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.

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