Thursday, October 11, 2018

Visiting Texas and Mississippi

Hello Daylily Friends,

I've been on two trips recently.  One to Texas, and one to Mississippi.  The trip to Texas was extraordinary.  My friend, Paul Eskine, met me at the Houston Airport, and Paul took me to his house where I met his mother, Mildred, who is an active member of the Club and so, so committed to growing beautiful daylilies.  I was able to see Paul and Mildred's home, as well as their gardens which are very, very lovely and well kept.  I saw many daylilies in the garden that I've known, and many others that were hybridized by Paul's father.  Then there were also many tropical plants, and then we later went to the September 16, 2018, meeting of the Club.

When I arrived at the meeting I saw many friends including Everett Crainer, and Lois and Sandy, all from the Brazosport Daylily Society which I visited back in January, 2018.  Actually, so many members are also members of both Clubs.  When we arrived at the meeting there was much conversation and sandwiches and snacks and desserts were served in abundance.  My friend Everett was really enjoying a "Coke" he was preparing for himself.  There were so many plants that were to be auctioned in addition to those that I had brought to the Club.  There were many publications including the the "Daylilies of the Southwest," which I read with interest.  Obviously Region 6, the home of Texas and New Mexico Clubs, is a very busy Region, having 15 Clubs.  I'm also impressed that the Clubs I've visited have plenty of assets, which is most admirable.

After the Club meeting I was especially privileged that Paul took me to his office at Houston Aircraft Instruments, Inc., which is just down the street from his house.  It is a most interesting business where Paul's employees fix any instruments that might break on an aircraft.  Any aircraft.  Paul showed me the entire office and gave me a Company Shirt and Hat which I've been regularly wearing.  Who would think that such a business could exist?  It was exciting to again visit daylily friends in Texas! 

Our visit to Meridan, Mississippi, last week-end was also very, very good.  Diana and I left our house and drove about 4 1/2 hours before we reached the Hampton Inn.  Although Diana's cars holds only 12 gallons of gas, we never stopped anywhere along the way, and when we arrived in Meridan, we still had a quarter of a tank of gas remaining.  Our car is the Lincoln MKZ which gets about 44 MPG on the highway.  And, surprisingly, I drove the entire journey, and Diana drove the entire journey on the way back.  Immediately after we arrived in Meridan we saw Oliver Billingsley, and had a wonderful conversation.  Saw many, many other friends as well.  Perhaps the reason is that this was a Region 14 meeting.  We went to dinner with Lois and Maria Smith at Weidmann's in downtown Meridan.  Weidmann's was started by an immigrant from Switzerland, and has been a business since 1870.  The meal was just outstanding.

At the Region meeting on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, we gave two (2) programs.  The first program was before lunch, and the second program was after lunch.  Before lunch I showed our introductions over the years 2017 and 2018, and after lunch I showed potential future introductions, garden preparation for 2019, and then went into detail over the upcoming movie about the Hybridizer, Leo Sharp.  I mentioned that the Actor, Clint Eastwood, plays Leo Sharp in the movie, and the Actor, Bradley Cooper, plays the DEA Agent.  The auction was good, and our plants helped bring additional assets to Region 14.  Thanks Region 14 for having us to come and visit.

I would note that Jeff and Elizabeth Salter attended the Region 14 Conference in Meridian.  I showed everyone my picture of Elizabeth's introduction, THE ONE RING.  I then showed a similar flower that bloomed in my garden this summer.  My flower is like Elizabeth's, having a "reverse bi-tone," and also having "circular rings" in the eye of the flower.  Elizabeth's diploid is much better than the flower that I have grown, but I need Elizabeth's flower converted before I can put it to use on my own flower.  That is to say, I need tetraploid pollen from Elizabeth's flower to put on my own flower, and then I think that I would hopefully have a very, very beautiful flower to introduce.

So, anyway, I sent a picture of Elizabeth's flower to that Great Gardener, Pat Stamile, and asked if the newly emerging roots at the base of treated flower indicated that I had a conversion.  Ordinarily I would not have bothered Pat, and would have just waited to see the result in another 6 to 8 months.  However, I just wanted to ask the question.  Pat said that the new roots indicated that I had "Layer 3 converted," and have a good chance other layers are also converted given the look of the new growth."  Pat went on to say that my chances of a conversion are "looking very promising."  Thanks Pat!  Here is the picture that I sent to Pat.

That's the news for this report.

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.