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Award of Merit

The Award of Merit is the most prestigious award bestowed on a member by the Eastern Region of the International Plant Propagators' Society.The Award of Merit is made to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of plant propagation and production.This can be in the form of scientific discovery or the application of facts to the propagation and production of plants, development of new practices or techniques, services rendered to the science and practice of plant propagation and production, or extraordinary service to the Society.

Darrel Apps Receives 2010 Eastern Region Award of Merit

Well-known daylily breeder Darrel Apps received the prestigious Award of Merit from the Eastern Region of the International Plant Propagators' Society on September 30, 2010 in Warwick, Rhode Island. The Award of Merit is the highest honor the Region can bestow upon a member.

Apps is certainly most deserving of this honor, having lived and breathed the IPPS code of ‘to seek and to share’ for the past 35 years. Since becoming a member in 1975 he has been a devoted and committed member, serving in many different capacities including as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer in the early 1990’s when he got the region organized and ‘back on track’. He has served on numerous committees including the Local Site Committee in 1986 and again in 2005, the Program Committee in 2002 and 2007, the Long Range Planning Committee, the Budget Committee, the Fellow Recognition Committee, the Research Grant Committee, and the Staff Evaluation Committee. Apps was previously honored as a Fellow of the IPPS Eastern Region and served as the regional President in 2006-07. He was one of the original IPPS Eastern Region Foundation directors.

Apps says that following his first IPPS meeting, IPPS “very quickly IPPS became my favorite annual conference and it still is today. The organization has a complex matrix which is a recipe for success: international participation; a diverse membership group including plant breeders and selectors, propagators, plant producers, marketers, middle managers, CEO’s and once in awhile a politician!; presentations from both academics and those propagating and growing the plants; a group of officers and directors giving freely of their time; paid staff with equal dedication; and all of this neatly packaged with a conference and a Combined Proceedings.”

Darrel was born and raised in Wisconsin where he attended the University of Wisconsin and earned a PhD in Agriculture Extension Education in 1969. He first worked as a Specialist in Ornamental Horticulture at the University of Kentucky. Darrel’s main responsibility was developing a state-wide landscape design program with 14 area specialists. While in Kentucky he started the hobby of breeding rebloom daylilies. Two well known plants that came from his early hybridizing efforts were Happy Returns and Pardon Me. Both were produced by Roy Klehm, Klehm’s Nursery and introduced by John Elsley, Horticulture Director at Wayside Gardens.

In 1973 Darrel moved to The Pennsylvania State University as Associate Professor of Horticulture. At Penn State Apps taught two academic courses: Garden Center Management and Nursery Production.

In 1975 he became Departmental Head of Education at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. He led several programs and also directed Botanical Garden Management Students when they worked at Longwood. Dr. Apps was Adjunct Professor at the University of Delaware and served on several graduate student committees. Darrel and his staff member Lorie Howley designed the Certificate of Merit in Ornamental Horticulture Program at Longwood Gardens. While at Longwood Gardens he was involved with two plant collecting trips with the US National Arboretum--one in 1984 to Korea and islands in the Yellow Sea.

In 1993 Darrel decided to start his own nursery, Woodside Nursery, in Bridgeton, NJ. The nursery had several functions: breeding new plants, evaluating daylilies from several growers, selling through a mail order catalog, selling retail to the general public, and selling wholesale to large mail order catalogs. Each year Woodside Nursery produced 25,000 -30,000 new seedlings. Over a span of 40 years Darrel has introduced 381 new daylilies. A long term partnership with Centerton Nursery of Bridgeton, NJ produced two Centerton trade mark names Trophytaker Daylilies, and HappyEverAppster.

Darrel was one of the charter members of the Gold Medal Award of the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society and received their Distinguished Achievement Award in 2005 for his educational work. He received the American Hemerocallis Society’s highest award for hybridizing, the Bertrand Farr Silver Medal, in 2006. He received the Award of Merit from the Perennial Plant Society in 2009.

Our Award of Merit recipient is a family man with a lovely wife of 44 years, 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren. Darrel and Marilyn Apps sold their Woodside Nursery to Centerton Nursery in 2007 and retired to their hometown of Wild Rose, WI. Darrel continues to share his plant knowledge - since moving back to his Wisconsin hometown, he has spear-headed a project to plant the town’s namesake, wild roses, throughout the village and has many inhabitants joining the cause.

The International Plant Propagators’ Society is a non-profit organization of over 2000 members organized into eight separate regions around the world. The membership is made up of individuals with a professional interest in plant propagation and production from businesses, colleges and universities, botanic gardens and arboreta. The motto of this non-commercial organization is “To Seek and To Share” knowledge and experience in plant propagation and production.


For more information, contact:

Margot Bridgen, Executive Secretary/Treasurer
IPPS Eastern Region, North America
1700 North Parish Drive
Southold, NY 11971
Phone: 631-765-9638
Fax: 631-765-9648
E-mail: Margot Bridgen

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