Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Region 10 Mid-Winter Symposium

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All images, except as noted, taken by Susan Okrasinski of Kingsport, TN and used with permission.

The 21st Annual Region 10 Mid-Winter Symposium is now history. Approximately 115 daylily lovers from around the country showed up in Nashville, TN January 21-23, 2011. The MWS is the first large daylily educational symposium of the new year, and what a great time we had. It all starts on Friday afternoon with the Wineception where attendees bring their favorite beverage and snacks, which were excellent. Here at the wineception is Chris Schardein talking to David Kirchhoff. Mary Collier Fischer is in the background talking to one of our terrific speakers, Barbara White from Canada. David was responsible for developing this year's program and did an outstanding job.

Mort Morss from Daylily World in Kentucky and Mark Carpenter of the Lily Farm in Texas talking daylilies at the Wineception. Mark recently took over ownership of the Lily farm from his uncle, Jack Carpenter.

The evening festivities begin at the make your own sandwich buffet line at dinner. On the left is Herbie Phelps of KY.  Next to him is Mary Collier Fisher our esteemed AHS president talking to Mort Morss, an artist in the daylily community. On the right side of the photo are Clint and Barbara Barnes, regulars to the MWS who come all the way from Montgomery AL. And in front of them is Glenda Jordan. She and her husband Jimmie worked tirelessly to bring the meeting together this year.

The meeting began Friday evening with Mike and Sandy Holmes from Kentucky showing their hybridizing programs. Sandy is mainly interested in UF's and Mike does the bagels. They compliment each other. Mike also gave a presentation, assisted by Mary Collier Fisher, about the new "Members only" daylily website. Watch for the announcement of this wonderful new addition.

The evening ended with a spirited panel discussion entitled, "Choosing The Right Parent", led by David Kirchhoff. Panel participants were (l to r) Nancy Eller, Terrah George, Larry Grace and Jim Murphy. This image was taken by Lee Pickles.

Saturday morning's highlights included Bob Selman from North Carolina. I understand that this was Bob's first daylily "talk" and what a wonderful job he did showing images of his hybridizing and his gardens in NC.
Always a crowd favorite, Jamie Gossard gave us tips on hybridizing for toothy daylilies which is one of Jamie's favorite forms. Being from Ohio, his cultivars are pretty hard dormant. 

The morning ended with a presentation from Lee Pickles entitled, "Memories". Memories can be of a long term or a short term variety. I talked about how I happened upon  a daylily show in a Chattanooga Mall back in 1986 and saw the cultiver, H. 'Lullaby Baby' which started my interest in daylilies. I then talked about my mentors, Denver Scott of Harrison, TN and Charles E Branch of Piper City, IL. Both of these gentlemen took me under their wings and taught me about daylilies. I talked about the 2010 4" Christmas snow and two weekends later, the 8" snow. I spoke of memories and highlights of the first ten Mid-Winter Symposiums with pictures of some of the speakers and participants. When asked, "How many have attended all 21 MWS, less than a hand full raised their hands. I talked about the famous 1996 MWS which was hindered by the snow and ice storm that covered the south. And, I ended my presentation with an image of my late friend, Bob Carr. Yes, people are important and make up many of our memories. That is what the MWS is all about, meeting old friends and making new ones.

Another of the features of the MWS is being able to meet some of the most famous hybridizers in daylilydom. Here I get to pick the brains of Don Eller of Georgia and Larry Grace of Alabama.

I know I keep harping on this, but daylily bloom only last for a short time, but friends are forever and I count many of you as friends. 

I guess this is about enough for one day, please keep our military in your thoughts because it is them that enable you to have thoughts.

Life is very, very good.



Saturday, January 15, 2011

Greenhouse scape and buds . . .

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You cannot imagine how surprised I was yesterday morning to find a scape with buds on one of the trade gallon potted seedlings. It had even had one bloom which must have been one of the days we had snow and I didn't make it out to the greenhouse. The seed for this cultivar was planted on August 15, 2010 and transplanted to the trade one gallon pot on September 11, so this is a 5-month seedling. True, it only has a 10" scape and 4 buds, but, what the heh, it is a scape and buds. The parentage of this seedling is [(Seedling 9034 - Elisa Dallas X Wonder Of It All) X Happy Happy]. Seedling 9034 was a breakthrough for me with sculpting in an eyed and edged daylily of nice clear color.

H. 'Happy Happy'

Seedling 9034
(Elisa Dallas X Wonder Of It All)

You can see the scape and buds on this 5-month old seedling.

Here are the potted hybridizing plants taken into the greenhouse in early December.

These are the potted hybridizing plants as of January 15, approximately one month later.

These are the seedlings started from seed planted July 29 and transplanted to No. 38 Seed Trays starting on September 12.

Seedlings in the No. 38 Seed Trays on January 15.

Trade one gallon seedlings. Picture taken on October 3 after transplanting from seed started in peat pots.

The same 3 pots, picture taken on January 15.

Having a greenhouse is a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. If you are going to be gone, you have to arrange for someone to watch that the heat does not go out and that the seedlings are getting enough water. Even with all the work involved, I would really hate to give up my greenhouse.

Exciting things happen to those who hybridize daylilies!

Life is very, very good.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter in Chattanooga

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 The South is in a vise of white. We woke up yesterday morning to about 8" of snow on the ground. This snow was double the depth and more beautiful than the one we had at Christmas. We moved to Tennesse from Iowa in 1974 and snow was an all winter occurrence. I can remember the first winter we were here, we played basketball in short shirt sleeves out in the driveway on Christmas day. Of course, the longer we live here, the thinner our blood becomes and when it gets below 70°, Jean's nose turns red. But now, snow is a treat, especially since we are retired and don't have to get out. We planned ahead and got extra milk and bread. Even our mall, the largest in Tennessee, was closed. No flights in or out of the airport. Same in Atlanta. I remember in 1993, we had 21" of snow here. Paralyzed this area for over a week. Now, we just sit here awaiting dinner time with a glass of Cabernet in our hand. This may be a 2 or 3 glass night. All of this after the local weather guys had predicted a mild winter.

I did venture out to the greenhouse this morning to see if things are still growing. They were. The hybridizing plant are really starting to grow.
Jean had Sara Lee (the lab) and Spikey (the small mixed breed) out in the snow. Sara was jumping, running and just having a good time. Spikey, whose you-know-what was dragging in the snow, wanted to come in. The daylilies in the field look like they are in for a long winter's nap.

Left click on the picture of Sara Lee and you will be able to see the ice on her whiskers. Sara had a great time playing in the snow. She lays on her back and makes doggy snow angels.

Here is a picture of our side yard. The snow was 8" deep, the most since the blizzard of '93 that dumped 21" on Chattanooga.

When we lived in Iowa, I had a 10hp John Deere lawn tractor. The first year I had it, I purchased a blade for the front thinking that I would be able to clear snow from the driveway. I quickly discovered that I couldn't move anything because I could not get enough traction, so I purchased wheel weights and chains. We lived on a dead end road that was not plowed by the county and I was always able to clear the road. I also cleared all the neighbors driveways. Needless to say, they hated to see me leave. I thought about clearing our driveway here with our 18hp John Deere with a bucket on the front but also thought that I would probably not be able to get enough traction. Evidently the tiller on the back gave me enough weight that I was able to clear the snow from our driveway and three of our neighbors. Most fun than I have had in a long time!

Looking forward to seeing you at the 21st Annual Mid-Winter Symposium in Nashville, TN on January 21-23, 2011. Please join us and greet old friends and make new ones.

Exciting things happen to those who hybridize daylilies!

Life is very, very good. Remember, when the bloom is gone, you still have your friends!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Introductions . . .

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We have selected 8 cultivars that will become our 2011 introductions. All have been grown outside in field conditions for at least two years. Please enjoy looking.

H. 'Dancing With The Stars’ 
31" M SEv Re 6". Five-way branching, 23 buds.
    Elegance and grace are what this flower is all about, like the hit TV show, “Dancing With The Stars”. The large 6” flower is a cream blushed lavender with medium ruffling and crimping. The citron ruffling matches the citron throat which leads to a green heart. The substance is just as heavy as it looks in the picture and stands up well in sun and rain. The form is round and full with petals that are 3¼” and the sepals are 2”. Really a nice clean color. This cultivar is fertile both ways in the greenhouse and I wouldn’t expect it to act any differently outside. DWTS has a very good plant beneath the flower. The foliage is arching and a dark green Seedling No. 8070 (Victorian Lace X Wonder Of It All)

H. 'Glenn Miller’
37" M SEv Re 5½". Three-way branching, 18 buds.
    A flower of impeccable form, H. ‘Glenn Miller’ was one of the show flowers in the garden. The flower is a cream polychrome with overlays of lemon and pale pink.  Petal and sepal edges are heavily ruffled and crimped and the flower is lightly sculpted. The color of the flower emphasizes the lime green throat. Named for the famous band leader, who in my opinion, still has some of the best music around. The foliage is a dark green and of medium width The substance is exceptionally heavy and holds well in the rain and sun. Plant habit is excellent, and it increases fairly rapidly. Pod and pollen fertile. Petals are 3", sepals 2". Seedling No. 0755 (Awesome Bob X Wonder Of It All)

H. 'Groovin’ ’ 
30" M SEv Re 6¼". Three-way branching, 17 buds.
    One of our long line of sculpted seedlings and probably the heaviest sculpting of all. The grooves appear to be carved out with a chisel. If you look at most sculpting in this color range, you will think the raised area of the sculpting is a different color. However, upon close scrutiny, it is the same color as the flower but the sculpting creates this optical illusion. The flower is a polychrome of maize and pink overlaying ivory. The flower can be funky-like in the image, or it can be a round, full form. The petal edges are heavily ruffled. The substance is like cardboard and holds up well in the sun. Pod and pollen fertile. Petals are 3", sepals 1¾". Seedling No. 0624 (Doc Branch X Bas Relief

H. 'Juanita Manley’
27" M SEv Re 5". Four-way branching, 25 buds.
     This cultivar was chosen by our sister-in-law, Juanita Manley, of Cranberry Township, PA to carry her name. The bloom is a very saturated cherry red with an ivory watermark and ruffles. One of the clearest cherry reds that I have seen. The substance is very good and holds up well except in very hard rains. The plant habit is very good. It is pod and pollen fertile in the greenhouse and we have some very nice kids coming. Petals are 2½” and sepals are 1¾”. A very showy flower in the garden. Seedling No. 0726 (Painting The Roses Red X Jean Pickles)

H. 'Memories Of Mother’
29” M SEv Re 5½”. Five-way branching, 27 buds.
    For generations, mothers have been growing yellow daylilies in their perennial gardens. How the yellow has evolved! It is no longer the narrow petaled, lightly branched and budded daylily of the past, but a full, overlapped form with good branching and bud count. Our first daylilies were the lemon colored daylily from Jean’s mother’s garden that we brought to Tennessee many years ago. H. ‘Memories Of Mother’ is a perfectly full-formed daylily of crisp lemon yellow with 3” lightly ruffled petals and 2” wide, blunt sepals. This self ends with an olive green throat. The substance is very heavy and stands up well in the sun and rain. H. 'Memories Of Mother’ would be a great addition to “Mother’s” garden. Fertile both ways in the greenhouse.
Seedling No. 0651 (Macho Macho Man X Wonder Of It All)

H. 'Rockets Bursting In Air’
27" M SEv Re 5½". Four-way branching, 25 buds.
     This has been one of my favorites since first bloom in 2007. I thought long and hard for the perfect name and H. 'Rockets Bursting In Air’ seemed to fit. The bloom is very clean and smooth and the color is a saturated magenta. The white midribs give the impression of ‘Rockets bursting in air’. The watermark of white accentuates the explosion. The edges of the petals are very smooth with a fine band of white. The substance is heavy and holds up well. Pod and pollen fertile in the greenhouse. Seedling No. 07100 (Pure Indulgence X Painting The Roses Red). 

H. 'Rooty Tooty’ 
33" M SEv Re Fr 6". Three-way branching, 19 buds.
    The flower is a near white with a wash of azalea pink. It has the beginning of an eyezone of subtle rose ending with a lemon throat and a lime heart. The petal edges are a light yellow and are very heavily ruffled and crimped and the flower shows some subtle sculpting. There is light ruffling on the sepals.  The substance is exceptionally heavy and holds well in the rain and sun. Plant habit is excellent and it increases fairly rapidly. It is a showy flower in the garden, and it can be seen from a long distance. This flower was pod and pollen fertile for us in the greenhouse. Petals are 3¼", sepals 2". Seedling No. 8057 (How Beautiful Heaven Must Be X Wonder Of It All)

H. 'Tennessee Lady Vols’
28" M SEv Re LFr 5½". Four-way branching, 19 buds.
    Named for my favorite college basketball team. The flower always opens well and the above picture was taken in late September on the third set of scapes after a 55° night. The color is orange creamcicle and shows a pale honey orange over cream. There is a tuscan infusion in the in halo which is repeated on the heavily ruffled edges. The substance is exceptionally heavy and holds well in the rain and sun. Plant habit is excellent and it increases fairly rapidly. One of the show flowers in the garden. Petals are 2¾", sepals are 1½". Seedling No. 0545 (Enchanted Dreams X Candied Popcorn Perfection)

We wish all of our daylily friends a very happy and prosperous new year.

Now is the time to start planning to attend one of the many symposia that are coming up, including The Mid-Winter Symposium in Nashville, TN on January 21-23, 2011. Please join us and greet old friends and meet new ones.

Exciting things happen to those who hybridize daylilies!

Life is very, very good. Remember, when the bloom is gone, you still have your friends!