Sunday, July 29, 2012

The season is winding down.....early.

     Well, usually my daylily season begins to come to a close in late August, but this year all the plants are about a month ahead of schedule.  We finally got some rain on back to back days and the temps are cooling down a little to the 80's.  I'm starting to run out of cross tags anyway.  So, rather than type out a long installment, I'd rather show some pics of some cool daylilies.  At the very top of the page is a picture of Jamie Gossard's Big Bird's Friend.  Lovely golden yellow color.  Right below it is a cool introduction from Steve Todd called Jedi Tom, just introduced this year.  At the bottom (top) of the page is Linda Agin's Here Lies Butch, which is a really nice eyed variety.  Right below it is a seedling of mine from the cross of Casper's Revenge X Mary Lena. Nice toothy daylily.  Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The drought takes it's toll.

      We did finally get some rain recently, but with the hot temperatures it still doesn't look like anything is recovering that fast.  We really need it to cool down at least into the low 80's and have it stay that way for a while.  Heck if it got into the 70's, I'd be doing an Irish jig.  When I go out to tag after I've made my crosses I find that if it's full sun, I'm covered with sweat by the time I'm halfway done.  Last year it rained too much, but I made a ton of seed.  This year I think I've made the same number of crosses, but my sets are down by about 66%.  I will probably have a small amount of seed to plant this fall.  Anyway, I wanted to show some pictures of how the drought has affected us here in Northeast Ohio.  At the very top is a picture of my friend Curt Hanson's pond.  Usually the water level is easily up by those big rocks you see in the picture.  I've never seen the water level that low.  The picture below it is of some of my daylilies planted near a crabapple tree.  You can see how the foliage is just spent.  At the very bottom (top) of the page is a picture of John Rice's Katherine Marin, a daylily he named after his sister.  Below it is a very nice yellow called Pleated Skirt, from Oscie Whatley.  That's it for this week.  Let's hope for the best.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A very hot, dry summer!

     Just heard on the radio that our state of Ohio and several others broke the record for the warmest temperatures on record for the months of January through June this year.  It has been a very difficult year for those of us who hybridize in Ohio.  Peak bloom just passed me by within the past two weeks and now the season is starting to fade.  My crosses haven't been setting as much....perhaps because of the extreme heat.  I seem to remember Steve Moldovan saying he would stop crossing when the temperature went above 85 degrees.  He believed nothing would set at those temperatures.  Pretty sure Steve is right.  I have two clumps that still managed to set a good amount of pods and those are Bob Carr's Wonder of it all, and the daylily Star of India.  I forget who the hybridizer is for Star of India....have to look it up.  Anyway, I have random pods on most everything else.  Some late stuff is setting more so and I think that's because some of the predator bugs have gotten the harmful bugs under control better.  Earlier in the season it was a nightmare.  I had buds falling off and scapes aborting left and right.  I think when we look back on this season we won't look back with any fondness.  Anyway, I've had a couple, (and let me emphasize a COUPLE) good seedlings bloom.  Featured at the very top is a seedling out of James Townsend's daylily Jordyn Casper.  Love the teeth on that one.  Featured at the bottom is this cool seedling out of Curt Hanson's Jerry Hyatt crossed on Steve Moldovan's Teddy Bear's Picnic.  I could probably write a whole other paragraph on how hard I worked to have one pod set from this cross and how lucky I am to have 5 seedlings growing from it.  Sometimes hard work pays off.  I hope you folks are getting some rain and enjoying your summer!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

     A special thanks goes out to all those who have served and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep this country free.  To all of you I say thank you. 
     Just wanted to post some pictures of some of the blooms that have been special in recent weeks.
At the top is Wickedly Wild and Wonderful from Jeff Salter.  Great teeth.  Middle photo is Vivacious Spirit from Guy Pierce.  Such great color.  Bottom photo is Sweet Isabella from Gerda Brooker, who lives about 40 minutes away from me in Strongsville, Ohio.  I hope you all have a great 4th!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

John Rice's garden/ David Kirchhoff and Mort Morss's garden

     Well, my wife and I took a two day trip down to Kentucky to see the daylilies of John Rice, David Kirchhoff, and Mort Morss.  It was a 6 hour drive down from where we live.  When we left there were temps in the 90's, which I think is too hot to begin with, but when we arrived it was 104 degrees.  Not the optimum temps to view daylilies, but you can't plan the weather, you can only plan your trip.  We got checked in and went over to the local Pizza Hut.  We were suprised to see that they allowed smoking in the restaurant.  My wife has asthma and the second hand smoke caused her to have an asthma attack.  We boxed up our food and headed back to the Best Western which was a very nice hotel to stay at especially if you go to visit these three great hybridizers.
     Our first stop was at David Kirchhoff and Mort Morss's place.  If you've never been there, you have
to go up a very steep driveway with a few bumps, but it is well worth it.  The view is incredible.  Mort was busy getting ready for a bus tour that was coming, so we didn't get a chance to say hello to him, but my good friend David Kirchhoff was happy to show us around.  In the past, David has always made time to come up to visit at Curt Hanson's, and since I was a neighbor of Curt's for 8 years, I got to know David really well during those visits.  David is a great hybridizer of all daylilies, but I feel he is especially good with red tets.  I have always been a big fan of David's red intros going back to Leonard Bernstein, Kent's Favorite Two, Reason for Treason, Seattle Dreaming, Hoochie Coochie Man, Betty Ford, etc. etc.  The list goes on and on.  Of David's current reds, I was particularly fond of Italian Riviera.  I have featured a picture of Red Fortune at the top of the bottom of the page, and Italian Riviera at the very bottom.  Two very nice reds.  David had to get ready to greet his bus tour, so we were off to see John Rice's garden next. 
        I have to say I was very pleased to see John Rice's garden at peak bloom.  I was blown away at such impeccable plant habit, bud count, and branching.  The nice thing about all of John's daylilies is that he doesn't pump them up with fertilizers.  What you see is what you get.  Daylilies planted in dirt, not grown artificially.  There were row after row of flawless plants.  Some of my favorites were John's new intro Valley girl, which is at the top of the page below the photograph of his garden, and the picture below that is his amazing toothy daylily, Shattered Glass, which was truly unique.  John and Annette Rice were wonderful hosts, happy to show us around the entire garden and answer any questions I might have.  I highly recommend you plan a visit to both of these grand daylily gardens especially when you are in town for the big conference in Columbus.  You won't be disappointed.  Stay cool my friends.  Hope this heat wave ends next week.