Got up this morning, and like I have this entire spring and summer, I went to the garden to see the new seedlings. I think that it is amazing that I'm still seeing new seedlings blooming this first week of July. I'm going to show two blooms from this morning that are doubles. The first seedling is a cross between VIVA GLAM GIRL and TET. VANILLA FLUFF. The second seedling is a cross between VIVA GLAM GIRL and TET. MADGE CAYSE. Both of these seedlings have the eye from VIVA GLAM GIRL, and both have color from their respective, converted diploid parents. Both doubles look like keepers to me, but I want them to go through another winter before I make any decision.
Speaking of these new doubles, I've been able to convert another double that I want to talk about. Several years ago Diana and I went to a Region 5 meeting in South Georgia. We visited the garden of Billy Dick, and one of his introductions was PEACHLAND RAINBOW. Billy was kind enough to give me his diploid double, and I grew it for several years. Finally, I had plenty of the plant, and this past winter I set out to get it converted. Yesterday I could see from my examination of the pollen that the conversion was successful. Of course, I want to make sure that I can make pods with this new conversion, but I'll have to wait for more blooms and cooler temperatures to check for "pollen efficiency."
Speaking of "pollen efficiency," when my good friend Jamie Gossard was here with the AHS National Convention in early June, he set out on an examination of some of my treated plants to determine the extent, if any, of my conversion work. One plant that he examined was MY CUP OVERFLOWS. I was certain that it was converted, but Jamie's results were a "no conversion." I later found that another plant was, indeed, converted. Then, he also checked Diana's Seedling 11-297. Jamie, with his new machine, also reported that Seedling 11-297 was a Chimera: 75% Tetraploid and 25% diploid. Very helpful information. So, with this information, I was skeptical about my chances to use the seedling to make more plants. Nevertheless, I tried. I'm now pleased to report that I made a number of pods on TIDEWATER ELF which was introduced by Sandy Holmes in 2012. The next step is to see whether the pods grow to maturity and produce seeds.
I've also had quite a demand from those who attended the National Convention for fans of BLAZING CANNONS. I had soil that I could use to pot up seedlings of BLAZING CANNONS, but I just wasn't pleased with the soil. So, I went to Griffin Greenhouse and bought a pallet of "Aged Pine Bark." I then mixed the soil with 1/2 of a 50 lb. bag of the Aged Pink Bark. Had a wonderful outcome. So now I've potted about 20 proliferations from BLAZING CANNONS. It will take me 2 or 3 months to get these plants growing well, but I'm pleased that I'm going to be able to meet the demand. Again, I am so thrilled to have won "THE PRESIDENT'S CUP" at the AHS National Convention for growing the massive clump of BLAZING CANNONS.
I've also tilled and prepared two smaller beds. What I did was add more of the "rotted wood chips" to the rows, and then tilled these deep into the soil. I also added 10-10-10 fertilizer that contains the "minor elements," and additionally I added plenty of Lime. These three rows will help me move the remaining plants from the Greenhouse, and get the Greenhouse ready for starting new seeds. I'll write more soon about gathering seeds. Right now, the seeds I've collected are being kept in the Refrigerator. I'll get them planted sometime in early August. When I say that doing this is hard work, this is a gross understatement. Most all the work has to be done on days when the temperature is 90 or above, and so this is the most difficult time for a Hybridizer. I've got 5 more long rows to finish which will be done by late September.
This coming weekend, Diana and I are traveling to Indianapolis, Indiana, to be "Bus Captains" for the Region 2 Summer Meeting. Should be a lot of fun. I don't know how we came to be asked to be the Bus Captains, but we're honored to go and meet many friends we know in Region 2, and make even more friends. I'll write again after the visit!