Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Iowa Pollen Dabbers . . .

Each year I eagerly await March so that I can return to my roots in Iowa. I visit both Jean's and my parents graves and catch them up-to-date on family and friends. We grew up on Maid-Rites, a loose steam cooked hamburger meat and an Iowa tradition. I normally arrive on Thursday in time to have two Maid-Rites for lunch . . . these I eat for Jean. Then, I go back and have two more for supper . . . these are my two.

Friday morning I was able to visit with a High School friend who graduated the same year as me in 1954, and find out who has died and who is still living. Surprisingly there are many still with us. Then I visited with a man I used to work with and for at the Colfax Tribune newspaper when I was in school. I had not visited with Junior for probably 15 years and although now 84 (10 years my senior) he still looked the same. I really enjoyed this visit and will not wait another 15 years to do it again.

Friday, I had the pleasure of meeting Richard Norris, one of the speakers for the Pollen Dabbers meeting at the airport and transport him to Marshalltown, the home of the Pollen dabbers meeting. We enjoyed daylily talk both directions. I so look forward to this meeting each year and the opportunity to visit with all my friends from Iowa and AHS Region 1.

This year there was a record number in attendance, somewhere around 45 daylily lovers. In the past, 25-30 was a good number. This is the only meeting that I know that has increased in size, most others have had fewer in attendance.

Don Lovell (left) and Phil Fass (right) are the head honchos for this meeting. Don kind of stepped back this year and let Phil carry most of the load, but Don had arranged it for many years. Iowa hybridizers have made great strides in their hybridizing programs much of which is due to Don's influence. I can't say enough about the work of Don, Phil, Nan Ripley, and a host of others do for this meeting.

Two of my good friends from the area are Barb and Bob Papenhausen from East Moline, IL, just across the mighty Mississippi River which borders the eastern edge of Iowa. Barb is an up and coming hybridizer who showed her images for a fist time and did a wonderful job. Bob just pays the bills! :-)

Two friends from Minnesota in attendance were Kyle Billadeau and Mike Grossman. Kyle is very active in Region 1 and is editor of "The Daylily Pioneer", the regional newsletter. Mike sells a lot of things on the Lily auction under the name of Mike144mann.

The Pollen Dabbers even went international this year. Vicki Aughenbaugh and Donna Steele from South Dakota were in attendance. Wait, Jean just told me that South Dakota is in the United States, must be North Dakota that is international. :-) Vicki is the Regional President and sent me a lot of information for a possible trip to the Badlands.

Next year's Pollen Dabbers meeting will be on March 18-19, 2011 . . . why not put it on your calendar now?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Greenhouse Bloom 4 . . .

Each day there are more blooms in the greenhouse. Three or four years ago when I was younger, I used to call this my "grinhouse" because every time I walked in, I grinned. Now that I am more mature, I just call it my greenhouse! :-) I don't maintain an inventory of other hybridizer's introductions, but I do use some in the greenhouse. There were two this morning worthy of mention, the first, Jeff Salter's 2010 introduction, H. 'Emerald Dream', a pale flower infused with a lot of green and very green edge on a 30" plus scape. The image below is that of Jeff's and used with permission.

The second named cultivar blooming was Pat Stamile's H. 'Rock Solid' (2002). This is my first year growing this cultivar and purchased it for two reasons. I have seen some nice seedlings from it and it is dormant. I would like to see a larger bloom and a little taller, but I can work on that with my parent selection. Image courtesy of Pat Stamile, and used with permission.
Many of you know that I am enamored with the yellow daylily. I don't know why but it is the color of the first daylily we ever grew, yellow is such a great garden flower and the color stands out clear across the garden. I have hybridized and introduced several yellow daylilies. In 2009 I bloomed my finest yellow to date. A cross of H. 'Spectral Elegance' (Stamile 2002) as the pod parent (top left), and H. 'Wonder Of It All' (Carr 2006) as the pollen parent (bottom left). The resulting seedling is No. 2008 (below), a large 6 ½" heavily ruffled flower of great substance. Last year when it first bloomed, it had one of the finest branched scapes I have seen here on a first bloom seedling.

I started watching this bloom five days before it opened. It started by looking like it would be a small flower and open the next day. The fourth day prior to opening, it looked like the image below. The smaller bud on the right is what it looked like when I first started watching it. Above is the image as it bloomed today, five days after I first thought it would open.

Another of my H. 'Larry Allen Miller' seedlings to bloom today was No. 9021, a cross of H. 'Robert W. Carr' (pod parent upper left) X H. 'Larry Allen Miller', (pollen parent lower left) a very saturated purple with a great green throat and a white edge. Size is right around 6" with extremely wide petals.
Now, if I can just get my email straightened out, life would be very, very good.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Greenhouse Bloom 3 . . .

Although not coming on fast, bloom is definitely on its way. There are scapes all over the greenhouse and the bud heads (could that refer to Tommy and Tony?) are getting larger every day. This morning while out in the greenhouse, I broke up some pots of H. 'Tickle Me Elmo' into double fans for the orders I have already received. They should start growing immediately in the greenhouse.

I tried another thing this morning. I am going to introduce seedling No. 0742 in 2011 and needed just a few more fans. I depotted (is that a word) some and broke the 4 fans apart. I then sliced through the plant vertically to make 8 fans, sprinkled some Root Tone on them and repotted. I only tried a few to see if it would work for me.

Now to this morning's bloom . . .

This is Kaskell's BEST EDGE seedling that has and is being used by a lot of hybridizers. I have never understood why Matthew did not register this daylily. When it was first available, it was selling for upwards of $3000.00 so I am just now getting it after the price came down. The image above was taken by Bill Waldrop of Kennesaw Mountain Daylilies, in Marrietta, GA.

There were three seedlings blooming this morning, two of which I have shown you before, seedlings No. 9009 (Spectral Elegance X Wonder Of It All) and No. 9022 (Spring Formal X Judith Aucoin). The new one today was seedling No. 9041 shown on the bottom. The pod parent was tetra H. 'Lavender Blue Baby' (top left) X our seedling No. 0492 (Edge Of Darkness X Lee Pickles) (bottom left).

I don't know what I really expected when I made this cross . . . maybe getting some blue in it . . . but as you can see, that did not happen. I think the flower did turn out quite spectacularly with the merlot eye and edge with a wire of gold. Also got the nice green throat that I like. Nice form with wide petals.

Maybe more tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Greenhouse Bloom 2 . . .

Although not coming on fast, there are sporadic blooms in the greenhouse. The plants really look healthy this year. Last year I had the worst infestation of thrips that I have ever seen. They just got out of hand and nothing I used to spray with seemed to have an impact. I used both chemical insecticides and biological controls with no apparent impact. They got so bad, the flowers looked like they had pepper heavily sprinkled all over them. They even effected seed set last year.

This year, I started spraying as soon as I took the potted plants into the greenhouse and I have not seen one thrips (yes, thrips is both singular and plural) this year. I have rotated Orthene, Avid, and something else that I cannot remember the name of sitting here. At this point, I have not seen any spider mites either, but then it may be a little early and cool for them.

Blooming this morning for the first time was H. 'Steve Martin', a 2008 introduction from Jeff Salter, named for Steve who runs the garden. It is a large 7" flower that is on a 30" scape. A great flower. The image is Jeff's and used with permission.

There were two selected seedlings blooming this morning:

I like Dan Trimmer's H. 'Spring Formal' (upper left) for the round, full form and the crimped and ruffled edge. I used it as the pod parent and used pollen from H. 'Judith Aucoin', (lower left) one of our 2010 introductions. I am trying to put some sculpting onto an eyed and edged flower. Well, you can see the results below in seedling No. 9022, I got neither, but I know the genes are in there. Well, there is some light sculpting, but no eye or edge. I do like the form and the ruffling that folds over down in the throat and will use this flower as a bridge plant. The seedling images were taken on first bloom in the garden in 2009. You can see my shadow trying to get shade on the flower.

The second seedling to bloom was a cross of H. 'Crazy Ivan' (Smith) as the pod parent (upper left) and H. 'Elisa Dallas' (Trimmer) as the pollen parent (lower left). I have always liked the intense black/purple eye and the very light petal color on CI. I thought I would cross it with ED for the form and eye pattern. Both have the nice green throat You can see from the seedling No. 9019  image below the I did not get any of the good traits from either parent that I so desired except for maybe the green throat.

I guess I am like a lot of hybridizers, I am a little impatient. I want what I want right now, and that does not happen often. Maybe in the next generation or two, I will finally see some of the results I am seeking.

Never-the-less, life is very, very good.