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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Two Hundred Thousand

Hello Daylily Friends,

I have almost finished planting all of my seeds for this year.  Accounting to my math, I have planted 3,278 seeds, and I still have room to plant about 250 more.  I have tried very hard to get them all planted such that they will all sprout by at least the first of September.  Some of the seeds that are yet to be planted, will probably be grown in the Greenhouse over the winter, and then be planted outside next spring.  Of course, within about five weeks, I will have to take most all of the seeds from the Greenhouse, and plant them outside, and then wait and see if they will survive the coming winter.

I have also been working on preparing new beds so that I will have a place to plant the new seeds.  This is arduous work, and I have had some assistance, but the work is still difficult.  I am showing several beds that are finished, plus one bed that is "under construction."  I have moved all of the plants that I wanted to keep from the row where I am standing in the picture, but I "missed" one plant.  It wouldn't be so bad, but my mind was elsewhere, and I just skipped an incredible seedling.  Well, I separated the marker from the seedling, and I also went past a "blue flag."  When my mind is "cluttered" with stuff other than my work, I usually make mistakes.  This, however, was a big mistake.  Seedling 3-350 is just gone, and in the words of the old country song, "Crying won't bring it back."

Fortunately, I do have another seedling that has shown considerable promise.  It is Seedling 3-413, and the measurements on it are very good.  Plus, like Seedling 3-350, it has very nice "teeth" on its sepals.  Plus, it is pod and pollen fertile.  It was made from two of my seedlings that had outstanding teeth, Seedlings 11-279 and 11-273, but there was no lateral branch on either plant.  So, I crossed the two plants together, and had one seedling to bloom in the Greenhouse.  It was so nice, even without a lateral branch, that I planted it outside.  Then, early this summer, I noticed that there were four (4) branches, and 22 buds, and I took a picture of a bloom.  The height of the scape has been between 27 and 30 inches.  I mention 3-413, both to console myself, and because it was blooming this morning, on its third scape, with three flowers.  I'm showing a picture of the branching on the scape that was taken right about lunch time.

I'm still sad, however, about the loss of Seedling 3-350.

Diana has just had a good bloom on one of her Seedlings.  Specifically, on Seedling D13-111.  The cross is as follows:  (Irish Halo x Fringy) x Tet. Heavenly Angel Ice.  The plant is very tall, and it looks like it could be a double.  I would think that Diana could cross it with Tet. Ashee Dashee, and hopefully get an even better result.  Anyway, just thinking.

I have to mention our grand daughter, Little Lily Rae.  Diana grew quite a few "carrots" in her garden, and she decided to pick four or five to cook for our evening meal.  Lily Rae went with Grandma to pick the carrots, and she picked a few completely on her own.  I'm showing her holding one that she picked.  Also, on Sunday, two weeks ago, all children were invited to bring their "back packs" to Church, and then the Children and their back packs were included in the prayers of the Pastor.  Well, Lily Rae brought her back pack.  She was so cute with it, and of course I had to get a picture.  Lily Rae is such a blessing.

I've also noticed that we are getting close to having 200,000 entries into this blog.  We are currently at 199,720.  We need only 280 more blog visits to reach 200,000.  This will be such a major mile stone.  I'm going to keep watching to see if I can identify person number 200,000!

Bill

ADDENDUM

We now have 199,996 visitors to this Blog.  We are going to cross 200,000 here very shortly.  I wish that I could identify the person who is number 200,000, but I do not know how to do this.  Anyway, I'm glad that we have come this far.  It has been a fabulous ride.

SECOND ADDENDUM

It has happened.  We now have had 200,001 visitors!  Thanks to everyone who has been reading and visiting the blog over these past several years.  I've enjoyed writing and I'll be writing more very soon.

Bill

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sammy's Whiskers.

Hello Daylily Friends,

I've finally been able to get the Greenhouse completely clean, and so my friends from Atlas Manufacturing came and made some changes to improve its productivity.  Team Leader, Roger Nugent, along with team members, Keith Smith and James Eason, spent most of two days replacing all of the plastic on the Greenhouse.  They even worked into the evening hours because the weather was cooler than it has been, and there was no wind blowing,  They just worked so well together.  They also replaced the filters in the Coolant System, and this has made the Greenhouse as cool as the lobby of an air conditioned office.  It is nice to be in
the Greenhouse and have the temperature at about 75 degrees during a hot August afternoon.  My friend Jeff at Atlas also helped me fix a problem that I was having with one of my fans, and we replaced the sealed ball bearings on one fan.  The temperature is controlled, and I'm moving toward planting seeds for next spring. Thanks Atlas for all of your help!

One of my daylilies that is on its third rebloom scape is Seedling 3-335.  When I first saw this daylily in the Greenhouse I had no idea that it would ultimately be just so delightful, particularly on a hot summer morning.  The blue eye is fine, the form is fine, and the height is grand at 28 inches tall, with 4-way branching.  The strong green throat really helps to emphasize the colors.  I have worked many hours to get to this point with 3-335.  I also want to give another plaudit to my good friend, Karol Emmerich, who hybridized FAITH THAT MOVES MOUNTAINS.  Karol gave this plant as a gift to use last year at the National Convention.  Recently I've noticed that this daylily has a sheen that I do not recall seeing on other purple daylilies.  It is big, and I like its height, which for me is 32 inches.  Since I will be leaving Karol's plant in place for next years AHS National Convention, I decided to start gathering pollen to freeze, and then use next spring on my 3-335.  Thanks Karol for sharing your daylily! 

I have to report on our Grand daughter, Little Lily Rae.  When she was here two weeks ago she ate several new items at her meals.  I was so happy when she tried "Corn on the Cobb."  At first she took a very small bite.  Then she tried another bite.  Then she ate all of the Corn on the Cobb!  Diana asked me what I thought that Lily would like when she comes to visit tomorrow evening.  I recommended the Corn on the Cobb.  I also have to point out that my beautiful wife is a magnificent cook.   For example, this past week she cooked me a Porterhouse Steak.  Wow, it was good.  This incredible supper included horse radish sauce, broccoli and cheese, mushrooms, and baked potatoes.  There was also a generous helping of tomatoes and sweet iced tea.  I would certainly recommend this supper for Lily, but I know that she couldn't eat that big steak, and there are other ideas that Diana has in mind. 

Have I mentioned my cat Sammy this summer?  I don't think so.  Well, Sammy is doing fine.  He must be at least 10 years of age, but you wouldn't know by looking at his eyes.  He is an exciting cat, and he does things we don't expect.  In fact, he is such a special cat that I'm thinking about naming one of my daylilies for him.  My friend, Sue Culbreath, the Editor of the Georgia Daylily, suggested that I name seedling 4-537, "SAMMY'S WHISKERS."  I like the idea, but first I will have to see the measurements next summer.

Right now I'm sorting my seeds, and within a few days I should have them planted in 3" peat pots in the Greenhouse.  I'll give a report soon.

Bill