Tuesday, May 29, 2012

LYDIA'S REGAL ROBE

Hello Daylily Friends,

I'm pleased to report that my good friend, Larry Grace, came over to visit with us on Saturday.  Larry got up, and started driving at about 3:00 a.m. from his home in Newton, Alabama, and he arrived here, at our gardens, at about 8:15 a.m.  Now that would be much too early for me to get up, but Larry usually gets up at about 4:00 a.m., and has a short breakfast.  Then, he is off to his garden just behind his house, and begins his work day.  Larry and I walked the fields here, and Larry sees everything.  He even saw "Randy" our turtle in a row of daylilies.  Larry reached in and lifted Randy where I could also convey a morning "hello."  Randy had just eaten a big slug which was still partly in his jaw.  Naturally we had to have our picture taken with Randy who has become a celebrity in our garden.

Larry particularly admired my LYDIA'S REGAL ROBE.  This is a daylily that I introduced back in 2008, and began selling that fall.  It is a cross between TET. INDIAN GIVER, and Salter's COSMIC SENSATION.  In fact, TET. INDIAN GIVER was my very first conversion.  I made the cross with COSMIC SENSATION because it was the best that I had that matched the colors of INDIAN GIVER.  What I like about LYDIA'S REGAL ROBE is that it practically never spots.  Like yesterday afternoon, it rained a lot.  When the blooms opened up this morning there were no marks on any of the flowers at all.  The bud is so tight that it is never penetrated by water, and frankly, since I first started growing LYDIA'S REGAL ROBE, it has never been harmed by thrips.  I agree with Larry, LYDIA'S REGAL ROBE is probably my best introduction so far, and that it has been under utilized as a parent in the daylily world.

Another factor about LYDIA'S REGAL ROBE is that it lasts the entire day as a beauty in the garden.  It is unlike most purples in that it maintains its color without looking "spent."

One of my seedlings, that I hope to introduce this coming fall, is part of Larry's evidence of "under utilization."  The seedling is 1-413 and the cross is as follows:  TET. STAR CHILD x LYDIA'S REGAL ROBE.  This 4.25" beauty is also tough just like LYDIA.  It has a tight bud, and rain, before 5:00 a.m., doesn't seem to impact it at all.  Likewise, I have never seen it suffer thrip damage, and it maintains its beauty even in the afternoon.  It is 29" tall with 4-way branching, and 15 buds.  It particularly has nice ivory edges on its sepals, and it has a pattern in its eye.  It is more of a round daylily.  This coming year I will probably introduce it as a "small daylily."

Another daylily that bloomed this morning is Seedling 11-271.  The cross is as follows:  (Lydia's Regal Robe x Gnashing of Teeth).  This is just another surprise from using LYDIA.  As you can see from the picture, the flower kept its dark color from LYDIA, but it picked up the white teeth from GNASHING OF TEETH.  The flower is not yet mature, so next year, or perhaps on a rebloom, it may have more branching and bud count.  Nevertheless, this is another round, beautiful daylily from using LYDIA, that has "white teeth."  Quite a combination.

Round daylilies are not all that I've seen grow from my limited effort at using LYDIA as a parent.  For example, I have a new daylily that is Seedling 11-268, and the cross is as follows:  (Lydia's Regal Robe x Wild and Free).  Just a wonderful "Unusual Form."  Again, there is the nice color from LYDIA, and again we have that wonderful green throat.  The measurements on 11-268 are as follows:  40" tall, 3-way branching, 15 buds, and the flower measures 7" in diameter.  The plant is dormant.

Well that is probably enough about the virtues of LYDIA'S REGAL ROBE.  I would add, however, that for this coming year it will be on the popularity poll of favorite daylilies in the State of Georgia.  Also, for the year of 2011, LYDIA received 38 votes from 9 separate regions and received the AHS "Honorable Mention" Award.  Now I must say that I do not have a pattern of distribution to get LYDIA into 9 separate regions.  It seems that it is just finding its way across our world of daylilies.

I would also note that Diana and I, and David and Camilla, took a trip together this past Thursday to see Gibbs Gardens in North Georgia.  What a journey it was.  There are the hydrangeas, there are the roses, there are Japanese gardens, and there are the fields of daylilies.  We walked everywhere.  I took a picture of the four of us with a "bear" statue, and then I took another picture of part of the field of daylilies.  I would modestly say that about 7 years ago I sold Jim Gibbs many of the daylilies that he now grows in his large and wonderful display of daylilies.

This has been a delightful Memorial Day week end.  We join our brothers and sisters across our great Country, and say "thank you" to our Veterans for their brave and diligent efforts in selflessly defending our freedoms.

Bill

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