In the summer of 1979, several Maryland members of the American Hemerocallis Society (A.H.S.) considered forming a local club dedicated to educating people about daylilies. This group, led by Doris Simpson, decided that such an organization had a place among the garden clubs at that time.
Harry McCrone suggested naming the club Free State Daylily Society. The organizing members liked the name. Thus, FSDS was formed, a new club within Region 3 of the A.H.S.
FSDS originally met at the Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore, Maryland. Early meetings featured speakers, slide shows and training sessions. From the beginning, the goal was to educate gardeners about the species Hemerocallis - a goal that continues today.
As the organization grew, FSDS held flower exhibits at Cylburn Arboretum and sponsored daylily sales and auctions in the summer. Early in the existence of FSDS, the sales and auctions were held at members’ homes. For many years, FSDS maintained a daylily garden near the Cylburn Arboretum’s greenhouses. The new Free State Memorial Garden, created by the club in 2005, is now much larger and closer to the Cylburn mansion. Club members work together to maintain that garden throughout the year. Our tradition of having an annual bloom show at Cylburn continues to this day, and is now held in their beautiful Vollmer Center.
Thirty nine years after its founding, the Free State Daylily Society continues to be a vibrant, active organization, with a large membership. New members are always welcome.
In addition, a number of our members have applied for, and won, the right to open their gardens to the public as AHS Display Gardens. What is that, you may ask? Click this link, AHS Display Gardens, for an explanation. To see a list of members' gardens that are AHS Display Gardens, or who open their gardens by appointment for show and sale of daylilies, please click the following link: FSDS Display Gardens