Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Greenhouse Bloom 14 . . .

How about some of you in Canada and across the pond. Comments can be made at the end of this page . . . it is easy and I would like to know how you enjoy the blog. If it not against your nature, please identify yourself.
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It just did not seem proper to stop on Greenhouse Bloom 13! Maybe I should have skipped 13 altogether. Also, I wanted to show you our Chinese Fringe Tree which is just off our patio in the back yard. We planted this tree shortly after moving here in 1993 so I would guess that it was planted in about 1995 so that would make it about 15 years old. The Fringe Tree is unlike other flowering trees with which I am familiar, it leafs out and then flowers. Most trees flower then leaf out. These flowers are very dainty and fragrant. If you put some on your arm it is like what I imagine several butterflies landing on your arm would feel like. Here is the Chinese Fringe Tree.
One of the cultivars always catching my eye in the greenhouse is Don Lovell's "SELWYN", named for Selwyn Rash of Ellsworth, IA. The reason I listed it this way is that I am not sure if Don has registered it yet or not. Maybe he will leave a comment at the bottom of this blog telling us. It is a beauty and I have been spreading its pollen. On top of the beauty, it is also dormant. Here is "SELWYN."

A noteworthy late blooming seedling is No. 8192 (Country Jazz X Wonder Of It All). WOIA was the pollen parent, CJ was the pod parent. I like the the eye and the way it is etched, and the petal edge which has a very fine line to match the eye plus a very fine white edge, much like its pod parent but much stronger color. A very striking flower. Below is 8192.

I am estimating that it is going to be about 3 weeks before the 8000 seedlings in the field start blooming. If this weather does not warm up (today in the 50s) it may be a month. I think the seedling bloom is what keeps me going. 

Attend a daylily function near you (or even far). The friends you make will last a lifetime where a daylily only lasts a day. If you are headed south on I-24 or I-75 to the National Convention, we are only about 20 minutes off the interstate. Please stop and visit with us.

Life is very, very Good.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Greenhouse Bloom 13 . . .

How about some of you in Canada and across the pond. Comments can be made at the end of this page . . . it is easy and I would like to know how you enjoy the blog. If it not against your nature, please identify yourself.
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I thought I would do something a little different today. I am pretty proud of our 2010 introduction, H. 'Robert W. Carr', named in honor of my late friend Dr. Bob Carr. In September 2007, Bob called me from the hospital and asked if I would send him some seedling pictures to view since he had not been able to see bloom that spring. I did, and he returned two and asked, “If either of these make the cut, would you name it for me?” Of course, I said yes. Ironically, it has the same parents as Bob’s H. ‘Wonder Of It All’.

I am going to show you several seedlings, all with one thing in common, one of the parents is H. 'Robert W. Carr'. Please enjoy.

H. 'Robert W. Carr'

 No. 9064 (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis X Robert W. Carr)

No. 9065 (Lone Wolf X Robert W. Carr)

No. 9049 (Serenity Bay X Robert W. Carr)

No. 9057 (Robert W. Carr X Some Sweet Day)

No. 9046 (Robert W. Carr X Some Sweet Day)

You can see the diversity having one common parent and crossing it with a different parent.

As I looked around the greenhouse this morning I was shocked at the number of white cross tags indicating pods. I had thought to myself the other day that I should stop this nonsense but then the next day there would be an entirely new bloom that I just had to use. However, I have given myself until the 30th of April and then I will stop! We shall see how this works. Is this another New Year's resolution in April?

Life is very, very good.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Greenhouse Bloom 12 . . .

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This post will be a little different. Instead of featuring daylilies, I will show some other bloom in the greenhouse. Every year Jean starts annuals for planting in her perennial gardens. She uses the annuals for instant and length of bloom. This year she planted 12 trays of marigold 'Janie' for lots of edging color. I think these were planted around March 1. This year's crop is the best she has ever had because the spider mites did not get into them as usual. I began spraying as soon as potted plants were taken into the greenhouse in December and continued for several weeks after. This eliminated the spider mite, thrips, fungus gnats, etc. problems that I normally have. Please see Jean's marigolds below.

Another thing she usually starts are Zinneas. This years crop is the best ever. Started around March 1, you can see that they are straight and tall, unlike a lot of years where they have gotten stringy and bent over. She will plant these out in one of the raised beds and use for cut flowers. She grows a myriad of other perennials along with the annuals.

I would be remiss if I did not include one daylily seedling. Below is seedling No 9048, a cross of H. 'Crazy Ivan' (top left) Grace-Smith 2005 as the pollen parent and H. 'Elisa Dallas' (bottom left) Trimmer 2004 as the pod parent. I refer to 9048 as "Pansy Eye" because that is what it looks like. The eye color is actually more like Crazy Ivan than what it shows here.

Seedling No. 9048 (Elisa Dallas X Crazy Ivan)

I had no idea what a blog was until I heard Nikki Schmith's talk at the 2010 Mid-Winter Symposium in Nashville, TN. After watching, I thought , "I can do that." And I did. It does get a little frustrating at times when you want to format something and it does not want to cooperate, but just wait a minute and sneak up on it when it is not looking and figure some way around the problem. Blogs are free, they do not cost to maintain on some computer stuck back in Russia or China somewhere, it is on your computer. The space does not cost you anything (which I have a hard time understanding) and the domain name doesn't cost anything. If you are interested, the one I use is www.blogspot.com . . . give it a try, you may enjoy it.

Life is very, very good.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Greenhouse Bloom 11 . . .

Comments can be made at the end of this page . . . it is easy and I would like to know how you enjoy it.

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A greenhouse makes setting pods on daylilies much easier than outside because you can somewhat control the environment. Most greenhouses that I know growing daylilies have some sort of heating . . . ours is by a 150,000 btu natural gas heater. Only very few greenhouses that I know have some method of cooling . . . if they do, it is usually water cooled . . . I doubt that many could afford regular air conditioning. Our greenhouse is just a basic one . . . as I said, we do have heat, but the only cooling we have is by exhaust fans. Still, the heat at times in bright sunlight will reach 100° or higher. I have heard in the past that setting seed under 60° or over 90° is almost impossible. I still don't hybridize until the heat level reaches 60° but many days that I have hybridized the heat has reached the 100°+ level and I have still gotten good seed set. Go figure! Another advantage to a greenhouse is that I can get an early start on my hybridizing, most of the time finishing before bloom starts outside when I need to be taking care of things and evaluating seedlings outside. Below is a picture of the greenhouse taken this morning 04/18/10 and I would guess that I am just past peak bloom.

The first thing your eyes are drawn to is the beauty of the bloom. However, this is not the most important factor. In the enlargement below you can see all of the cross tags indicating pod set. Now go back and look at a blow up of the greenhouse image and look for the cross tags.

I admire those of you who hybridize UFs (yes, I did say that). As you saw in an earlier blog, I do have a few UFs in the greenhouse. I would estimate that I have made 25 crosses thus far and have not set one pod . . . and this on a plant in the hybridizer's description said, "Pod and pollen fertile." You must really have to persevere to get your seeds.

The cross tags that you see in the picture above are the bread tags that are sold by Gary Schaben and in my opinion are the best way to go. If you use an Industrial Sharpie, they can be used over and over by just soaking them in a Clorox/water mixture to clean. I have no monetary interest in the tags.

Bloom will soon be starting in the south and we will be able to follow it to the north . . . how great is that?

Daylilies bring friend together.

Life is very, very good


Friday, April 16, 2010

Greenhouse Bloom 10 . . .

If you enjoy or not enjoy my blog, you can leave a comment at the end. It is very easy.

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About five years ago, I was speaking to the Northern California Daylily Society when a lady came up and introduced herself as Marilyn Morss Johnson, the twin sister of Mort Morss. When meeting her, I knew they had to be twins, because she was just as nice as Mort. Well, I have been fortunate enough to be able to grow the flower H. 'Marilyn Morss Johnson' this year in the greenhouse and see it bloom and use it's pollen. It has an eye pattern that I am hoping will carry through to some of the seeds that I am making. Mort has to be very proud of this introduction. The image is shared by David and Mort.
Here is an enlargement of the eye pattern.

Our 2010 introduction of H. 'Rober W. Carr' is blooming and looks much like it does outside. The majority of the time, a greenhouse flower will not be as good as one grown outside. It shows it's delicate pink coloration along with the yellow bubbly edge with a yellow throat to match the edge. It does carry the sculpting gene and shows up in many of it's seedlings. A very pretty flower to honor my friend Dr. Bob Carr.

One of the seedlings from H. 'Robert W. Carr' is seedling No. 9046 which has H. 'Some Sweet Day' as the pollen parent and is shown to the left. The seedling has a patterned eye and shows a lot of blue/gray in it, and is being used extensively in our breeding this spring. If you look closely, it has a triple edge, one of them repeating the eye color. Size is about 6" Here is No. 9046.

Another seedling blooming is No. 9058 (Judy Farquar X Belle Cook). I have shown these parents in earlier blogs. The color is very bright and shows a large patterned eye that encompases most of the flower. A double edge highlights this flower. Here is 9058.

When the group visited last weekend, I caught a lot of flack for one flower that was blooming. It was H. Free Wheelin' introduced by Pat Stamile. Most of you know I am a bagel person so why the UF? Well, I had been drinking wine one night and someone said, "Let's make a trade." I said, "Sure." I didn't pay much attention to it but you can imagine my fear of visitors when I saw this flower bloom. Here it is. I have no idea on earth what to do with it!

Yesterday, I bit the bullet and purchased a 42" tiller for the back of our Kubota garden tractor that we mow the yard with. I finally got tired of the rough tilling that the John Deere does. If this works well for me, then I plan to purchase a front end loader for the Kubota, then sell the John Deere. A front end loader is a must that really saves on my back. If this happens, I will be sad to see it go because I have had some type of John Deere lawn or garden tractor since 1968. They used to be the best tractor made, now they are all made in China!

Life is very, very good


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Greenhouse Bloom 9 . . .

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The greenhouse is probably at peak right now if it is possible to determine that. Two of the cultivars blooming are from my friend, Bill Waldrop of Kennesaw Mountain Daylilies in Marietta, GA. The first has been a favorite of mine the last couple years that I have grown it, H. 'Kennesaw Mountain Hayride' 27" SEv. It could be a little taller, but when you look at that magnificent flower, height is the last thing you think of. I am using Bill's image because I could not find mine on my computer.

Bill's second flower to bloom was H. 'Emerald Lace' another 27" tall cultivar. The green edge is what sets this flower off from all others. Bill believes this flower will produce magnificent green edged kids, which is what I am using it for. This is my image and you can see it is missing the pollen.

One of the seedlings to bloom, No. 0753, is a cross of H. 'Mandalay Bay Music' (top left) (Jeff Salter) X H. 'Wonders Never Cease' (bottom left) (Bob Carr). As you can see, it has that "bagel" form that I prefer, along with great substance. The color is nice and clear. About a 5½ flower. Image is shown below. I like the bold yellow throat which ends in a green heart. A little sculpting is evident which increases in hot weather.

I keep thinking that I will stop my hybridizing in the greenhouse because I already have more seeds that I will be able to plant, however, when I walk in in the morning, I see something and think, I need to put such and such on that and WOW will it make nice kids. Oh well, it is better to have too many than not enough like last year.

Life is very, very good.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Visitors & Greenhouse Bloom 8 . . .

Remember, for a larger picture, left click on the image.

 The Tennessee Valley Daylily Society met on Saturday, April 10 with our featured speakers, Herbie and Gale Phelps of Kentucky. They presented an overview of their hybridizing program which all agreed was outstanding. After the meeting, we had visitors to view the bloom in the greenhouse.
Among those visiting were (L to R) Herbie and Gale Phelps, Kentucky; Linda and Sam Hassler, Crossville, TN; and Karen and Steve Newman, Delano, TN. I would guess that in another week the greenhouse will be at peak bloom. I believe I already have enough pods set to supply my seed needs for a couple years . . . at least. Unlike last year, seed set has been rather easy this year.

One of the outstanding seedlings to bloom today is a cross of H. 'Mandalay Bay Music' (Salter 2001 - left bottom) X H. 'Some Sweet Day' (Stamile 2006 - left upper). The resulting seedling, No. 9060 is shown below (large image).

Although it does not show a lot in this picture, there is a lot of blue in the eye and edge. A real stunner!

There have been several seedlings to bloom from a cross of H. 'Awesome Bob' X H. 'Larry Allen Miller'. Images of these two can be found on earlier blogs. Here are some that I think are pretty good.
Seedling No. 8167
Seedling No. 8176

Seedling No. 8163

 Seedling No. 8170
It is amazing the variety you can get from one set of parents. You can also see that you do not have to have the latest and greatest to get some amazing flowers.

I wanted to add one more image taken at the Iowa Pollen Dabber's meeting in Marshalltown, IA on March 26 and 27, 2010. This is the largest group that ever attended this meeting. I think there were around 45 people. As you can see, the daylily brings friends together. Photo by Kyle Billadeau.

Life is very, very good.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Visitor & Greenhouse Bloom 7 . . .

Today was a glorious day! We received about ¾" of rain this morning. It seems as though we have had a lot of rain this spring, but the weather men (and ladies) say we are about 6" behind. Doesn't seem possible. I will have to wait 4 or 5 days before I can till in the garden again. After the rain this morning, I took the above picture of the Red Bud tree in the front of our house. I believe it is now about 15 years old as we planted it early on when we moved here.

Another special treat today was a visit from Bill Waldrop of Kinnesaw Mountain Daylilies in Marietta, GA. We had a great time talking daylilies and time got away from us so we decided to continue our conversation over lunch. Jean took this picture of Bill and me.

I am guessing that by next week I will be at peak bloom in the greenhouse. One of the seedlings that Bill spotted today was Seedling No. 9080, a cross of H. 'Fringe Benefit (no image) as the pod parent and our H. 'Horny Devil' (left) as the pollen Parent. No. 9080 is shown below.

One of the named varieties that caught Bill's eye was H. 'Bluegrass Memories' a 2008 introduction by Ted Preuss of Mississippi. This is a picture taken in the greenhouse this morning which does not show the true blue color of the eye. (I apologize to Ted for the incorrect name when I first put this on the blog. The above is correct).

Another day that would not have been possible if it were not for the friendships formed through daylilies

Life is very, very good.