Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2013 Daylily Collection

I thought that I had already put our 2013 daylily collection on our blog. Evidently not! There are 9 introductions for you to consider. All have been field grown for at least 3 years. We use no sprays or chemicals on our field grown plants except for Nutricote and Milorganite fertilizers and Treflan for weed control.

Shipping normally begins around the first of April, depending on the weather. We ship to the U. S. only and the shipping fee is $12.00 plus $1.00 for each plant.

Remember, a left click over an image will give you a larger picture.

H. 'Black Sears’   s/f ... $65.00 ... d/f ... $100.00
32" M SEv EMO Ext Re 5". 4-way branching, 21 buds. Petals 2¼” sepals 1½”.
    Named for one of our favorite wineries, Black Sears, on Howell Mountain in Napa Valley. The flower is a velvety textured burgundy that shows a blue purple haze in the shadows. This lush darkness is contrasted with a brilliant light lemon throat that leads to a green heart. All this is bound together with a tiny white threaded and lightly crimped petal and sepal edges. Seedling No. 8169 (Awesome Bob X Larry Allen Miller)

H. 'Cabernet ‘N Brie'   s/f ... $65.00 ... d/f ... $100.00
27”" EM SEv EMO Ext Re 5½". 4-way branching, 21 buds. Petals 3”, sepals 1¾”
    A clear lemon flower heavily contrasted with petal edges and an eye of deep cabernet. The substance is heavy and holds up well. This flower opens every morning like the picture, and is a beacon in the garden and one of the most admired by visitors. Pod and pollen fertile in the greenhouse. Seedling No. 9033 (Lipstick on My Collar X Crazy Ivan)

H. 'Flatlander’   s/f ... $65.00 ... d/f ... $100.00
34" EM SEv Re EMO Ext LFr 5". 4-way branching, 22 buds. Petals 3”, sepals 1¾”.
    Open every morning like the picture the flower has heavily ruffled acacia segments that have a subtle pink overlay. The ruffles extend down into a citrine throat  Shows some light sculpting and should work well in a sculpting program. The substance is very heavy which allows it to hold up in sun and on a rainy day. Has good branching and bud count on a very tall flower. Fertile. Seedling No. 0745 (Wonder of it All X Shelter Cove)

H. 'Jo Kellum’    s/f ... $65.00 ... d/f ... $100.00
35" E SEv Re EMO Ext 6". 3-way branching, 15 buds. Petals 3”, sepals 2”.
     This flower is named for Jo Kellum of Signal Mtn, TN who is the author of several perennial books. Brilliant mulberry segments are trimmed with extravagant white ruffled edges. A lemon throat leads to a lime heart. The segments have heavy substance. The flower opens with perfect form every time. Fertile in the greenhouse. Seedling No.8065 (Mandalay Bay Music X Larry Allen Miller)

H. 'Jumpin’ Jive’   s/f ... $65.00 ... d/f ... $100.00
28" E SEv EMO Ext Re 5½". 5-way branching, 27 buds. Petals 2¾”, sepals 1¾”.
    This has been a show stopper in the garden. A complex overlay of lavender pink mixed with lemonade shows up in the color.  A bright lemon throat leads to a green heart. The petals are extravagantly ruffled along with light ruffles on the sepals. Some light sculpting is in evidence. Excellent substance that holds up well. Pod and pollen fertile. Seedling No. 0020 (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis X Wonder of it All)

H. 'Linda Loves Red’   s/f ... $150.00
28” EM SEv Re EMO Ext 5¾”. 4-way branching, 20 buds. Petals 3”, sepals 2”.
    Our niece, Linda Weithorn of Pennsylvania, chose this to carry her name. A brilliant ruby red flower with extravagant ruffling that is edged in yellow. A striking yellow throat leads to a green heart. Opens like this every morning. Very heavy substance which holds well in the sun or rain.  Fertile. Seedling No. 8167 (Awesome Bob X Larry Allen Miller)

H. 'Mystical Mood’   s/f ... $65.00 ... d/f ... $100,00
33" E SEv EMO Re Ext 6". 3-way branching, 18 buds. Petals 3½” Sepals 2”.
    One of the most distinctive flowers in the garden, the flower is a cream with a peach tinge overlay. The petal edges are heavily ruffled and a yellow color. The throat matches the yellow petal edge and leads to a green heart and shows some light sculpting. Tall scapes carry the flowers well above the foliage. Substance is excellent. Fertile. Seedling No 9001 (Spectral Elegance X Wonder Of It All)
H. 'Stairway to the Stars’   s/f ... $65.00 ... d/f ... $100.00

28” M SEv EMO Ext Re 5½”, 4-way branching, 23 buds. Petals 3” sepals 1¾”.
    A lovely pale lavender with tightly crimped and ruffled petals of yellow. A large yellow throat sets off the image and leads to a green heart. Opens well and is like the picture every morning. The substance is very heavy and this one holds up well in rain and sun. Pod and pollen fertile in the greenhouse. Seedling No. 0769 (Mandalay Bay Music X Belle Cook).

H. 'Tropical Tango’   s/f ... $65.00 ... d/f ... $100.00
28” M SEv EMO Ext 5”, 5-way branching, 28 buds. Petals 2½” sepals 1¾”.
    Tropical sunset colors of amber and yellow are set off with a round rosy saffron eye that fades into a yellow mist and green heart. Ruffled edges are awash with saffron. The heavy substance holds up well in sun or rain. A bright beacon in the garden which drew garden visitors. Lightly fragrant. Fertile both ways in the greenhouse. Seedling No. 0654 (Steve Trimmer X Sherry Lane Carr).

If you see something that you like, please let us know.

Life is very, very good.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Buds in November

This post is for my friend David Hansen in Nebraska who reminded me that I had not updated for a while.

It has been a while since I updated this blog. So far, the month of November has been long so I hope that changes tomorrow when we move on to December 1. On November 12, I had open heart surgery to replace the aortic valve with one from a cow. Now I moo and swish my tail to keep the flies off. They had a hard time getting my heart to stay in a normal rhythm so I was in the hospital an extra 3 days, getting out the day before Thanksgiving, November 21. Kidney problems and diabetes compllicates things even more. I can have all the rubber chicken I want along with a plastic green bean. I am still weak, but believe I am getting better each day.

My first trip out to the greenhouse was on November 26. Jean drove me out in the car and I walked back after turning on the overhead sprinklers for a little while. On my second trip, November 28, I saw something funny looking on one of the seedlings . . . yep, two buds.

These seeds were planted in July and transplanted to the pots on September 29, and this being November, makes them 4 month old seedlings. Picture was taken on November 28. You can see that the buds will probably never open, but still, two buds in November? By the way, the cross is (Groovin' X Johnny Comes Marching Home).

These are the first batch of seedlings transplanted to pots. The seeds were planted on July 27, and transplanted to trade 3-gallon pots on September 25. This picture was taken on November 28, showing very nice growth for 4-month old seedlings. I believe many of them will bloom in April and May.

I have yet to get the hybridizing plants into the greenhouse which will be the next task. I hope to get some help probably in mid December, depending on how much cold weather we have had.

Those of you who have heard me talk will remember the greenhouse door and around this time each year a Christmas wreath mysteriously appears. This was a tradition which began with our first greenhouse in 1993. I was told at that time if a wreath shows up on the greenhouse door it is a reminder that the greenhouse is my Christmas present, birthday present and anniversary present. Soooooo, I guess Santa is not coming to the Pickles' household this Christmas again.

Be healthy and enjoy life to the fullest. (can you do both)?

Don't forget the Mid-Winter Symposium in Nashville, TN on January 18-20, 2013


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Greenhouse blessings

Remember to left click on an image to make it larger. 

 In 1993, when we moved to this property, one of the first things we did after the house remodeling, was to erect a greenhouse to utilize in our hybridizing program. For several years we did all of our hybridizing in the greenhouse and started seeds in the fall to transplant outside in the spring for blooming in two years. That was when we were growing about 5,000 seedlings per year. The last couple of years, because of age and physical limitations, we have cut down to about 1,200 seedlings each year. These seedlings are started from seed in August and transplanted to trade one gallon pots in September. They are grown over the winter, along with our hybridizing plants in the greenhouse and they will begin blooming in March, April and May. I would estimate that we will have about 60% to 70% bloom in nine months. One of the advantages of having them bloom in the greenhouse in 9 months is that I can use them immediately for hybridizing, thus gaining one or two years.

As these seedlings bloom in the spring, I select the ones I want to keep and transplant them outside into my "display beds", where they will reside until selected for introduction or are discarded to the compost heap. What happens to the potted seedlings in the greenhouse. The last two years, I gave them to the City of Chattanooga and to Hamilton County Parks and Recreation for planting in the parks. I realized that about 40% of these seedlings I have never gotten to see bloom, so this year, I built frames outside and lined them with plastic and will grow all of these potted seedlings in water beds over winter. Next spring, I will get to see them bloom and make any more selections that I may want. The others will be sold to "walk in" traffic.

This year, 2012, I began transplanting seedlings to trade one gallon pots on September 9 and will finish on Tuesday, October 2nd.

These are the seedlings I have been transplanting to trade one gallon pots. These were started from seed in the greenhouse in August 2012.

When they are transplanted, they will be grown in the greenhouse on benches prepared with a frame, lined in plastic, and filled with water. The seedlings grow in these water beds until put outside after blooming in the spring.
These are typical seedlings that are being transplanted. If you will go back a page or two on this blog, you will see how they are started and grown. They are nicely rooted for 6-week old seedlings.
I prepare 7 pots at a time, because that is how many will fit in 1 row in the water beds. The pots are filled with Morton's TN Nursery Mix, a potting medium composed of composted pine bark, sand, Lime, Gypsum, Starter Fertilizer and Trace Elements.

 A seedling is transplanted and Nutricote fertilizer is added. I use 18-6-8 T-180 with minors. The 180 day release will last until the seedlings are taken outside. The fertilizer is then covered with potting mix.
In addition to the Nutricote, I top off with Milorganite to give them a safe jump start, then I sprinkle some pre-emergent weed killer and last but not least, I add some Bayer Tree & Shrub, which takes care of most of the insects, except spider mites, that bother the daylilies in the greenhouse. Specifically, it eliminates fungus gnats and thrips, two of the worst insects in the greenhouse.

This is one of benches in the greenhouse where the potted seedlings are grown. A frame of 2" X 4"s is constructed on top of the bench and a 6mil sheet of plastic is used to line the frame to hold the water. When the frame is filled with pots, the water is then added and they will grow here until taken outside after blooming in the spring.
This is the same bench after it has been filled. The bench is 4' wide and 40' long and holds 490 pots
I mentioned that as the seedlings bloom in the spring, the ones selected for further evaluation are planted outside in our display beds. This is what the seedling looks like when it is removed from the gallon pot. Remember, they have been grown in water.
Here are the outside water beds as they were being built. They are all filled now and hopefully, will grow here over the winter. Somewhere along the line, I will probably put a frowt blanket over them . . . but then again, I may just leave them open to the elements to see if they can survive in water over the winter.

I hope you have enjoyed this little journey through the greenhouse growing proceedure used here at Chattanooga Daylilies. I must give Tommy Maddox credit for "putting me on" to growing daylilies in water. It all began because of my frustration of trying to achieve consistent water coverage in the greenhouse. The water beds do the trick.

Life is very, very good.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

First Seeds Germinated in 4 days

I am so excited!!!! I discovered this morning that 2 seeds have germinated among the first seeds I planted on 7/25/12, in an astonishing 4 days. The seeds were not pre-soaked, just taken from the refrigeration to the planting soil. Now I can begin to imagine what the blooms will look like in about 9 months.

The cross was [(Santa's Little Helper X Red Hot) X Barbara Mandrell] (bottom left). The seedling is one from Bill Waldrop and of course, H. 'Barbara Mandrell' (top left) is David Kirchhoff's amazing red.

Just left click over the picture for a larger image.

Life is very, very good.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Planting Seeds

I enjoy showing how we do things here at Chattanooga Daylilies. The way we do them may not always be correct, but they are the ways that have worked for us in the past.

If your would like to see a larger picture, just left click over the image. 

Planting seeds is always an exciting time of year. Each seed put into the potting mix generates visions of blooms which may (or probably may not) materialize.

I usually start my seeds in the greenhouse in mid July, but because of a trip this year to attend the Region 1 Meeting in Iowa, it has happened the last week in July. I have been asked about the heat in the greenhouse. Yes, it is hot. I have a 25% shade cloth covering the top and a single large exhaust fan to circulate the air. It can still get well over 100ยบ inside on a hot, sunny day. I have not found the heat to be a concern in the past.

I use a commercial seed starting mix composed of peat moss and vermiculite. Sorry, but I do not know the percentages. I use commercial 1020 (I believe that is the designation) trays with a 6-tray insert. The overall size is approximately 11" X 22". The inserts ar 5" w and 7" long.

The seed starting mix is dampened in a wheel borrow and then put into the trays. This image shows the six 5' X 7" trays scored to receive seeds. I score four rows in each tray to plant the seeds.

Here is one tray that has the seeds planted. I plant anywhere from 8 to 12 seeds per row depending on the number of seeds in the cross. I also mark each cross with it's own label . . . I do want to know the parents for hybridizing purposes.

With my index finger, I slightly push the seeds into the soil.

Seeds are then covered with the seed starting mix. Each 6 compartment tray is numbered and has the date the seeds were planted.

I believe you can make out the 11" X 22" tray with the 6 compartments.This tray will contain 240 +- seeds.

A set of 4 trays planted with seeds. These 4 trays hold 960 +- seeds in a small amount of space.

Here is the total 8 planted trays with approximately 1920 seeds. I will end up transplanting approximately 1200 of these seedlings at about 6 to 8 weeks old into trade 1-gallon pots to grow in the greenhouse over winter and hopefully bloom in April and May

The trays get watered each morning and after the germinate, a light mixture of water soluble fertilizer will be given each watering. If things go as normal, I should start seeing germination in 5 or 6 days.

This has been my most successful method for starting seeds. I have tried peat pots, wedge trays, etc., but my best germination rate has been using this method. I believe a lot of it is that I am able to keep the moisture more constant. Also, I don't believe you can see it, but even in all this heat, I use an electric blanket for bottom heat. I believe bottom heat is the key. The blanket is covered by a plastic sheet to keep it dry.

Thanks for looking, and if you have any comments you can make them below or directly to me at

Life is very, very good.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Season Moves On

It won't be long until the daylily season is over here in southeast Tennessee. The days are hot and humid and we are having a minor drought. The season was at least two and probably three weeks early this year and we did have some nice rains at opportune times so rebloom is like I have never seen before. Almost all of our new introductions are reblooming this year.

Most of you know, I grow the daylily seedlings in trade one gallon pots in water beds in the greenhouse. One of the things I have noticed this year is that the scapes are very thick, some ranging near 1" . . . plus, there are many, many LARGE proliferations on the 9-month seedlings. To the left, I am showing an example.

I reworked one of the seedling display beds between the greenhouse and the street. I added about 4" of mushroom compost and tilled it in. Then I began transplanting selected 9-month seedlings from the greenhouse to this bed. The bed, 8' wide and 40' long will hold approximately 100 plants on 2' centers. I have gotten about 60 plants in, so have about 40 to go. Here is what they look like so far.
After transplanting, I add some Milorganite and some Nutricote 18-6-8 T-180 w/ minor. I will fill the rest of this bed with greenhouse selected seedlings and then begin working on the second one. I have not decided whether I will put the proliferations down in the ground beside the mother plant or pot them and take them into the greenhouse. The last step will be to add some pine bark mulch to help hold in the moisture and keep the weeds down.

There are still a few new seedlings blooming in the greenhouse.

Seedling No. 2128 (Robert W. Carr X Home of the Free) A big old gaudy thing that really catches your eye.

Seedling No. 2132 (Rockets Bursting in Air X Barbara Mandrell) Another saturated red of very heavy substance.

Seedling No. 2125 (Angels Gather Around X Irish Halo) Combining the genes of Bill Waldrop and Larry Grace cultivars.

Seedling No. 2131 same cross as above.

Seedling 2130 (Razorwire X Irish Halo) Green teeth.

The Tennessee Valley Daylily Society will meet today for our annual potluck lunch. It doesn't take much to see that I am an eater, so this is right up my alley. We will also get a financial report on how we did at the Regional. Maybe if we have a couple bucks left, I can bring in a speaker or two for our club program next year.

Life is very, very good.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Region 10 Meeting and Garden Tours

This past weekend was the culmination of several years' planning when the Tennessee Valley Daylily Society, Chattanooga, TN produced the annual Region 10 Meeting and Garden Tours. The headquarters hotel was the world famous Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel and Convention Center. It is certainly old, having been opened in 1973, but the history is worth any inconvenience. Certainly, the food at the banquets was outstanding.

The highlight of the weekend was the Keynote Speaker, Bill Maryott, owner of Maryott Gardens in Freedom, California. Bill led us through his growing, digging and shipping proceedures. Then he took us through his greenhouse and showed us his hybridizing goals and daylilies that he has created. His goals are similar to mine . . . round, round, round and full, full, full, wth clear, clear, clear colors. He has made great strides toward those goals. Here is Bill as he begins to WOW us.

In addition to speaking, Bill donated a double fan of H. 'Lovin' Tennessee' to each person who registered for the meeting which was almost 100 people. I credit Bill with drawing more people to our Regional with this donation than we normally have. Bill, you are too generous . . . THANKS!

The first tour garden of the day on Saturday was that of Rick Keith's garden in  Chicaumauga, GA. Rick is a hybridizer and an exceptional grower of daylilies. Rick's red edged, red eyed daylily seedling and introductions are absolutely spectacular.

The second stop was Ruby Sunday's garden in Dalton, GA. Ruby not only specializes in growing daylilies, but grows hosta's as well.

The next garden was about an hour drive away to Steve and Karen Newman's Delano Garden in Delano, TN. Their garden is purely a sales garden and well laid out for that purpose. Many of the daylily beds were under shade cloth to help keep customer's cool. The daylilies were grown extremely well.

Our lunch was also served at Delano Gardens. Steve and Karen have a very nice covered building in which to eat under shade. Here you can see the eager food line.

The last garden of the day was the Cabin Hill Gardens of James and Faye Colboch, Athens, TN. In addition to maintaining a display and sales garden, the Colboch's also hybridize and have several introductions.

The Garden Judges Clinic II was held Friday at noon in Lee and Jean Pickles' Chattanooga Daylilies. If I remember correctly, there were about 15 taking the class. There were 8 members of the Tri Cities Daylily Society who had taken Workshop I earlier in the year at a club meeting with David Kirchhoff and Rich Rosen teaching the class. They then decided to attend the Regional together and take the second workshop to become official Garden Judges. Image by LaVonne Jolley, another Garden Judge.

In my opinion, the banquet food this year was exceptional. Here are 3 eager eaters awaiting the serving. L to R David Kirchhoff, Lawrenceberg, KY; Bob Pappenhausen, Moline, IL; and Lee Pickles, Hixson, TN. Regional President, Bud Coltharp is in the back supervising.

I will finish with a couple greenhouse blooms:

Seedling 1112 [(Mandalay Bay Music X Wonders Never Cease) X Robert W. Carr]

Seedling No. 2118 (Juanita Manley X Cimarron Rose)

It was a great weekend! We had lots of friends in town including Curtis and Pat Montgomery from San Jose, California, and part of the fall pilgrimage to the Napa Valley wine tasting. They came to our Regional specifically to take Exhibition Judges Clinic III to be able to teach Exhibition Judging in California.

All images except as noted by Susan Okrasinski, Tri Cities Daylily Society

Life is very, very good!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

More Field Blooms 6/3/2012

On Wednesday, I ordered 12 cubic yards of Mushroom Compost. For those of you who don't know what Mushroom Compost is, here are the ingredients: "Mushroom Compost is made from agricultural materials, such as hay, straw, straw horse bedding, poultry litter, cottonseed meal, cocoa shells and gypsum. Sphagnum peat moss adds to the organic nature of the substrate, providing a consistent, formulated and homogeneous product". I use it to refresh beds about every 2 years. I will spread 2" to 4" on a bed and till it in, preferably leaving it for a month before transplanting, but that doesn't always happen.

This is one of my display beds, where selected seedlings are grown out until either selected for introduction or discarded. Most of the time, it is discarded! In this instance, I will dump 10 tractor bucket loads end to end on the bed. Then I will rake out to the desired depth and till it in. The earth worms love this stuff. Once you get the odor of Mushroom Compost in your nostrils, it is there for at least a week. Lots of horse manure in it!

These images were taken in the field this morning. They are taken in full sun . . . I like that because people grow them in full sun, not shade.

Seedling No. 2154 (Fabulous Black Pearl X Bass Gibson) This is a repeat, showing better color.
Seedling No. 9055 (Victorian Lace X Robert W. Carr)

Seedling 9064 (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis X Robert W. Carr)

Seedling No. 1046 (Rock Solid X Tom Allen seedling)

 Seedling 2115 *Bluegrass Memories X Desire of Nations)
This was one of those WOW's when I walked into the greenhouse today. Definitely a late bloomer, anyway as a seedling. I think this is one of the finest BGM kids I have seen, and I have seen a lot.

We are beginning to get excited! Our Regional Meeting and Garden Tours are right here in Chattanooga this coming weekend. Lots of old friends, some new ones, and maybe a bottle or three of good wine shared with these friends. There is still time for you to come and join us.
Life is very, very good.