ORIGIN OF NCDC
IN THE BEGINNING
By Bud Bennett – Charter Member
One day in July 1955, Carey Quinn, a longtime family friend and neighbor of the family asked
me to visit with him to attend an open garden event at the home of Willard King. I was floored
with Willard's excellent landscaped garden and yard along with the outstanding blooms of
new exciting daylilies. I was so excited I didn't even notice the dozen or so people wandering
throughout the garden with me. Since I had only seen a few different kinds of daylilies that I
grew in my garden, I believe I was a lot more excited than they were.
The following fall and winter Carey Quinn cultivated my mind with some daylily talk and a few
hems, as he must have done with some of the other folks. This led up to a meeting at the
home of Willard King on May 22, 1956, when 12 of us formed the NCDC. We kept every-thing
very simple, The Charter was only a half page long, and the dues were only a dollar. We
decided to use Willard's double-car carport as the meeting place. New members would be
given a free daylily and a green thumb [Ink]. New members also pledged that they would grow
the ever-popular PAINTED LADY [Russell '42]. The was really a joke, it seems that P. L. looked
too much like 'fulva' to suit Willard And Carey. The 12 who signed became the first board of
directors along with Willard King as the President. And they were:
Judge Carey Quinn, Bethesda, MD, He was The Daffodil Society's first President and was a
driving force to form it. His garden was very tiny and he grew everything to perfection,
growing plants like exhibition style mums, gladioluses, bearded iris, as well as the daffodils
Willard King, Bethesda, MD, He started out growing roses when he lived in Chevy Chase but
gave them up when he build his house near Potomac. This became a truly wonderful garden
with outstanding garden borders and landscaping. He became a daylily hybridizer with much
more space with this move. At the time of this meeting Willard was on the AHS Board of
Harvey Warwick, Bethesda, MD started his estate plantings in the early to mid-thirties with
large mature specimen trees and shrubs. I believe that it was once the most magnificent
garden in the whole middle Atlantic area. Harvey was a retired architect from a very important
DC firm. He also hybridized daylilies; however, he did not ever name any as he just used them
for landscaping his large estate.
Charlie Culpepper, Arlington, VA was a retired Research Plant Physiologist at the USDA.
Charlie was a well-known daffodil hybridizer, and was known in Virginia as a horticulturist and
I believe that there is a small park there named after him.
Florence Matteossian, Bethesda, MD, She was the club's first Secretary.
Rita Butterworth, Oxon Hill, MD, She was a Federation Garden Judge and was very helpful
with the first flower show. She was the registrar for the '59 convention.
Clay Huff, Bethesda, MD who later resigned and was replaced by Dr. George Darrow
Dr. Frank Coe, Bethesda, MD who moved later and was replaced by Phil DuMont. Phil's
daughter Annie Weinreich later became AHS President.
Milton Earle, Burtonsville, MD.
Harold Kirk, Silver Spring [Aspen Hill area] MD, A DC teacher,Harold later moved to NC where
he became a Region 15 RVP.
Evan Flory Arlington, VA, whose brother Wilmer was the AHS President in '57-58.
Bud Bennett, Wheaton, MD, I had a small garden and about 6 daylilies at the time.
At the time of this meeting, both Carey and Willard were close friends and were heavily
involved with daffodils. Carey was putting out newsletters for the Daffodil Society, and Willard
was running up and down the mid-Atlantic area judging daffodils. They also had been to many
of the daylily conventions together and they felt that they could put together a much better
convention than those conventions they had previously attended. This is perhaps the very
reason they decided to form a daylily club. However some of these 12 members of this newly
formed club were old time codgers who had better things to do. So they went looking for
some energetic new members from the area. Some of these new members were; Christine
Rhodes, Takoma Park, MD; Her daughter Shirley Hutmire, Takoma Park, MD; Mildred Benton,
Chevy Chase, MD; H. Franklin Lehr, Chevy Chase, MD [He just happened to be my old Junior
High School teacher]; Ed Matteossian; Phil DuMont; William Shannon; Barbara Schroeder; and
John Moats, all of Washinton, DC.
In 1958 we held a region three meeting with a car tour of five gardens [The future convention
gardens] and a fine dinner at an excellent Bethesda restaurant. The cost was only $5 for a box
lunch and a Crab Imperial/roast beef dinner. This meeting was my first duty as a new NCDC
President and I had no idea what a region meeting was all about. The favorite hems of the day
were RUFFLED PINAFORE, JACK FROST, FAIRY WINGS and PRESIDENT RICE.
The National AHS Convention was held July 9, 10, and 11, 1959 at the Shoreham Hotel in
Washington and the cost was $25 [including buses and meals]. There were over 400
attendees who visited five gardens on a Friday with ease [No traffic and no beltway]. There
were three gardens in Bethesda, one in Silver Spring and one in Virginia. After attending a
symposium at the Hotel Saturday morning, the attendees visited the three Bethesda gardens
again. The five gardens visited were Willard King, Carey Quinn, Harvey Warwick, all of
Bethesda, Evan Flory, Arlington, VA and Harold Kirk, Silver Spring, MD. The favorite hems of
the convention were GEORGE CUNNINGHAM [President's Cup], PRESIDENT RICE, GREEN
VALLEY and BESS ROSS.
The first few club slide shows were just like a party and they were held in Willard King's living-
dining room. Many AHS members usually attended these shows from afar, from such places as
North Carolina, New York and Oklahoma. It seems that those attendees had been coming to a
winter slide show at King's home for some time. The person from Oklahoma was Dave
McKeithan and he always brought excitement every year with his slides. He lived near and
visited the two biggest growers in the country every year with his camera. The growers being:
Gilbert Wild & Son, Sarcoxie, MO; and; Russell Gardens, Spring, Texas.
In 1959 the club held its first "public" slide show in a large public facility in Wheaton Plaza. Phil
DuMont and Barbara Schroeder ran this and all of our slide shows for a good number of years.
In 1961, we held the club's first plant sale with prices of plants at only fifty cents. In 1963, the
club had its first daylily show with LUXURY LACE the winner of Best In Show. Other blue
winners were NORTH STAR, WAR EAGLE and FRANCIS FAY. In 1969 the Club Guest Plant
Program was started.
The club hosted AHS National Conventions in'59 and '87 and Region Three Meetings' in '58,
'67, '69, '76, '79, '81, '85, '91, and '95.
Past Presidents -- Willard King '56-58,'66, Bud Bennett '58-62, '70-72, '79-87, Carey Quinn '63-65,
Fred Bickford '67-68, William Hollis '69, Philip DuMont '73-74 Paul Botting, '75-78 Margo Reed
'88-90, '93-94, Marla Drake '91-92, Ira Penn '95, Rich Galloway '96-97, Kevin Walek '98-’02,
Kathleen Schloeder ‘03-’04.