So much has happened in the past few weeks: The Georgia Regional, and our Joint Daylily Show. It has truly been "daylily heaven in 2011." Now, today, I am still analyzing daylilies. This morning I got up, knowing more rain was coming, and walked through the garden as quickly as I could. Diana wasn't up yet. I would note that when we were at the Daylily Show, she insisted that we pose together in front of Dennis and Sue Calbreath's blue vase of daylilies. I'm showing the picture. When Diana did arrive in the garden she called me to look at her new bloom. When I arrived I was "MOST SURPRISED" at what I saw. Just a gorgeous bloom. I'm showing two more pictures. Then Diana noticed that her flower was different. Can you see the difference? It has only two petals, and only two sepals. I was surprised by the lack of the third petal and sepal; I was also surprised by the odd combination of colors. The green throat, the unusual form, and the coral colored self. You might also notice that there is three-way branching. Now I must note that Diana uses very little, if any, fertilizer. Perhaps this explains the lack of all petals and sepals. I will let you know if this little beauty soon grows with all of its petals and sepals.
I would also note that I was surprised by the parents Diana used to make her cross. The cross is as follows: [(Magic of Oz x Rose F. Kennedy) x Ashee Dashee]. I'm sure that this new beauty will improve as it grows. I hope to get a picture soon showing all of the petals and sepals.
Back to viewing a few of my creations. I have a new bloom that just can't be ignored any longer. I have skipped this flower; I have not looked at it much; it hasn't been fertilized this year; it hasn't been sprayed for thrips or spider mites; but yet, what a beauty. The parents are as follows: (Shirley Anne McCord x Desire of Nations). I must say that of my two purple introductions this year, SHIRLEY ANNE MCCORD has been the most productive. I call this new daylily, Seedling 11-293. It is 28" tall, 3-way branching, 18 buds, and a 6" flower. I would think that it may even grow more impressively with fertilizer, chemicals and more water.
I also have to point out my new, big yellow. It is Seedling 8-196, and this is the first time that I have seen it at full strength. I took it to our Daylily Show, and entered it as a seedling. You would think that Judges would have paid more attention. It is 32" tall, 4-way branching, 23 buds, and the flower today was 7 inches. The flower that I entered in the Daylily show was 7 1/2" inches. Now, there are yellows, and then there are yellows. This is a magnificent yellow. I've started using its pollen to create other, lovely big yellow daylilies.
The last flower that I will mention is one of my whites. It does not now qualify as a potential introduction, but I must say that I am pleased with the result of the cross, which is as follows: (Lacy All Over x Tet. Heaven All Day). Today it is 27" tall, but with only 2-way branching, and with only 10 buds. I will ultimately cross it back against LACY ALL OVER, or perhaps against another white, to recover the branching and bud count. I hope that the new flower will be much improved, having TET. HEAVEN ALL DAY as part of its parentage. You may recall that HEAVEN ALL DAY is dormant. Having dormancy in the background of any daylily improves the daylily so much that the importance of this cannot be overstated.
Well, time to go back outside again and look at my daylilies, now that the "wonderful rain" has stopped.
I started growing daylilies around 1992, and I liked them so much that I eventually removed my entire 1/2 acre vegetable garden, and instead planted just daylilies. Many friends came to see the daylilies, there were several newspaper articles about the daylilies, then, our daylily garden was featured on "Gardener's Diary" on HGTV in 2001. I became so much interested in daylilies that I served as General Counsel for the AHS from 2000 to 2005. My wife Diana and I ultimately founded the Cobb County Daylily Society, and I have now served two terms as President. Diana has served two terms as our Secretary. My wife Diana and I were married forty-five years ago, on May 17, 1969, in Diana's hometown of Milbank, South Dakota. We have one daughter, Kelley Rae, and one grand daughter, Beautiful Lily Rae.