Monday, February 23, 2015

Winter Gatherings in Chattanooga and Missouri

Hello Daylily Friends,

I went to the Mid Winter Convention on Friday afternoon, Feb. 6, 2015, but I returned home early the next day.  A week-end with Little Lily Rae was beginning, and I simply had to return home to be with her; I can't miss time with Lily Rae.  I had to personally bring an invitation to those attending the Mid Winter Convention to come to Atlanta for the National Convention in early June, 2015.  I showed the presentation prepared by the incredible Rita Buehner, and of course added as many additional thoughts as I could, subject to time limitations.  When I arrived in Chattanooga, I was so glad to again see my friends Elizabeth Trotter, who is Editor of the AHS E-Mail Newsletter, and Nikki Schmith, our AHS Vice President.  How do you like Nikki's new glasses?  I also was pleased to hear the presentation of Lucas Holman who spoke about new flowers that can enhance the daylily garden.  Lucas is a Tennessee high school Agriculture Teacher!

Then, last week-end, Feb. 13-15, 2015,  Diana and I were so privileged to participate in the program for Region 11 which was very close to Independence, Missouri.  Region 11 includes the states of Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma, and of course President Harry Truman is from Independence.  We were invited to come to speak at the Region 11 Winter Program by Michael Bouman, who is a very good friend.  Michael is the President of Region 11.  and we had the pleasure of riding from the airport to our hotel with Lois Hart as our escort.  Lois is the Representative from Region 11 on the AHS Board of Directors.  After we were settled in at the hotel, we all went and had a wonderful dinner; I had the "Pork Chops," which were delicious.

I also had the distinct honor of sitting across from Ms. Susan Dorris.  You never know for sure who you may meet at a daylily event, but as a Retired Attorney, I can't help but ask just a few questions.  It turned our that Susan is a highly educated Chemist who worked most of her adult life at Monsanto, which is an agricultural company that helps farmers all around the world.  Susan knows a great deal about "Colchicine," the chemical that I use to convert diploids to tetraploids.  Susan then began asking me questions about my "safety practices" when I use Colchicine.  She then drew on a napkin a glass/plastic housing unit that I should be using when I mix Colchicine and distilled water.  I'm showing a picture of what Susan drew for my understanding.  What a lady!  Then this distinct woman turned out to be a speaker at the Winter Program.  Diana and I listened to all of the programs, but I particularly enjoyed the "Round Table Discussion" led by President Michael Bouman.  The comments and questions were just lots of fun.  Its great to be in the world of daylilies, and meet so many interesting people.

I must also mention that our Cobb County Daylily Society is off to a great start for 2015.  Our new President, Steven Verner, got us off to a wonderful beginning.  I was asked to do the presentation for the meeting, and I did as Steven asked, I kept the presentation under 30 minutes.  I am hopeful that everyone enjoyed the progress I showed that has been made at the Kennesaw Mountain Daylily Gardens.  Thanks Steven, and to all of our new officers.  We can guarantee you that if your come to the AHS National Convention on June 12-13, 2015, that you will have a great experience that you won't forget.

I must tell everyone about Little Lily Rae.  What a precious, precious child.  Only 3 years of age, and she was using Grandpa's binoculars to look at everything that she might want to see, "up close."  Earlier in the morning Grandma had washed her hair, and I couldn't believe my eyes.  Her hair was so, so beautiful.  It has rays of color that beauticians are paid to produce.  Her hair combined with her brown eyes, gives such a sight for the eyes to behold.  I just had to take a picture so that everyone could see what I saw.  We all must remember that when she was one and two years of age, her hair was not a dominate feature, but this has all changed.  Little Lily Rae's hair is glorious!

When we got up to go to Church on Sunday morning, Lily Rae was fully ready to go, when she asked her Grandma to trim a few of her fingernails.  Grandma has always done this when she arrives every two weeks on Friday, but she hasn't asked for a second trimming of her nails.  Nevertheless, she did this on Sunday Morning.  Grandma stepped in to help the Princess, and Sunday Morning with Lily Rae was a heavenly blessing.

Little Lily Rae is the best.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Visiting in Florida

Hello Daylily Friends,


I had to have one of Guy Pierce's daylilies, and so I got in my GMC Truck, and drove to Enterprise, Florida.  I arrived on Tuesday morning at around 8:00 a.m., and Guy greeted me at the front gate.  Guy and Karen knew that I was coming because I called to request a "mid-winter visit."  When I arrived at the Garden I could see that Guy was in the process of continuing to install wooden fencing.  Even from the front gate, it is obvious that the new Floyd Cove Nursery is just a "must see" in the world of daylilies.  The daylily that I had to have was Guy's SMILING COBRA.  Just an astonishing daylily: 40" tall, 6-way branching, and 40 buds.  Also, the flower is 10.75" in diameter.  Although I have TET. ROSE F. KENNEDY, I haven't been able to produce anything like SMILING COBRA.  I intend to use SMILING COBRA in my program, and the "green color" should be a big help, particularly on very large flowers.

A few more thoughts about SMILING COBRA.  The pod parent is EMERALD PRISM, which goes back to TET. MALACHITE PRISM.  This has to be the background where Guy achieved the height and branching he has in SMILING COBRA.  In my own work with TET. ROSE, I haven't been able to produce the branching.  I'll now use Guy's plant with my own TET. ROSE SEEDLINGS.  Guy has done a wonderful work with SMILING COBRA.

The new garden, behind the Pierce home, is built on what was a sloping landscape, but Guy fixed it by building an "unusual concrete wall."  Guy took bags of concrete and stacked these quite high.  The best way that I can describe what Guy did is just to show a picture.  These bags were shaped into the places where they were
put, and then when water was applied, the bags hardened.  Guy could have had a concrete wall constructed, but the cost would have
been just too expensive.  Guy's idea for his concrete wall is really very, very good.  As Guy and I walked the new garden, we were soon joined by Karen.  It was a perfect time to have our picture taken together.

Karen and Guy invited me into their home, which was just so wonderfully designed for "Florida."  Karen's desk is at the front of their home, and the desk is made of glass which is quite large.  Karen prepares the design for their catalogue, she takes orders, and basically, she does all of the marketing work for their Nursery.  I was then invited to have coffee and also share with Guy and Karen the wonderful, delicious Pound Cake that Karen had prepared.  It was so, so good! I could have stayed much of the day with Guy and Karen, but alas, it is a 9 hour drive heading back to Marietta, Georgia. 

Oh, I must also mention the new Greenhouse.  It is designed to be quite the ideal place for "making seeds."  It has sideways ventilation: That is, the "coolant pads" are on one side of the Greenhouse, and the four fans are on the opposite side of the Greenhouse.  Quite nice; great idea!  Guy's Greenhouse is about 75 feet long, and about 35 or 40 feet wide.  Guy and Karen are set to continue to be the best at producing the highest quality of daylilies.  Thanks Guy and Karen for your wonderful hospitality!

I also went to see Nicole Harry DeVito.  Nicole has had a real "breakthrough" with her new introduction, UNDEFINABLE.  It is most interesting because the background is ivory in color, but the marked areas are a darker color.  I've seen one that is similar to UNDEFINABLE, and this similar daylily is called SHATTERED.  It has a darker background, but the marked areas are lighter in color.  I've crossed SHATTERED with TET. PINK STRIPES, and I want to do the same with UNDEFINABE.  It was good to visit with Nicole and see her new garden.  Thanks Nicole!

I also had to stop and see Ted & Susan Petit, and Greg and Marcela Goff at Le Petit Jardin.  I wanted one of their new introductions which is SWEET GOLDONI.  I like the color of this new flower, and I particularly like the incredible multi-colored circular patterned throat.  I also want to cross this beauty with TET. PINK STRIPES.  Can you envision the circular pattern with pink stripes?  I'm going to give this objective a chance to happen.  Thanks to Ted, Susan, Greg and Marcela for spending so much time with me when I came to visit.

When I got back home there was plenty of work to be done.  The Leland Cypress trees that are growing along one side of my Greenhouse have become just too large.  These trees were causing a very large shadow over one half of my Greenhouse, and I just couldn't tolerate this any longer.  So I asked my good friend Stan Wills if he could trim the trees so that the sunshine would again fill my Greenhouse.  Stan is skilled in his work with trees, and he has the right equipment.  So Stan, along with two of his sons, and Jimmy, another employee, took all of one day to change the penetration of sunlight into my Greenhouse.  Stan took a large truck with an aerial ladder, and cut the trees to one half the size that they had been.  Then the trees were shredded and added to my mulch pile.  Thanks Stan and crew for all your hard work.

Well the rain has stopped so its time to go back to gardening.


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.


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.


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.