Saturday, January 23, 2016

Today it Snowed

Hello Daylily Friends,

Last night and this morning we had snow in North Georgia.  The snow is so beautiful and it makes everything look so clean and assures us that we are in the middle of the winter.  Later this morning I decided to take a few pictures to record that the snow had come to our garden.  I took a picture of our sign that reads, "Kennesaw Mountain Daylily Gardens," and then I took a picture of the field of seedlings that we have as I walked toward the Greenhouse.  Although the snow looks as though it is doing significant damage to the daylilies, the opposite is true.  Daylilies are not tropical plants.  They come from China where it is cold during the winter.  This cold weather helps to reveal the true nature of a daylily and whether it can stand multiple climates.

As I approached the Greenhouse I was anxious to see SMILING COBRA which was introduced last spring by Guy Pierce.  I received this plant from Guy in January, 2015, and it was blooming by March. It didn't have enough time to perform at its best last spring, but I certainly used it to make seeds.  Also, it produced five (5) fans for me, and now I'm seeing SMILING COBRA, perhaps as Guy saw it in his garden.

Today, this morning, SMILING COBRA has a scape with seven (7) way branching.  Over the years I have grown many plants in the Greenhouse, and may I gently say that seven (7) branches is difficult to achieve.  Nevertheless this is what I see.  I realize that sometimes different Hybridizers have differing opinions as to what constitutes "a branch."  So, I've taken a picture of the scape and numbered each of the branches that I count.  Then, I've taken a picture of the top "W" which I count for (3) branches.  I think that most anyone would agree, SMILING COBRA has truly exceptional branching.

I've also taken another step and planted two (2) fans of SMILING COBRA in my "outside garden."  As I recall, it has been growing outside since early in September of 2015. It has seen temperatures as low as 17 degrees, it has been through many frosts, and of course this morning it encountered a covering of snow.  It is still growing well, and later this coming summer I'm looking forward to seeing how it performs following this cold winter.

Another daylily that I looked at this morning is TET. YANKEE PINSTRIPES.  Last fall I had three (3) plants, but I was concerned that one fan may have continued to be a "diploid" plant.  Back about three weeks ago I took the two fans of TET. YANKEE PINSTRIPES that I believed to be "tetraploids," and put them into the small Greenhouse.  The small Greenhouse will give protection from the frost, but the plants will nevertheless be exposed to the frigid temperatures, which is good.  The plant that I believed to be a diploid, I just left it in the Greenhouse.  It now has a nice scape which I'm showing.  I now believe that this plant is a tetraploid as well.  This is very, very good!

Here is some history on TET. YANKEE PINSTRIPES.

YANKEE PINSTRIPES was sent to me by my friend, Rich Howard, who lives in Connecticut.  Rich sent me several fans.  I lost the first fan, but then I treated a second fan and was able to get it converted.  When I first started to get excited that I may have had YANKEE PINSTRIPES converted was on Easter, 2015.  The little fan looked good, but I've lost treated fans that looked good before.  Then, to my surprise, it threw up a scape.  Using my microscope I soon looked at the pollen, and decided that it looked really, really good. I thought I had it converted.  Unfortunately, I didn't save any of the pollen which I certainly should have done.

Then I had a second surprise.  YANKEE PINSTRIPES threw up two more fans.  Each fan had only one bud.  So, there were obviously two buds.  When the first bud bloomed I just completely ignored the flower and the pollen.  I thought that the base of the bud was much too thin for it to be a conversion.  Then the second bud bloomed.  Although the flower from the second bud looked good, again I was dismayed because I thought that the base of the bud was much too thin for it to be a tetraploid.  Then I thought that it was silly to have invested so much time without looking at the pollen using the microscope.  So, I took the flower and looked at the pollen. WOW!  The pollen was clearly tetraploid.

Take a look at the flower.  I've seen the diploid YANKEE PINSTRIPES, and in hindsight I can see that the flower I'm showing is quite different from the diploid.  This flower is much more "disrupted" in its color pattern,  Now, take a look at the pollen.   The pollen practically all measures at 15 or better on my scale, whereas diploid pollen measures at about 11, and smaller.  I can't express the excitement I felt with what I was seeing.  The next question was whether this pollen would produce new seeds.

I used the pollen from TET. YANKEE PINSTRIPES on my own Seedling 4-564, I now have 10 fans of  Seedling 4-564, and I plan to use it to make many more broken patterned seedlings this coming spring.  Seedling 4-564 is the same seedling that I wrote about in the The Daylily Journal, 2015 Spring Edition, page 40.  I was able to grow 26 seedlings by crossing Seedling 4-564 with TET. YANKEE PINSTRIPES.  These 26 seedlings are growing very well now in the Greenhouse.  I'm showing a picture of the seedlings that I just took earlier today.

To make a long story short, I'm beginning to make headway in using converted diploids to make broken patterned daylilies.

Did I mention that Lily Rae is having a great day.  She has been sleeping while I've been writing this post. Yesterday her Grandmother gave her some Playdough with different colors.  Lily Rae seemed to know about Playdough because she was excited as soon as she saw the box.  Then she took the Playdough to the kitchen table where she began to make shapes with the colors, and then she starting mixing the colors.  She has enjoyed the Playdough as much as the snow.

A snowy day in North Georgia.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Our New Website!

Hello Daylily Friends,

Good News!  My friend Mike Holmes has completely rebuilt our website.  It is now much easier to use, and the pictures are first class.  Mike has set our last four years of introductions so that they are easily found, and then all introductions are listed in alphabetical order.  The main page is easy to use, and many pictures rotate in appearance to make the site even more interesting.  Thanks Mike for fixing our website.  We are very grateful.  See

More interesting news.  Despite much difficulty in sending our daylilies to our friend, Karel Smit in South Africa, Karel reports that all of the daylilies have survived, and have started to grow.  Wow!  25 days in a box with no water, but still can't be killed.  Daylilies are truly amazing.

I have some sad news.  I've lost both of my plants from TET. BOSS HOGG.  Both plants looked so promising, but then the bottoms of the plants just began to erode, and despite everything that I did to save the plants, nothing worked.  Just one of the bad results from conversion work.  I think that all of the rain we've had caused too much moisture, and once the plants began to reverse there was no stopping the loss.

However, I've got some good news about TET. BURGESS CHERRY FLAME.  I treated this beautiful red, and then on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, 2015, I saw an emerging sprout.  I reported about this here on this Blog on December 21, 2015,  I thought that I would lose the cross because the strength of the plant usually goes to the emerging sprout rather than to the treated part of the plant.  Well, fortunately, after the sprout was trimmed the treated plant continued to grow.  So, today I took two more pictures.  The first picture shows the overall plant, and the second picture focuses on the bottom of the plant.  One additional clue that I'm still waiting to see is emerging roots at the base of the treated area; hopefully I'll see the new roots soon.  I am so hopeful that this will be converted.

A second plant that I'm pleased with is TET. ELFIN REFLECTION.  It is a plant from Grace Stamile that was introduced back in 2007.  Grace has it registered as a semi-evergreen, but here in my garden it is a dormant.  An obvious dormant, which makes it so important.  It has 5+ branches, beautiful color, and a promise of real use as a conversion.  I noticed that it "looked converted," and then it grew new roots at the base of the conversion.  I then added soil over these new roots, and now it is growing very well.  A couple of pictures to show the progress.

Here is an actual picture of ELFIN REFLECTION.  In the summer it is so beautiful but it is sometimes overlooked because it is so small.  But look at the spectacular blue eye.  I have a number of seedlings that I can use as pod parents for pollen from ELFIN REFLECTION.  Or, I might just use it as a pod parent.  Hope abounds!

A third plant that I'm working with is TET. SUNGLASSES NEEDED, which I previously converted.  I've had difficulty using its pollen, and so I decided to treat it again.  I'm just showing one picture.  I am so pleased that this plant went through the normal conversion process, had hard foilage, formed new roots, and then has continued to grow.  I'm really hopeful about this plant as well.  I have many plans for TET. SUNGLASSES NEEDED.  Some may have noticed that the diploid SUNGLASSES NEEDED just won an AHS Award of Merit. Also, the TET. SUNGLASSES NEEDED is the pollen parent of my just introduced 10" double, OPA KLAUS.

Here we are and winter has just begun.  As many of you may know, one of our nearby neighbors and one of her friends wanted to create a housing complex for senior citizens over the age of 55.  My dear wife and I, and many of our neighbors fought against this effort, but we found, much to our dismay, that when a Developer wants property rezoned, it will be rezoned.  One point of importance about this land, however, is that it surrounds 960 feet of Breastworks (trenches), built by Confederate forces.  The Lawyer for the Developer, a very skilled Lawyer I might add, took this to his full advantage.  He was able to have Union and Confederate friends speak in favor of the development, provided that the Developer named the streets near the Breastworks after participants in the war.  Anyway, we can hear the bulldozers everyday, so Diana and I decided to go over and take a look at "progress" in action.

To our surprise, the Developers have fenced off the Breastworks and appear to be making every effort to preserve this area.  The trees are being preserved, the nearby land is preserved, and even those who would look for Civil War artifacts are barred from entering the area.  We know because when Diana and I visited the area, we were approached by a gentleman whose last name was Noah, and he was very kind and inviting.  He simply cautioned against searching for Civil War relics.  So we didn't, but we weren't going to anyway.  A few pictures show basically what we saw.

My Greenhouse looks good!  I went out a few days ago and took a few pictures.  I have 12 hanging baskets that include Begonias and Geraniums of various colors.  These are just delightful.  I wish that I could show what I see everyday, but just a few pictures will help.  I have pink and red double Begoinias, and red and white and pink Geraniums.  These hang above the daylilies, which are also delightful and beautiful.  I particularly like the red double Begonias and the white Geraniums.  Pictures shown!

Believe it or not, I still have one daylily blooming in the Greenhouse.  It is Seedling 4-600, and here is a picture.  The cross is as follows:  ((Lacy All Over x Tet. ESP) x Lacy All Over).  My tentative name for this Seedling is WE ADORE THEE.  It is 34" tall, it has 5-way branching, 21 buds, and has a 6 1/2" flower.  It is pod fertile because I've set several pods on it in the Greenhouse.  My only reservation about its introduction is assurance as to the timing of its blooms.  I'm going to keep an eye on this flower.  It will bloom again in a few days and I will save its pollen.

Christmas was so special this year.  Diana and I were so privileged to have both Kelley Rae and Lily Rae to be with us.  Lily Rae had many gifts, but one gift that she particularly liked was the M & Ms man with the "Yellow Fan."  When Kelley showed the fan to Lily, she just went wild, she liked it so much.  Also, our weather has been so mild, that we've been outside so much that it has seemed like early spring or early fall: temperatures in the 70s.  Also, Lily Rae liked being with her Grandmother so much.  Lily Rae and Grandma just enjoyed sitting together outside on our deck bench.  Lily Rae and Kelley Rae are both so precious to us.

More news soon.


Monday, December 21, 2015

We're International!

Hello Daylily Friends,

We have a new Customer, Karel  Smit, who lives in South Africa.  Karel wanted several of our most recent introductions, and after considerable research, both on Karel's part and on our part as well, we made the shipment from our local U.S. Post Office.  The shipment was made on November 24, 2015.  Karel followed the tracking service from the Post Office, and then the daylilies went to Customs in South Africa.  The flowers were there for a few days, then a week, then two weeks.  Well I know Karel was most disappointed, and we were also very, very disappointed.  Then, finally, the flowers were released from Customs and went through the mail on the way to Karel's home; but then, the package was stopped again.  With considerable effort on Karel's part the package finally arrived at his home on Thursday, December 17, 2015.  Needless to say, daylilies in a box for 25 days is really, really harsh treatment.  Karel put the roots in water, then he potted all the daylilies, and now we're waiting to see if they will recover.  We're hoping for a recovery because it would be so wonderful to see our plants growing in South Africa.

You might wonder about the climate in South Africa.  Well, although it is winter here in the States, summer is just now beginning in South Africa.  It should be a good time for the daylilies to have the opportunity to recover.  Karel took the beleaguered daylilies and put them in pots.  They will have plenty of water, with good drainage, and I know Karel will let us know which daylilies survived the journey.  Everyone here on the blog might remember that last January Diana and I took a trip to South Africa to celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary.  We had a grand adventure that we will always remember.

Thanks Karel for your Order and welcome to our fellowship where Daylilies are loved!

Well, I went to the Greenhouse a few days ago, and I was aghast at what I saw.  I've been trying to convert BURGESS CHERRY FLAME, and I was hopeful that I was making progress.  What I saw was a large sprout growing from underneath the plant.  I stopped and immediately went to work.  I brushed away the soil then took my X-Acto knife and cut away the sprout.  I left the plant that I was trying to convert in front of the fan to help heal the place where the sprout was removed.  Then I planted the sprout in its own container.  I don't know if this will save my work with BURGESS CHERRY FLAME, but since I've done this before with some success, I'm hopeful.  BURGESS CHERRY FLAME is a beautiful red flower with a deep red color, a cream colored eye, with a green throat.  I'd really like to have this plant converted.

Diana and I were also privileged to visit with the North Georgia Daylily Society in Gainesville, Georgia.  We were met at the Club by Elaine Kelly, and soon we met all of the members of the Club.  We had much conversation, had a wonderful lunch, and then we presented our show.  We then auctioned our 2015 and 2016 Plant Collections, plus a fan of BLAZING CANNONS.  The BLAZING CANNONS was the plant that brought the most demand.  We're looking forward to learning how our plants grow in Gainesville.  We expect they will grow well since they grow well here in Cobb County, Georgia.  I'm posting a picture of the North Georgia Daylily Society.

We hurried back from Gainesville to Cobb County to attend our Club's Annual Christmas Dinner which was hosted by our Vice-President, Glenn McKenney.  When we walked in the door everyone was seated, enjoying their meal, but they stopped and gave Diana and I a hearty hand clap.  We are so blessed by our home Club; indeed, we were so excited that I forgot to take a picture.  There were 40 Club members at the Christmas dinner.  We are all so much looking forward to a great daylily year in 2016.

As I mentioned, our Christmas dinner was on Sunday, December 6, then on Friday, December 11, 2015, I became 70 years old.  Little Lily Rae came over and this made the day the very best.  Lily Rae and Grandma posed for Grandpa, and I took a picture.  Lily Rae makes every day a wonderful day.  I like having reached the 7th decade of my life.  We enjoy our daylilies and Lily Rae and our friends.

On Saturday morning we all got up and went to Church to help put our Poinsettias in place.  However, we were a few minutes late, and when we arrived all of the work was finished.  So, I took Lily Rae to see the new hand-made rug that has just been put in our Narthex.  The rug is just beautiful.  It's design is from a Stained Glass Window built around the turn of the century, that was in our former Church, and is now placed in our Family Life Hall.  Lily likes the Stained Glass Window, and so I had to show her the new rug.  Then we walked into the Sanctuary.  I wanted Lily to see the Sanctuary because it is ready for Christmas.  Everything is good!

I should mention that in my Greenhouse my heater stopped working.  I immediately called my friend, Jeff Wade, at Atlas Greenhouse.  Atlas no longer carries the same heater that I bought, but Jeff nevertheless found a local company for me that could come and fix my problem.  My need for repair was most important, so I called the Company Jeff recommended, and soon a truck from "Comfort Zone" pulled into my driveway.  At first I was sort of skeptical that the young man could solve my problem, but soon he had the problem diagnosed.  I needed a new transformer, and he had one in his truck.  He promptly completed the installation, the cost was reasonable, and my Greenhouse is back to being normal again.  Thanks Jeff!

Merry Christmas to everyone!  More news soon.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

2016 Introductions

Hello Daylily Friends,

I'm working on getting everything finished to soon publish our brochure of our 2016 introductions. However, I wanted everyone who reads this blog to see these daylilies first.

ARTILLERY FIRE.  (Wild and Free x Walt Lowry).  Sev.  Tet.  Early to mid-season blooms.  44” tall, 4-way branching, 23 buds, 12” flower.  We went to Ohio where I saw Sandy Holmes’ WALT LOWRY blooming in her garden, and I was mesmerized.  Astonishing beauty!  I had to have WALT LOWRY, and I was fortunate that Sandy let me grow her flower.  I wanted WALT LOWRY because of its beauty, and because one of its parents was TET. SKINWALKER.  I then crossed WALT LOWRY with Stamile’s WILD AND FREE and the result was my new introduction.    It has a bold burgundy color with a large and distinctive green eye that extends into the petals and sepals, and the twisted crispate form on the petals and sepals just immeasurably enhances its beauty.  It really stands out in the garden!  Pollen fertile.  $100.00.

KENNESAW CROSSFIRE.  ((((Red Skies Over Kennesaw Mountain x Glory in Red) x Fear Not) x Tet. Uncle Bryan) x ((Spiney Sea Urchin x (Heartbeat of Heaven x Johnny Cash)) x Mort Morss))).  Dor.  Tet.  Early to mid-season blooms.   27” tall, 5-way branching, 31 buds, 5” flower.  When I first saw KENNESAW CROSSFIRE blooming in the garden, I knew then that it would be an introduction.  Its red color was strong, and then there were all those white teeth.  Here is how KENNESAW CROSSFIRE came to have its name:  About 300 yards behind our garden there are about 960 feet of Civil War breastworks.  Still today, these breastworks remain undisturbed.  I just thought that the name KENNESAW CROSSFIRE was a good fit considering the battles that were fought right here practically in our back yard.  Garden visitors voted for KENNESAW CROSSFIRE to receive the prestigious 2015 AHS Junior Citation Award.  Pod and pollen fertile.  $200.00.

KENNESAW BLUE SAPPHIRE.  (Desire of Nations x (Shirley Anne McCord x Gnashing of Teeth)).  Sev.  Tet.  Early to Mid-season blooms.  31” tall, 3-way branching, 16 buds, 6.25” flower.  KENNESAW BLUE SAPPHIRE is a purple beet color with a spicy blue eye and a deep green throat.  There is also an ivory edge on the petals and sepals where teeth often appear.  I also always liked the name RED SAPPHIRE, one of my prior introductions which has just won has just won a 2015 AHS Honorable Mention Award, and I thought that KENNESAW BLUE SAPPHIRE was so special that it should likewise have a special name.  Hence, the name KENNESAW BLUE SAPPHIRE was chosen.  Pod and Pollen fertile.  $100.00.

BURNT HICKORY.  (Tet. Handsome Ross Carter x seedling).  Sev.  Tet.  Early to Mid-season blooms.  32” tall, 5-way branching, 25 buds, 6.25” flower.  BURNT HICKORY is orange with a blaze of burnt orange across the petals and sepals, along with a green eye that becomes yellow, combined with a lovely ruffled edge.  Garden visitors voted for BURNT HICKORY to receive the prestigious 2015 AHS Junior Citation Award.  The name BURNT HICKORY was suggested by my friend Claude Carpenter.  Claude explained that he chose the name because Burnt Hickory Road is so close to our house, and because of the beautiful orange color.  Pollen fertile.  $100.00.
DENTAL DELIGHT.  ((Shirley Anne McCord x Gnashing of Teeth) x (Shirley Anne McCord x Gnashing of Teeth)).  Dor.  Tet.  Mid-season blooms.  28” tall, 5-way branching, 25 buds, 5.5” flower.  This is a dormant that requires cold weather to truly show the astonishing color of the flower with its beautiful white teeth.  I have taken many pictures of this flower over the past two years, and the picture that I’m showing is the best that I’ve been able to document.  The white teeth in the picture just make me think of what a Dentist might say when seeing such perfect teeth.   DENTAL DELIGHT won the Best Seedling Award at our Daylily Show in 2014.  Pod and Pollen fertile.  $150.00.
OPA KLAUS.  (Buzz Saw Boogie x Tet. Sunglasses Needed).  Ev.  Tet.  Double.  Early to Mid-season blooms.  26” tall, 4-way branching, 18 buds, 10” flower.  My friend Marlee Price brought the diploid SUNGLASSES NEEDED to me several years ago after it was chosen as the “Best in Show” in Savannah, Georgia.  Marlee thought that this diploid might help me in my hybridizing program if I could get it converted.  I was able to get it converted and it produced OPA KLAUS.  The name OPA KLAUS was given by my friend, Marcia Zech, from Mercer Island, Washington.  Marcia earned the privilege of choosing the name by winning the right at the 2015 AHS National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.  OPA KLAUS means grandfather in German.  Pod and Pollen fertile, but a more difficult pod parent.  $250.00.

LILY’S CHRISTMAS SLIPPERS.  (Tet. Dreamworld x The Blessing of Freedom).  Sev.  Tet.  Early to Mid-season blooms.  34” tall, 5-way branching, 30 buds, 6.5” flower.  Our granddaughter, Lily, received pink slippers as a Christmas gift, and she has enjoyed these slippers every time we’re together.  This new introduction is almost the same color as Lily’s slippers, and hence the name, LILY’S CHRISTMAS SLIPPERS.  The flower on LILY’S PINK SLIPPERS has a pink self with an ivory eye along with an ivory edge on the petals. It has a green eye that turns yellow, which then blends into the ivory eye.  There is also a lovely ruffled edge on the petals.  Pod and pollen fertile.  $100.00.

KYLIE BUG.  (Angels Gather Around x (Within the Veil x Tet. Love’s Purest Light)).  Sev.  Tet.  Early to Mid-season blooms.  34” tall, 5-way branching, 32 buds, 5.5” flower.  This is a very special yellow flower.  It is tall, it has multiple branches, and in fact I’ve seen it bloom with 7-way branching.  It was named for Kylie Myers, a very talented 12 year old who died as a result of Sarcoma Cancer.  Yellow was Kylie’s favorite color, and there were over 2,500 people who attended her funeral.  Practically everyone at the funeral wore something that was yellow.  This was indeed a special tribute to a precious child.  Kylie’s nickname was KYLIE BUG, and so this lovely yellow introduction has her nickname.  Pod and Pollen fertile.  $100.00. 

I hope that you like our 2016 introductions!