Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Circular Rings

Hello Daylily Friends,


Friday afternoon Diana and I drove to Albany, Georgia, and met friends from the Albany Hemerocallis Society.  We had a wonderful supper with Marian, Jack, Dianne, and Ron and Pat, and we all talked for many hours.  The next morning we prepared to go to the meeting where we met so many more friends.  I took my four 2015 introductions, plus 2 fans of BLAZING CANNONS for auction, and the auction went very well.  Did I mention the lunch?  It was fabulous!  I took a picture of the Club, and we thank Ron and Pat for their hospitality and thank Jim and Mary Netherton for inviting us to come and speak.

 
On the trip to Albany we drove Diana's new Lincoln Hybrid MKZ.  The MKZ runs on both battery and gas.  Most of the power comes from the battery, and it holds only about 12 gallons of gas.  On the trip to and from Albany we used just under 11 gallons, and our MPG was 40.5.  "Forty point five" miles per gallon is outstanding! The trip was a total of about 7 hours.  Another factor with the car is that when I'm using the Cruise Control it resists a lane change unless I engage the right or left blinker.  It also alerts me if I move toward either the right or left travel lane lines.  It even gives me a yellow light on our outside mirrors if someone is coming from the rear and is in our "blind spot."  Even more important than these points is that if someone pulls in front of us the speed of the car adjusts automatically and keeps an established  distance from the car ahead.  Just incredible safety features.  The car rides well and the seats are very comfortable.  Diana and I agree that this Lincoln Hybrid MKZ is the best car that we've ever owned.

We even like the Navigation System.  It is easy to use, and unlike OnStar, there is no monthly cost for using the system.  Plus, the map is large and easy to see.  I particularly like seeing the bends and turns in the roads that we're approaching.  Navigation Systems are so vital to travel, and we really don't need maps anymore when we travel.

Even though we were with our Albany friends on Friday and Saturday, on Sunday afternoon I went with my friend Camilla to hear Greg Goff speak to the Northwest Georgia Daylily Society.  Greg is the new owner of Ted Petit's La Petite Jardin.  Greg brought many plants to the auction, and I bought LET'S DANCE TONIGHT for just $60.00.  Quite a bargain.  Enjoyed listening to Greg, and I believe that the Club likewise truly enjoyed his presentation.

Have I shown an outside picture of my first real spider?  I may have shown a picture from the Greenhouse, but the picture from outside is clearly the best.  It shows the height of 44 inches, and its easy to see the 4 branches.  Plus, the colors are so snappy, and the 10 inch flower is also quite pleasing.  Much of the credit for this beauty goes to Sandy Holmes who let me grow her WALT LOWRY.  The parentage in WALT LOWRY includes TET. SKINWALKER.  Whenever a first generation plant is used, and one of the parents is a conversion, the new plants from the cross often favor the converted plant.  Also, WILD AND FREE from Stamile was a real contributor because it is an easy pod parent for spiders and unusual forms.  Thanks Sandy for letting me grow WALT LOWRY.

I also had several other surprises this past summer.  I crossed Larry Grace's UNLOCK YOUR DREAMS with Stamile's RINGS OF WONDER.  I had a number of nice flowers that I've seen two summers in a row.  Although the flowers were nice, I was disappointed that there weren't more branches.  I decided to keep several plants that I had numbered, and I planted them in a new row.  When these were replanted they really started to grow, and then they just grew and grew and grew.  I didn't get any rebloom scapes, but I think that over the last two summers these plants were just planted in the wrong place.  Because of the growth that I saw on the plants, I hope that I will see more braches this coming summer.  What I like about the flowers is the circular rings, and I also like the strong yellow color on several of the flowers.

I also like the purple eye with the rings on 4-587.  I tried to work with circular rings a number of years ago, and I tried to use a converted Carpenter seedling.  Unfortunately, the pollen was sterile, and I couldn't set a pod on the plant.  So, I lost interest in circular rings, but with these new seedlings, I'm back to working with these rings.  Fortunately I have the dormant, FOUR BEASTS IN ONE, to use with my new seedlings.

Little Lily Rae is coming to be with us this coming Thursday, and I can hardly wait.  All the time we have together is just such a blessing.  When she was here two weeks ago the both of us just talked and talked and talked.  We both like to talk.  Yesterday I went to the store to purchase grapes and fruit cups for the little beauty.  And tomorrow I'm going shopping again for several additional items that I know she likes.  She is the best!

Oh, I almost forgot.  I've updated my website.  You might take a look at the following address:  kennesawmountaindaylilygardens,com.

Bill

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Begins!

Hello Daylily Friends,

Today we have a New Year.  What a wonderful beginning.  I have been watching bowl games, and then last night Georgia Tech played Mississippi State in the Orange Bowl.  Of course I hoped that Tech would win, but those linemen from Miss. State are so massive in size.  In my heart I just didn't think that it would work out.  Then, suddenly, Tech was in charge.  Except for a few bumps the Tech squad just played splendidly.  We ran for over 400 yards and passed for almost 175 yards.  Our QB, Justin Thomas, was the Most Valuable Player.  Our B-Back, Syngen Days, just couldn't be stopped.  We just controlled the entire contest.  Thanks to the Tech Team for an astonishing season!

I have to report about the Blue Heron which has terrorized our fish.  The Heron goes to Diana's pond, and just stands in the water and eats the fish.  This is so disappointing.  Diana saw the Heron and came running out of the house hollering at him, but he flew from the pond to the top of our Greenhouse.  When I saw this I started hollering as well.  His claws will definitely gash the plastic that covers the top of our Greenhouse.  So the Heron took off and flew away.  I wish that we could just shoot the Heron, but if we do we will go to jail.

I suppose that we will continue to have problems with the Blue Heron, but our pond is covered with a net.  We are trying to protect our fish.

Little Lily Rae came to be with us on Christmas Eve, and we all went to the Children's Service.  Pastor Sam Matthews came to visit with Lily, and she just so much likes Pastor Sam, who baptized her when she was about 9 months old.  Lily was wearing her black corduroy Lady Bug dress, with her black stockings, and her new black shoes.  She was so beautiful!  We were all so proud of her.

Then, Christmas Eve, Lily received new slippers from her Mom, Kelley Rae, and they both had fun celebrating the gift.  The slippers fit so well, and Lily wore them for the days we were privileged to have her with us,  I also gave Lily some Strawberry Chap Stick.  I  put it in her Stocking, and so it was as if it was brought by Santa.  She likes the Chap Stick and uses it all the time.  I've noticed that sometimes her lips get chapped, and the Chap Stick helps.  I think that perhaps she thinks of it as lipstick.

Christmas passed and I went back to work with my daylilies.  I took a number of dormant daylilies and planted them in two rows outside.  I then covered the ground with "weed preventer," and then watered them very well.  Then, overnight, the temperature went down to 27 degrees.  Diana went out to the Greenhouse and on her way she saw what I had done.  She did not approve.  She said I was nuts to do such a thing.  But, hey, the plants are dormants, and should be better outside.  We'll just have to see how they respond over the next 3 or 4 weeks.

Another thing that I did was take about 40 separate 3-gallon containers of dormant plants from the Greenhouse, and put then into the ground outside.  This coming March I will take the buckets out of the ground, and bring the plants back into the Greenhouse.  This should help them to get enough cold weather, and still bloom sufficiently early in  the Greenhouse so that I can use them to make seeds.  Another thing that I did was to take many buckets of dormant plants that are spring introductions and put them into the unheated, small greenhouse.  I will keep these watered, but they will be exposed to the coldest weather.  If dormant daylilies do not have enough cold weather it sometimes happens that they just will not bloom and will be useless for an entire season.

I've also been keeping a watchful eye on my conversions.  They are slow to develop, but it is always good when I see roots forming at the crown.  This usually means that I've been successful in taking a diploid and turning it into a tetraploid.  On one plant I had several little sprouts to grow, but I cut them all away except for one that also had a root growing.  It will be interesting to see if the little extra sprout is a conversion.

Diana has a new car.  It is a 2014 Lincoln MKZ.  It is powered by a battery and also by a gas engine.  It is red, and it gets 40 miles per gallon.  It is very nice.  We have gone from an SUV to this Lincoln.  I just think that Lincoln has a winner with this car.  I am confident that we will be helping to keep the cost of oil low since we will not be buying much gas.

Well, it is good to begin the New Year.

Bill

Monday, December 15, 2014

Things are going Well!

Hello Daylily Friends,

Thanksgiving Day was wonderful, but we celebrated without Little Lily Rae.  Sadly, she was not able to be with us, but we had a wonderful dinner.  My wife is a great cook, and she knows how to prepare a Thanksgiving feast.  When she took her Turkey out of the oven I took a picture.  She also made many other treats, including a Pumpkin Pie, which was delicious.  Thanks Precious Wife for a grand day of thanksgiving.

Then Saturday came.  My College football team is Georgia Tech.  Over the years we've been beaten multiple times in football by the University of Georgia (UGA), but I just had hope that this year we could reverse our 5-year losing streak.  I had a ticket such that it seems, in hindsight, that I had to sit in the "clouds" to watch the game.  We played a great game, and then there were only 18 seconds left, and UGA was about to kick-off to us.  What could be done in 18 seconds?  I thought it was all over, and I left the Stadium with my friend David Cook.  As we sadly walked away, we soon heard a "great moan".  It was the UGA fans in disbelief because we found a way to hit a 52 yard field goal, and tied the game.  We were going to overtime!

David and I turned around and headed back to the Stadium, which was just a few feet behind us, but UGA's gate guards would not allow us to re-enter.  They told us that it was written on our tickets that re-entry was not allowed.  I made several good arguments as to why we should be allowed to walk back to our seats, but they would not listen.  There were other Tech fans who had also walked out of the Stadium who were trying to re-enter, and most of us soon gathered on the bridge behind the score board.  We could see the heads of the players, and then, shockingly, we won!  Wow!  It was so great.  We had beaten them on their home field.  It was just sooooo, sooooo incredible.  Beating Georgia is good.

Soon I was back in the daylily garden, and I went back to work.  I removed a number of dormant plants from the Greenhouse, and planted these in their buckets in the ground.  Since I planted the buckets we've had many cold nights.  The plants are reversing, but I will bring them back into the Greenhouse in late January or early February.  I've also had blooms on THE STING!, and Rich Howard's EXPLOSION IN THE PAINT FACTORY also bloomed.  I've been waiting for Rich's daylily to bloom; I took all the pollen and stored it in the freezer.  I've got plans for its use.

Has everyone noticed the steep decrease in gas prices?  I went to fill up my GMC Truck, and instead of having to pay the usual $85.00, I only had to pay $57.67.   I saved about $27.00 on just one purchase of gas.  This is astonishing.  How could gas prices be so low?  Then we're also saving on the purchase of gas for Diana's car.  This is a wonderful Christmas present.

We had our Sunday School Christmas Party, and it was just wonderful.  There were 70 members of our Class present, we had a joyful time talking with each other, and then we had a wonderful meal.  We sang songs, and soon Santa arrived.  The members of our Social Committee brought Santa, and we soon played "Christmas Bingo" so as to win presents.  Then we each had an opportunity to have our pictures taken with Santa.

Back at home we've been getting ready for Little Lily Rae.  We put up our Christmas Tree; we wrapped presents, we put up garlands, and our Christmas Stockings.  We put out red bows, and candy canes, and everything was perfect for the arrival of our precious grandchild.  When she arrived she was overwhelmed by the Tree, and then she focused on a caricature we have of Bing Crosby.  If you push a button Bing sings several songs as his head and arms move.  Lily was thrilled with Bing, and she played and played with him.  Lily is so observant.  She noticed that I have a "cleft chin."  So she took her little fingers and examined and examined.  I explained that I had the cleft chin because when I was in the military in South Dakota I was hit in the chin by an Indian using his "Tomahawk."  Lily listened to my story, but she mostly focused on my chin.  She is such an angel.  I've taught her new songs, new words, and she remembers everything.  She is such a blessing.

Looking forward to Christmas.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Winter

Hello Daylily Friends,

Winter has arrived much too early.  The past two days have been so cold with well below freezing temperatures, and my plants this morning showed the effects.  Now the real test comes for the seedlings.  Can they survive the winter, and then bloom with new amazing colors and shapes?  The answer is "yes," and I say yes based on past experience.

Well you might ask why I haven't posted in the past number of weeks.  My friend Lee Pickles sent me an e-mail, and asked if I was alright.  I told Lee that I was ok, but I've just been so busy getting ready for the winter that came Friday evening.


 
One reason that I've been so busy is that I've been working very hard to get the garden ready for the coming 2015 National Convention.  One area of the garden has particularly bothered me because roots from a nearby Hemlock tree have grown into my rows where I have many really good daylilies.  So, I went to Home Depot and rented a "Trenching Machine," and used it to cut the tree roots.  Diana examines where the roots are cut, and you can see the roots along the top of the trench.  Then we put the dirt back into the trench, and then covered the area with wood chips.  No one will ever know that the roots were causing a problem, and next summer the daylilies there should be wonderful.  Another reason that this trench work had to be done is because so many guest plants are in the adjacent rows.

Another reason that I've been so busy is that I've been trying to get the Greenhouse ready for the winter.  In the past I've just filled it up with plants, and this made it difficult to spray, and in the spring it was just difficult to move around among the plants.  This year I decided that I would only bring the very best of my plants into the Greenhouse, and that I would drastically reduce the number of seedlings in the Greenhouse.  Right now I would estimate that I have about 400 seedlings in the Greenhouse.  I like what I've done!  I'm showing a couple of pictures to show the appearance of the Greenhouse.

Speaking of the Greenhouse, I am delighted to report that I have 25 plants of my 10" double, CHEROKEE GOLD (reserved name), growing very nicely.  I am just determined to get this massive double to the market.  My target is to get it out during the spring of 2016.  I would like to see it go through another winter just to make absolutely certain that I have the correct measurements, i.e., height, branching, flower size and bud count.  I want to see it growing in many regions because, to my knowledge, it is the largest tetraploid double that has ever been grown.

I also want to report that I've planted a few more seeds in the Greenhouse.  I've found that my very best seeds are made at or near the end of the growing season.  I wanted to have the seeds refrigerated, and so the seeds stayed in the refrigerator for about 4 weeks.  Then, I went ahead and planted the seeds in three trays.  I wasn't even sure that the seeds would sprout, but they did.  I've now had the vast majority of the seeds growing well.  I would like to somehow get these seeds to bloom, perhaps late next summer. 

Another important daylily event that has happened over the past weeks has been my  delightful visit with the Tennessee Valley Daylily Society.  Everyone listened to a most interesting presentation by the youth, along with slides, I was introduced by one of the youth members, and they each made the meeting even more interesting and fun.  Whenever a Club has a good group of youth, the Club is a Club.  Thanks Libby for sending me the picture, and thanks Lee for the invitation.

I showed a picture of little Lily Rae earlier, helping her Grandmother with watering in the Greenhouse, and I have to add that she knows so many people.  We sometimes go shopping and visit stores, and either she calls or points to someone, or they come over and visit with her.  This happened again recently when we were at Wal-Mart.  Lily Rae suddenly pointed and called to Ms. Linda who was her Pre-School Teacher, and of course we were thrilled to chat with Ms. Linda.  Lily Rae is the best.

Looking forward to Thanksgiving.

Bill





Friday, October 17, 2014

2015 Introductions and Suave Shampoo

Hello Daylily Friends,

It has been much toooooo long since I posted about work in our daylily garden.  So, I'm going straight to the first plant that I've decided to introduce for the year 2015.  I have chosen a name, and it is TOOTH FAIRY PRINCESS.  This beauty is a cross between Wild Hair and Malcolm David Booker Senior.  It is a dormant, so it should be a wonderful parent.  It is 31" tall with 4-way branching, 21 buds, and a 5 1/2" flower.  It is both pod and pollen fertile.  I should have been using it in the Greenhouse, but I haven't until this past spring.  I will use it again this coming spring.  The dormancy makes this beauty a must have daylily with teeth.

The second plant that I'm going to introduce for 2015 will be IRISH ROYALTY.  This name was suggested by my friend Claude Carpenter, and I've decided that this suggestion is most appropriate.  IRISH ROYALTY has a chartreus edge that is evident during the early morning hours.  The glorious purple color with a deep green throat makes this daylily a "winner."  The parentage is as follows:  ((Shirley Anne McCord x Marietta Heartbeat) x Home of the Free).  The measurements are as follows:  28" tall, 4-way branching, 26 buds, and a 6" flower.  It is a semi-evergreen, and it is pod and pollen fertile.

The third daylily that I'm going to introduce will be HOTLANTA, and the parentage is as follows:  (Walter Kennedy x Red Eyed Radiance).  It is 31" tall, 4-way branching, 22 buds, and a 6" flower.  It is a semi-evergreen, and it is pod and pollen fertile.  I just adore the beautiful red color of HOTLANTA.  The color of the self is red, and then there is that huge red eye, and the green throat.  This daylily will live practically anywhere, and it is pod and pollen fertile.  I am so pleased to have it for introduction since the AHS National Convention is coming to Atlanta in 2015.


The fourth daylily that I will introduce does not have a name.  If anyone offers a name that I use, then I will give the plant as a gift in exchange for the use of the name.  The parentage is as follows:  (Cerise Masterpiece x Tet. Dena Marie).  It is 33" tall, with perfect 4-way branching, 31 buds, and a 7" flower.  Yes: I reported a 7 inch flower!  Just a giant bloom.  It is pod and pollen fertile, and it is dormant.  I intend to use this beauty to help me reach flowers that are of even bigger size.  If you like big flowers, then this tall giant should be added to your garden.

Another exciting thing that has happened is that our daylily from many years ago, called KENNESAW MOUNTAIN HONEYSUCKLE, has been used by Suave, the shampoo company, to market its products.  I've seen advertisements in the newspapers and magazines, and I've also seen advertisements on TV.  I'm showing a picture that I took of an ad on TV.  You can see KENNESAW MOUNTAIN HONEYSUCKLE in the middle of the picture.  It is such an honor that Suave chose to use our daylily to help market its products.  Thanks Suave!

I also must report that several weeks ago we took Little Lily Rae to the Cobb County Fair.  She particularly enjoyed seeing the animals, and she particularly liked the "goats."  She could walk up to the goats and touch them, and she would just laugh and laugh and laugh.  Lily Rae has a wonderful laugh!  When we were with the goats I bought a cup full of seeds, and gave it to Lily, and she bravely held the seeds to feed a particular goat that she liked.  Lily is so much fun and she brings such joy to her Grandfather.

More news soon.

Bill

Monday, September 8, 2014

Seedling 4-600

Hello Daylily Friends,

The end of the summer of 2014 has come.  Yes I know that the official day when fall begins isn't until September 21st, but after Labor Day the weather here is different and fall seems to start.  The days are cooler, some early leaves begin to drop, and the daylilies look worn out.  But over the last several days I have seen something really nice.  Finally, I've created a new white daylily that has real promise.  I took a picture on Friday morning, another on Saturday morning, and yet another on Sunday morning.  I have designated this new daylily as being Seedling Number 4-600.  It is 34" tall, 5-way branching, 21 buds, and has a 6 1/2" flower.  I am so pleased with this new white, but I am reluctant to move it anywhere because I want to see how it performs during the 2015 season.  I want to
know if it is dormant; Tet. ESP which is in the parentage is dormant.  I also want to know if it will repeat its measurements, and I want to know its season of bloom.  I would expect that it will be a late bloom, and I doubt that it is dormant, but I need to know for certain.

I also Just had a red seedling to bloom in a bed that was first planted last fall.  The plant is certainly not mature, but the red color is from two great parents, and I just want to grow it faster and in a better environment.  I can cross it with reds that I already have, and I can capture a new shade of red.  I will plant it outside next year to ultimately determine its measurements.  I am certain that it is not a dormant.  I have just developed a real liking for red daylilies, and I'm going to grow many more.

The seedlings in the Greenhouse are doing well.  I have been surprised that a number of daylilies haven't sprouted, but then, this morning, I saw a sprout from the following cross: (Cheddar Explosion x Cherokee Gold {Reserved Name}).  The cross was planted on August 5 and today is September 8.  That is a long time for a seed to sit before sprouting.  Anyway, things are looking good in the Greenhouse.

Outside I'm finishing the rows where the seedlings will be planted.  Two massive rows are ready in the very back of the garden, there is a ready row in the middle of the garden, and then there are eight other rows that have been made ready.  Three of these eight rows are planted with things that came from across the Garden and from the Greenhouse.  This year I hope to get my seedlings planted outside by the end of September.  We will be busy for at least another month.


Little Lily Rae is visiting this week-end, and we have had such a grand time together.  I wish that I had taken pictures, but for the first time Lily Rae ate muscadines, she ate her Grandmother's Cinnamon Rolls, and she ate a big helping of shrimp.  We also went to "The Home Show" at The Galleria Mall.  Lily Rae liked the water features as you can see from her scrutiny in the first picture.  She also had her picture taken with
Grandmother Diana, and Little Lily struck the "perfect pose."  We also went to see Walter Reeves just before he gave his program on fall gardening.  Walter talked about pruning hedges and trees, dealing with pests, and ants in particular, and how to get your grass ready to survive he winter.  Thanks Walter.  We just had a wonderful time, and later, Lily Rae had a wonderful nap. 

Bill