Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

Hello Daylily Friends,

I've just had a bloom on SMILING COBRA, that I received from my friend, Guy Pierce, on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015.  This is an initial bloom, and although it is not from a plant that is at full strength, it nevertheless provides pollen, and also provides an opportunity as a pod parent.  The pollen is now stored in my refrigerator. I thought that I would show a picture of the bloom.  The one fan that I had on SMILING COBRA has now grown to four (4) fans.  Should have another bloom tomorrow.

I also want to thank my friend, David Arthur, for driving, and for taking us to meet Karen Pierce in Valdosta, Georgia.  David and Karen and I met at the Ole Times Country Buffet where we all had a wonderful lunch.  We also received the entire 2015 spring collection of plants from Guy and Karen from their Floyd Cove Nursery.  In all, we received 20 plants, and we want to thank Guy and Karen for allowing their plants to be shown in our garden at the AHS Atlanta National Convention on June 11, 12 &13, 2015.  I now have the plants all planted, and they are being regularly watered in well prepared soil.  We look forward to seeing the blooms on these most desirable introductions.  Thanks also to Karen for the "Cakes" that she prepared and gave to both myself and David.

I've also had initial blooms in the Greenhouse, even though I haven't turned up the temperature.  One bloom that I had was on Seedling  4-514, and then today I had another bloom on Seedling 4-536.  The parentage is the same on both of these plants, and this parentage is as follows:  ((Lacy All Over x (Irish Halo x Tet. Cinderella Sue).  Both flowers are just beautiful, and I also expect to see these seedlings bloom outside, perhaps during the National Convention.  The effort with these two plants was to incorporate  the genes from TET. CINDERELLA SUE, and to improve on "white daylilies."

We were also pleased that Pete and Rossen Harry came by to visit  after they finished speaking to three Georgia Clubs.  They were in a hurry to get back to Florida, but we were delighted to have their visit for over two hours.  It seems that Daylily friends can't stop for just a few minutes; there is always so much to see and talk about.  I now have three of Pete's new daylilies which are CHARLES IN CHARGE, ARCTIC WIND, and IT'S THAT GREEN.  I've planted two of these introductions in the outside garden, and I've kept one in the Greenhouse.  Thanks Pete and Rossen for coming by to visit!

Behind our garden we have had a lot of "Bamboo."  Years ago, before I grew daylilies, I went to Pike Nursery and bought two separate pots of Bamboo.  I wanted these to use as stakes for my pole beans.  Ultimately I started growing just daylilies, but the Bamboo just kept growing.  The Bamboo became so prolific that representatives from the Atlanta Zoo came to our garden to cut and collect the Bamboo to feed to the Zoo's Panda Bears.  Finally, I cut down the Bamboo on our side of the property, but I still haven't been able to keep it under control.  So, I rented a machine from Home Depot and dug a long, 200 foot ditch.  Then I put a plastic barrier in the ditch to prevent the Bamboo roots from being so invasive.  I'm showing two pictures to show what we've accomplished.  In hindsight, I wish that I had never planted that Bamboo.

In one of the above pictures I've shown Diana looking at the ditch that I dug.  Well, another adventure happened yesterday.  Diana was watering her Tomato seedlings when a King Snake came into the Greenhouse.  King Snakes are harmless.  They eat mice, and even eat other snakes, including deadly snakes.  They are just beautiful, and this particular King Snake ultimately went out the front door where we assume he entered.

I've also been working tirelessly to focus in on my progress with converting TET. ASHEE DASHEE.  I was sure that I had it converted, but then I had several scapes that had both tetraploid and diploid pollen.  Unfortunately, there was too much diploid pollen.  So, I've focused on the three scapes that I believed were converted.  I now think that one scape is much more converted than the other two scapes.  So, I'm using the pollen from the scape that has the most tetraploid pollen.  I'm showing two pictures: one of a tetraploid flower and one of  the pollen.

I want to tell about Little Lily Rae.  She was with us on Friday, and we were all around the Pond.  We were watching the Fish, and then Lily started gathering the small rocks that are near the Pond.  These are just smaller "river rocks," but Lily was gathering them and putting them in a pile in the nearby Lawn.  Then, she would run back to the Pond as fast as she could to gather more rocks.  We don't know why Lily wanted to gather the rocks and put them in the Lawn, but she was so much fun to watch.  She is always so amazing in what she does.

I also want to report that I got the garden sprayed for insects, particularly "aphids."  I didn't really see any other insects, but I'm glad I finished the spraying.  It takes a "lot of work" for one person to spray over an acre of daylilies.  I also got fertilizer spread throughout the garden.  This took a lot of effort, and I'm waiting to see how well the 34-0-0 works.  I understand that this high nitrogen fertilizer should help the daylilies grow better. I'll let everyone know about the results. 

Happy Easter day!  More news soon.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Visiting the Birmingham Daylily Society

Hello Daylily Friends,

It is always good to have visitors stop by the garden to visit.  This happened about two weeks ago when Dave and Pat Prill stopped by; they were traveling from their home in Wisconsin to go and experience the balmy, warm weather in South Florida.  I showed the garden to Dave and Pat, and then we made our way to the Greenhouse.  They purchased CHOO CHOO CABOOSE and BIG KISS, and I game them FULLY BLESSED as a bonus.  Can't wait to learn how the flowers do for them in their garden.

I also have to tell you about Diana and her leaves.  For years Diana has wanted a "shredding machine" that would grind up her leaves to make them easier to use in her garden.  She finally found just the product she needed, and she has been busy putting it to good use.  She uses her "Worx" machine to grind up the leaves, which fall into a black plastic bag.  This makes the leaves quite useful, and the first place she put her shredded leaves was over the ground where her tomatoes will be planted.  She then put the leaves around her seedlings, and then around some of her favorite named daylilies.  I also like the Worx product, which was recommended to Diana by Paul Pratt from Wisconsin.

I am also really pleased that three seedlings from FOUR BEASTS IN ONE have emerged.  These plants look so healthy.  I know that these plants are dormants, but to see them go through the winter, and then emerge, is a nice thing to experience.  Di Decaire has done a wonderful thing with this plant, because she produced the circular rings in the eye of the plant, and the dormancy is very important.  I've already used FOUR BEASTS IN ONE as a pollen parent, and I'm now waiting to see the seedlings bloom.  I have plans this Spring to use it again with my seedlings that also have circular eyes.  And thanks to my friend Larry Grace who gave me this wonderful plant!

I have to tell a quick story about our neighborhood.  Our next door neighbors, Sue and Hugh Moore, wanted to show me the "Civil War Breastworks" that are just behind their property.  So, we walked through the woods and climbed up a large hill that overlooks the area.  This time of year it is easy to see the hilltop because there are no leaves on the trees.  The area is so pristine, and then when I saw the Breastworks, they were easily recognizable.  A soldier could stand in the "trench" and look down the hill and have a height advantage.  Just such a sight to see so close to our house.  I just had to tell this story; wish these Breastworks could be seen by visitors this summer, but it would be a struggle walking through the woods.

I also have to tell this bit of information about my 70th year of life.  I am a retired lawyer, but throughout my 40 years of practicing law, I've had to attend 12 hours of "legal education seminars" each year.  Since I will be 70 this year, the State Bar has delightfully decreed that I no longer have to attend the seminars.  This is a very, very good thing!  I can save the money that I would have to pay to attend the seminars, and I have even more time with my garden.

Speaking of my garden, I'm having early blooms in the Greenhouse.  One flower that has bloomed is TET. CARIBBEAN WHITLEY LYNN.  Such an incredible conversion that was done by my friend Larry Grace.  I want to use this conversion with some of my dormants, so for now I'm just freezing the pollen.  The substance of the flower is just so thick, and there are magnificent ruffles, but the flower is not pod fertile.  Nevertheless the pollen works very well.

The road in front of our house has a "Speed Hump" across it, and there have been signs giving driver's notice of the Speed Hump.  Then, someone, for some odd reason, removed one of the signs.  Diana notified the County, and today a truck was here and they replaced the stolen sign.  It is good to have the Speed Hump because it slows the traffic that travels along McDaniel Road.  I also have to report that the "deer are back"!  They come across Sue's property, and head towards our garden.  Fortunately, the deer haven't done any harm, but we've got to start paying more attention and begin by putting "Milorganite" in our daylily beds.  This Milorganite product comes from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and it really stinks.  It is good for the daylilies and the deer can't tolerate the smell, so it keeps them away from the daylilies.

I've also got to tell about our wonderful visit with the Birmingham Daylily Society this past week-end.  Diana drove over to Birmingham, and believe it or not, she got 42.5 miles per gallon on the trip.  This Lincoln MKZ is a great automobile.  When we reached Birmingham we immediately saw our friends, Jim and Kay Chappell.  Jim & Kay were in the picture from several years ago when our 10" double first bloomed.  It was good to visit with the Birmingham Club, and they had such wonderful sandwiches and desserts.

One of the members present was Sharon Beecher who is the President of the North Alabama Daylily Club.  Sharon grows many of our flowers, and she particularly likes LYDIA'S REGAL ROBE.  LYDIA received 36 votes in 2014 for the AHS Award of Merit honor, but 43 votes were needed.  I encouraged Sharon to have more voters come and look at LYDIA in her garden, and she promised that she would.  Thanks Sharon for giving LYDIA your vote of confidence.

More news soon.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

White Daylilies

Hello Daylily Friends,

I have seen conversation on the Robin over the past two days about "white daylilies."  I would therefore like for everyone to see a picture of my own KENNESAW MOUNTAIN LEMON SORBET, which is white, and so it is herewith "posted."  LEMON SORBET is a late bloomer, and so for the first time I have suggested it as a candidate for this year's "Eugene S. Foster" Award for late blooming daylilies.  It has previously won an AHS "Honorable Mention" Award.

Another white daylily that I would like to show is Seedling 4-600.  I made Seedling 4-600 by crossing TET. ESP, a Shooter daylily that I converted, with Stamile's LACY ALL OVER.  TET. ESP is a dormant.  I then crossed this seedling again with LACY ALL OVER.  Although Seedling 4-600 is an evergreen, it is very hardy since the dormant TET. ESP is now part of the parentage.   How do you like the name?  It was suggested by our daughter, Kelley Rae, and now the name is "reserved."  The height and branching on 4-600 is quite nice, but like TET. ESP, it is a late bloomer.  So, I don't know if it will be blooming during the National Convention this coming June.

I have to also mention DIANA'S EVENING GOWN.  It is a mid to late blooming daylily, but it's size and color is what makes it so noticeable.  It is a 7" flower, and looks like it should have come from Florida, but it is a dormant.  I have made it a candidate for the "Extra Large Diameter Bloom Award," and I hope that it may be blooming during the National Convention.  DIANA'S EVENING was also previously chosen for the AHS "Honorable Mention" Award.

Another flower that I've suggested for an Award is RED SAPPHIRE, which indeed, will be blooming during the National Convention.  I've listed RED SAPPHIRE as a candidate for the "Don C. Stevens" Award for boldly eyed daylilies.  You might notice the diamond shaped red eye, and the diamond shaped green throat.  RED SAPPHIRE is then distinguished with teeth on its petals.  Perhaps it will capture the attention of voters.

Diana has planted her "Tomato Seeds" for 2015.  Our friend, Janet Adams from Sunday School, came by to bring me a Teacher's Book, and at the same time Diana was putting her seeds into tiny containers.  Janet had to take a look.  It is always a surprise I think to see someone planting their tomato seeds themselves rather than just buying the plants at the nursery.  Diana plants her own seeds so that she will have the best tomatoes that she can grow.

Ambidextrous is a word we use to describe a person who can use both hands with equal ease.  This certainly describes Little Lily Rae.  She was drawing on a page that is to be colored with crayons, and she used two separate pens at the same time.  Wow!  Diana took her picture while she was drawing using both hands.  Lily Rae is so talented!

Today is a very good day.  My article in the Daylily Journal entitled "Dips to tets: a how-to guide," is being distributed beginning today.  More news soon.


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.