaimed “…the first Saturday of each June as "Daylily Day.” In 2008, the Hattiesburg City Council adopted the Daylily as the official flower of Hattiesburg.

HADS is the largest daylily club in the American Hemerocallis Society Region 14 (Mississippi & Alabama). For many years the membership has exceeded 100 members. HADS frequently hosts Fall Regionals (1 day meeting) and Spring Regionals (2 day meeting that includes workshops and garden tours). HADS hosted its first Spring Regional in 1995. That was such a success that another was hosted in 2001.

In 2007, HADS hosted the Spring Regional that celebrated the 50th Anniversary of AHS Region 14, with 350 daylily enthusiasts attending this meeting. HADS hosted Spring Regionals again in 2012 and 2015. In May, 2017, daylily lovers from all over Mississippi and Alabama will again head to Hattiesburg - this time, to help HADS celebrate our 25th Anniversary!!

Beautiful flowers and the enthusiasm of HADS members have made Hattiesburg a “Daylily Destination” for 25 years. This will continue for many more!                         ... Nancy Chain, HADS, 2016

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