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.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

10" in Diameter

Hello Daylily Friends,

Today was an extraordinary day in our daylily garden.  Several years ago I treated TET. SUNGLASSES NEEDED, but as of today I've produced only 5 seeds from using this conversion.  However, I now have two 3-gallon buckets of this conversion in the Greenhouse, and today I saw the first bloom.  Ordinarily I wouldn't mention such a bloom, but this particular bloom was just awesome.  When I looked at it I called my friend, Mike Holmes, in Ohio, and told him about the bloom's massive size.  Mike encouraged me to get it measured and photographed, which I did.  First, I'm showing the bloom, and then I'm showing a picture of the bloom with a tape measure across the face of the flower.  I wouldn't have believed that the flower could have been 10" in diameter, but it was.  I gathered three anthers from the bloom which I put in the refrigerator, and which I will use tomorrow.  I should be able to use this pollen to make much more than 5 seeds.

I'm also pleased to report that I've been able to convert Charles Douglas' GARRETT ALLEN.  Charles gave me a single fan several years ago when I was privileged to speak at their local club in South Carolina.  Although I was reluctant to treat just one fan, I did it anyway because I knew that Charles wanted his flower converted.  Demand for GARRETT ALLEN meant that I would only have one fan, and so I made the effort.  I wasn't sure that I had the flower converted, but I had to plant it outside because it is dormant.  It would have just died if I had kept it in the Greenhouse.  So, I planted it outside, and it made I through the winter just fine.

Then I waited and waited to see the first bloom, but the weather forecasters predicted heavy rain.  Rain would ruin the pollen, so I took an umbrella and put it over the plant.  The umbrella strategy worked just fine.  The heavy rain came, but there was no harm to the plant.  Plus, later in the morning, I was able to collect the pollen.  And for the first time I actually saw Charles' GARRETT ALLEN.  What a gorgeous flower.

I looked at the pollen using my microscope, and was able to see that I have practically a full, 100% conversion.  I sent my friend Charles the good news, and he and Heidi were very pleased.  Of course I will have to grow the single fan that I have such that I have 4 or 5 fans.  Then I will get it ready to give to Charles.  Hopefully this will all happen this fall.

So much is so possible with conversions.  As an example, consider TET. SEBASTIAN THE CRAB.  Several years ago I was able to get this Joiner beauty converted, but I haven't had doubles to work with to see if my conversion could be helpful.  However, I had a double that was sent by David Kirchhoff to my wife, and I used TET. SEASTIAN on David's double.  Well the double bloomed outside today, and I'm very encouraged by what I've seen.  I like the lighter color, and I see real possibilities ahead.

Well we've been working so hard trying to get ready for the AHS National Convention, that there hasn't been time for a leisure breakfast.  But our friends, David and Camilla Arthur, who are the Chairpersons for the Convention, went with us to the French Restaurant for breakfast.  Oh we talked and talked, and just enjoyed the hour we took for this adventure.  Then, back to the garden to continue preparations for the National.

Since I'm able to convert diploid daylilies, it is always good to have excellent stock to use.  Well my wife Diana has really been having success creating wonderful, lovely, diploid flowers.  One flower in particular that she made was a cross between PINK STRIPES and Jamie Gossard's HEAVENLY SNOW WHITE.  When I saw this flower blooming I had to stop, and then I went to get my camera.  Diana had created a wonderful, peppermint appearing, new beauty that is now Seedling 5-767.  The measurements are good and I hope to begin working with this beauty this fall.

Seedling 5-765 is another of Diana's new daylilies.  She used Elizabeth Salter's GREEN TREAT as the pod parent, and the pollen came from Doorkian's ROSE F. KENNEDY.  Again, the plant measurements are very good.  I like the height of 28 inches, plus the 4-way branching.  I think that the color is strong, and this beauty, along with the expected conversion, will eventually be introduced.

Notwithstanding all of these points of good news, one pest has really been a nuisance this spring.  I'm speaking about "Thrips."  Why did our Heavenly Father create such a pest?  Tiny, tiny insects, but the damage they do is considerable.  To make matters worse, I've been having trouble with my 50-gallon Sprayer.  More particularly, "the strainer" that is located underneath the tank has a hole in it, and it leaks.  This may be damage from freezing temperatures this past winter.  Anyway, chemicals are so expensive, and so I just can't afford a leak.  The company that sold me the Sprayer unit is no longer in business, but I was able to find a replacement part in South Dakota.  The part should arrive on Thursday.  I hope that this isn't too late since the convention starts the following Thursday.

Little Lily Rae has had a good thing happen.  She was at a store with her Mother and Grandmother when she saw a Huffy bicycle that was equipped with training wheels.  Lily remarked to her Grandmother that she could ride the bike, and so Diana said "Ok, let's see you do it."  Lily promptly rode very well.  Lily wanted the bike, and her Grandmother made the purchase.  Lily rides behind the house and she is very safe.  She has her helmet that she wears, and we are with her when she rides.  What a wonderful granddaughter!

More news soon.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

So Much to See and Do!

Hello Daylily Friends,

I can't tell you the extent of my jubilation when I saw the pollen from my single, small bud from YANKEE PINSTRIPES.  I just have to show a picture of the pollen.  I only had a little bit of pollen, and I took all the pollen there was to examine under the microscope.  Clearly, the pollen is of tetraploid size, and my good friend Rich Howard will welcome this good news.  However, it will still take "work" to keep the converted plant alive, and grow it to multiple, useable fans.

I have to also tell the story about my new Seedling 5-710.  I used my own Seedling 2-471 as the pod parent, which I've previously showed in my Entry on this Blog back on August 18, 2013.  I may add that I particularly like Seedling 2-471 because it is dormant, and because it has the beginnings of "chartreuse teeth."  I crossed 2-471 using pollen from Story's SHATTERED.  I'm pleased to see that Seedling 5-710 kept much of the SHATTERED appearance, and picked up some of the tooth edge from 2-471.  This is exciting because of the future that it offers.  My new 5-710 can now be crossed with so many other daylilies, including my Seedling 4-564, which I produced last year using TET. PINK STRIPES.  Seedling 4-564 was shown on this Blog back on June 12, 2014.

 What about this morning's bloom on Seedling 5-710?  I'm really happy with the broken pattern on this little beauty.  Did I mention that it is pod fertile?  Another factor is that all three sepals are always displayed boldly and distinctly.  It is just so good to have a broken pattern that has big time potential.

I've also had a nice bloom on a red, Unusual Form.  The new plant is Seedling 5-711, and is a cross between my best bloom so far from using a Tet. Rose Seedling, and my Spider Seedling 3-433, which I will introduce soon.  In the new seedling I like the red color, the Tet. Rose green throat, and the intricate twists of the sepals.  I've got plans for this beauty using pollen from a conversion that I will have later this summer.  When I first started working with daylilies I just didn't pay any attention to Spiders or Unusual Forms, but this has all changed.

Another Seedling that I am pleased about was selected last year, and is Seedling 4-559.  I must have seen the bloom outside, but I didn't make any notes about height, size or branching.  Nevertheless, it is quite nice.  I like the round form and the elusive blue eye.  I have decided that 4-559 is a Seedling that must be used.

I am pleased with my introduction this year named HOTLANTA.  Nevertheless, I often try to improve plants that I particularly like.  So, I took TET. WAXEN SPLENDOR, crossed this with HOTLANTA, and then crossed the Seedling back to HOTLANTA.  This is how I was able to produce Seedling  5-718.  I like the rich red eye and edge, and I think that I'm on my way to having new seedlings with red eyes and edges.  A deep red color just so much enhances a daylily, particularly when there is a green throat.

Little Lily Rae has been helping her Grandmother, Diana.  This past week end Diana went to plant two more "Hostas" out front near the road.  Little Lily put "hand fulls" of Diana's compost into the soil, and then when the Hostas were planted, Lily helped her Grandmother give the new plants some water.  Everything has to be ready for the AHS National Convention coming in early June.  When Lily comes to visit this week end, I know she will want to help Grandmother "water" these new Hostas.  Lily Rae is just perfect!

Speaking of getting ready for the Convention, I have to "Spray the Garden" using chemicals.  I've charged the battery on my 50 gallon Tank, I'm mixing the proper amount of the chemicals, and the Tank is now attached to my Tractor.  So the work has to be done.  I just don't like spraying the outside garden, but our AHS Members who will be here will want to see daylilies growing as well as they can be grown.  So, I will soon write more, but for now I'm off to spray.

More news soon.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Exciting New Daylilies

Hello Daylily Friends,

I went to the Greenhouse this morning, and there she was:  UNDEFINABLE.  Just a glorious bloom!  Nicole DeVito has done a marvelous work with this new daylily.  I can't wait to get it fully integrated into my program.  The color on the flower was just as clear as shown by Nicole in her pictures.  Moreover, UNDEFINABLE grows faster than grass.  The question now is whether I can set pods on UNDEFINABLE.  Thanks Nicole for this great new beauty.

Another new daylily is Ted Petit's SWEET GOLDONI.  I am just amazed that this little flower bloomed as fast as it has.  I received it as a bare root seedling the last week of January, 2015.  It now has two (2) "scapes."  It is both pod and pollen fertile, and it is close to the color Ted published.  I'm sure that it will become lighter in color, with a more red self, once it is moved outside.  I am trying to cross it to a Grace seedling that has plenty of teeth.  I hope this works.  Later, I will cross it with my other seedlings that have rings in the eye of the flower.

Another bloom that I have seen over the past few days, and that I saw again this morning, is Guy Pierce's ROMAN STEEL.  This flower has just an amazing bloom, and you can't walk past it without stopping to stare.  I have plans for this beauty, and I particularly like the 7" flower, plus the height of 30 inches.  I like the wonderful purple color  and the very obvious white edging.  I wonder if "teeth" can be put on ROMAN STEEL.  Guy I can see why you put the picture of ROMAN STEEL on the cover of your catalogue.

I have to also show one of my own new seedlings.  It is a cross between THE STING! and Seedling 3-374, my 10" double.  The new seedling has teeth.  WOW.  I am so pleased with this.  I am again crossing this with Seedling 3-374, and also with HORNS.  I just don't see anything but good from these choices.

Another new Seedling is 4-534, and the cross is as follows:  (Kennesaw Mountain Hayride x Tet. Rose F. Kennedy).  It has a very long pistol, just like a spider or an unusual form flower.  However, 4-534 is pod fertile.  I've had no trouble setting pods on this beauty.  The only problem that I've had is that I often miss having all six Stamen.  I can also report that I have it growing outside and its doing quite well.  Can't wait to see how 4-534 performs after a long winter.  Did I mention that 4-534 has a width of eight (8) inches?

On a different subject, Diana and I were so fortunate to have attended "The Covenant Class" at our Church this past fall, winter and spring.  The classes were taught by our three Ministers:  Rev. Sam Matthews, Pastor Elaine Wilder, and Pastor Brian Smith.  The classes were taught for 1 1/2 hours following Wednesday night Church supper.  We learned so much, and it was especially good to be in the company of our Ministers.  At our last meeting we all had our picture taken together.

Oh, I almost forgot, a number of my "conversion efforts" are coming along quite well.  I'm particularly pleased with Rich Howard's YANKEE PINSTRIPES.  You may recall that Rich's flower has darker purple and cream stripes much like PINK STRIPES.  I mention YANKEE PINSTRIPES because it has grown a "tiny scape."  I'm hopefully going to get a look at the pollen using my microscope, and this may put me ahead of my own schedule by about a year.  I'll let everyone know what I see from examining the pollen.

Another flower that I've been trying to convert is ROSABELLE VAN VALKENBURG.  This is a small flower that Elizabeth Salter introduced back in 2008.  I mention ROSABELLE because it now has two fans that are each growing roots.  When this happens this is a good sign that the conversion work has been successful.  I've been trying to convert ROSABELLE for several years, but this time it looks like I've made good progress.

I must also mention Beautiful Lily Rae.  Our neighbor's little black dog came over into our yard, and he and Lily were just instant friends.  The dog's name is "Baby," and he let Lily pet him, and they just enjoyed each other's company.  I think Lily and her Dad have a dog, and so Lily was not starled by Baby.  We get to see Lily this evening.  So much to look forward to.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Lily and the Blue Iris

Hello Daylily Friends,

I've had a bloom that I would like to report, which is Seedling 4-597, and the cross is as follows:  [((Wild and Free x Walt Lowry) x Tet. Rose F. Kennedy) x Tet. Rose F. Kennedy].  I started the cross using Stamile's WILD AND FREE, which I then crossed using Sandy Holmes' WALT LOWRY.  The seedling from this cross is Seedling 3-433 with which I am well pleased, and which I will introduce soon.  I then crossed 3-433 with TET. ROSE F. KENNEDY, and then I made a second cross with TET. ROSE.  I am very pleased with this new seedling as well, and my question for myself is whether the new seedling is pod fertile.  It will have two blooms tomorrow that I will again cross, but using TET. ASHEE DASHEE as the pollen parent.  Wish me luck with the cross.

I would like to also report about my Seedling 4-570, and the cross is as follows:  (Irish Halo x Diana's Irish Dream). I have grown this Seedling outside for two years, and the final measurements are as follows:  28" tall, 4-way branching, 17 buds, and a 6" flower.  I think that 4-570 has the best green edge of any flower that I've grown.  It is pod and pollen fertile, but it has a corduroy appearance on its petals and sepals.  I like it notwithstanding this corduroy texture.

As always, we've had a tough winter.  The temperatures were moderate, and then there were days when it is bitterly cold.  Then there was wind and snow and worse.  Finally, spring arrived.  I thought that we were completely past anymore disappointing weather, but then it happened.  The sun was shining, and suddenly it was raining, and then the hail came in vast numbers of pellets.  There was damage to the daylilies, but Diana was more concerned about the damage done to her Hostas.  The Hosta leaves were really pelted, and there are many holes in the leaves from the hail.  I suppose that we never escape unpredictable weather.

I have several things to report about Lily Rae.  We took Lily to see the Koi fish, and she was delighted.  We saw many large pools where the Koi were kept for sale, and they seemed to know they had visitors.  We ultimately picked out two Koi for our pond, and we bought them, and now they are happy with our other fish.  At the Koi store they also had two white ducks which Lily really liked.  She wanted to get close but of course we wouldn't let her.  Then, I decided to hold her and we went as close to the ducks as we could.  Lily had the most fun and she laughed and laughed, while keeping her eye on the duck that was interested in her shoes.

Indeed, Lily had a number of adventures over the week-end.  She was particularly interested in our Blue Iris, and she specifically made the effort to experience the possible fragrance of the Iris.  She pulled the flower to her nose and inhaled.  There might have been a fragrance because she just smiled as she continued to hold the flower.  The Irises were given to use by former Club members, and we've certainly enjoyed seeing them bloom.  We've particularly enjoyed the White Irises.