Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Lily Rae and the "Snail"

Hello Daylily Friends,

Wanted to just catch up with everyone.  I have been working hard in the Greenhouse gathering seeds.  I am surprised that I've made so many seeds basically using the following conversions:  TET. CHOO CHOO CABOOSE, TET. GARRETT ALLEN, TET. ASHEE DASHEE, TET. ROSABELLE VAN VAULKENBURGH, TET. SOMETHING SPECIAL, TET. OUT OF THE BLUE, TET. PINK STRIPES, TET, YANKEE PINSTRIPES and TET. CHERRY STRIPES.  It will be difficult to plant all of my seeds, but I will try.

In the past I've written about my efforts to convert SUNRISE SHADOWS, but today I can show something new.  Here is a picture of the tetraploid, SUNRISE SHADOWS.  It is such a large flower, and seeing all of that tetraploid pollen when I look through my microscope, is just such a thrill.  I know that the pollen is fertile because I had one bloom last summer and I gave the pollen to my friend, William Marchant.  William used the pollen to make about 30 seeds.  This spring I will have much more pollen, and I want to make large flowers like SUNRISE SHADOWS.  One big advantage that SUNRISE SHADOWS will bring is that it is dormant.

When I say that TET. SUNRISE SHADOWS is big, I thought I would show a picture that I took earlier this week.  I put a ruler across the flower, and as you can see from looking at the ruler and the flower, it is clearly 8" in diameter.  The only sad fact is that I have identified only one fan.  So far, out of 11 fans, only one is the tetraploid.  Maybe another will appear, but for now I have only one fan.

I also am so proud of our Club.  On the weekend of April 23-24, 2016, the City of Smyrna, Georgia, held its "Jonquil Festival."  On Friday and Saturday, April 22-23, the Master Gardeners held their "Annual Plant Sale."  Our Plant Sales Chairperson, Gene McCord, made sure that all preparations were made, particularly at the Jonquil Festival, and Rita Buehner and Katilou Greene were in charge of the Master Gardener's sale. I was astonished at the result: Our Club had total sales of $1,899.00.  Wow.  All I can do is be amazed.  It is good when Club members dedicate themselves to keep resources at a significant level so that the Club can make many choices about its activities in keeping with its mission to help others see the importance of daylilies.  Thanks Gene, Rita and Katilou, and thanks to our Club members for making these sales such a tremendous and outstanding success.  Again, I'm so pleased with the success and growth of our Club.

Let's look at some more seedlings.  I had one new bloom that I am really proud to report about.  It is Seedling 6-28.  The pod parent is Seedling 3-351 and here is the background of 3-351:  ((Mort Morss x Lydia's Regal Robe) x (Shirley Anne McCord x Gnashing of Teeth)) x Tet. Rose F. Kennedy.  The pollen parent was Guy Pierce's SMILING COBRA.  Seedling 6-28 is 36" tall, 6-way branching, 37 buds, and a 5.75" Flower.  I am also very happy to report that I've set 6-28 with pollen from both TET. SUNRISE SHADOWS and TET. GARRETT ALLEN.  I'm so happy with this progress.

Yesterday Diana asked me about a row of seedlings that had reasonably large scapes.  The row of seedlings was from Seedling 4-536, and here is the parentage:  (Lacy All Over x (Irish Halo x Tet. Cinderella Sue)).  I do not know the actual measurements as these will be determined from the performance of the row that Diana asked about.  However, the flower is so smooth and creamy white, and is both pod and pollen fertile.  I really like this type of daylily.  I want to introduce many more whites that have basically been created from using conversions.

Also want to report about DENTAL DELIGHT.  I had so many requests for this daylily that I became nervous that I might not be able to meet the demand.  Fortunately I have met the demand, but I'm now out of the flower, and it will be until next spring before I have more to offer.  Anyway, I brought several of DENTAL DELIGHT into the Greenhouse to use for making new seeds.  DENTAL DELIGHT is both pod and pollen fertile.  Also, it is dormant, and judging from the places where purchases were made, that may have been a reason for the high demand.  Anyway, I've been setting lots of seeds on DENTAL DELIGHT.

I want everyone to know that Lily Rae is so "brave."  She has very little apprehension, especially if she is assured by Grandma and Grandpa that "all is good."  For example, Diana found a very large Slug in the Greenhouse which she showed to Lily Rae, and then, with Lily's agreement, she put it into Lily's hand.  Lily Rae carefully examined the Slug.  Would you put a slug in your hand and then give it close examination?  I doubt that I would.  But Lily Rae was interested.  And strangely enough, the Slug did not retreat into its shell.  It just kept itself exposed.  Lily Rae was genuinely entertained.

Lily Rae then put the Slug into one hand, and we see Lily Rae's red fingernails which were painted by Grandmother Whitfield.  It is so delightful to see Lily examine something that she hasn't seen before.  She wants to know what is in the Garden, and she's always interested in whatever we have to say about our daylilies, our trees, our vegetables, and the things we see in the Garden.

Speaking of things we see in the Garden, Diana has had a genuinely interesting adventure.  She swaped some daylilies with a friend from Wisconsin, Robert Keitzman, who, in turn, mailed to her a "Bartzella Peony."  It has taken 3 years for this Peony to bloom, but the wait was good, considering the beauty of the large yellow flower.  A Bartzella Peony is apparently a cross between a tree and a bush.  This makes the plant stronger, and may have something to do with the size of the bloom.  Anyway, anyone can see from just looking at the flower that it is a wonderful creation.

Then our friends, Carolyn Myers and Judy Schneider, who were on their way to Florida, stopped by the Garden to visit.  Diana showed Carolyn and Judy her first bloom on her Bartzella Peony.  They were impressed.  Gardeners love blooms, especially big blooms.  Speaking of going to Florida, our Daylily Club is going to Florida to see the first blooms of the season.  Can't wait for the journey to begin.

As for seeing the Garden, it looks good, and we can see that blooms are coming soon.   The grass is so green, the daylilies are so green, and we can see the growing scapes.  I look every day at the daylilies, and they are so healthy.  In fact, many of the 9 month seedlings are growing scapes.  Also, the daylilies that I liked last year have multiplied very nicely, and there is so much promise.  I was getting concerned that we've not had much rain, but then this past week we've had plenty of rain.  I get up in the morning and basically, every day, its like we have a "new garden."  I so much enjoy growing daylilies.

Well, just when the Garden looks so good something causes a concern.  One of my large Greenhouse fans stopped working, and the temperature for the following morning was going to be 86 degrees.  This meant that there would be more heat in the Greenhouse and both large fans would be needed to keep the temperature under control.  I am so fortunate that my friend, Tommy Bell, came to help.  We both thought that I would need a new fan, but instead, it was deterioration in the wires.  Tommy took the unit apart that supplies power to the fan, saw and then fixed the problem.  The fan went back to working, and all is well again. Thanks Tommy!  Speaking of the Greenhouse, I'm going out there now to see what has bloomed this morning.  Will be back shortly to complete this Blog entry.

Well there is a delightful and interesting new bloom this morning in the Greenhouse.  It is Seedling 6-30, and here is the parentage: (Grace Seedling x Tet. Pink Stripes) x Tet. Yankee Pinstripes.  As I say, very interesting and lovely flower.  For years we have all worked hard to get clean colors, but Seedling 6-30 is different.  It has an unusual and odd mixture of colors and patterns.  I'm not sure where these broken color patterns are going, but I'm committed to working with them.  So, Dave Mussar, what do you think of 6-30?

I must also report on Diana's tomatoes.  She has monster sized plants and very big tomatoes.  In fact, every morning I walk out and look at her tomatoes, they are at least a foot taller than they were the day before.  Also, there are tomatoes all over the plants.  She has 2 and 3 pound tomatoes in production, and in addition, she has what we call Cherry or tiny tomatoes.  The 2 and 3 pound tomatoes are called "Steakhouse" which is a very appropriate name.  We try to keep the tomatoes in the cages to keep them under control, and this is a daily exercise.  In my thinking we will be eating tomatoes by June.

More news soon.



  1. Seedling 6-30 is an amazing break in striped tetraploids. I can't wait to see more, including the results of all three of your striped conversions - I only wish I had converted them.

  2. Thanks Cameron. I am also anxious to see the results from last summer and so far I've only seen two blooms. Will post more pictures when the blooms finally come