Thursday, March 31, 2016

Crintonic Gardens....the daylilies of Curt Hanson.


                                 Curt at work roto tilling his seedling fields.

     I am very lucky to only live 10 minutes away from one of the nicest daylily gardens in the country.  I like to share some of the photos I take every year.  Curt has introduced daylilies for 30 years and every year it is fascinating to watch which direction he will take his program next.  Below are some of his seedlings and introductions:

                             Curt Hanson sculpted seedling.  Amazing.

                                      Curt Hanson sculpted seedling.

                                     Curt Hanson sculpted seedling.

                                           Sigourney (Curt Hanson)

  Primal Scream (Curt Hanson) A stout medal winner and popularity poll winner constantly.
                                      Contributing Editor (Curt Hanson)

                                        Future of Desire (Curt Hanson)

                                       Feel the Groove (Curt Hanson)

                                 Celestial Virgins seedling (Curt Hanson)

       Curt Hanson photo of all his bloom in August 2015.  Seems lavender is the dominant color.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this installment of my blog.  Hope to post some seedling pictures as they bloom in the months of July and August. Happy gardening.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

My visit last May to Ladybug Daylilies.

                                     Ladybug Daylilies (May 2015)

                                      Ladybug Daylilies (May 2015)

One of my favorite daylily gardens to visit is Dan Hansen's Ladybug Daylilies. I first
met Dan Hansen, through my neighbor, Curt Hanson.  Dan would come up to visit Curt every July and I got to know him better and better with each visit.  Dan has been hybridizing since 1994.  His daylilies are as tough as nails, because Dan never babies them.  Dan also has one of the most diverse daylily programs I have ever seen.....and I have seen a lot.  Dan will take the time to show you around and is always willing to help newbies with suggestions of what daylilies to grow and how to go about hybridizing.  With nothing further, here are some of Dan's intros and seedlings.

           Dan Hansen seedling. (Had to be the best one in the garden that day!)

 Dan Hansen seedling. (Same seedling, but a close up on that incredible blue eyezone.)

           Dan Hansen seedling. (I loved the shape of the eyezone in this one.)

                    Dan Hansen seedling. (Same seedling, another angle.)

                                Dan Hansen Edge no Eye seedling.

                                 Dan Hansen patterned seedling.

                                    Dan Hansen double seeding.

                                        Tattoo (Dan Hansen 2014)

                             Anne's True Gratitude (Dan Hansen 2016)

                                Bridge of Sighs (Dan Hansen 2016)

                                         Debra Scott (Dan Hansen)

                                       Snarky (Dan Hansen 2016)

                                        Snapper Rocks (Dan Hansen)

                                        Ladybug Daylilies (May 2015)

    I hope you enjoyed the visit to Ladybug daylilies.  To view Dan's website click on:   Make sure you visit Dan's place when you are down in Florida.  One of the best daylily gardens down there, if not in the whole country.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

A visit with daylily hybridizer, Di DeCaire.

        It only seemed fitting to follow my write up about Dan Robarts with another amazing patterned daylily hybridizer, Di DeCaire from New York.  I first got to know Di via the My Daylilies website, where her photos of her daylily intro from 2010, Four Beasts in One, just blew me away.  A photo of Four Beasts in One is featured at the top of the page. Di most recently moved this past winter from Pennfield, New York down to Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina.  Here are a couple questions I asked her about where her program is today.

                                   Zyzzified (DeCaire 2015 introduction)

1. What are some of the challenges you've had with your hybridizing over the past several years?

One challenge I faced from the very beginning was diminished development of flower tissue along with poor opening during and subsequent to cool weather trends. The past 2 years in Penfield, NY, held more disappointments than usual due to very cool summers. 2008 and 2011 were also cool and the same problems occurred. The Florida bred patterns I used early in the millennium were unhappy with the climate in NY. Several generations of hybridizing are necessary to achieve patterned daylilies for cooler climates. Improvements have been made by out-crossing with northern varieties but it is hard to wake up day after day during peak bloom to many poorly expanded seedlings, when nighttime temperatures dip down as low as 53. Because of this issue I continue to use the best cool morning openers to hybridize with even if the pattern is not shown (but present in the genome).    
2. What are some of your favorite daylilies to hybridize with...both from your intros and others?

At this point in time I am primarily using my own introductions and seedlings for hybridizing. This is because I have worked on issues such as cool morning opening and therefore know their capabilities as well as limitations, intimately. Of course Four Beasts in One was the very first favorite and used quite heavily. It's the heart of my program. I also have enjoyed using Ticklish, Smitten Again, Zyzzified, Cherry Bliss, She Sells Seashells, Generous Spirit and others. Velvet Manners and Totem and Taboo are used for my red line. Hybridizing with seedlings is very important for correcting the flaws and adding desired traits; and now all of the seedlings in my program hold within some degree of pattern genes, whether hidden or visibly expressed. Sometimes a superior plant with good branching will be used as a mom with the more elaborate patterned seedlings that lack vigor, height or good branching.
3. What prompted the interest to move to North Carolina?
My retired husband wanted out of the cold winters and very high property taxes. I was more lured by the idea of pooling resources from the sale of two houses to purchase one better house (married 4 years). I literally picked large stones up off the floor in the rubble basement back home. But the soil was phenomenal - deep, luxurious silty clay loam several feet down, lovingly amended, and the rain so steady and sure. Most of all it was hard to leave my little grandsons. But I found the perfect place one day, online, here in Fuquay Varina, and we raced down to buy it. And so here we are carving out a whole new life. I just want to add that I do not subscribe to the notion that daylilies do better here than in New York. That's not why I moved. It is common to assume that warmer climates mean flowers galore, but to me, that's not true.The Greater Rochester area in NY state is resplendent with an unusually wide variety of blooming trees, shrubs and perennials - from mid March to mid November. In fact I am concerned about the new problems I will inevitably face here: rust, the heat, lack of summer rain, and the ability to breed hardy dormant daylilies. I'm sure all this will work out in time and we are very happy and enjoying this first, shorter winter.

Featured below are some pictures of Di's most recent introductions and photographs.  ALL OF DI DECAIRE'S PHOTOGRAPHS ARE COPYWRIGHTED MATERIAL AND THE POSSESSION OF DI DECAIRE.  You may contact Di at 
                              Di's original garden in Pennfield, New York.

          Di's husband Ted, and their grandson, Lucas. Cleaning off the roto tiller.

     Since Di's move took place suddenly in the middle of winter she had to dig seedlings out of the snow.  

      Here's is Di's new house in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. (Note, Di is on the front porch)

         Here is Di's new seedling bed with all the seedlings nicely sectioned off.

                                        DeCaire Zyzzified seedling.  

                        She Sells Seashells (DeCaire 2015 introduction)

        She Sells Seashells (DeCaire 2015 introduction) Excellent plant habit!

                               Percussion (DeCaire 2015 introduction)

                                     Ticklish seedling. (DeCaire)

                                     Ticklish seedling (DeCaire)

                                   Smitten again seedling (DeCaire)

      Four Beasts In One(DeCaire) showing metallic glints in the eye zone.

                   DeCaire seedling showing metallic glints in the eye zone. 

                                                Yumph (DeCaire)

                                          Yumph seedling. (DeCaire)

                                      Velvet Manners seedling (DeCaire)
                                    Group of DeCaire seedlings.  

     I hope you enjoyed Di DeCaire's daylilies today.  To view her website go to:  Thank you Di for taking the time to share your program with me and all the folks who follow my blog.