Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Hello Daylily Friends,

Late this past winter I had the good fortune to be asked to speak at the Birmingham, Alabama, Daylily Club.  When Diana and I visited the Club we took along several of our introductions for sale at the Club auction.  I think that we took 8 or 9 daylilies.  One of the daylilies that we took was RED SAPPHIRE.  Our new friend, Ms. Mera Crews, is a member of the Birmingham Club, and she purchased RED SAPPHIRE at the auction.  Now, I have always thought that RED SAPPHIRE was a fine daylily; however, I admit being surprised by the initial demand.  My best witness, to date, as to the quality of RED SAPPHIRE, is our friend, Mera.  In her e-mail to me on June 23, 2011, she wrote as follows:

"[M]y love[,] RED SAPPHIRE, what an amazing plant! . . . I am thankful every morning when I visit the garden of our purchase . . . [I]t began blooming[,] put on new scapes[,] and continues showing off . . . Every single morning I take pictures of it . . . I can't help myself. . . . I should say that it has tentacles as well . . . Size, color, form, teeth, tentacles, the amazing lush green foliage[,] and growth habits . . . with such branching . . . Can you tell that I love it?  . . . Maybe this one should be a Stout contender?"

After Mera's message I looked at RED SAPPHIRE again, and took a picture in the Greenhouse.  I have never used it as a parent to make another daylily; I simply have not seen anything that I thought I might use as a match.  Then, as many of you know, I was able this past winter to convert TET. BIG KISS, which bloomed this morning.  I took the pollen to check it under my microscope, and what I saw was all tetraploid pollen.  So, considering Mera's message, I decided to take the pollen from TET. BIG KISS to RED SAPPHIRETET. BIG KISS has a lovely pink eye, which should match well with RED SAPPHIRE'S red, triangular eye.  The color of the self on the two daylilies is a sufficient match.  If the tenacles on RED SAPPHIRE could transfer, oh what a wonderful result this could be.  So, I've made the cross, and now I'm waiting to see if a pod is formed.

I talked with Mera by phone, and she noted that what I had called "teeth" on RED SAPPHIRE, were not actually teeth, such as are seen on other, newer daylilies.  Mera, instead, called the teeth, "Octopus Tentacles."  I looked again at what I thought were teeth, and I agree with Mera.  Yes, there are a few teeth, but by a substantial measure, there are many Octopus Tentacles.  Thanks Mera for your e-mail, and for your insight about RED SAPPHIRE.

This morning we had a special treat in the garden.  Our good friend, Ms. Jean Hartley, came over to the house, and she brought her Club with her, which is the YWCA Exercise Club.  Everyone walked through the garden, we all talked about daylilies, and Diana gave the tour of the garden, and specifically highlighted her "Ivy Bed."  Diana's Ivy Bed is made of iron.  The bed was given to us by our good friend, Ms. Marlee Price.  I told Diana that the bed was rusting, and needed to be painted.  Diana did not like my idea.  So, she used four different varieties of Ivy, and grew Ivy all over the frame.  She put several daylilies inside the frame, but as of now, these have mostly bloomed through their regular couse for the season.  Still, Diana is pleased with her Ivy Bed, as she should be, and anyone can see that it is a real addition to the garden.

More news soon.


1 comment:

  1. I cant wait to see the product of that cross. Should be pretty amazing. Good thinking!

    Kim Langston