Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Lily Rae and the "Snail"

Hello Daylily Friends,

Wanted to just catch up with everyone.  I have been working hard in the Greenhouse gathering seeds.  I am surprised that I've made so many seeds basically using the following conversions:  TET. CHOO CHOO CABOOSE, TET. GARRETT ALLEN, TET. ASHEE DASHEE, TET. ROSABELLE VAN VAULKENBURGH, TET. SOMETHING SPECIAL, TET. OUT OF THE BLUE, TET. PINK STRIPES, TET, YANKEE PINSTRIPES and TET. CHERRY STRIPES.  It will be difficult to plant all of my seeds, but I will try.

In the past I've written about my efforts to convert SUNRISE SHADOWS, but today I can show something new.  Here is a picture of the tetraploid, SUNRISE SHADOWS.  It is such a large flower, and seeing all of that tetraploid pollen when I look through my microscope, is just such a thrill.  I know that the pollen is fertile because I had one bloom last summer and I gave the pollen to my friend, William Marchant.  William used the pollen to make about 30 seeds.  This spring I will have much more pollen, and I want to make large flowers like SUNRISE SHADOWS.  One big advantage that SUNRISE SHADOWS will bring is that it is dormant.

When I say that TET. SUNRISE SHADOWS is big, I thought I would show a picture that I took earlier this week.  I put a ruler across the flower, and as you can see from looking at the ruler and the flower, it is clearly 8" in diameter.  The only sad fact is that I have identified only one fan.  So far, out of 11 fans, only one is the tetraploid.  Maybe another will appear, but for now I have only one fan.

I also am so proud of our Club.  On the weekend of April 23-24, 2016, the City of Smyrna, Georgia, held its "Jonquil Festival."  On Friday and Saturday, April 22-23, the Master Gardeners held their "Annual Plant Sale."  Our Plant Sales Chairperson, Gene McCord, made sure that all preparations were made, particularly at the Jonquil Festival, and Rita Buehner and Katilou Greene were in charge of the Master Gardener's sale. I was astonished at the result: Our Club had total sales of $1,899.00.  Wow.  All I can do is be amazed.  It is good when Club members dedicate themselves to keep resources at a significant level so that the Club can make many choices about its activities in keeping with its mission to help others see the importance of daylilies.  Thanks Gene, Rita and Katilou, and thanks to our Club members for making these sales such a tremendous and outstanding success.  Again, I'm so pleased with the success and growth of our Club.

Let's look at some more seedlings.  I had one new bloom that I am really proud to report about.  It is Seedling 6-28.  The pod parent is Seedling 3-351 and here is the background of 3-351:  ((Mort Morss x Lydia's Regal Robe) x (Shirley Anne McCord x Gnashing of Teeth)) x Tet. Rose F. Kennedy.  The pollen parent was Guy Pierce's SMILING COBRA.  Seedling 6-28 is 36" tall, 6-way branching, 37 buds, and a 5.75" Flower.  I am also very happy to report that I've set 6-28 with pollen from both TET. SUNRISE SHADOWS and TET. GARRETT ALLEN.  I'm so happy with this progress.

Yesterday Diana asked me about a row of seedlings that had reasonably large scapes.  The row of seedlings was from Seedling 4-536, and here is the parentage:  (Lacy All Over x (Irish Halo x Tet. Cinderella Sue)).  I do not know the actual measurements as these will be determined from the performance of the row that Diana asked about.  However, the flower is so smooth and creamy white, and is both pod and pollen fertile.  I really like this type of daylily.  I want to introduce many more whites that have basically been created from using conversions.

Also want to report about DENTAL DELIGHT.  I had so many requests for this daylily that I became nervous that I might not be able to meet the demand.  Fortunately I have met the demand, but I'm now out of the flower, and it will be until next spring before I have more to offer.  Anyway, I brought several of DENTAL DELIGHT into the Greenhouse to use for making new seeds.  DENTAL DELIGHT is both pod and pollen fertile.  Also, it is dormant, and judging from the places where purchases were made, that may have been a reason for the high demand.  Anyway, I've been setting lots of seeds on DENTAL DELIGHT.

I want everyone to know that Lily Rae is so "brave."  She has very little apprehension, especially if she is assured by Grandma and Grandpa that "all is good."  For example, Diana found a very large Slug in the Greenhouse which she showed to Lily Rae, and then, with Lily's agreement, she put it into Lily's hand.  Lily Rae carefully examined the Slug.  Would you put a slug in your hand and then give it close examination?  I doubt that I would.  But Lily Rae was interested.  And strangely enough, the Slug did not retreat into its shell.  It just kept itself exposed.  Lily Rae was genuinely entertained.

Lily Rae then put the Slug into one hand, and we see Lily Rae's red fingernails which were painted by Grandmother Whitfield.  It is so delightful to see Lily examine something that she hasn't seen before.  She wants to know what is in the Garden, and she's always interested in whatever we have to say about our daylilies, our trees, our vegetables, and the things we see in the Garden.

Speaking of things we see in the Garden, Diana has had a genuinely interesting adventure.  She swaped some daylilies with a friend from Wisconsin, Robert Keitzman, who, in turn, mailed to her a "Bartzella Peony."  It has taken 3 years for this Peony to bloom, but the wait was good, considering the beauty of the large yellow flower.  A Bartzella Peony is apparently a cross between a tree and a bush.  This makes the plant stronger, and may have something to do with the size of the bloom.  Anyway, anyone can see from just looking at the flower that it is a wonderful creation.

Then our friends, Carolyn Myers and Judy Schneider, who were on their way to Florida, stopped by the Garden to visit.  Diana showed Carolyn and Judy her first bloom on her Bartzella Peony.  They were impressed.  Gardeners love blooms, especially big blooms.  Speaking of going to Florida, our Daylily Club is going to Florida to see the first blooms of the season.  Can't wait for the journey to begin.

As for seeing the Garden, it looks good, and we can see that blooms are coming soon.   The grass is so green, the daylilies are so green, and we can see the growing scapes.  I look every day at the daylilies, and they are so healthy.  In fact, many of the 9 month seedlings are growing scapes.  Also, the daylilies that I liked last year have multiplied very nicely, and there is so much promise.  I was getting concerned that we've not had much rain, but then this past week we've had plenty of rain.  I get up in the morning and basically, every day, its like we have a "new garden."  I so much enjoy growing daylilies.

Well, just when the Garden looks so good something causes a concern.  One of my large Greenhouse fans stopped working, and the temperature for the following morning was going to be 86 degrees.  This meant that there would be more heat in the Greenhouse and both large fans would be needed to keep the temperature under control.  I am so fortunate that my friend, Tommy Bell, came to help.  We both thought that I would need a new fan, but instead, it was deterioration in the wires.  Tommy took the unit apart that supplies power to the fan, saw and then fixed the problem.  The fan went back to working, and all is well again. Thanks Tommy!  Speaking of the Greenhouse, I'm going out there now to see what has bloomed this morning.  Will be back shortly to complete this Blog entry.

Well there is a delightful and interesting new bloom this morning in the Greenhouse.  It is Seedling 6-30, and here is the parentage: (Grace Seedling x Tet. Pink Stripes) x Tet. Yankee Pinstripes.  As I say, very interesting and lovely flower.  For years we have all worked hard to get clean colors, but Seedling 6-30 is different.  It has an unusual and odd mixture of colors and patterns.  I'm not sure where these broken color patterns are going, but I'm committed to working with them.  So, Dave Mussar, what do you think of 6-30?

I must also report on Diana's tomatoes.  She has monster sized plants and very big tomatoes.  In fact, every morning I walk out and look at her tomatoes, they are at least a foot taller than they were the day before.  Also, there are tomatoes all over the plants.  She has 2 and 3 pound tomatoes in production, and in addition, she has what we call Cherry or tiny tomatoes.  The 2 and 3 pound tomatoes are called "Steakhouse" which is a very appropriate name.  We try to keep the tomatoes in the cages to keep them under control, and this is a daily exercise.  In my thinking we will be eating tomatoes by June.

More news soon.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Visiting with The Mississippi Gulf Coast Daylily Society

Hello Daylily Friends,

This past Friday morning Diana and I left the house enroute to Biloxi, Mississippi, to be the guests of The Mississippi Gulf Coast Daylily Society.  The trip was an easy drive although it did take approximately 7 hours.  Diana did most of the driving.  We stopped once at a McDonald's Restaurant, and made another stop at the Dairy Queen for ice cream.  When we arrived in Biloxi we were met at the "Beau Rivage" Casino and Hotel by Ms. Edna Shaw.  Edna was so kind and helpful!  Edna showed us around the Hotel, she showed us many restaurants, and of course we walked through the Casino, which was very large.

Edna pointed out that all of the flowers in the hotel are "fresh." That is to say, they are all live plants, and are kept in first class condition. In particular, there were blue Hydrangeas everywhere.  Being gardeners we thought that this was all very good.  One particular arrangement was a massive vase full of flowers on a large table.  I took Diana's picture as she admired the flowers.  Then right around the corner there was a "bicycle" that was literally and actually covered with flowers.  Lily Rae would have like the "flowered bicycle," because she so much enjoys riding her own bike.

After giving us a wonderful tour of the Beau Rivage, Edna helped see us to our room, and soon bid us "Goodnight," Our room was fabulous; What a room!  Massive sized bed, very large television, hugh bathroom.  For a short time we watched TV, and then unpacked, and planned our evening.  We wanted to go walking, and we also decided that we would have dinner at the Hotel.  So we went on a hike to adjacent Casinos, and we saw lots of gambling and caught a glimpse of the Gulf of Mexico.  After our walk and after Dinner, Diana wanted to go to the Casina, and so we did.

Diana walked through the entire Casino.  There was liquor, there was smoking, there were so many people.  We watched a few people play card games, and then Diana went to the "Quarter" machines.  She pulled our a number of bills, which the Quarter machines easily accepted.  I must report that she never saw those dollar bills again, and I didn't either.  Once they were put into the machines, they were gone.  At the end of the evening Diana received a "pay out" of 21 cents.  Well, it was fun.

The next morning we walked across the "Bixoli Bay Bridge."  Truly a marvel of modern engineering.  The entire structure was a combination of steel and concrete.  There was a separate walkway for pedestrians, and the view was spectacular.  Along the walkway there were carvings done by various artists, and then I noticed that one of the artists was Mr. Robert Waldrop.  I was so delighted to see someone with my last name who was an Artist.  I knew from my Daylily Trip that included the Appomattox Courthouse, that one of the soldiers who was with General Lee at the surrender was a soldier from Mississippi.  I wonder whether there is a connection between the soldier and Mr. Robert Waldrop.

Soon we were back to the reason for our travel: To be with the members of The Mississippi Gulf Coast Daylily Society.  We met many members of the Club at McElroy's Seafood Restaurant.  We had a massive table next to a large glass window, and we ordered our lunch.  Diana always orders shrimp, but I ordered a platter of Oysters.  We talked with members of the Club, and it was good to see old friends such as Bill and Teresa Robinson, and the Club President, Ms. Bonnie Lingel.  Back at the Club meeting. We were happy to see Earl and Barbara Watts, and John and Nancy Falck, who have been dear friends for so many years.  We presented our show and then there was the auction.  All so much fun, and soon we were driving back to Georgia.

Back to the Greenhouse.  I don't know how it happens, but I often get a plant converted, and then diploids show up with the tetraploid.  So frustrating.  I just have to be more watchful to eliminate the diploids.  One plant that I knew that I had converted was Lee Pickles' CHOO CHOO CABOOSE.  Then Lee told me he was setting empty pods that soon died.  Well this spring I was determined, again, to identify the tetraploid, and eliminate the imposter diploids.  I've been successful and I've set quite a few pods with TET. CHOO CHOO CABOOSE.  I just want to see more reds and TET. CHOO CHOO is one that I want in my program.  I'm showing a picture of TET. CHOO CHOO as well as a picture of the pollen.

Another plant that I've been trying to convert is TET. ROSABELLE VAN VALKENBURGH.  The pollen on the plant is not very good, but I was hoping to get it converted to the point that it could be used as a "Pod parent."  Well, after years of effort, I think that I've finally been successful.  I have ROSABELLE converted, and I've set it with two pods.  The pollen parent is TET. YANKEE PINSTRIPES.  I set the pods back in early February, and I'm showing a picture of the pods from this morning.  It seems to me that these are good pods that will soon mature.  When the pods are ripe, and the seeds can be harvested, I'll show a picture.

I've also started to see new seedlings.  One of the new daylilies is Seedling 6-25 which is a cross between my own Seedling 3-351, and Guy Pierce's SMILING COBRA.  My 3-351 doesn't have much branching, but I've been impressed with the branching on SMILING COBRA.  My new Seedling 6-25 is my first numbered seedling for this year, and of course I'm showing a picture.  I've set several pods on 6-25 using TET. GARRETT ALLEN as the pollen parent.  TET. GARRETT ALLEN has good branching.

Another new daylily is Seedling 6-26, which is a cross between MAN-EATING BAT, and my own Seedling 5-725.  Seedling 6-26 is very tall, and I've also set it with pollen from TET. YANKEE PINSTRIPES.  I'm also crossing 6-26 with my 2016 introduction, DENTAL DELIGHT.  White teeth are hard to produce, but we're making progress, and I hope that I have more seedlings similar to 6-26 with even better branching.

It seems that Easter came so early this year.  We got up Easter Morning and we took Ms. Lily Rae and went to Church.  There was no Sunday School on Easter morning so Lily Rae sat with myself and Diana in Church.  She was just the perfect Parishoner.  She sat still and listened to Pastor Sam Matthews, and she enjoyed being with Grandma and Grandpa.  It was Lily Rae's first sermon.  After Church we went to Breakfast which was being served in the Family Life Hall.  Lily Rae likes "Bacon" and this was what she specifically asked for to be put on her plate.  Lily Rae is certainly a blessing in our lives.

Thanks again to The Mississippi Gulf Coast Society for your invitation for us to come and visit.

More news soon


Friday, March 18, 2016

Visiting with the New England Daylily Society

Hello Daylily Friends,

This past Friday and Saturday Diana and I were most privileged to visit with the New England Daylily Society.  We were invited by George and Kathy Viamari, who met us at the Airport, showed us their hometown, took us to a delicious evening meal, and took us to our hotel, which they personally arranged.  Early the next morning George and Kathy took us from the hotel enroute to the Tower Hill Botanical Gardens in Boyleston, Massachusetts. It was interesting at the meeting because many members met to play "Daylily Bingo."  If you have a "Bingo," then you win a daylily.  After Bingo there is a delicious meal, and then the Meeting begins.

I was delighted to meet Zack Hinkey and Curtis Noel who are very much interested in converting daylilies from diploids to tetraploids.  They are having success!  They have been reading my blog and they told me that the Blog had been most helpful in understanding the steps to take to achieve a conversion.  Then, shortly thereafter, I met Cameron Stern from Vermont.  Cameron will soon graduate from Cornell University, and Cameron is also very much interested in the conversion process.  Indeed, Cameron has also been following my Blog and has a number of conversions to his credit.  Sometimes I write about the conversion process, and it is good to meet daylily friends who follow the Blog and are having success.

Diana and I also met Claudia Conway at the NEDS Meeting.  I had exchanged messages with Claudia after she showed a picture of her flower that was created by using TET. ROSE F. KENNEDY.  The flower is most interesting because it has cream colored sepals, darker purple petals, and a wonderful green eye.  It is the bi-tone that makes the flower so delightful and beautiful.  Then when we met Claudia again, it was indeed a special treat.  I'm hoping that I will have the opportunity to convert Claudia's seedling.

I also met Adele Keohan who is the Editor of "Daylilies in the Great Northeast."  Adele game me a copy of the Journal and I read quite bit and then I noticed that a good part of the Journal is written in French.  I tried to learn French in High School, but I wasn't very good at learning the language.  Then Adele showed me that there was a "translation." section for the selections written in French.  Region 4 is so fortunate to have parts of Canada in its Region.  A picture of ROSE F. KENNEDY is on the cover page of the Journal, and George Doorakian is very popular in Region 4.  There was also considerable coverage in the Journal of my friend Rich Howard from Connecticut.

In the picture I'm showing everyone can also see our friends, Karl and Marlene Harmon from New Hampshire.  Karl said that when the Presidential Primary was held in New Hampshire, their phone range "non-stop." Marlene also gave us a disk with pictures from the AHS National Convention which includes pictures from our Garden.  Most of all, I will always be grateful to Karl.  On the day before the convention began, Karl came to our garden and worked very hard all day long.  One request that I made of Karl was that he "dead head" the flowers.  I knew that it would take a lot of work but I just couldn't get everything done.  Thanks Karl!

We want to again say how glad we are that we were invited by George and Kathy and NEDS to be with you at your meeting.  How fortunate we are to have you and NEDS as friends!

Diana and I left early on Sunday morning to get back to Atlanta.  Our meeting of the Cobb County Daylily Society is on Sunday afternoon, and Scott Elliott was coming to speak.  We got back in plenty of time and I found that one of my conversion efforts has been successful.  I converted SOMETHING SPECIAL, which I had thought was a Jack Carpenter introduction.  I was surprised to learn that Childs introduced this delightfully pink daylily, and I hope to make new flowers using it as a pollen parent.  I'm also showing a picture of some of the pollen.  It is good when a conversion effort is successful.

When we ultimately arrived at our Club Meeting we were so pleased that having Scott to speak really helped with our attendance.  We had 40 people present!  This made all of the wonderful snacks, treats and  sandwiches even more special because everything was so plentiful.  Scott did a wonderful show, and then held a very successful auction.  After our meeting finished,a few Club Officers went to Supper with Scott and talked much about Region 5 business.  Thanks Scott for coming and being with us and showing us your program!

On Tuesday morning, March 15, 2016, I had a dump truck load of new soil delivered, and then placed near the Greenhouse.  I needed the soil because I used all that I had.  On Monday afternoon I went to the company that prepares the soil, and I was told that my order could be delivered on Tuesday morning, and it was.  The dump truck drove through the area when the wood chips are usually kept, and then made a precise placement.  I should be good for soil for at least another year.

Speaking of the wood chips, I keep these piled behind my Greenhouse, and last week we moved the wood chips into even larger piles.  The "Bobcat" was used to move the wood chips, and now we can move around much better.  The wood chips are so good because I mix these with our soil, and they make the soil turn into potting soil, that is even better than what can be bought at a gardening store.  I'm also going to try an experiment.  Remember the new soil I just showed?  I am thinking of mixing some of my older wood chips into my new soil.  Perhaps I can make even a better soil for the potted plants that I put in the Greenhouse..

I've also got to show pictures of daylilies that are blooming in the Greenhouse.  First I want to show Seedling 8-160, which is a cross between Sherry Candy x Tet. Out of the Blue.  I've had this seedling for years, but I just never could see how I could put it to good use.  Now that I'm working with doubles I'm seeing possibilities.  The blue eye should give me some advantages, and the double should also give me some advantages that would otherwise be hard to achieve.  I'm also seeing plenty of blooms on Seedling 4-564 which is a cross done using TET. PINK STRIPES.  I'm getting plenty of blooms, and I'm collecting the pollen.  I'm freezing plenty of pollen so that I will have it to use most of the coming summer.  I've also started putting the pollen from 4-564 on my red BLAZING CANNONS.

I've had a lots of help from Lily Rae in the garden, and in the Greenhouse.  She helps Grandpa with watering the daylilies, and she particularly likes to water OPA KLAUS, perhaps because it is so big.  She takes the hose, squirts the water, and gets most everything plenty wet.  Lily Rae is coming to visit this week-end and we can't wait until we can pick her up.

More news soon.