Tuesday, June 2, 2015

10" in Diameter

Hello Daylily Friends,

Today was an extraordinary day in our daylily garden.  Several years ago I treated TET. SUNGLASSES NEEDED, but as of today I've produced only 5 seeds from using this conversion.  However, I now have two 3-gallon buckets of this conversion in the Greenhouse, and today I saw the first bloom.  Ordinarily I wouldn't mention such a bloom, but this particular bloom was just awesome.  When I looked at it I called my friend, Mike Holmes, in Ohio, and told him about the bloom's massive size.  Mike encouraged me to get it measured and photographed, which I did.  First, I'm showing the bloom, and then I'm showing a picture of the bloom with a tape measure across the face of the flower.  I wouldn't have believed that the flower could have been 10" in diameter, but it was.  I gathered three anthers from the bloom which I put in the refrigerator, and which I will use tomorrow.  I should be able to use this pollen to make much more than 5 seeds.

I'm also pleased to report that I've been able to convert Charles Douglas' GARRETT ALLEN.  Charles gave me a single fan several years ago when I was privileged to speak at their local club in South Carolina.  Although I was reluctant to treat just one fan, I did it anyway because I knew that Charles wanted his flower converted.  Demand for GARRETT ALLEN meant that I would only have one fan, and so I made the effort.  I wasn't sure that I had the flower converted, but I had to plant it outside because it is dormant.  It would have just died if I had kept it in the Greenhouse.  So, I planted it outside, and it made I through the winter just fine.

Then I waited and waited to see the first bloom, but the weather forecasters predicted heavy rain.  Rain would ruin the pollen, so I took an umbrella and put it over the plant.  The umbrella strategy worked just fine.  The heavy rain came, but there was no harm to the plant.  Plus, later in the morning, I was able to collect the pollen.  And for the first time I actually saw Charles' GARRETT ALLEN.  What a gorgeous flower.

I looked at the pollen using my microscope, and was able to see that I have practically a full, 100% conversion.  I sent my friend Charles the good news, and he and Heidi were very pleased.  Of course I will have to grow the single fan that I have such that I have 4 or 5 fans.  Then I will get it ready to give to Charles.  Hopefully this will all happen this fall.

So much is so possible with conversions.  As an example, consider TET. SEBASTIAN THE CRAB.  Several years ago I was able to get this Joiner beauty converted, but I haven't had doubles to work with to see if my conversion could be helpful.  However, I had a double that was sent by David Kirchhoff to my wife, and I used TET. SEASTIAN on David's double.  Well the double bloomed outside today, and I'm very encouraged by what I've seen.  I like the lighter color, and I see real possibilities ahead.

Well we've been working so hard trying to get ready for the AHS National Convention, that there hasn't been time for a leisure breakfast.  But our friends, David and Camilla Arthur, who are the Chairpersons for the Convention, went with us to the French Restaurant for breakfast.  Oh we talked and talked, and just enjoyed the hour we took for this adventure.  Then, back to the garden to continue preparations for the National.

Since I'm able to convert diploid daylilies, it is always good to have excellent stock to use.  Well my wife Diana has really been having success creating wonderful, lovely, diploid flowers.  One flower in particular that she made was a cross between PINK STRIPES and Jamie Gossard's HEAVENLY SNOW WHITE.  When I saw this flower blooming I had to stop, and then I went to get my camera.  Diana had created a wonderful, peppermint appearing, new beauty that is now Seedling 5-767.  The measurements are good and I hope to begin working with this beauty this fall.

Seedling 5-765 is another of Diana's new daylilies.  She used Elizabeth Salter's GREEN TREAT as the pod parent, and the pollen came from Doorkian's ROSE F. KENNEDY.  Again, the plant measurements are very good.  I like the height of 28 inches, plus the 4-way branching.  I think that the color is strong, and this beauty, along with the expected conversion, will eventually be introduced.

Notwithstanding all of these points of good news, one pest has really been a nuisance this spring.  I'm speaking about "Thrips."  Why did our Heavenly Father create such a pest?  Tiny, tiny insects, but the damage they do is considerable.  To make matters worse, I've been having trouble with my 50-gallon Sprayer.  More particularly, "the strainer" that is located underneath the tank has a hole in it, and it leaks.  This may be damage from freezing temperatures this past winter.  Anyway, chemicals are so expensive, and so I just can't afford a leak.  The company that sold me the Sprayer unit is no longer in business, but I was able to find a replacement part in South Dakota.  The part should arrive on Thursday.  I hope that this isn't too late since the convention starts the following Thursday.

Little Lily Rae has had a good thing happen.  She was at a store with her Mother and Grandmother when she saw a Huffy bicycle that was equipped with training wheels.  Lily remarked to her Grandmother that she could ride the bike, and so Diana said "Ok, let's see you do it."  Lily promptly rode very well.  Lily wanted the bike, and her Grandmother made the purchase.  Lily rides behind the house and she is very safe.  She has her helmet that she wears, and we are with her when she rides.  What a wonderful granddaughter!

More news soon.


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