Monday, July 27, 2015

Hello Daylily Friends,

I have been working diligently in the garden since late June to get everything ready for next year.  In my post a few weeks ago, specifically, on July 8, 2015, I showed where I had cleared and tilled several rows, and now four long rows are finished.  One long row is completely planted.  Now I've got to become even more diligent to move everything out of the Greenhouse, and get it all planted outside.  Time is of the essence.  I would like to have all seeds planted in the Greenhouse by August 15, 2015.  As I said, time is important.

Meanwhile, in the garden, new seedlings continue to bloom.  I regret to say that I haven't been taking any pictures of these new blooms, but Diana has been doing this task.  One bloom in particular should have had my full attention, but I just kept preparing the new rows for seedlings.  So, Diana did her best and captured a good shot.  The seedling is just a lovely pink color with a darker pink eye, with large teeth everywhere.  I even think the seedling may be a polytepal.

Then, this morning, there was a new blue eyed seedling.  I think that it has one of the better blue eyes that I've seen.  I reached down to touch the substance of the flower, but I broke the pistol.  Although the sun was out, I nevertheless took a picture.

Much later in the morning, near lunch time, I saw a lovely pink bloom with a wonderful edge.  It is a cross between the pollen parent, (HEARTBEAT OF HEAVEN x TET. JAMES MCCASKILL),  and MINNESOTA NICE.  I have seen some nice flowers from this cross, and TET. JAMES MCCASKILL has helped to add an extra touch of beauty.  I wish that I had been more diligent in using my camera early in the morning.

Anyway, flowers never look their best after they've been exposed to 90+ degree sunshine for several hours.

Let me show another blue eyed flower that bloomed earlier this summer, about 7 to 10 days before the National Convention, that I really, really like.  It is Seedling 5-779, and the cross is as follows:  Vivid Butterfly x ((Tet. Lavender Blue Baby x Tet. Crystal Blue Persuasion) x Blue Beat).  Here is the most important point: 5-779 is "dormant."  This dormancy must come from TET. LAVENDER BLUE BABY, which is also a dormant.  The measurements on 5-779 are particularly good.  It is 28" tall with 5-way branching, 18 buds, and a flower that is about 4.5" in diameter.  Another factor is that each scape seems to produce a proliferation.  In fact, I've got 8 proliferations growing in the Greenhouse.  In the spring of 2016 I am going to aggressively use Seedling 5-779.

My cat Sammy, who is about 10 or 11 years old, is not too old to catch a Chipmunk at high noon.  One went whizzing by Sammy while he was resting, but Sammy bolted after him, caught him, and ate him.  Sammy is a good cat.  He  can still move pretty fast.  He can even catch a bird, and he eats those as well.

Precious Lily Rae had a grand time with Mom, Grandmother and Grandfather.  Yesterday Lily tried a "Popsicle," which she truly enjoyed.  I should have taken a picture, but I did get a picture last week when we were both splashing our feet in the Fountain Pool.  It was much fun!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"Blooming Safara," Region 2, Summer Meeting

Hello Daylily Friends,

This past weekend Diana and I drove to Indianapolis, Indiana, to serve as "Bus Captains" for the Region 2 Summer Meeting.  Region 2 consists of five states:  Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  Our Journey began at 6:30 a.m. early Friday morning.  At around 9:00 a.m. we stopped for breakfast at the Waffle House.  All was going well until we reached I-65 in Indiana, where suddenly, the traffic came to an abrupt halt.  We struggled for over 3 hours, and although our driving time should have been 8 hours, it turned out to be over 11 hours.  However, when we arrived at the Hotel we saw our daylily friends, and the journey was worth the effort.  We sat down with our friends at dinner, talked about daylilies, and participated in the "Lily Auction."

On Saturday morning we were up early, took a shower, and went to a wonderful breakfast.  We sat with friends, and then galloped to the bus to see everyone as they arrived.  We were all excited, and I was eager to share the daylilies that I brought with us to give to friends on the bus.  The first garden that we visited was "The Bill Stephens Garden" owned by Bill and Marilyn Stephens.  Marilyn greeted us when we arrived, and she provided transportation to the garden in her "snappy, beautiful" gold and black golf cart.  I liked seeing the daylilies, and I particularly liked several of the bird houses.  These were so well built, and then I saw Diana with Francis and Mandy carefully examining and admiring the daylily "BIG BIRD."  All too soon we were back on the bus and our journey continued.

We arrived at "The Sugar Creek Daylily Gardens," and it was expansive.  I was soon able to meet Greg and Jayne Lough, and I learned so much.  Greg's parents are apparently in their 80s, and Greg's Dad still works on the farm.  They own 7,000 plus acres, and primarily grow corn and soy beans.  They have two daughters and one son who is a senior at Purdue University.  Indeed, the son is studying Agricultural Science.  Then, Jayne told me that she had my daylily, LYDIA'S REGAL ROBE, blooming in a pot.  So, naturally, I asked to see it, and it was beautiful.  So, I had my picture taken with Greg and Jayne with the beautiful bloom showing in front of us.  Then, before we left, our whole bus gathered for a group picture with LYDIA'S REGAL ROBE in the foreground. 

I should mention that Diana stood along side a Lough cornfield, and I took a picture just to get a sense of the height of the corn.  They have had a great deal of rain in Indiana, and the corn is growing well.  Some adjacent areas near the Lough cornfield have been flooded, but I saw no evidence of this on the Lough property.  Everything looked good!

We then had a wonderful lunch.  Although I often think of a sandwich or something similar for lunch, our lunch was exceptional.  I had pork, green beans and mashed potatoes.  As Grandpa used to say on the ancient, He Haw program, "Mmmm Mmmm Good"!

After lunch we went to visit our friend, Eric Simpson, that we met in Canada on a trip there two years ago.  Eric had a garden bed that included many flowers from Bob Faulkner, and there was a gentle recording that could be heard throughout the garden that shared the sound of wild African animals in keeping with the theme, "Blooming Safari."  Even our friend Jamie Gossard barely escaped the open jaws of an alligator.  I also had a good look at Sandy Holmes' daylily named, I LAVA YOU.  Wow.  Such height and branching!  I hope to have this daylily.

We were soon back at the Hotel, and we went to the "Boutique" to look around.  I saw our friend J. R. Blanton from Ohio, and he was selling this yard sculpture which is designed to really "zap" a deer.  I haven't set it up yet, but I'll report on the results.  We later had a wonderful supper, received good news from our new President, Nickki Schmith, and then listened to Margo Reed give insight into her lifetime of success as a Hybridizer living on the mountains of Virginia.

On Sunday morning we were again up early, and soon we were at the garden of John and Marie Everitt.  As we entered the garden we walked through trimmed hedges that caused me to think we were entering a "formal garden."  The paths were filled with gravel, and everything looked perfectly in place.  I walked toward the middle of the garden, and I noticed so many companion plants, when I then noticed John's "tool shed."  Instead of door handles, John used "old shovels" as handles on his shed.  What a wonderful idea.  I've got to have a better imagination about how to use worn out garden tools in our garden.  In the back of the garden vegetables were growing, and there was just so much to see, even John's work with mulch.

Next we arrived at "Tomorrow's Garden" owned by Gene and Jaclyn Schroeder.  I had several good conversations with friends on our bus as we walked together through the garden, and then I learned something new.  There is a lily called a "Blackberry Lily," which is tall and often grows in our daylily gardens.  In fact, we have one in our garden, but I didn't know that it is called a Blackberry Lily.  It has this name because the buds turn black like a Blackberry.  Diana and Jaclyn explained all this to me during our visit.

The last garden that we visited was at the home of Dr. Wally Zollman.  Dr.  Zollman is a Physician who specializes in plastic surgery.  He and his wife, Brenda, are big game hunters.  I even saw a "preserved Hyena" that the Zollman's had shot as we strolled through their daylily gardens.  I also must tell about my daylily, LYDIA'S REGAL ROBE.  As I mentioned earlier, I saw my daylily at the Lough residence.  Well, the friends in Region 2 wanted me to see it blooming for a second time on Sunday.  So it was in Dr. Zollman's vehicle being transported from the Lough farm to Dr. Zollman's home.  Unfortunately and sadly, the bucket turned over, and dirt was spilled all over the vehicle.  I regret the dirt problem, but I am so pleased that they went to such an effort for me to see LYDIA for a second time. 

As I walked into Dr. Zollman's garden I soon saw a red double seedling.  There aren't very many red doubles that are quality plants.  Dr. Zollman's double was about 37 inches tall with 6 way branching.  The flower looked to be 5.5 to perhaps 6 inches in diameter.  The time of day that we arrived at the garden was around 10:45 a.m., and the evening before we arrived it had rained about 1.5 inches.  So, conditions for the double were not the best, but as you can see from the picture, the double looked good.  I've also got to mention Dr. Zollman's bee hives.  He sells "honey," and I made a purchase.  He also grows a variety of Orchids, but he must have a place to store these during the winter.  So, had a wonderful time talking with Dr. Zollman, and being in his garden.

Soon we were back at the Hotel and we decided to take a different route back to Georgia.  We decided to drive over to Cincinnati, and then take I-75 basically to our front door.  Again, the driving was good and I wasn't tired, and neither was Diana.  However, when we were in Tennessee everything went bad again.  There was a serious wreck and all lanes were closed for many hours.  Our trip home again took over 11 hours, and when we entered Georgia it rained very heavy with lots of wind.  For quite a distance I could drive only between 25 and 35 mph on the Interstate.  Meanwhile the heavy trucks went by at very fast speeds.  I'm glad that driving experience is all over.

We thoroughly enjoyed the trip to Indiana to see so many daylily friends, from so many States.  Tomorrow its back to full time work in the garden.  We've got to continue getting the garden ready for 2016.

Thanks to my friend Mike Holmes, and to our friends in Region 2 for inviting us to visit!  And thanks to Mike and Region 2 for making such an effort to have LYDIA'S REGAL ROBE available and blooming in the gardens.


Henry requested to see a bright orange introduction from TET. HANDSOME ROSS CARTER.  So, I've decided to introduce Seedling 3-442, which I intend to call BURNT HICKORY.  The name was suggested by my friend Claude Carpenter.  The name is of a road very close by that is named BURNT HICKORY.  The measurements are as follows;  32" tall, 5-way branching, 25 buds, and a 6 1/4" flower.  It is semi-evergreen, and grows well even with a hard winter.  The only draw back is that it is not pod fertile.  Here are some pictures.

While BURNT HICKORY is not pod fertile, it is very "pollen fertile."  For example, I took pollen from BURNT HICKORY, and put it on FULLY BLESSED, and got a wonderful, burnt orange seedling,  The new seedling is 5-804, and I'm showing a picture.  It is 30" tall, 3 and 4 way branching, 18 buds, and a 6" Flower.  It is fully dormant.  I do not know if it is pod fertile.

The pictures of BURNT HICKORY and Seedling 5-804 were all taken outside with the measurements shown with the comments.

Also, since BURNT HICKORY is not pod fertile, I took its pollen and put it on TET. ROSE F. KENNEDY, and got the following beauty.  I do not know much about the ultimate height or size of the flower, but as I said, it is beautiful.  Perhaps one issue with BURNT HICKORY is that the bud is partly open the day before it blooms.  This allows water to sometimes enter the bud, but if marks are made this only enhances the burnt appearance.

When I was at Region 2 this past weekend looking at the gardens, I noticed that folks in Region 2 like the burnt orange look.  I saw flowers that had somewhat of a resemblance.  Also, during the national Convention back in June many people were very interested in BURNT HICKORY.  I hope that TET. HANDSOME ROSS CARTER helps improve the burnt orange appearance.

Thanks Henry for the question.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Love Those Doubles!

Hello Daylily Friends,

Got up this morning, and like I have this entire spring and summer, I went to the garden to see the new seedlings.  I think that it is amazing that I'm still seeing new seedlings blooming this first week of July.  I'm going to show two blooms from this morning that are doubles.  The first seedling is a cross between VIVA GLAM GIRL and TET. VANILLA FLUFF.  The second seedling is a cross between VIVA GLAM GIRL and TET. MADGE CAYSE.  Both of these seedlings have the eye from VIVA GLAM GIRL, and both have color from their respective, converted diploid parents.  Both doubles look like keepers to me, but I want them to go through another winter before I make any decision.

Speaking of these new doubles, I've been able to convert another double that I want to talk about.  Several years ago Diana and I went to a Region 5 meeting in South Georgia.  We visited the garden of Billy Dick, and one of his introductions was PEACHLAND RAINBOW.  Billy was kind enough to give me his diploid double, and I grew it for several years.  Finally, I had plenty of the plant, and this past winter I set out to get it converted.  Yesterday I could see from my examination of the pollen that the conversion was successful.  Of course, I want to make sure that I can make pods with this new conversion, but I'll have to wait for more blooms and cooler temperatures to check for "pollen efficiency."

Speaking of "pollen efficiency," when my good friend Jamie Gossard was here with the AHS National Convention in early June, he set out on an examination of some of my treated plants to determine the extent, if any, of my conversion work.  One plant that he examined was MY CUP OVERFLOWS.  I was certain that it was converted, but Jamie's results were a "no conversion."  I later found that another plant was, indeed, converted.  Then, he also checked Diana's Seedling 11-297.  Jamie, with his new machine, also reported that Seedling 11-297 was a Chimera: 75% Tetraploid and 25% diploid.  Very helpful information.  So, with this information, I was skeptical about my chances to use the seedling to make more plants.  Nevertheless, I tried.  I'm now pleased to report that I made a number of pods on TIDEWATER ELF which was introduced by Sandy Holmes in 2012.  The next step is to see whether the pods grow to maturity and produce seeds.

I've also had quite a demand from those who attended the National Convention for fans of BLAZING CANNONS.  I had soil that I could use to pot up seedlings of BLAZING CANNONS, but I just wasn't pleased with the soil.  So, I went to Griffin Greenhouse and bought a pallet of "Aged Pine Bark."  I then mixed the soil with 1/2 of a 50 lb. bag of the Aged Pink Bark.  Had a wonderful outcome.  So now I've potted about 20 proliferations from BLAZING CANNONS.  It will take me 2 or 3 months to get these plants growing well, but I'm pleased that I'm going to be able to meet the demand.  Again, I am so thrilled to have won "THE PRESIDENT'S CUP" at the AHS National Convention for growing the massive clump of BLAZING CANNONS.

I've also started getting the garden ready for 2016.  This is very hard work.  It requires removing seedlings that were not selected, and then holding seedlings that were selected.  The seedlings that weren't selected are thrown away.  Those that were selected are separated and then replanted.  Of course, with this work there is always a technical issue.  For me, my Tiller quit working.  So, I purchased a new Tiller from Husqvarna, and it works very well.  It digs quite deeply, and works fine.  I'm pleased with the purchase.

I've also tilled and prepared two smaller beds.  What I did was add more of the "rotted wood chips" to the rows, and then tilled these deep into the soil.  I also added 10-10-10 fertilizer that contains the "minor elements," and additionally I added plenty of Lime.  These three rows will help me move the remaining plants from the Greenhouse, and get the Greenhouse ready for starting new seeds.  I'll write more soon about gathering seeds.  Right now, the seeds I've collected are being kept in the Refrigerator.  I'll get them planted sometime in early August.  When I say that doing this is hard work, this is a gross understatement.  Most all the work has to be done on days when the temperature is 90 or above, and so this is the most difficult time for a Hybridizer.  I've got 5 more long rows to finish which will be done by late September.

I'm also pleased to report that Seedling 3-445 is doing quite well.  I first reported about this seedling on June 23, 2013.  I reported really good measurements, and I was particularly pleased with the "wide sepals."  The plant is dormant, and it is 30" tall, with 6-way branching.  It has 27 buds and a 6.5" flower.  The most important fact to report is that it is "pod fertile."  Although the temperature has been high, I've set pods on it from HEAVENLY SUNRISE.  In 2014 I took 3-445 to the Greenhouse to make seeds, but it never bloomed.  It was just tooooo dormant.  The seeds that I've just set were all done outside.  I'll try again to get Seedling 3-445 into the Greenhouse to hopefully use with TET. MY CUP OVERFLOWS.

Last year in the Greenhouse I had two seedlings which were 4-533 and 4-537.  I crossed these two seedlings together, and produced Seedling 5-735.  I watched 4-533 grow outside during the winter of 2015, and I had high hopes, but it turned out to be too short.  However, 4-537, was quite nice and tall.  So, I crossed 4-537 with 5-735.  We'll see the results of the most recent cross next year.  I even crossed 5-735 with TET. PINK STRIPES.  We'll have to see how this turns out as well.

Diana took a picture of Lily Rae, and put it as a "Screen Saver" on my Cell Phone.  The picture is just adorable, so I asked Diana if she could send it to me from my Cell Phone to my Computer.  She did.  Then Kelley Rae took the picture and put it into Picasa.  I then took the picture from Picasa, and put it here.  Lily is about to eat a grape, and she has such a wonderful smile with those bright and beautiful brown eyes.  Lily is just precious and growing so fast.

This coming weekend, Diana and I are traveling to Indianapolis, Indiana, to be "Bus Captains" for the Region 2 Summer Meeting.  Should be a lot of fun.  I don't know how we came to be asked to be the Bus Captains, but we're honored to go and meet many friends we know in Region 2, and make even more friends.  I'll write again after the visit!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

2015 AHS National Convention

 Hello Daylily Friends,

The AHS National Convention was such a time of excitement.  On Thursday morning the garden was ready, but the rain came.  I was so pleased with the rain because this meant that the plants would look their best on Friday morning, when the buses would arrive.  Although the rain meant that there would be a little more clean-up that would be needed, the clean-up was minor compared to the benefits of the wonderful rain.  I took just a few pictures just to show the Thursday morning rain.

On Thursday afternoon we had the "Hybridizer's Forum," which was well attended.  Our speakers included Karen Pierce who spoke about Guy's work in producing great daylilies using TET. ROSE F. KENNEDY.  Rich Howard of Connecticut spoke about his work in producing great introductions including EXPLOSION IN THE PAINT FACTORY and YANKEE PINSTRIPES.  Then Sandy Holmes told us about her work with spiders and unusual forms.  Sandy has done so well that she has become a great hybridizer for producing such beautiful UF's including WALT LOWRY.  I regret that I didn't get a picture from the Forum, but each speaker's performance was first rate: The very best!  Thanks Karen, Rich and Sandy for your wonderful presentations.

Friday morning came and the first buses arrived.  I quickly saw my friend, Don Eller, and the day was off to a wonderful start.  My Daughter Kelley drove her Mom's car to help those who might have trouble walking up the long driveway.  We tried to help everyone who needed help, because we didn't want anyone to be too exhausted just from the walk to get to the garden.

We were particularly pleased to meet Ms. Marsha Zech, the Director from Region 8 (Washington), who purchased the privilege to be able to name Seedling 3-374.  Marsha went through a spirited bidding process, and paid the amount of $1,000.00 to have the "naming privilege."  I am now ready to send 3 fans to Marsha, but I will have to check with Marsha and find out when she wants the fans mailed.  I am so delighted with Marsha's willingness to be a part of the bidding process, and claim the naming privilege.  Thanks Marsha.

And then quickly the garden was filled with visitors.  It was so good to see so many friends from so many states, from California to Maine, from Michigan to Florida.  Visitors from all over the US and from across the world: we even had two visitors from China.  They enjoyed the garden just behind the house as well as the very large seedling garden.  I like the established flowers behind the house, but my joy is working to make new daylilies.  New introductions.  I thought for a moment that I might guide people through the garden, but alas, daylily friends want to explore, and this is what they did.

I have to add that Mr. Kelly J. Huff, who is a Reporter from The Marietta Daily Journal, a local newspaper, came to report on our AHS Convention.  Mr. Huff was lost in the crowd because so many of our members also had cameras just like Mr. Huff.  I thought that perhaps our Convention could be mentioned in the "Lifestyle" section of the Newspaper, but Saturday morning was a giant, incredible surprise.  I opened the Newspaper, and the whole story was on the "front page" of the paper.  There in bold color was a very large picture of my introduction this year, that is named "FULLY BLESSED."  

One of the stories reported by Mr. Huff had to do with my Seedling 4-564, which I wrote about beginning on page 40 in the Spring Edition of The Daylily Journal.  To refresh our collective recollection, I'm showing a picture of this Seedling that I took this morning.  It is growing quite well, and I was eager for my friend, Rich Howard of Connecticut to see it growing.  I had converted Rich's introduction, YANKEE PINSTRIPES, and I wanted Rich to see Seedling 4-564 pollinated with TET. YANKEE PINSTRIPES.  Our friend, Joann Ferguson, of Oregon was with us, and as I was pollinating Seedling 4-564, Mr. Kelly snapped a picture.  As I pointed out, the picture made it to the front page of the Newspaper.  We all really enjoyed our Convention being on the front page of the newspaper, and I particularly appreciated the story about the pollination of Seedling 4-564.

Having a great National Convention that was reported above the fold line on the front page of the Newspaper, was a wonderful and grand surprise.  But for us in particular, the story continues to be incredibly exciting.  On Saturday night, after the convention had ended, we were watching as so many of our members won AHS Awards and Honors.  We were so delighted for everyone who received an honor, but then, near the end of the evening, it was announced that my introduction, BLAZING CANNONS, was selected by our members as being grown in the most impressive clump found in all of the eight gardens on tour.  In short, our BLAZING CANNONS won "The President's Cup."  We were just shocked at the selection of our plant.  As my good friend, Barbara Kirby noted in a wonderful card she sent to us, BLAZING CANNONS joins FRANCIS JOINER and MARY'S GOLD, as the 3rd Georgia Daylily to have won The President's Cup.  We just want to say, "Thank You" to all of our AHS friends for this selection.  Thank you, thank you and thank you.  I'm showing a picture of myself and Diana, standing with Oliver Billingslea, just in front of BLAZING CANNONS.

I also want to add a note of thanks to our friend, Carl Harmon from New Hampshire.  Carl came to our garden Thursday morning, just after the rain ended, and worked so hard all day long, deadheading the Greenhouse as well as a large section of the outside garden.  Carl then still had the energy to go see the Atlanta Braves play baseball.  Many thanks to Carl!

Then came Sunday morning.  We were so blessed to have so many friends come back to the garden, and the visits lasted most of the day.  You would have thought that we would have been so tired, that we would have collapsed, but this didn't happen.  Instead, we were so glad to get to visit with our daylily friends, that it was just another most enjoyable part of the Convention.  I note this particularly with a picture taken of myself, in my barn, with my friends Michael Falconer and Dave Mussar from Canada.

So many good things happened during the time leading up to and including the Convention.  So many thanks in particular go to David and Camilla Arthur who worked almost 3 years to make this Convention come to life.  Thanks especially to David and Camilla.

By the way, we're seeing so many exciting new seedlings that I will have to write about on another day.