This past week I have begun, in earnest, to transform our daylily gardens. Here in North Georgia the season is technically over, and while it is best to wait until September to make serious changes in the garden, I can't wait until September. From experience I know that if I wait until September to do this work there will be so much that will remain unchanged, and this just can't be accepted in our hybridizing garden. So, I have cleared a number of rows of daylilies, and I have begun using my John Deere Tractor to till the rows. When I had more time I often used my Sears Tiller, but I don't have the time, and as I've said, there is much to be completed.
I might also add that I am seeing a number of reblooms in the seedlings that I removed last month from the Greenhouse. Indeed, I'm showing a picture of the row where the Greenhouse seedlings are planted. Actually, I think it is quite a story to see this row of Greenhouse seedlings, knowing that they have already been seen and selected, and were replanted into the outside garden in early June.
I am pleased to report that this morning there were two seedlings in this row that just could not be ignored. The first seedling has a wonderful eye and edge, and the cross is as follows: (Ruby Storm x 8-244). I will introduce Seedling 8-244 this coming season, and I will talk more about it in a later blog. The second seedling is a cross using a Jeff Salter introduction. So, the cross is as follows: (Unburied Treasure x Chilled Orange Sorbet). I made this cross beceause Jeff's daylily has "carving," and carving can also be found in my own CHILLED ORANGE SORBET. I am so pleased with the result. May I also add that the picture that I took was of the last bloom on the rebloom scape. I will not know anything of the ultimate size or branching on the Greenhouse seedlings until next spring. So much to look forward to!
You have to "be informed" about our beloved cat, Sammy. Sammy is a hunter. Indeed, after I gave a daylily show, and included several episodes from some of Sammy's adventures, someone asked if Sammy was "for sale." I answered, "Ccertainly not, but he is available for a minimum stud fee of $10,000.00." Well, anyway, this morning Sammy came to the door with a Chipmunk that he had caught. Diana believes that we have too many Chipmunks, and so we always congratulate Sammy for any "kill" that he accomplishes. We adore our cat Sammy.
I have wonderful news about one of my seedlings. For such a long time we heard about, and we were offered the opportunity to buy new daylilies that had "green edges," that were produced using Matthew Kaskel's seedling known as BEST EDGE. I actually was one of the first to own BEST EDGE outside of the select few that were the initial owners. I admit that I bought BEST EDGE for the whopping sum of $1,500.00. And, I had to agree to give back any increase in the number of fans back to the seller, who was my good friend, Linda Agin. That Linda drove a hard bargain, but I had to have the plant. To shorten this story, I crossed my own IRISH HALO with BEST EDGE, and the best seedling that I had was 9-26. In the greenhouse it is very nice, but I never saw it bloom outside at near full strength until this morning. I'm showing a picture. You may be interested to know that Seedling 9-26 is 29" tall with 3-4 way branching, 29 Buds, and a 6 1/2" flower. It is a semi-evergreen, and is a very strong daylily; it withstood our winter this past year, which is quite a good report. I think that since it grew well here in our climate, it should grow well most anywhere.
Well I could write much more, but will save some of the news for another post.
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.