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2004 Bertrand Farr Silver Medal: Ed Brown
David Kirchhoff, Sanford, FL
 

One of the highlights at the 2004 AHS National Convention in St Louis, MO, was the awarding of the Bertrand Farr Silver Medal. This is the most prestigious award a hybridizer can win. It recognizes a lifetime of excellence in hybridizing. When AHS Awards and Honors Chairman, Rich Rosen announced the name of the winner, Ed Brown, more than six hundred conventioneers gave him a prolonged standing ovation.

Camellias were possibly the first plant Ed grew hybridized. In the early 1970's, he wandered into a local mall where the Jacksonville Hemerocallis Society was holding one of its very first accredited daylily shows. Ed was amazed at the beautiful array of colors and mesmerized by the flower. Ed began asking questions and seeking answers. He made contact with Merle Kent and Ed Kirchhoff in central Florida and the three of them made the first of many trips to south Louisiana where they observed the work of Elsie Spalding, Lucille Guidry and other Louisiana hybridizers.

 

As a breeder of homing pigeons and camellias, Ed has keen interest in genetics. Soon, Ed studied daylily genetics and breeding techniques. He planned his crosses. His primary focus in bloom characteristic is form and substance. Additionally, Ed focuses on strong, vigorous plants with branching and bud-count. Ed's thought was that if he could develop the best of these characteristics, God would provide beautiful colors.

Ed's careful planning has resulted in many prestigious AHS Awards, including Honorable Mention, Award of Merit, and the most coveted award of all, the Stout Medal for JANICE BROWN, in 1994. Other hybridizers have converted a number of his fine diploid cultivars for extensive use in their tetraploid hybridizing programs.

The unforgettable, beautiful Corner Oaks Garden in Jacksonville, Florida, was opened in 1983 where Ed shared his extensive knowledge of daylilies both with friends and strangers. Although Corner Oaks is no longer open, Ed is hybridizing, planning and dreaming.