Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ron Valente....One of Steve Moldovan's favorite purples.

     I'll never forget the fun I would have traveling from Gates Mills, Ohio out to Avon, Ohio to Moldovan gardens during peak bloom.  The more I got into hybridizing, the more I would try and bring blooms over to share with Steve and Roy on those weekends.  Steve and Roy have always been very generous with sharing pollen with me over the years.  In the years leading up to Steve's passing I tried to bring blooms over to try and give back for all they had given me.  I'll never forget this one particular time, where I had brought a bloom of Ron Valente over.  Ron Valente was a Moldovan introduction in 2004, but unfortunately a lot
of the stock was wiped out when a sewer line broke and flooded the back yard.  The reason I was bringing a bloom over was because Steve didn't have any Ron Valente pollen to work with because of the flood damage.  When I walked into the garden that day, I thought I saw another purple in bloom that I mistook for Ron Valente, so I tossed my bloom to the ground.  Steve came down to the guest house and while talking to him I told him I had brought a bloom of Ron Valente, but I saw he had another plant of it.  Steve immediately said that the purple I thought was Ron Valente was not, and where did I throw the bloom?  I pointed it out and Steve hurried over to see if the pollen was still good.  Thankfully it was and Steve was able to use it that day to cross with.  I always paid close attention to what Steve was crossing with and the year of his passing there were more "Ron V." tags crossed on more daylilies than I can remember.  This past summer Roy was seeing the results of those crosses for the first time.  I'm sure it will be even more exciting to see how those plants mature.  For me it is important to remember how much Steve loved using Ron Valente. It was selected by Ron Valente himself in the seedling fields.  The cross that produced Ron Valente was Vatican City X Imperial Wizard, two of Steve's grand purples!  I am starting to see the results of my crosses using Ron Valente and the seedlings show promise. Like all of Steve's purples, Ron Valente possesses grand plant habit with great bud count and branching.  It is easily fertile both ways and it is a purple every hybridizer should grow. Photos above and below of Ron Valente.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Mahdi (Moldovan 05) translated means leader or guide.

     One of my earlier memories of being in Moldovan gardens brings me back to walking up to the back of the house where I usually parked my car.  Most visitors parked their cars back by the guest house in the back, but for some reason I always liked parking in the driveway and walking down past the older daylilies, then into the seedling beds.  One day as I was walking back up I noticed this late seedling in August that had amazing plant habit.  It was branched like an oak tree, and yet not one flower had opened up.  For me to stop and gaze at something before there was an open flower on it was unusual.  In the preceding visits Steve pointed it out to me saying it was going to be introduced.  He even let me take some pollen home to cross with.  I didn't know what I was doing in my early hybridizing and I must admit most of my early crosses were real duds.  Steve named this amazing seedling Mahdi, which loosely translated means guide or leader. I remember while talking to Steve at the guest house in back, he would tell me that Mahdi was turning out to be one of his better parents.  He and Roy took me over to a daylily they called the "Mahdi red," which Roy was to introduce in 2009 as Dante's Inferno.(photo of Dante's Inferno below.)Mahdi was introduced in 2005 and quickly sold out.  I missed out on my opportunity to buy Mahdi in 2005.  If memory serves, some of the remaining stock of Mahdi was killed from a flood of water from bad sewer line, but Roy got a plant of it back in 2006.  Steve passed away that year.  It was a very difficult time.  Poor Roy was going through a lot of tough times, but at the end of that season was nice enough to divide his double fan of Mahdi and give me a single fan, something I will never forget.  I took that fan and put it in a favored spot, then when I moved in 2007, I tried to give Mahdi one of the best spots in my new garden.  I have been fortunate to increase my plant to clump strength, and Mahdi has been an easy breeder, both pollen fertile and pod easy.  I did get to see on of my Mahdi seedlings bloom recently and it shows some promise. (see photo beneath Dante's Inferno below.) The cross of the seedling is Mahdi X I remember you.  I remember both Steve and Roy saying don't be afraid to take Mahdi into red daylilies.  Again, whenever Roy and I talk about some of the best Moldovan parents, Mahdi always comes up in conversation as well.  Mahdi's cross is Vatican City X Sparkling Champagne.  It is one tremendous Moldovan daylily with a lot of breeding potential.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vertical Horizon......what a great parent!

     Whenever Roy Woodhall and I would discuss the daylilies that were the best parents introduced from Steve Moldovan, Vertical Horizon would always come up in conversation.  Vertical Horizon was introduced in 2006, and since it's introduction it has been the parent of great daylilies such as Piece of Sky, Pirates of Penzance, and Vintage Victory just to name a few.  I've always enjoyed the photograph of Steve Moldovan posted above. (image courtesy of Roy Woodhall) You can see Steve hybridizing right next to a clump of Vertical Horizon. When I first started coming to Moldovan gardens, I was mostly impressed with daylilies with a gold edge.  That was the big thing back in the early 2000's.  It wasn't until I stopped out one weekend and Steve took a bloom of Piece of sky out of the refrigerator that I became enamoured with blue eyed daylilies.  What better place to start than the parent of Piece of sky, Vertical Horizon.  It was a no brainer.  I purchased Vertical Horizon in 2006, the year of it's introduction.  I think I planted the first seeds from crosses involved with it in 2007.  I am starting to see some of it's seedlings these past couple years and I am very impressed.  Walking the fields out at Moldovan gardens these past couple years with Roy, you can see that Vertical Horizon isn't just a good parent for eyes, but an excellent parent for patterns.  I'm sure we will see many future introductions from Vertical Horizon out of Moldovan gardens in the future.  In case you were wondering what the parents of Vertical Horizon were, the cross is (Merchant Marine X S381-96(Moonlit Masquerade X Mason's Mark). Vertical Horizon is dormant, with a 6" flower, sitting atop a 36" scape, with 4 way branching. It has been easily fertile both ways producing pods filled with ripe black seeds.  It has been a pleasure to grow Vertical Horizon. (image below courtesy of Roy Woodhall)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Steve Moldovan, the daylily.

     I thought I would continue blogging about some of my favorite daylilies, and today I thought I would write about Steve Moldovan, my friend and his namesake daylily.  When you think of purple daylilies, you think of Steve Moldovan.  Steve's purples are in a class all to themselves.  Of all of Steve's purples, some of my favorites include Ron Valente, Seraglio, Mahdi, Imperial Wizard, Vatican City, and Strutters Ball just to name a few.  His purples all had Steve's trademark great branching and bud count.  Today I'm going to talk about his namesake daylily, Steve Moldovan.  The cross that produced Steve's namesake daylily is (Seraglio X (Sahib X Tie and tails). To paraphrase Roy Woodhall's description, it says that this was a culmination of 3 of his major purple and red lines. Steve noted this cultivar as being "the future of his purple breeding," and marked it with five stars on the tag!  Roy was nice enough to let me have some pollen from seedling S919-01 the summer that Steve passed away.  Being a rookie hybridizer I just took it to all my purple daylilies at the time.  I wasn't thinking outside of the box when I made those crosses, but in spite of it I had some success, and one of my 2012 intros is from the daylily, Steve Moldovan, which I named Henry Egert.  Back at Moldovan gardens I was fortunate to walk the seedling fields with Roy Woodhall the following years, and it would seem that the daylily Steve Moldovan wasn't just a wonderful purple parent, but it is also an excellent breeder for patterns.  I like to think that I'm starting to think a little outside of the box with my crosses today and I hope to see some exciting things in the future.  I'm going to attach my best photograph, which shows the pattern that appears in the eyezone area.  I have really enjoyed growing this grand purple daylily and if you get a chance to buy a fan, don't hesitate to do so.  It has 36 inch scapes, with 6 inch flowers, and 4 way branching.  It is a great northern daylily which has increased well for me these past 3 years. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gaudeamus. Another great Moldovan daylily!

Well, what I had hoped to use my blog for was to share pictures of recent daylily introductions that perform well in my garden and share my observations.  I have a lot of spare time in the winter, and this seems like the best time for me to put this blog together.  Anyway, I can't say enough good things about one of my favorite hybridizers, Steve Moldovan.  Steve was a good friend and mentor to me in my earlier years of hybridizing. I hope to highlight some of Steve's best intros in my blog this winter.  Gaudeamus seems like a perfect start. Gaudeamus was introduced in 2009.  According to Roy Woodhall's comments the daylily was selected and moved from a seedling field to a more desirable bed the year it was discovered.  This is rarely done at Moldovan gardens.  I was fortunate enough to see it back in 2007 for the first time and was blown away. Gaudeamus has amazing 4 and 5 way branching.  I purchased a single fan in 2009, and since it is dormant,
it seems very happy to be planted in the ground.  I seem to remember hearing it wasn't as happy in the greenhouse.  It was easily fertile both ways for me this past summer.  It is out of Forestlake Ragamuffin breeding, but according to it's pedigree, it has a lot of Vatican City in it as well.  Hmmm.  Maybe I need to experiment using Vatican City in my teeth program??!! Gaudeamus means let us rejoice in Latin.  If you get a chance to get a fan of Gaudeamus, don't hesitate to do so.  I have bloomed a couple seedlings from it and it definitely passes it's teeth on to it's kids.  I hope you enjoy this picture I am attaching taken in my garden this past summer. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blue eyed seedling. (future intro, Dick Goddard)

Well, instead of posting depressing pictures of my front yard as in previous posts,
I thought I would talk about one of my more exciting future introductions, Dick Goddard.
I probably won't introduce this daylily until 2015, since I don't have much of it at this point,
but it is probably my best seedling to date.  It is a cross of Steve Moldovan's Seraglio (pod)
X John Rice's Don Herrell. (pollen) The first time it bloomed was last year, but the plant
hadn't really established.  This year it stole the show.  Nice plant habits, desirable foliage,
good branching and bud count.  It set pods easily and is pollen fertile.  I look forward to
using it more in the years to come and hopefully it will be a good parent.  It is being named
Dick Goddard after a local Cleveland, Ohio weatherman who is also very active with our

animal humane societies in helping animals to get adopted.  Dick has been doing
the weather forecasts here in Cleveland, Ohio since 1961, and is still going strong
at 80 years old. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

First snowfall of the season.


Well, on 11-10-11 we had our first measurable snow fall of the season.  Always too soon for me.
The older I get, the less I enjoy winter.  I think my wife and I may move further south in the state
of Ohio in the years to come.  Anyway, my landscaping season is coming to a close soon, so
I should be able to share some sunnier photos from this past season of my daylilies and some
of other hybridizers that I think you might enjoy as well.  Hope you all have a nice weekend.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What a wet year!!!

Well daylily friends, it's been a very wet year.  In fact the wettest on record for our area in Northeast, Ohio. They've only been keeping records for 141 years.  Anyway, I've always wanted to write about my favorite garden flower and share my opinions, insight, and experiences with others.  I've been hybridizing since 1999, and boy have I made some mistakes.  I guess the key to making those mistakes is learning from them,
and I think I've done a pretty good job of that.  I'm gonna try and post a photo of my front yard taken at
the end of October so you can see just how wet it was.  I've never had so much standing water for such
a great length of time.  Somehow the daylilies seem to have adapted to it.  They are very tough perennials. That's what I love about them.  I'll try and post more pictures from this past season for you to enjoy in the coming months.  Love to hear any feedback and welcome your insights as well.  Happy gardening to you all.

Blog Archive