Tuesday, June 4, 2019

2019 Pay It Forward, Helping a Peony Exhibition Newbie at the APS Convention

Me, Deb, & Kris

This photo really captures the heart of the convention for me this year. I feel so proud to have spent so much time with the two ladies in this photo, working alongside them, getting to know them better, and teaming up to help Kris enter her first ever peonies into the 2019 American Peony Society Convention Exhibition. Kris has tirelessly served as the APS Treasurer for years, but had yet to enter any of her own peonies into the APS flower show. Since her garden was on tour this year, and she was a convention co-chair (she was just a tad busy), she hadn't thought much about entering any flowers into the show.

Kris Trimming a Peony
Kris in Her Garden

So that's where we came in. With just a little coaxing from Deb and myself, Kris agreed to enter some peonies into the exhibition. As long as we were a team, and she had a bit of guidance from someone who'd entered before (me), she was ready. I couldn't help but think of all the help that Mike & Becky Koster gave me at my first peony show. Without their help, I don't think I would have made it! They were the ones who guided me on how to get those tight peony buds to open - steam baths and field trips outside in the sun, 2015 American Peony Society Exhibition Preparation. I will be forever grateful to them for their help, dedication, and encouragement to me. So in some small way I was able to pay it forward to help Kris enter her first peony show. Somehow the joy you get from helping others succeed can touch you more deeply than your own success.

Kris Taking a Photo of a Peony Before She Cuts It

Kris was a hoot in the garden. At first she didn't want to cut any of the peony flowers. (I think she secretly really liked them better on the bush.) ;-) Eventually we were able to convince her to start cutting some. She did take a photo of each one and apologize to them before she cut them. I think this really illustrates her kind-heartedness. :-) By the time we had finished cutting peonies for the show, she had really gotten the hang of it, and wanted to cut even more. I think we trained her well, and she will be ready for next year's peony exhibitions. We ended up with quite a nice haul, and surely some ribbon-worthy peony blooms.

Kris Checking Out Potential Peonies

Show Flowers for the Peony Exhibition

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