Saturday, June 23, 2018

Going to the Movies

Hello Daylily Friends,

It has been a long time since I have made a post.  I will not try to go back and cover or talk about so much that has happened, but instead I will concentrate on what has been happening recently.  Let's start with this morning.  When I first introduced OPA KLAUS I was a little disappointed that it was not "yellow."  I had liked the pollen parent, SUNGLASSES NEEDED, which is yellow, and I had hoped that one of my initial seedlings would be yellow as well.  Then, when the 2015 AHS National Convention visited our garden, one of the guest plants that I received was TOPGUNS CITRINE DREAM,  It is a dormant, and it is yellow.  So, I eventually crossed OPA KLAUS with T/G CITRINE DREAM.  This morning is the first time I have seen Seedling 8-759 in full display.  It has bloomed before, but today is the first yellow double that I've seen this year.  And, WOW, what a seedling!  It is 36" tall with 4-way branching, 18 buds, and a 6" flower.  I will check it this winter to find out whether it is dormant.  I particularly like its tall and stout scapes.  I hope that it is pod fertile, which I'm checking.

Another beautiful daylily that I've been thrilled with is Seedling 5-785.  I've noticed this daylily before, but I was disappointed when it became clear that it was only pollen fertile.  Anyway, here is the cross:  (Wild and Free x Walt Lowry) x Tet. Rose F. Kennedy)).  I just planted it with my other daylilies, and I had two other scapes that I paid little attention to.  Then a few weeks back it bloomed at full size.  Here is a picture.  It is 38" tall, 3-way branching, 18 buds, and a 7.5" flower.  You can see the lime green color of 5-785 by comparing it to 8-759, the first picture above.  I've been trying to cross 5-785 with several flowers of mine that have chartruse edges.

I also must mention that we have been particularly excited this summer because there is a new movie coming out this fall, and the lead actor in the movie is the highly esteemed Clint Eastwood.  The movie will focus on a "Daylily Hybridizer," and many of our flowers are used in the gardens where the movie is being filmed.  Indeed, we sold hundreds and hundreds of clumps of daylilies that were planted in the movie garden, and then the movie needed a "special daylily."  Fortunately, we had one that the producers liked, and on the morning of Thursday, May 31, 2018, four young and strong men came to take Seedling 5-819 to the Movies.  They excavated each clump, and then put each of 10 clumps in 10 gallon buckets.  They did not disturb the scapes, and we understand that the flower did very well on the movie set.

Seedling 5-819 is no ordinary daylily.  It is the last of my introductions from when I used WALT LOWRY as a pollen parent.  I eventually crossed WALT LOWRY with Stamile's WILD AND FREE.  Seedling 5-819 is different from all of the many Unusual Forms that I've had in that it is pod fertile.  This of course means that pollen can be put on the pistol of 5-819, and a seed pod will form.  If only this could happen with other UFs.  5-819 is also important because it has 4-way branching.  Most UFs do not meet this goal.  Then, it has the really good colors.  It is red with a green throat.  Most of all, 5-819 is dormant.  Here are several pictures.  It was raining when the pictures were taken, but rain doesn't seem to inhibit the beauty of the bloom.

The Movie actually just rented 5-819, and it was returned by my good friend Luke Castleberry and his Crew on Saturday, June 16, 2018.  Moving those 10 gallon buckets is no easy task.  I cannot move one by myself.  It takes 2 men.  Diana and I and Luke and his hard working Crew each enjoyed a glass of "Lemonade" after the work was finished.  Thanks Luke!

I also noticed this morning that LYDIA'S REGAL ROBE was just blooming so beautifully so deep into the season.  LYDIA is a candidate for the Stout Medal this year.  LYDIA is so lovely, and each of the scapes has 4-way branching instead of the registered 3-way branching.  There were a total of seven (7) blooms and each bloom was flawless.  It is just a grand daylily.

 More news soon!


Thursday, March 1, 2018

2018 Winter Symposium; Indianapolis, Indiana

Hello Daylily Friends,

This past weekend I was privileged to visit with our AHS Members who attended the Winter Symposium for Region 2 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  I arrived on Friday, February 23, 2018, and I was met at the airport by Sonja Kraft.  Sonja was kind enough to drive me from the airport to the Embassy Suites Hotel where I was stunned by the size of my room.  I thought to myself that surely I have the room meant for VP Pence.  There was a living room with a large TV, plus a large table where I could put my computer.  Then there was a massive bathroom, and a very large bedroom where there was another very large TV.  I called my dear wife Diana Rae and left a phone message, and told her that I had the biggest room I've ever had anywhere.  She soon called me back and told me that the room was the type of room provided by Embassy Suites.  Very, very nice.

I even had a balcony that overlooked a lake.  I stood on the balcony and took a picture of the lake, and was glad that I had made the journey safely from our home to Indianapolis.  It was a straight through flight and the plane was full to capacity.  I mentioned to the Delta pilot when I entered the plane that he looked much too young to be a pilot.  He gave me a broad smile and said "Thank you!"  I like flying with Delta.

One of my good friends that I met when I entered the room where the Symposium was being held was Ms. Kimberly McCutcheon.  It was so good to see Kimberly and we have grown her BABY PINWHEELS which is an unusual form daylily.  I am most proud of Ms. Kimberly because she went back to school and obtained her Nursing Degree and has been working as a Nurse now for several years.  It was good to see Kimberly.

Also saw my good friends Richard Norris, Eric Simpson and Bob Faulker.  Richard and Eric had shows at the Symposium which were very, very good.  I knew that Richard was an outstanding hybridizer, but I had not seen Eric's program since he moved to Ashville, North Carolina.  Eric has made just outstanding progress.  He has catapulted to the front of the classroom.  Eric had 20 introductions and I would have been pleased to have any of the 20 in my garden.

I presented my program on Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m.  I was allotted 45 minutes, and I completed the show in 45 minutes.  I mentioned and showed my new daylily OPA KLAUS, along with our Granddaughter Lily Rae.  Everybody seemed to enjoy seeing both Lily Rae and OPA KLAUS.  So, I'm showing a picture of both.  Lily Rae has become a wonderful gardener.  She has grown apple trees from seed and she now has 15 daylilies growing from seed.  Also, when she comes over to visit she likes to go to the Greenhouse.  In fact, she is a member of our Club and she has her own Shirt with the Club Emblem.

My supply of OPA KLAUS is limited because I've sold so much of it.  However, after I finished my presentation to the Region, my new friends Ron and Pat Byerley gave me a check for two introductions, and one was OPA KLAUS.  Although our supply is limited they will nevertheless get their plant.  I asked Ron and Pat why they decided to buy OPA KLAUS, and they said it was because they had seen in growing in Jamie Gossard's garden, and after seeing it in my show, they could no longer resist.  I'm showing Ron and Pat along with Bob Faulkner.

I want to take us back to the trip Diana and I took this past November when we went to the Galapagos Islands off the west coast of the South American nation of  Ecuador.  We went to five islands, and they were all just so thrilling to see.  You might remember that Charles Darwin wrote his book about the "Origin of the Species" after visiting these islands.  Darwin was a brilliant man who visited the islands in the 1830s, and he wrote his book about 20 years after his visit.  The most unusual bird that Diana and I saw was the "Blue Footed Boobie."  This bird can fly high, drive and catch fish, and has astonishing vision.  We had a wonderful time.

Thanks again to the members of Region 2 who asked me to come and speak.  It was a wonderful time!  Now,  surely winter is over and we're looking forward to spring!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Visting Albany, New York

Hello Daylily Friends,

This past week-end I went to visit the Hudson Adirondack Daylily Society in Albany, New York.  I left home at around 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, and flew to Detroit, Michigan.  I stayed several hours in Detroit, and then flew to Albany.  I was met at the airport by Bill Wurster, the Club Co-Chair, and Bill took me to the hotel where I spent the evening.  The ride from the airport to the hotel took only about 10 to 15 minutes, and when I arrived I was tired.  Bill let me know that on Sunday morning my good friend, Debi Chowdbury would meet me for breakfast, which she did.   We had a wonderful breakfast, and then drove to the Albany County Extension office.  It was a most pleasant ride, and the snow from the previous evening had mostly dissipated from the road.  The road was in good shape.  The Club had a wonderful lunch which I definitely enjoyed notwithstanding my big breakfast.  So many hot servings, many and multiple salads, and more desserts than I could count.  Then my friend Debi introduced me to the Club.

The Daylily Club had a joint meeting with the Hosta and Iris Clubs, and there were so many in attendance.  Ms. Cindi Jones, who is also a Club Co-Chair, worked so hard to have the meeting ready for all three clubs.  She even purchased fresh flowers for each table and furnished all the vases which were filled with fresh water.  There were multiple flowers in each vase, and I was so impressed I took a picture.  The Club also made arrangements for so many "door prizes."  I think most everyone received a door prize and I even received two gifts.  One was a sign that proclaimed that the food was good, and the other was a Iris vase from Macy's Department Store.  I really like both gifts and the actual presentation was made easy because the members of the Clubs were so friendly.

When the meeting was concluded I was asked by Bill and Cindi and her husband Lyndon, what I would like to do for the remainder of the afternoon.  I had been given a gift of a "pencil set" for our granddaughter, Lily Rae, and on the front of the pencil set there was a picture of the State Capitol building.  I could see from the picture that there was a statute of a person riding a horse in front of the building.  I asked who the person was that was riding the horse,and I was told that it was General Philip Sheridan.  Because of my interest in the history of the Civil War I asked to go and see the statute of Gen. Sheridan.  I am so glad that we took the journey.

General Sheridan was born in Albany, New York, and he attended West Point.  He had a number of important assignments early in his military career, but it was his heroism in the Civil War where he gained his historical recognition.  He was assigned to command the Army of the Shenandoah, and as a result of his leadership he made Virginia to be a "wasteland" and stopped the success that Lt. Gen. Jubal Early had established there for the Confederacy.

In the early days of the Civil War the Confederacy had the best cavalry, but as time passed the Union became just as good, and perhaps even better.  In any event General Sheridan eventually reached the rank of 4-star general.  It should be noted that General Sheridan was only 5'5" in height and he was of Irish heritage.  Near the end of the War he was present at Appromattox where General Lee ultimately surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia.

We had a wonderful supper together and soon I returned home.  Truly enjoyed the trip to be with the Daylily friends in Albany, New York.

I want to show a picture of my Seedling 7-890.  I have used TET. ASHEE DASHEE as a parent many times but Seedling 7-890 is the first seedling I've seen that has shown real promise.  I made the cross using KENNESAW CROSSFIRE as the pod parent, but I only saw the last bloom, last summer on July 4.  I'm pleased to see that 7-890 made it through the winter just fine, and in a few weeks I will give the plant plenty of fertilizer.  I will watch it even more carefully.  It is most encouraging when a conversion does what you want it to do.

More news soon.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2018 Introductions

Hello Daylily Friends,

I have just returned from Houston, Texas, where I was most privileged to meet with the Brazosport Daylily Society which meets in Lake Jackson, Texas.  I was met at the Houston airport by Loris Garrett and Sandy Roberts who took me to their home in Lake Jackson.  I was most privileged to see their garden which just surrounds their house.  The garden begins in the front of the house, goes around the side of the house, around the back of the house, around the rest of the house, and ultimately back to the front door.  Loris is quite a hybridizer and gave me several of his introductions to grow in my garden.

 Loris's father was a Captain in the U.S. Army during WW II, and his unit went through Italy, where Captain Garrett met Loris' mother.  They were happily married for the remainder of their lives.  Oh, I should mention that Loris and Sandy have Orange trees growing throughout their garden.  Indeed, Lake Jackson is only a few miles from the Gulf of Mexico.  On the evening of my arrival we all went to have a "seafood dinner" at On the River Restaurant in Freeport, Texas.  I would note that there are chemical plants everywhere around Freeport.

On my second day in Texas we went to the home of Everett and Chris Crainer who live in Brazoria, Texas.  Everett is also a well recognized Hybridizer, and I took several hours walking with Everett in his garden.  Everett likes to grow plants sitting in water which is most interesting.  The plants grow very well.  Also I learned that this past season Chris was bitten by a Copperhead snake.  Wow!  Fortunately Chris got the immediate attention she needed at her hospital and she survived.  We also then saw Everett cook a number of fish that he and Don Andrews, (Eddie Raye's husband) caught on the San Bernard River near Everette's home.  Had a wonderful lunch and then we went straight to the Club Meeting.

At the Club Meeting I was greeted as if I had been a member of the Club for many years.  Everyone talked to me, and shared their food with me, notwithstanding my wonderful lunch earlier at the Crainer home.  Then I gave my show and to my astonishment more of my plants were sold than I've ever sold at any Club meeting since I've been in daylilies.  I'm sure that I could have offered many more plants, but I had to keep in mind that I will have to dig the plants in the spring.

Just an incredible adventure to have been in Texas.  I like Texas. Thanks again to Loris and Sandy for your incredible hospitality.

Since my visit to the Brazosport Daylily Society was my first for the year of 2018, I introduced my 2018 Introductions at the Meeting.  I would now like to show the daylilies that we've introduced.

MASTER SERGEANT KENNETH LANE.  Seedling 4-564.  (One More Bite x Tet. Pink Stripes).  Ev. Tet. EM. 26” Tall, 4-way branching, 21 buds, 6” flower.  It was difficult to convert TET. PINK STRIPES, but it crossed well with ONE MORE BITE.  The result was a pink flower with distinctive stripes.  The Flower is named for my good friend, MASTER SERGEANT KENNETH LANE, who lives in Colquitt, Georgia.  Sergeant Lane was my first supervisor at my first active duty assignment.  I am so pleased that Sergeant Lane allowed this wonderful daylily to have his name.  MASTER SERGEANT KENNETH LANE is pink with a yellow and green throat, with distinctive yellow stripes, and a yellow edge. Pod and pollen fertile.  $150.00.  How do you like Sgt. Lane's "flat top"?

LILY’S GOLDEN CURLS.  Seedling 3-434.  ((Lemon Curls x Ashee Dashee) x Bonibrae the Freak).  Sev. Dip. EM. 27`” Tall, 3-way branching, 16 buds, 6” flower.  This introduction is produced by my wife, Diana Rae, and it is just gorgeous.  I seen it grown with and without fertilizer, and it always produces well and is always beautiful.  There is so much beauty in diploids, and this diploid is named for our Granddaughter, LILY RAE WHITFIELD.  She has such wonderful, long golden hair, that the flower just had to have her name.  It has a green throat that extends along the petals, and the petals become a lovely beige with ivory along each side.  Pod and pollen fertile.  $100.00.

MAGICAL MORNING.  Seedling 5-779.  [Vivid Butterfly x ((Tet. Lavender Blue Baby x Tet. Crystal Blue Persuasion) x Blue Beat)].  Sev. Tet. EM. 28`” Tall, 5-way branching, 18 buds, 4.45” flower.  When I first saw a bloom on MAGICAL MORNING I wrote “Wonderful Branching” in my notebook, and I would note that it also produces proliferations.  MAGICAL MORNING has a green throat with light and dark lavender rings in the eye, then the adjacent ivory color blends with light and dark lavender rings on the edges of the petals.  Pod and pollen fertile.  $100.00.

KENNESAW SUNSET.  Seedling 7-862.  ((Varsity Orange x Tet. Orange Velvet) x Chilled Orange Sorbet).  Dormant. Tet. EM. 28” Tall, 4-way branching, 17 buds, 6” flower.  CHILLED ORANGE SORBET is one of my early introductions, and it is just beautiful.  I used this early introduction with one of my seedlings made with TET. ORANGE VELVET, and I was most fortunate to produce this beautiful orange flower.  I named the flower after I saw a winter sunset.  It is a golden orange with a green throat.  Pod and pollen fertile.  $100.00.

ROARING FIRE.  Seedling 3-312.  (Wild and Free x Walt Lowry).  Sev. Tet. EM. 37” Tall, 4-way branching, 20 buds, 12” flower.  Since I first saw WALT LOWRY I have come to appreciate the Unusual Form flower, and of course ROARING FIRE is an Unusual Form.  During the spring and summer it stands tall, and just blooms and blooms and blooms.  The flower has a green eye that blends to an ivory silhouette and quickly becomes a burgundy red.  Pod and pollen fertile.  $100.00.

I also want to apologize to my friends who have followed this Blog.  For a number of reasons I haven't been as diligent about posting but I will do better as we enjoy the year of 2018.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

BLAZING CANNONS is a Champion Daylily!

Hello Daylily Friends,

Last Saturday was a wonderful day.  We received our copies of THE GEORGIA DAYLILY, and on the back page there was a large picture of my 2013 introduction of BLAZING CANNONS.  To my delight, this beautiful red 7" daylily helped me win the 2017 Georgia Hybridizer's Award.  Some of our AHS Members will recall that in 2015 BLAZING CANNONS surprised us all by winning the AHS President's Cup Award by popular vote at the Atlanta National Convention.  Winning the President's Cup, and then winning the 2017 Georgia Hybridizer's Award, are results that I never dreamed would happen.  Then, in 2017, BLAZING CANNONS also received the Honorable Mention Award from AHS.  In fact, it was in position number 4 with 61 total votes. Thanks to everyone for making BLAZING CANNONS a nationally recognized daylily.

A new daylily that I expect to introduce next year (2018), will be Seedling 5-779,  It has incredible heritage, and it lasts and lasts and lasts and blooms and blooms and blooms.  The parentage is as follows:  [Vivid Butterfly x (Tet. Lavender Blue Baby x Tet. Crystal Blue Persuasion) x Blue Beat))].  In my opinion it is the Tet. Lavender Blue Baby that causes the plant to do so well in hot or cold climates.  When I first saw it bloom in 2015 I was amazed at its height and branching.  It is 28" tall, 5-way branching, with 18 buds.  The flower is 4.45" in diameter.  Just a beauty and it is both pod and pollen fertile.  I am so proud of this flower.  Any suggested names?

In 2018 Diana is also going to introduce Seedling 3-434, and it will be called LILY'S CURLS.  It will be named for our precious Grandaughter Lily Rae Whitfield.  Lily is in Kindergarden and she loves daylilies.  Lily also has such long, beautiful hair, and so the flower is properly named.  It is 27" tall, 3-way branching, 16 buds, and a 6" flower.  It is a dormant, which I've been trying to convert. We particularly like the recurve on the petals and sepals.  I'm also showing what it looked like in early June when the whole clump was in bloom.  The parentage is as follows: ((Lemon Curls x Ashee Dashee) x Bonibrae the Freak).

I'm also pleased that my LYDIA'S REGAL ROBE is a Candidate for the Stout Medal this year.  I made this beautiful daylily by converting INDIAN GIVER, and then crossing this with COSMIC SENSATION.  LYDIA is 37" tall with lovely purple color with a green eye and an ivory edge.  The most important point about LYDIA is that it holds its color throughout most of the day.  It doesn't lose its color at lunch.  Plus it multiplies quite quickly.  I hope that it does well when the votes are counted this fall.

In the garden I'm working as hard as I can to get the Greenhouse cleaned so that I can plant my seeds.  But it is so, so hot.

More news soon.



Monday, June 12, 2017

Teaching Lily Rae to Hybridize

Hello Daylily Friends,

It has been a long time since I last posted on April 23.  We have had 6 great weeks, and I've been working hard in both the Greenhouse and in the outside garden.  In the past 3 weeks, however,  I've grown weary of the Greenhouse, and I've been spending practically all of my time in the outside garden.  I've seen so many new daylilies, and I've seen some big changes and exciting new directions.  In 2015 I had two beautiful daylilies that were numbered 4-533 and 4-537.  Sadly, when I was clearing the garden I accidentally threw these two beauties into the trash heap. Both seedlings are lost forever!   Fortunately, I crossed these two seedlings, and I now have a seedling that is better than either original parent.  The new seedling is 7-867, and it is 27" tall.  It has 5 and 6 way branching, with 30 buds, and a 5" flower.  Well I wanted to show Lily Rae how to make a seed pod, and she can be seen in the attached picture pollinating seedling 7-867.  I know she will have exciting new seeds!

As many of you will have noticed, I've also been working with Unusual forms and with doubles as well.  One of my new Unusual forms is quite nice.  It is Seedling 7-829 and its color is so unusual.  So much green in both the petals and sepals and the sepals have a wonderful curve.  The only drawback is that there are only 2 branches, but then the seedling has only gone through one winter.  Hopefully next year the lateral will appear.

This morning I had a real surprise with a double.  The seedling number is 7-884, and it is a cross between TOPGUNS CITRINE DREAM and TET. SUNGLASSES NEEDED.  I decided that TET. SUNGLASSES NEEDED should be crossed with a dormant, and T/G CITRINE DREAM, a dormant, was just the perfect pod parent.  Although there were 4 branches, two were close to the scape, but next year there may be improvement.  After all, this new seedling was just planted on August 25, 2015, and it has grown well.  I hope that it is dormant.  We will see this coming winter.

One of the attributes of TET. SUNGLASSES NEEDED is that it produces big flowers such as we see with both OPA KLAUS and Seedling 7-884.  I've also found that new seedlings from crosses where where TET. SUNGLASSES NEEDED has been used, produces even much bigger new seedlings.  For example, my friend Dave Williams gave me TET. SPIDER MIRACLE.  I used it on OPA KLAUS and got Seedling 7-853 which is massive in size.  It is 29" tall, 4-way branching, 21 buds, and a 9" flower.  A nine inch flower that is an Unusual form is just wonderful. 

Several years ago my friend Larry Grace gave me some pollen from TET. CINDERELLA SUE which I used to make Seedling 6-120.  6-120 also has TET. SILOAM RALPH HENRY as a parent, and here is the really good news.  6-120 is totally dormant.  It is also 32" tall with 4-way branching, many buds and a 6.75" flower.  It is also very pod fertile.  I have crossed it many times with TET. SUNRISE SHADOWS, a flower from Shooter from many years ago.  6-120  with be a real giant in my bigger flowers program.

I've also had some wonderful seedlings using TET. MY CUP OVERFLOWS as a pollen parent.  I am growing massive new flowers that are easily seven and eight and nine inches in diameter.  It is such a delight to see these beauties and to also see branching, but more about this in a future post.

One of my future introductions, probably in 2018 or 2019, will be seedling 5-772.  I used Larry's TET. WILD DREAMS as a pod parent, and used FOUR BEASTS IN ONE as a pollen parent.  The Seedling was a joy to see.  It is 30" tall, 5-way branching, with 23 buds and a 5" flower.  I'm sure that if this wonderful pattern daylily is crossed with parents that have circular eyes, that it will ultimately produce circular eyes, considering that FBIO has circular eyes.  I really like yellow flowers with eyes.

An orange daylily that I will introduce in 2018 is Seedling 7-862.  It is a cross between VARSITY ORANGE and TET. ORANGE VELVET, which is then crossed with CHILLED ORANGE SORBET.  The result is a height of 28" with 4-way branching, 17 buds and a 6" flower that is dormant.  Very pod fertile.  This beautiful seedling has the color of ORANGE VELVET along with the distinctive attributes of CHILLED ORANGE SORBET.  Any suggested names?  Can't wait to market this in 2018,

Another of my pattern daylilies that I will introduce in 2018 is Seedling 5-779.  Most of its parentage comes from Florida except for TET. LAVENDER BLUE BABY, a dormant, which gives the flower extra protection in very cold weather.  I am pleased to say that this beauty has consistently bloomed at about 28" in height with 5 and 6 way branching.  In fact, I entered this seedling at our "Daylily Show" on June 4 in an effort to win the "Achievement Medal."  When the time is right I announce whether the Medal was awarded,  I would add that this seedling is pod and pollen fertile and is indeed a beauty in the garden.

More news soon.