Sunday, April 13, 2014

Visiting with the "Long Island Daylily Society."

Hello Daylily Friends,

I've just returned from having the pleasure of visiting with the Long Island Daylily Society on Long Island, New York.  I arrived in New York after only a 2-hour flight from Atlanta, and I was promptly met in the Baggage Claim area by my new friends, LuAnne Madden and Pam Milliken.  How glad it was to meet my hosts, and we had a wonderful ride to their home where I was privileged to spend the evening.  LuAnne and Pam have a wonderful little dog who is only about 5-months old and who is named "Sandy."  We had a wonderful time together, and then later in the evening we met with George and Joan Rasmussen, and had a grand Italian dinner together at a local restaurant.  Guess what we talked about?  Oh, the dinner was delightful!

The next morning LuAnne and Pam took me to breakfast at the "Buckram Stables Café."  We had a wonderful breakfast and plenty of coffee to get the day started.  The waitress sounded like she was from England, and the Café reflects a time when there were plenty of horses on Long Island.  We then went to the Planting Fields Arboretum where the Club would soon meet.  However, 10 or 12 Club members joined together to prepare their daylily garden at the Arboretum to be ready for summer display.  I was genuinely surprised to see so many Club members doing such difficult work only a few hours ahead of their meeting.  They explained that they could get more accomplished with this plan.  I had to take the time to work on my program, and after I finished with my work I walked through the Greenhouse.

As I walked through the Greenhouse I thought back to about 10 years ago when the Long Island Daylily Society hosted the AHS National Convention.  The attendees at the Convention visited the Greenhouse, and we had lunch on the grounds.  The Greenhouse is just as beautiful today as it was back then.  As I entered the Greenhouse I saw gorgeous Hydrangeas, and plenty of white Easter Lilies.  I could have stayed in the Greenhouse for hours but the time had come to join the members of the Club for our meeting.

I was astonished at the number of members of the Club who were present for the meeting.  Just before the meeting began there were sandwiches and desserts, and there a particular dessert prepared by Ms. Laura Chaloupecky.  I liked Laura's dessert that was topped with pecans.  Then I talked to Mary and Liana Pirraglia, who are Mother and Daughter. How precious it must be for a Mother and Daughter to enjoy daylilies so much that they can sit together and listen to a speaker talk about new flowers.  I admire Mary and Liana.  I then gave the presentation to the Club, and I am so pleased to say that the Club seemed to enjoy the discussion.  Then the auction also went well.

I ultimately was on the plane back to Atlanta, and this morning I went immediately to my own Greenhouse.  Although I liked the Planting Fields Greenhouse, I like my own Greenhouse much better because my Greenhouse has "new daylilies."  One daylily that I saw this morning was Seedling 4-500.  A lovely blue eyed beauty, but I must have made a mistake in recording the parentage.  Another new daylily is Seedling 4-504, and the parentage is SAWYER'S GIGGLES x TET. ELOQUENTLY EDGED.  So far, all of the seedlings from this cross have opened poorly, but 4-504 opens well.  Moreover, its large eye is so alluring, and the bright yellow color makes a bold statement.  I hope this beauty continues to perform.

It was a tremendous delight to visit the Long Island Daylily Society.  Thanks to LuAnne and Pam and the members of the Club for a wonderful daylily adventure.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Dogwood Trees are in full Bloom!

Hello Daylily Friends,

Over the past 24 hours we've had 4" of rain.  So, we are soaked.  Four inches is a lot of rain, but this has really helped our daylilies to grow, and they look great.  They will grow over this coming year, and next year at the AHS National Convention, they should be beautiful.  The fact is that daylilies have to have 2 years to grow to look their very best.  I must also so pleased to report that I have seen several blooms on TET. SEBASTIAN THE CRAB.  Last year, having had only a small amount of pollen, I made no progress in producing new seeds with this conversion.  However, I've set several seeds on a double that Diana received from David Kirchoff.  Can't wait to see if the new seed pods continue to mature and ultimately produce seeds.  I've also been able to freeze some pollen from TET. SEBASTIAN.

I also want to report that I've seen new blooms on Stamile's FANCY LACE.  This wonderful daylily is a "champion."  It does well whether it has gone through a hard winter or whether it has been in the comfortable surroundings of a Greenhouse.  It is one of my favorites that I previously wrote about back on July 17, 2013.  Thanks Pat for this absolutely wonderful creation.

One of my new daylilies is Seedling 4-502, and the parents are as follows:  (Dr. Stump x The Sting!).  I made a number of daylilies from this cross, and practically all of them were planted outside.  This particular seedling just had a root emerging from the seed, so I planted it early and it grew in the Greenhouse.  While it does not have height, branching or bud count of any particular consequence, it nevertheless is a wonderful orange daylily, with teeth.  I think that it may also be a weaker plant, but perhaps I can use it to get that wonderful edge transferred to a winter hardy orange daylily.  I have plenty of candidate parents that I can use for this purpose.  I would also add that I've taken pictures of the first two blooms.  Both blooms were so nice.  I feel confident that it will do even better in producing teeth outside in the hot summer sun.

One of my daylilies that I previously saw, both in the Greenhouse and outside after going through a winter, is Seedling 2-471.  I had initially thought that it had a green edge, but this was just that: "hope."  Seedling 2-471, however, has 5-way branching, and it is a strong daylily.  The pink color in the self, however, is spotted and isn't clear.  So, 2-471 seems to be the perfect candidate to cross with Dave Mussar's, SPOTS BEFORE MY EYES.  Dave's daylily is very fertile with very good branching, and may just be the vehicle to accomplish what I hope to do.  That is, have a spotted daylily with an attractive edge that is winter hardy.  I'm showing another picture of SPOTS BEFORE MY EYES just to show how these two beauties match each other.

Another daylily that I selected back in 2011, is Seedling 11-315.  I first grew this plant in the Greenhouse, then I grew it outside, and it has a "grand, regal appearance."  Someone recently wrote to me about it, and I'm showing it because of this particular note.  11-315 is pollen fertile, but I recall having difficulty in using it outside when I tried to use it as a pod parent.  However, I may be able to use it as both a pod and pollen parent in the Greenhouse.  I have big plans for this beauty. 

I would also report that my friend, Jamie Gossard, gave me a number of daylilies this past fall and so I've been growing them in the Greenhouse.  One of the daylilies that I received from Jamie was SPACECOAST VELVET VALENTINE.  Just a wonderful daylily with a very strong scape.  It seems to always have three laterals, and the colors are a saturated red.  Moreover, it has a wonderfully blended "ivory" colored eye.  In my opinion it is a perfect match for my Seedling 1-264 which is a dormant.  I like matching dormants and evergreens because I seem to usually produce winter hardy plants from using such parents.

I want to look back to just a few weeks ago when my "wood pile" was covered with snow.  I have since burned it twice, and the second burning was just two days before we had the 4" of rain.  The last day that we can burn yard debris here where we live is May 1, so I have to make sure that I get this work done in an orderly manner.  Then, there are lots of bushes that need to be trimmed, and I like to burn the old branches as well.  The garden is really starting to take shape with all of the changes.

This past week-end Little Lily Rae was with us for a visit. She just continues to grow, and those beautiful brown eyes are so bright.  She talks so much, and she constantly surprises me with things she says and the questions she asks.  I have taught Little Lily the differences in a number of trees and over the course of the winter I told her that the Dogwood Tree would have white blooms in the spring.  I was able to show this to her this past Friday, and she was genuinely interested.  She is such a blessing!

Notwithstanding all of the rain we've had, the daylilies in the Greenhouse need water.  So, I'm signing off for now and going to the Greenhouse to "water."


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Visiting with "The Puget Sound Daylily Club."

Hello Daylily Friends,

I've just experienced a once in a lifetime adventure.  I am sitting in the waiting area at Gate S9 in the airport in Seattle, Washington, after having visited with the Puget Sound Daylily Club.  Early this past Friday morning I boarded a plane in Atlanta, Georgia, and took a five hour flight to Seattle.  My new friend, Caroline Zebroski, met me at the Seattle Airport, and she took me to The Hampton Inn where she made arrangements for me to stay for the weekend.  At The Hampton Inn I met another new friend, Marilyn Glenn, and the three of us talked, and then we went together and saw the sights all around Seattle.  I saw two grand gardens.  The first garden was the Elda Boehm Paradise Garden at the Setak Community Center, and the second garden was at the University of Washington.  Both gardens were amazing, and I was pleased to see the daylilies emerging from their winter rest at the Boehm garden.  I likewise saw The University of Washington, including both the basketball and football stadiums, Mt. Ranier, the Space Needle, the Boeing Aircraft Company, many waterways, and we eventually went to the "Pike Place Farmer's Market."  I have to tell you more about the Farmer's Market.

What a place!  Pike Place Market is over a hundred years old, and is a place where practically everything is sold.  I saw wonderful bouquets selling for only $10.00.  I saw fresh fish of every type and description, many crafts, and I saw people from every background.  And everything was very clean.  The streets are made of cobblestone, vegetables of every type are sold, and Pike Place is where the Starbucks Coffee shops began.  All three of us sampled cheese, various flavors of Olive oils, and we also sampled a fruit that tasted like a Pear.  We eventually went to "Cutter's" Seafood
Restaurant, and we met the most amazing waitress.  She had a wonderful appearance, and her hair was amazingly arranged.  I just have to show a picture.  The meal was wonderful, and we all talked well into the evening hours.  We soon went back to the hotel where I had a good night's sleep, so as to be ready for the daylily meeting the following morning.

At the meeting I was made to feel very welcome, and I was particularly delighted to meet the youngest member of the Club, Ms. Jamie Sheldon, and her mother Kathryn as well.  Jamie purchased my daylily, LYDIA'S REGAL ROBE, and I certainly hope that it does well for her.  Indeed, the entire auction went very well, and I hope for good news as to how my flowers grow in Washington.  After the meeting I was privileged to take a picture of the Club.  What a wonderful experience it was to meet everyone from the Puget Sound Club, and to now have a close relationship with the members.

After the meeting we went to supper at a local Yacht Club, which was right on the water.  The scene was so idyllic, and I ordered the "Fish and Chips," and the waitress took our picture.  Back at the hotel I had a good night's rest, but I was up early to catch the flight back to Atlanta.  Delta's plane was a Boeing A330, and it was a newer jet.  Very comfortable.

Visiting Daylily Clubs all across the Country has given me a new perspective about the importance of our National Organization.  We are young and old, and everything in between, we are laborers and doctors, we are many nationalities and have  myriad levels of education, and yet we are all the same: we love daylilies!

More news soon.  Back home in the Greenhouse, all is well.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Visiting with "The Wisconsin Daylily Society."

Hello Daylily Friends,

Diana and I have just returned from visiting with The Wisconsin Daylily Society in Madison, Wisconsin.  It was a wonderful, wonderful trip.  Thanks to Francis and Genni Kleckner for inviting us to come and visit, and thanks to the entire Club for making our visit so enjoyable.  As we boarded the Delta Aircraft for the flight to Madison, I mentioned to the Pilot to be sure that his "Transponder" was set for the total time of our flight.  He thanked me for the advice, and immediately went inside the cockpit to set the dial.  Thanks also to Delta for flying to and from Madison, and a particular thank you to our Delta Pilot on our return trip home.  Visibility was quite difficult due to cloud cover, and at one point another aircraft passed below us and was within 1,000 feet of our plane.

Francis and Genni picked us up at the airport, and took us to our hotel.  After we were settled in the room they then took us to a delightful seafood restaurant.  Diana and I both very much enjoyed our dinners, and we had such delicious servings that we couldn't eat any dessert.  We were joined at the evening meal by Paul Pratt, the Club's Treasurer, and we all talked about our favorite subject: daylilies!  The next morning Francis and Genni took us to the Club meeting that was held at a local school.  The room where the meeting took place was really well built, and I am showing a picture so that we can see the style of the room.  There were so many members of the Club present that I am pleased to say that the Madison Club is the second largest local Club that we have visited.  There were between 65 to 70 members present when I began to show my program.  I also want to mention that during my presentation Diana sat with Bob Kietzman who she knew from conversations on the phone.  Diana and Bob swapped daylilies and peonies.  Diana really is looking forward to seeing blooms on the peonies that she received from Bob.

After our Club meeting was finished, about 30 Club members came to the hotel and served a grand dinner.  I particularly enjoyed the beef and the vegetables, and Diana liked the roast turkey.  We talked and talked and talked, and learned much about each other.  I particularly want to mention my young friend, Chris Von Kohn, who I previously met over the Internet when Chris was a student at Texas A & M.  Chris has since graduated from College, and is now working on his Masters and his Doctorate degrees at the University of Wisconsin.  I was also privileged to talk at length with Cheryl Solaris who is a committed member of the Club.  Indeed, we all had our picture taken together just before we went to dinner.  Then, we  had another picture taken just before our evening meal.

I was also privileged to meet Mr. Hiram Pearcy who founded The Wisconsin Daylily Club back in 1990.  Hiram has since been a loyal Club leader and member, and each year the Club has an annual sale of daylilies that has been very, very successful.

When we arrived back at home I was delighted to see even more blooms in the Greenhouse.  Two blooms in particular were particularly lovely.  The first bloom is from STOKE THE FIRE which was hybridized by my friend, Josh Jaquez, in Louisiana.  I really like the yellow/gold self, and the red/orange eye.  Josh sent this daylily to me last spring, and it has now grown to full size.  I intend to use it in my hybridizing.  The second daylily is from my friend, Bill Maryott, in California.  Bill's daylily is PRICKLY SENSATION.  I took the picture of the flower because it is blooming as a polytepal.  I particularly like the throat on the flower, and I've crossed the plant with TET. TERRY LYNINGER.  I'm hoping to see success from this cross.  Bill sent PRICKLY SENSATION to me several years ago and I'm always glad to see the blooms.  I'm pleased to report that I have it growing in the outside garden, and that it has survived our hard winter.

Finally, I have to show where Diana will grow her tomatoes this year.  Diana will be using the cages that I've placed in a new part of the garden.  I've tilled the soil, I've place lime in the soil, and I believe that the tomatoes will grow very well.  Diana had used another part of the garden to grow her tomatoes for the past five years.  It was time for a change in location.   

Diana and I want to again report how much we enjoyed the visit with our Wisconsin daylily friends, and again say thank you to the Club members and to Francis and Genni for their invitation.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Tet. Carribean Whitney Lynn

Hello Daylily Friends,

I want to tell you about a conversion that I have which is TET. CARIBBEAN WHITNEY LYNN.  Last spring I went to visit with my good friend, Larry Grace, at his home near Dothan, Alabama.  Larry has won numerous awards as a daylily hybridizer, including the highest award of all, The Stout Medal.  He continues to produce outstanding, state of the art creations, like his last two red daylilies: THE BLESSING OF FREEDOM and HOME OF THE FREE.  I mention these two daylilies particularly because I have found them to be so, so beautiful, and also because they are such great parents.  I also mention these few points because if I go to visit Larry, and then am fortunate enough to bring home TET. CARIBBEAN WHITNEY LYNN, something "big" has happened.  Let me explain.

The first AHS National Convention that Diana and I attended was at Jacksonville, Florida.  We saw truly outstanding gardens.  It was a magnificent convention, and I remember going to the garden of Dave Talbott.  He had a new seedling that had bloomed, and he said that the name would be CARIBBEAN WHITNEY LYNN.  I had no way of securing access to the plant, and as I went about my own daylily work, I lost interest because I couldn't convert plants.  CARIBBEAN WHITNEY LYNN is a diploid.  Then, when I saw the converted plant that Larry was growing, I obviously had to ask about it.  Larry said that he had converted it years ago, and that I could have the plant.  I was thrilled!  I took the plant home, and this past spring I made new seeds using TET. CARIBBEAN WHITNEY LYNN as a pollen parent.  In my garden I now have seedlings growing from this cross.  Thanks Larry for allowing me to have this magnificent plant.

I must also report that Diana has started to grow her Tomatoes.  She started her Tomatoes from seeds that she purchased from The Burpee Catalogue for 2014.  In fact, she is growing two new Tomatoes:  (1) One is the "Steakhouse," and (2) the other is the "Brandy Boy."  The Steakhouse is reported by Burpee to be "the biggest tomato ever bred," and Brandy Boy is reported by Burpee to be "the best slicer we've bred in over 50 years."   I can taste these Tomatoes now.  In fact, everything growing in the Greenhouse looks good.  I'm showing a picture that I took this morning.

I also want to mention another daylily that I'm growing in the Greenhouse.  I first saw this daylily in the garden of Steve Horan in Woodbury, Minnesota.  To be more specific, I saw this magnificent daylily during the AHS National Convention in July 2013.  The day when I first saw POULTRY IN MOTON was a cold and wet day.  In fact, the visitors to Steve's garden were practically all wearing coats, including raincoats.  It is an understatement to say that the weather was not good when I first saw POULTRY IN MOTION, but nevertheless, the plant was truly beautiful.  I decided to buy two fans from Dan Bachman, the hybridizer, and I've been growing the plant in my Greenhouse since that time.  I now have six fans, and three scapes.  I can't wait to hybridize with this incredible plant.  I'm going to use it with conversions, unusual forms, plants with teeth, and eventually it will be growing in my outside garden just for the sake of more beauty in the garden.  I previously posted a picture of POULTRY IN MOTION as I say it blooming on that chilly, wet summer day in Steve's garden.

I mentioned the cold weather in Minnesota; well, it has been cold and miserable here this winter as well.  Obviously not as rough as Minnesota, but still the weather has been difficult.  Last night it rained and rained, and this morning it is still raining.  I moved my wheel barrow into the Greenhouse to protect the soil that is still in it, and I took a picture.  Notwithstanding the outside weather, the Greenhouse is beautiful.  Within one month I should be in full bloom.

I also want to report the visit that we took with Little Lily Rae to see "The General," at the Museum in Kennesaw, Georgia.  The General is the train that has been written about in many books and in movies as well.  The Union "stole" The General during the Civil War, but the thieves were caught and executed.  Then the Union gave the thieves the Congressional Medal of Honor.  I also saw a commemorative plate at the Museum about The General that was initially sold by Lenox back in 1971.  I would really like to have this plate.  Does anyone know where I could purchase this commemorative plate about The General?  If so, please let me know.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Important Conversion Information.

Today I want to concentrate on one important point in conversion work.  I have a plant that, in my early opinion, is converted.  I say "early opinion," because no one can be sure whether a conversion exists until the pollen is examined using a microscope.  Let me show a picture of the plant.  It is SUNRISE SHADOWS, Plant #5.  In my opinion this plant is converted because the foliage is "hard and stiff," and a root has begun growing at the base of the new plant.  Now, look just below the new root.  You should be able to see where I cut away a "growing shoot."  Since this new shoot is growing below the area of the new root, it is my opinion that this shoot is a diploid.  This diploid shoot will take away strength from the top part of the plant, that is, the converted part.  Moreover, this growing diploid shoot will grow at the expense of the conversion.  I just think I have no choice but to cut away the shoot. 

I also make every effort to cut across the top and sides of plants that I've treated to help air reach the growing tip.  Whenever I've told myself that "cutting" the treated plant should be delayed, I've regretted the decision.  The rot will begin to build due to lack of air, and the existence of moisture from having watered the plant, will combine with the Colchicine to form the "black rot."  Take a look at two pictures that show how a plant is doing that has been regularly cut to keep the area of the growing tip open to grow.  The pictures should speak for themselves.  I am hopeful that this conversion effort will be successful.

Now, let's take a look at two daylilies that I cut back today.  I didn't take any pictures before I did any trimming, but I did cut into both plants to help open the growing tip to air.  When I did this I saw the beginnings of the black rot.  I knew that I had to be more aggressive and so I cut both plants to where the air could reach the growing tip.  Keep in mind that I use a fan running 100% of the time to improve air circulation.  Plant Number #1 looks ok.  I had to cut away the beginnings of the black rot, and then on Plant Number #2, the black rot was much more extensive.  I was reluctant to cut anymore than I did because I think that I got to the black rot before there was too much damage.  With these two plants we are at the "teetering stage."  The conversion may happen or it may not.  The plant can die, it can remain a diploid, it can become partly tetraploid and part diploid, or it can grow to be a real powerhouse, and be a full tetraploid.  But, at this point, there is nothing more that I can do but to wait.

Well enough talk about growing diploid shoots, black rot and the teetering stage.  Let's look at a daylily that I'm really happy about, and this is Seedling 11-297, Plant #1.  It is hard and stiff!  The surface of the foliage is "rugged," and it has proceeded through the various stages of conversion to where it is today.  I have some hope that it may even produce a bloom before the summer ends.  I have a good feeling when I see progress like this!

I also should mention a bloom that I had today in the Greenhouse.  It was from Bill Maryott's IMPRESSIONISTIC.  Lovely flower.  I like to pollenate flowers from more temperate climates with some of my dormants.  So, I used pollen from HEAVENLY SUNRISE.  I hope the pod sets.  I'll  keep you posted.