Saturday, April 25, 2009

Do You Like These Reds?

Hello Daylily Friends,

We were so fortunate to have Charles and Heidi Douglas visit our garden. They traveled over six hours from their home in Georgetown, South Carolina. Charles and Heidi are well-known in the daylily world because of their fabulous "Browns Ferry Gardens" in Georgetown. They are also well known because Charles has just introduced his best seedling to date, which is THELMA DOUGLAS, named for Charles' mother. In fact, THELMA DOUGLAS has been so popular that it was shown on the cover page of this year's Eureka Daylily catalogue, 2009 Reference Guide, Volume 19. THELMA DOUGLAS is a genuine dormant. Dormancy is important because if there is dormancy in the background of a daylily, it probably will perform better in a colder climate. I am fortunate, indeed, to have two fans of THELMA DOUGLAS. It will bloom for me the first two weeks of June, and that will be soon enough. I will make seeds from it in June, and next May or June I will see seedlings.

Charles and Heidi liked one of my red daylilies that is Seedling 7-173. Charles says it is an introduction. In the Greenhouse it is 38" tall, it has 5-6 way branching, it has 35+ buds, and a flower that is 6" in diameter. I also have it growing outside. The cross that made Seedling 7-173 is as follows: (Glory in Red x Fear Not). It first bloomed in the Greenhouse two years ago, and I have it growing outside in the garden. Charles said the red has a "sheen," and that it would be welcomed because of its attractive color. I will have to wait and see. For the moment I am using it in my "red-program" to make red daylilies more attractive in colder climates. I am showing a picture of Seedling 7-173. I would say that 7-173 is a semi-evergreen that leans heavily toward dormancy. One of its parents, FEAR NOT, is a dormant. The other parent, GLORY IN RED, is also a beautiful red introduced by Jack Carpenter.

Another red seedling that Charles and Heidi liked is Seedling 8-129. The cross is as follows: [(Heartbeat of Heaven x Kennesaw Mountain Hayride) x Born to Run]. Unfortunately, even with the best of care in the Greenhouse, Seedling 8-129 is only 22" in height. It has 2-3 way branching, 17 buds, and a 6" flower. I'm reasonably certain that I also have it growing outside to test its performance through the cold winter, but I haven't checked to find its current location. I would guess that it is a semi-evergreen leaning toward evergreen status. The flower on Seedling 8-129 is so beautiful, but alas, it is too short. So, I am trying to find a suitable partner. As of this time I have identified and I am using my new Seedling 9-33 as a pollen parent. You may recall from my earlier articles on April 18 and April 21, 2009, that Seedling 9-33 is purple, that it has a height of 35" with 3 way branching, along with two proliferations. I'm not sure what may happen by crossing a red with a purple, but this is my option for now. I believe it to be a good option.

The third red daylily that Charles and Heidi liked is Seedling 7-236, which I previously showed and talked about in my article on April 13, 2009. The cross that made Seedling 7-236 is the same as the cross for 7-173: (Glory in Red x Fear Not). My friend David Arthur has been growing 7-236 in his outside garden for two years and so my permanent measurements will be made at his house when we have our first bloom. I also have 7-236 growing in my outside garden. I should have a good supply by this coming fall. The color on 7-236 is difficult to identify. Heidi says that it is a "coral red." It seems odd that 7-236 and 7-173 both have the same parents, but only 7-236 has the gold edge.

Which of these three red seedlings would you select? As for myself, this is a difficult question. Since I helped create all three, I have to say that it is a tie between 7-173 and 7-236. I like 7-173 because of its magnificent height, and I believe that I can eventually add a gold edge. I like 7-236 because of its unusual color, because of its gold edge, and because it is just a perfectly formed daylily. Anyone who comes into the Greenhouse sees it. It is just that obvious. I am not so sure about 8-129. I don't know if I can increase its height and still hold the beauty of the flower. I'm certainly trying.

Thanks Charles and Heidi for visiting, and thanks for THELMA DOUGLAS.


  1. Hello Bill,
    8-129 is the best looking one, but just hate short ones. 7-236 is the next best one. Glad you made it through the storm the other night.

  2. Mr. Bill,
    Hope all is well. I agree with you on the lilies. All three are beautiful. I think 8-129 is good, but it looks alot like Born To Run.
    As for 7-173, to me it has four important characteristic's. They are clear, bright color, height, branching and bud count.
    As for 7-236, it's color, full, round and gold edge has alot going for it.
    I think all three are winners, but I like 7-173 and 7-236.
    Keep up the good work.

  3. Bill
    We had a great time visiting with you and Diana. You have a beautiful greenhouse and some awesome seedlings!!
    Thanks for your generosity. We look forward to using the intros we brought home with us and working them into our program and we are also looking forward to more beautiful dormant intros from you!!

  4. Hello Anonymous: I agrees. 8-129 is indeed the most attractive. 7-236 is perfect and will be introduced.
    Hi Greg: 8-129 does resemble BORN TO RUN, but it is more hardy. Its background is strong. If only it were taller. I also think 7-173 will be introduced.
    Charles and Heidi-Hello! Glad to hear from you and to see the pictures you posted. Diana and I really enjoyed your visit. We are patiently waiting for THELMA DOUGLAS to bloom.