Monday, November 9, 2015

AHS Awards and Honors for 2015

Hello Daylily Friends,

Diana and I are so pleased that so many of you, all across the Country, voted for several of our flowers for AHS 2015 Awards and Honors.  I'm particularly pleased for Diana because her first  introduction, LEMON CURLS, won the AHS "HONORABLE MENTION" award.  I would note that LEMON CURLS was seen at this year's National Convention, and it is so beautiful that it was selected for second place for the Ned Roberts Spider/Unusual Form award.  GREEN INFERNO won the award with 39 votes, and LEMON CURLS received 23 votes.  I'm just so proud of Diana for having won the HONORABLE MENTION AWARD with her very first introduction.  Well done Diana Rae!

I was also very pleased that my own LYDIA'S REGAL ROBE won the AWARD OF MERIT.  It received 62 votes, which was second highest number of votes given to any flower.  LYDIA is unique because, although it is purple in color, it nevertheless holds its color quite well throughout the day.  The parentage includes TET. INDIAN GIVER which was my first conversion.  LYDIA is tall and is easily seen across the garden when compared to other daylilies.  It is just a beauty, and I'm so delighted that so many daylily friends agree.  This is my first daylily to have achieved the AWARD OF MERIT.

I was also fortunate to have won two HONORABLE MENTION awards.  RED SAPPHIRE and MARIETTA HEARTBEAT both won the award.  I've always enjoyed both flowers, and it is good to know that others also like these flowers.  RED SAPPHIRE has a wonderful triangular red eye, and there are teeth on the edge of the petals.  When I first introduced RED SAPPHIRE I didn't particularly appreciate the teeth, but I do now.  As for MARIETTA HEARTBEAT, I've always enjoyed the purple color, and I thought that it was a good daylily, and now I am encouraged because it has received many votes from 4 separate regions.  I think that I've now been privileged to have won 9 HONORABLE MENTION awards.

In addition to these awards, I was also privileged to have won the  2015 EUGENE S. FOSTER Award for the best late blooming daylily.  KENNESAW MOUNTAIN LEMON SORBET won the award with 65 votes.  I have to show a picture of LEMON SORBET.  When everything else has bloomed I always look forward to seeing LEMON SORBET.  It is so clean and bright and beautiful.  The lovely white color is so, so adorable.  Thank you AHS for this coveted award.

Back during the National Convention in June, I thought that we had received the best award of all when BLAZING CANNONS won THE PRESIDENT'S CUP.  Then our members from Oregon to New York, from Kentucky to Ohio, and all across the Country lifted our hearts with even more awards.  With this encouragement, we're going to keep working on producing new daylilies until the Lord calls us home.  It is genuinely a delight working on this incredible flower.

We are so astonished with these votes of confidence because this past weekend we were at a Sunday School Class Retreat.  We could not be close to our computer to receive the "instant" news.  We went to Cohutta Springs in far North Georgia, and we were led by Rev. Joe Peabody.  It was a wonderful retreat and Rev. Peabody led our study with a specific focus on First John.  Rev. Peabody has a special place in our Church, and in our hearts,  I'm showing a picture of our Class when being led by Rev. Peabody.

This coming Friday we again have the privilege of being with Ms. Lily Rae, our beloved granddaughter.  We will see her beginning at 4:00 p.m., and we can hardly wait.  On Saturday, two weeks ago, we went with Lily Rae to visit with her Mother when she was on "break" at Macy's Department Store.  Mom took the moment to read a story to Lily Rae which Lily thoroughly enjoyed.  On Sunday morning we went to a Church luncheon where Lily Rae met with one of her friends, Locklin, the young grandson of our Sunday School friends.  At the luncheon Lily enjoyed hot dogs, shredded cheese, and fruit.  It was a special day!

Diana and I want to again thank our Daylily friends for voting for our flowers.  We are very, very humbled and grateful.


Friday, October 30, 2015


Hello Daylily Friends,

I must tell you what has happened with my efforts to convert Heidi Douglas' flower, BOSS HOGG.  Heidi gave me one (1) flower to use to try to get BOSS HOGG converted.  To use only one flower when attempting a conversion is a difficult chore, but there was considerable demand for the flower, and Heidi nevertheless wanted the flower converted.  After my initial conversion effort, BOSS HOGG later bloomed, but it was only a chimera.  A chimera is a partial conversion.  The flower will often have both tetraploid and diploid pollen.  Well, there wasn't enough tetraploid pollen to use in hybridizing to create a new flower.

Since I had only a chimera, I took the two (2) flowers that I now have, following my initial conversion effort, and "retreated" these two flowers.  I am so pleased with my work that I could just shout Hallelujah!  The fans on both of the retreated BOSS HOGG flowers are growing very well, and the foliage is so very, very stiff.  I'm reasonably certain that I now have it fully converted.  TET. BOSS HOGG should be a dream to use in hybridizing this coming spring.  Over the winter I will be thinking about daylilies that I can use to add branching to BOSS HOGG.

Diana and I were glad to drive from our home on October 10, 2015, to listen to our friend, Jamie Gossard, speak to the Tennessee Valley Daylily Society.  Jamie showed us his current introductions and his seedlings, some of which he will soon introduce.  Jamie also talked to us about his "new machine" that enables him to judge the "ploidy" of treated daylilies.  Jamie explained how this has impacted w/o/n daylilies can be used in hybridizing, and how our work with "Colchicine" has changed the genetic structure of daylilies.  It was fun and interesting to see and listen to Jamie.

Then, on Monday, October 12, 2015, Diana and I were privileged to go and visit with the Bluegrass Daylily Society in Lexington, Kentucky.  When we arrived at the meeting we were met by Elizabeth Trotter and her Mother, Martha Chamberlain.  We were able to have our picture taken with Elizabeth and her Mother, and just how often is it that any of us are privileged to be at a Daylily meething with our Mother.  Elizabeth is so blessed!  She is certainly a leader in AHS, and her future is bright.  And Martha, you certainly have a wonderful daughter.  Diana and I were then particularly delighted with the incredibly wonderful supper served by the Club.  Since I knew that I had to speak, I ate as much as I could, as fast as I could, and had two delicious desserts.

Then, after the meeting was concluded, the Club President allowed me to have the privilege of taking our picture with members of the Club.  Can you see David Kirchhoff on the left side of the picture?  It was good to see all of the members of the Club, and also to see David and Mort.  I might also add that we are glad that members of the Bluegrass Daylily Society will be growing more of our flowers.

On Tuesday morning we were delighted to have been invited to the home of Rich and Anna Marie Rosen.  The Rosen garden will be featured at next summer's AHS National Convention so we won't show too many pictures.  The Rosen home was formerly owned by a Publisher, and it was built in the early 1900s.  Diana and I walked with Rich as he showed us his garden and I was particularly delighted to see Rich's "Blue Bottle" collection.  Then we were even more privileged to see the Rosen home.  We stayed many hours because there was so much to see, particularly Anna Marie's magnificent art work.  As we left, and had to say goodbye, Anna Marie gave us "snacks for the road."  Thanks Rich and Ann Marie for allowing us to come and visit.

Back at home we went to work on finishing our work to have our gardens ready for winter, and then for the spring and summer of 2016.  We worked for over a month getting the seedlings planted outside, and this took a mountain of work.  The rows had to be cleared, compost added, then tilled, and finally planted.  The new flowers should be much fun to see over the next two years.  Meanwhile back in the Greenhouse, we left five rows of seedlings that we particularly wanted to see in bloom in 9 months.  There is still much more work to be done in the Greenhouse, but we are well on our way.  I'm going to have to buy some more soil.

Outside we planted many more rows than are shown in the above picture, and then I replanted the area where BLAZING CANNONS was growing during the National Convention,  We sold many BLAZING CANNON daylilies, and then I repotted those that remained.  We took these repotted plants, and then a number of our additional introductions, and planted these next to the barn.  They should be as beautiful next summer as they were this past summer.

Little Lily Rae has been such a dream.  She is always excited to have time with her Mother, as can be seen in the picture.  She smiles and beams and is happy.  She also likes Bell Peppers.  I'm showing Lily Rae having a Bell Pepper this past summer while being held by Grandpa.  Indeed, Diana has made a dinner using Bell Peppers that we will share with Lily Rae later during the holiday season.  Lily Rae is coming to visit beginning this afternoon.  We can hardly wait.

More news soon.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fall has Arrived

Hello Daylily Friends,

Saturday afternoon and evening was just such a wonderful time.  We held our annual "Fall Picnic" and we were all so glad to see each other.  We also were so fortunate to have five (5) new members to attend, and during the meeting we had two (2) more new members to join.  Our Club purchased two very large platters of Chicken from Zaxbys, and everyone brought a dish.  There were salads, cole slaw, jello with nuts, many casseroles, and desserts of every kind.  There was sweet and unsweetened tea, coke and pepsi, lemonade, coffee and much, much more.  I had the green bean and squash casseroles, and jello as well.  I wanted to talk to everyone, and I wanted to eat the wonderful food, and it was all just great!

Then we had a plant auction.  Not the normal kind of auction where everybody spends their money; instead, it was a "points auction."  During the year we each worked on various Committees, and we earned points for the work.  There were points for attending meetings, and points for working on the AHS National Convention, and points for contributing flowers for our annual plant sale.  Our Auctioneer was the esteemed David Bishop who did a wonderful job.  In the picture I'm posting David is wearing the orange shirt.  Just before the Auction we all got together for a Club picture.  After the Auction, our President, Steven Verner, presented the "Annual President's Service Award" to David and Camilla Arthur for their most successful work in making the National Convention the very best.  Thanks David and Camilla!

Our AHS Daylily Journal came out a few days ago and on the front cover there were pictures of four (4) daylilies.  One of the daylilies was my own BLAZING CANNONS.  I was so delighted with the picture that was taken by Ann Monroe.  She must have taken the picture during the National Convention, but I didn't even notice.  I also see that she took a wonderful picture of HOTLANTA which is on page 33.  Thanks Ann for your work in taking these pictures, even though you couldn't have known that BLAZING CANNONS would soon win "The President's Cup."  In my garden BLAZING CANNONS was still blooming on August 13, and I then took the picture that I'm showing.  It is just such an incredible flower, and I am so thrilled that most everyone seems to agree.

When I posted on July 27, 2015, I showed a picture of one of Diana's pink seedlings that has plenty of teeth.  Quite a seedling.  Then, a few days ago, Diana had another seedling to bloom, and I'm showing a picture of it as well.  I would just ask how Diana can produce these incredible seedlings.  She does so well, and I'm going to use her seedlings in my program.

Let's take a look at the seedlings in the Greenhouse.  I started planting on August 19, and I finished by August 25.  The Plants, all growing in 3" peat pots, have grown nicely.  I've noticed, however, that those that were not refrigerated for 3 weeks are slower to emerge, if indeed they do emerge.  I have been really pleased that I crossed TET. SPIDER MIRACLE  with Seedling 3-374 (The large double).  Practically every seed emerged.  I think that this is because I treated TET.SPIDER MIRACLE with the chemical "Colchicine" for a second time.  I've also been really impressed with the seedlings from having used TET. ASHEE DASHEE.  I even have two (2) seeds growing that were crossed with 3-374.  Just amazing since 3-374 is a difficult pod parent. 

Have I mentioned the Tennessee River Cruise that Diana and I took with our Sunday School Class?  Wow, what fun!  We got up early, and went to Church and caught a bus that took us to Chattanooga, Tennessee.  There we went to the Tennessee River, and began our cruise up and down the River.  There were houses and industrial sites, and then there was just incredible scenery.  I went walking along the Ship and saw this lady who was from Ohio.  She was on the boat with her family, and I noticed her because she was smoking a cigar.  I used to smoke but I quit in 1984, over 30 years ago.  So I know how hard it is to quit smoking, but for a lady to be smoking a cigar was quite a sight, so I had to take a picture.

  Did I mention that on the Cruise we were fed a dinner of "Prime Rib"?  It was so good.  There were a number of groups on the Cruise, and I think that about 200 people were there.  We just all enjoyed the dinner music where a musician played several instruments including a guitar, a banjo, a harmonica, and a violin.  He was somewhat elderly, like the Ship's passengers, but he could sing and perform quite well.  When we first entered the Ship he was singing "Rocky Top."  You remember, the song the band plays when the University of Tennessee plays football.  Here are the lyrics:

Wish that I was on ol' Rocky Top
Down in the Tennessee hills
Ain't no smoggy smoke on Rocky Top
Ain't no telephone bills
Once I had a girl on Rocky Top
Half bear, other half cat
Wild as a mink, but sweet as soda pop
I still dream about that
Rocky Top, you'll always be
Home sweet home to me
Good ol' Rocky Top
Rocky Top, Tennessee

Little LILY RAE certainly surprised me when we saw her for 3 short hours this past Sunday.  When we first started talking, if we called her by any name other LILY RAE, she immediately corrected us and reminded us that her name is LILY RAE.  There was a time a few months back when it seemed that no name we used with LILY was satisfactory.  I explained to LILY RAE how she came to have her name, and explained that no one else on this planet has her name.  That her name is special, and that she should be very happy to have such a wonderful name.  It seems that Grandpa's conversation was received quite well.  LILY RAE wants to be called LILY RAE.  I would add that she misses seeing her Grandparents, and she also really misses seeing her Mother,  I'm showing a picture of LILY RAE and KELLEY RAE. 

More news soon.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hello Daylily Friends,
Our Cobb County Daylily Society met on Sunday afternoon, on August 2, 2015, and we received a wonderful report on the success of our AHS National Convention.  Our efforts were entirely successful, and all of our costs have been paid in full.  In addition, our Region Treasurer, Jack Rigsby, reported that both the Atlanta and Cobb County Clubs have each been reimbursed their investments of $7,500.00.  Plus, each Club received the additional amount of  $2,500.00.  Then, I was reading The Dixie Daylily, and Oliver Billingslea wrote the following:  "On Friday and Saturday we visited the gardens, and I must say that the eight gardens were uniformly the best I’ve ever seen at a National Convention."  This is indeed a great credit and compliment coming from our friend Oliver who has seen every National Convention going back at least 20 years.  Camilla and Jack, and each of our leaders, did a superb work in making our Convention the best.
Every year the both Region 5 and the AHS have photography contests.  Well, I took a picture of a very small grasshopper who was sitting in the bloom of one of my new seedlings.  I took the picture with my small, Canon Powershot Camera, and I think that I got quite a good result.  In fact, I'm thinking of entering my picture in both photography contests.
We also have visitors come to the garden who just want to see what is being done.  Last week we had a wonderful visit with Kris and Jedy and their two sons, Jonathan and Jordan.  Kris is very well educated and he teaches, and he wants to know more about "conversion work."  I gave some help and showed Kris what I'm doing now to convert more plants beginning this fall.  I also gave Kris several articles to read, in addition to my own, which I think he may also find to be helpful.  Good luck Kris with your conversion work!
Speaking of conversion work, I am so, so pleased that this past week I finally finished getting the Greenhouse clean.  I have prepared quite a few plants to be treated with Colchicine in late September, and perhaps in early October.  Also, having the Greenhouse clean means that I can now begin to study the many seeds I made this past Spring and Summer.  I will choose the seeds that I think are the best, and will plant most of the seeds outside. However, I will plant about 320 seeds in the Greenhouse. 
While I've been busy cleaning the Greenhouse, our cat, Sammy, continues to prove himself to be a very determined predator.  For example, I saw Sammy sitting near what appeared to be a hole where a Chipmunk lived.  Sammy was obviously watching the hole, waiting for the Chipmunk to exit.  Then, within the blink of an eye, Sammy had the Chipmunk in his mouth.  Sammy may be 10+ in years of age, but he is still very fast.  Diana always pats him on the head when he catches a Chipmunk.  He is the best cat.
This past Saturday afternoon we had a wonderful adventure.  It was "Fan Day" at Georgia Tech, and fans were invited to come to Bobby Dodd Stadium to meet the Coaches and players.  So we took Lily to Bobby Dodd Stadium, and she just had the most wonderful fun.  She met Buzz, Tech's Mascot, as well as the Cheerleaders.  She examined Buzz very closely, and when the visit was finished she leaped into her Grandfather's arms and smiled as big as I've ever seen her smile.  Lily likes Buzz and she likes Georgia Tech.
Lily even sat on Tech's "Ramblin Reck" car with her Grandfather.  She thought the car was the most fun.  We have several replicas of the Reck here at the house, and she likes to play with them.  Then, for her to actually see the Ramblin Reck, changed everything.  I think she may always remember Saturday afternoon.
Back here at the house, we are being visited regularly by too many deer.  Then, to our surprise, a big buck also appeared.  He had large antlers, and he is eating Diana's Okra and is also eating some of her daylily pods where seeds are growing.  We cry out for help from a Hunter, but the Deer keep coming and eating.  Surely there is a bow hunter who can keep these deer away.
More news soon as I sort through my seeds and get them planted.

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!