Thursday, November 26, 2020

Striped daylilies 2020

Valentina Gripas seedling from Kherson, Ukraine

Valentina Gripas seedling from Kherson, Ukraine

When I started to watch people breeding for stripes probably 5 years ago, I thought to myself that there's no way I would see a daylily striped like a candy cane.  Boy was I wrong.  The advancements have been incredible and truly a pleasure to watch.  Just putting together this collection of photographs has been really fascinating.  A perfect way to follow up Stuart Kendig's interview.  So with nothing further let's begin with seedlings out of Undefinable (DeVito) below:

Valentina Gripas seedling from Kherson, Ukraine

Larry Grace seedling

Rich Howard seedling

Rich Howard seedling

The Undefinable Kid (Nicole DeVito) Photo by Paul K. Lewis

Mike Holmes seedling

Dave Mussar seedling

Dave Mussar seedling

Steve Todd introduced Clown Pants some years back and the seedlings out of it have been incredible! Steve Todd and Peter Donato have some really cool things coming out of it. Here is a collection of their intros and seedlings:
Clown Pants (Steve Todd) Photo by Peter Donato

Steve Todd seedling

Steve Todd seedling

Steve Todd seedling

Steve Lost His Pants (Peter Donato)

Peter Donato seedling

Peter Donato seedling

Peter Donato seedling

Peter Donato seedling 
Peter Donato seedling

Peter Donato seedling. WOW!

Dave Mussar Clown Pants seedling

Rich Howard Clown Pants seedling

The next category in striping involves daylilies in the red and white striped colors, which are my personal favorite.  Angela Ridder has some breakthrough intros with some lovely combinations. I should add that a lot of these all have Rich Howard's Explosion in the Paint Factory in their backgrounds.  I will start with red and white colored daylilies and continue into purple and white, and lavender and white: 
Laurelwood's Peppermint Splash (Angela Ridder)

Laurelwood's Wave Canyon (Angela Ridder)

Laurelwood's Midsummer Masquerade (Angela Ridder)

Richard J. Howard (Angela Ridder)

Scuff Marks (Rich Howard)

Scuff Marks (Rich Howard)

Rich Howard (Stuart Kendig) Photo by Peter Donato

Mike Derrow seedling (Carnelian Chameleon X Pink Stripes)

Don Lovell seedling. Photo by Bonnie Nichols

Elaine Seifert Pink Stripes seedling 

Dave Mussar seedling 

Peter Donato seedling

Peter Donato seedling 

Peter Donato seedling

Dave Mussar seedling 

Dave Mussar seedling 

Wacky Wednesday (Elaine Seifert)

Striping is a very cool category, but there are even more daylilies that have speckles and dots and those are perfect breeding partners to the striped daylilies.  It's not an easy thing to breed for but breakthroughs continue to occur.  Here are some stippled or speckled daylilies:

What's another Cat? (Peter Donato)

Spraypaint (Dave Mussar) Photo by Paul K. Lewis

Elaine Seifert seedling 

WOW! Wow, wow, WOW!  I love seeing such cool looking advancements.  The excitement is surely there in this category.  Thank you to all who contributed.  Each picture is the property of each hybridizer and use without prior consent is prohibited.  Next up for my 3rd interview of the season will be Phil Korth.  I can't wait to see what Phil will share.  Happy Thanksgiving every one!

Saturday, November 14, 2020

An interview with our friend, Stuart Kendig

Stuart Kendig seedling 20-11
Rich Howard (Stuart Kendig 2020)

Probably about 5 years ago I started to get interested in striped daylily breeding.  Being a fairly new category for daylily hybridizing, there weren't too many people breeding for this look. When I would gather photos from hybridizers who were also breeding striped daylilies, Stuart Kendig was always someone who I could turn to. I wanted to learn some more about his program, so with nothing further here is my interview with Stuart:

INTRODUCTION written by Stuart Kendig

I graduated from RPI in 1975 with degrees in building science
and architecture. Diane and I were married a few weeks later and then two weeks after that I started my 4 year tour with the US Army as a combat engineer. In 1981 I finished my Army service and we moved to York PA where I worked as an architect for the next 30 years. I began hybridizing daylilies in 1994 after Diane started our commercial daylily business in 1991. We had 3 1/2 acres with a pond and an old Pennsylvania bank barn. We found the local nurseries had a large appetite for “newer” wholesale potted daylilies. Each year our retail daylily business grew and eventually we phased out the wholesale portion of the business. So while I had a hobby of hybridizing daylilies, Diane had a full time job managing employees and growing about 8000 potted daylilies and manicuring our large daylily and perennial display garden. I retired from my architecture career, and Diane has closed the nursery after 22 years. When the nursery was operating we would deadhead the garden 5 days per week and at peak bloom this required about 16 man hours of work each day. Now I continue to hybridize and we both try to keep up with the display garden. Hybridizing is addictive. Each year I can’t wait to see the new seedling crop and search for the jewels hiding in the field. Visitors to our garden will be greeted by our dogs, so don’t be surprised if you find a cold nose when you arrive and some dog hair when you depart. You can see many of my daylily introductions at

1. How did you first get interested in daylilies? Diane and I like gardening and when I completed my army tour and we purchased our first house, we started with vegetable gardening. Do you remember the original Victory Garden on PBS?Then, Diane was at a craft show and one of the exhibitors was a bearded iris hybridizer. We thought that was interesting so we made some iris crosses. All the seedlings were an unpleasant grey color. Soon thereafter, I read in Blair and Ketchum’s Country Journal, a fascinating article on daylilies. I remember the beautiful illustrations and daylilies seemed to be the perfect perennial. We had amassed a collection of nearly 25 cultivars and had never heard of anybody growing 25 varieties of anything. We saw an ad for a daylily garden tour in Washington DC. It was the National convention and we were duly inspired. Take note that you must attend daylily events to participate in daylilies; the internet is not a substitute.

2. Which hybridizer introduced you to daylily hybridizing? We were very fortunate to attend the National daylily convention in Washington DC at the very start of our daylily voyage. We were particularly welcomed by the members of the Pittsburgh Iris and Daylily Society. I remember sitting at a luncheon table with the Rowles and Dittmers and others and everyone introduced themselves and described the size of their daylily collection. It was amazing to learn that people actually had thousands of daylilies growing in their back yard.

The nearest daylily club to our York PA home is the Delaware Valley Daylily Society. We attended a regional tour hosted by DVDS and there we made contact with the people who would most influence our daylily direction. This included Darrell Apps, Stuart Morton, and Beth Creveling.

3. What were your first goals in the beginning of your hybridizing? My first hybridizing goal is a funny story. At one of the DVDS events, Darrel Apps brought a daylily promotional display that had a photo of Pirate’s Patch. Colorful edges were just starting and the two common edge colors were gold or purple. Darrel’s photo of Pirate’s Patch had a red edge. The database photo still has an image where the edge appears sort of red. So, while Pirate’s Patch actually has a purple edge, it was my inspiration to develop a daylily with a truly red edge. Daylilies with red edges and eyes were my focus for 20 years.

4. What were some of the challenges you've faced with your hybridizing over the years? None. It has all been good. If it isn’t fun, you are doing it wrong. Still, certain goals are more challenging to achieve than others.

Breeding for whites is difficult, as evidenced by the fact that there has been no improvement in the white color for 40 years. Maybe we won’t find whiter daylilies. Very white daylilies are translucent, So daylily flowers with substance may not rival the brightness of flowers from Gentle Shepherd or Sagarmatha.

On the other hand, breeding for stripes has produced fast results. Many stripes are in the pipeline. I hear from numerous people who want to get in the broken color game. Can we get stripes in a variety of colors? Some broken color flowers do not show broken colors in every flower. We need to learn more about that.

5. How many seedlings do you grow each year? Since 2000 I have transplanted 800-1200 seedlings from my barn to the garden each May. Seedlings are germinated in a 12 x 18 ft room in my barn. This room has one tiny window so we have artificial lights for growing. Seedlings are planted in year 1 and a few try to bloom in August. In year 2, 90% of seedlings bloom and I start to select potential introductions. In year 3 we finish selecting approximately 20 seedlings from the 1000 seedlings to further grow and evaluate. Then the ground is cleared for new transplants the following spring.
6. What are some of your favorite daylily introductions from other hybridizers?

Explosion in The Paint Factory (Rich Howard)This daylily convinced me that broken colors can be beautiful and bold stripes are possible (inevitable).

Primal Scream (C. Hanson) and then Heavenly Dragon Fire (Gossard) Both have proved that orange can be new again.

Gentle Shepherd(Yancey) Forty years after its introduction it is still the whitest daylily I can find.  

7. What are some of your favorite daylily introductions? Can you name your favorite children? These are a few introductions that represent my hybridizing program:

Wrangler Red- excellent red color from a long line of breeding for red edges.

The Snow Moon- white, but should be whiter, with excellent branching and vigor.

Alpha Wolf- Big flower with big edge, northern bred and opens well.

Susquehanna Great Balls Of Fire- see for yourself

Rich Howard-Stripes.

Acanthus Hungaricus
8. What are some of your favorite daylily gardens to visit? Many daylily collectors have fantastic collections of daylilies. I like to visit people who have the exciting new varieties, or the older varieties that are grown well. But this question is about daylily gardens, and that means to me, a garden that features daylilies within an overall artistic garden presentation. Beth Creveling has a fantastic perennial and daylily garden near Philadelphia. Linda Pinkham has an inspiring and sophisticated daylily garden in Virginia. Gail Gee is not involved with the daylily society but she has a fantastic peony and daylily garden near Washington DC. She also has beautiful collies, which is my dog breed of choice. Darrel Apps had a wonderful garden in Pennsylvania, and then in the middle of a huge daylily farm in New Jersey he had an envious daylily border near his house. And while I have only seen photos of his garden in Wild Rose, it looks like he has created another beautiful garden.

9. What are some of your favorite memories involved with daylilies? I have many great memories from tours, events, people and friends from the daylily world. For 25 years Diane and I have been involved with the planning of Lilyhemmer. This fantastic Region 3 daylily event was held each October until Covid-19. From the initial event conception by Nicole Jordan and Jerry Betzler and for the next 25 years this festival has provided annual joy and fun. The Lilygame has been much fun for me, the Lilyhemmer committee has been great to work with, and the attendees always have a great time. If you can attend Lilyhemmer 2021, you will have some great memories too. Guaranteed. 

10. What are your hybridizing goals now?  I have two areas of interest today with respect to daylilies. In stripes, sometimes called broken colors, I want to see more colors, good contrast, and bold stripes that are visible from a distance. In whites I want to see whiter and more vigorous diploids, and I want to see whiter tetraploid daylilies. These are my goals today. TET Gentle Shepherd was used 30 years ago and I think it is time to try it again.

Now here are some of Stuart Kendig's seedlings:

Stuart Kendig seedling 20-18

Stuart Kendig seedling 19-12

Stuart Kendig seedling 20-10

Stuart Kendig seedling 19-06

Stuart Kendig seedling 17-16

Stuart Kendig seedling 18-03

Stuart Kendig seedling 20-05

Now here are some of Stuart Kendig's introductions:
Down on the Corner (Stuart Kendig)

Take the Red Eye (Stuart Kendig)

Phillies Starter (Stuart Kendig)

Red Exponential (Stuart Kendig)

Custom Paint Job (Stuart Kendig)

                                            Such a wonderful program!

I'd like to thank Stuart Kendig for taking the time to share his experiences and his program with us.  All of Stuart's pictures are his property and use without prior consent is prohibited.  I hope to go to the Lilyhemmer convention in the future as well.  It's tough for me to make time since I work so many jobs, but I love to hear about all the fun they have there. Hopefully our world will have gotten to a better place by the end of this year.  I'll try and keep the posts coming on my blog this Winter.  I've got a few ideas for new segments, so stay tuned. Not sure who the next interview will be.  It will be a surprise. 

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