Friday, December 29, 2017

Patterned Daylilies from 2017.

                            Ron Reimer future diploid intro, Silver Circles.

                                      Di DeCaire Purple Peace seedling.

     What a great year 2017 was for patterns.  After going down to Florida in May and seeing all the new additions to my garden, it is clear that patterns are leaping ahead into new territories.  Some of the most exciting seedlings were shared by my friend, Di DeCaire, who I had the opportunity to visit this year.  Here are some of Di's newest seedlings below:

                                       Di DeCaire Percussion seedling.

                                      Di DeCaire Percussion seedling.

                                             Di DeCaire seedling.

                                             Di DeCaire seedling.

                                              Di DeCaire seedling.

    Here's some more patterned intros from across the country.  It's exciting to see patterns showing up on different colored backgrounds now.  Here are some more:

                   Ron Reimer diploid seedling.  Wow, amazing presentation!

    Shake, Rattle, and Roll (Emmerich 2018) photo courtesy of Karol Emmerich.

       Chaos Choreography (Elizabeth Salter) photo courtesy of Patrick Guidry.

                      Charlotte's Desire (Guy Pierce) Photo by Paul K. Lewis

                       Bill Maryott seedling. (Photo courtesy of Bill Maryott)

          Paul Van Mechelen seedling. (Photo courtesy of Paul Van Mechelen)

                      Dan Robarts seedling (Photo courtesy of Dan Robarts)

                        Waylon (Pat Stamile) Photo courtesy of James Clancy.

                       Kirsten Hatfield seedling (Destined to see X Get Jiggy).

                                             Bobbi Johnson seedling.

            Positive Introspection (Dan Hansen) photo courtesy of Dan Hansen.

            Mike Holmes patterned seedling. (Photo courtesy of Mike Holmes)

Wow, what a collection of patterns!  Hopefully that warmed you up from the winter doldrums. Next up is a segment on my friend, Dave Mussar. Excited to see Dave's program. Happy Holidays folks!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

A visit with Paul K. Lewis.

Paul K. Lewis patterned seedling out of Ripples and Reflections.(Morss) First bloom this year.

             Paul K. Lewis patterned seedling W77 out of Waves of Joy (Trimmer)

    Well, I was hoping to feature a new segment on a friend of mine, but that will be delayed, so guess who you get to know a little better? Yours truly.  I always wanted to do a question and answer segment so here it goes.

    I was born in 1963 in Cleveland, Ohio.  I was raised in a suburb on the east side of Cleveland known as South Euclid. I grew up with two sisters,(Pam and Linda) and one brother.(Justin)  Graduated from Charles F. Brush high school in 1981, and never really knew what I wanted to do until around 1987, when I started my landscaping business. I had cut grass for other people my whole life, so this seemed like the right direction to go in.  Landscaping took me into local nurseries such as Gale's Garden Center out in Willoughby, Ohio.  There I started to take an interest in gardening.  While living at my Grandmother's house, I found one perennial more fascinating than the others.  It was the daylily, Hyperion.  Very dependable and had these lovely yellow flowers.  I set out on my quest to find daylilies in other colors to add to my Grandmother's garden.  Local nurseries had a very limited selection of daylilies, none of which appealed to me.  It wasn't until my mother pointed out an article in our local paper that showed daylilies being sold at a place called Warren road nursery, on the west side of Cleveland.  There I found exactly what I was looking for...daylilies in all colors and sizes.  I was drawn to the daylilies from a local hybridizer by the name of Steve Moldovan.  The owner of the nursery, Ron Zayak was very helpful and suggested I attend a talk given by Steve at his other nursery, Cantebury Creek Gardens. Steve Moldovan and Roy Woodhall were both there that day, and I was fortunate enough to get to talk to them after the presentation.  Steve was nice enough to invite me to his garden after that, and things really took off from there.

    To bring you up to present tense, I met my wife, Kyle at my dermatologist's office some years back, and in 2007 asked her out on a date.  She was a medical assistant there. Two years after that first date we got married in August of 2009.  She was and is always very kind to me, and I feel very blessed that she puts up with me and my daylily obsession.  I like to think she enjoys the flowers.  When Kyle and I were first dating, I was living in a house on County Line rd. in Chesterland, Ohio.  I lived two houses away from the legendary northern hybridizer, Curt Hanson.  (I'm sure Curt will get a kick out of that when he reads it.) I lived in that house for a total of 8 years.  I had the luxury of learning from one of the best hybridizers in the country.  Curt always had hybridizers visiting from around the country as well, and I've gotten to know Dan Hansen, David Kirchhoff, John Rice, Jeff and Elizabeth Salter and countless others through living next to Curt.  In 2007 I moved in with my wife Kyle, and have lived in Mayfield Heights, Ohio since then.  Transferring all my daylilies from a 4 acre property to a .33 acre property was a challenge at first, but I manage to squeeze a daylily in every available space.  There were certain advantages to growing the daylilies here as I've found certain parts of the property seem to grow faster than others. This brings me up to the question and answer segment.

Question 1:  Who taught you how to hybridize daylilies?

Answer: One day in 1999, while at Steve Moldovan's place, I asked him how one actually hybridizes daylilies?  Steve's reply was, "you really want to know how to do this?"  Eagerly I replied, "Yes!"
So, Steve showed me how you take pollen from one daylily and dab it on the one you want to cross it with.  He then suggested you tag the cross with the name of the pollen parent you used for future reference.  I was very excited to start crossing, but found my first daylily seedlings were all dogs.  Just like anything else, experience is a great teacher.  It helped to watch Steve Moldovan, Roy Woodhall, and Curt Hanson over the years to see how they approach hybridizing as well.

Question 2: What were your initial goals in hybridizing?

Answer: Back in 2000, I was really amazed by the daylily, Ida's Magic (Bill Munson), because it had a gold edge, and probably one of the first to have that feature.  I really wanted to breed daylilies with fancy golden edges in the beginning.  Jeff Salter also introduced a daylily named Ed Brown, which was a real advancement back then.  So, I was heavy into edge breeding until I started to find out that they tended to get hung up on cold mornings.  Once again, experience is a great teacher, so I went back to the basics, breeding selfs mostly.  Sometime later Steve Moldovan was starting to introduce some really cool patterns that caught my attention.  I wound up using his Vertical Horizon a lot, but didn't get that many good seedlings.  However the daylily that is Steve's namesake daylily has proven to be an excellent parent for pattern breeding and I have used that heavily.  In the present tense I like to breed for patterns, appliques, teeth, blue eyes, and most recently stripes.

Question 3: Which daylily hybridizers influenced you in the beginning?

Answer: The great northern hybridizers, Steve Moldovan, Roy Woodhall, and Curt Hanson.  Steve mostly in the beginning, but now you will mostly find me hanging out at Curt Hanson's place a lot during peak bloom.  I am amazed by Curt's plant habit on his daylily introductions.  I seem to remember Curt saying that when you put your name on a daylily, you want that daylily to have a nice plant beneath it.  That daylily will be seen in other people's gardens.  He's right.  If you ever get a chance to walk Curt's garden at the end of the season, you will see what I mean by good plant habit.  Even his spent scapes look incredible.

Question 4: What are some of the challenges you've had in hybridizing?

Answer: This is a good question, because there have been many.  Throughout the season I have to keep the deer away from my daylilies.  We have a very dense deer population here in Northeast Ohio, with next to no predators.  We live in the suburbs, so hunting is prohibited as well.  I have found that you have to use many different deterrents.  I use a spray called Bobbex on the daylily buds.  I also use a motion detecting sprinkler to try and keep them away when I'm not here, and these baggies filled with chili pepper powder called Green Screen that you hang on stakes.  I would use an electric fence, but there are so many children in the area, I wouldn't want anything bad to happen to them.  Some of the other challenges are battling the nut grass and weeds growing in between the daylilies, trying to find space for all my seedlings, and just finding the time to work in my garden.  I run a small landscaping business during the day to help pay the bills.  It's very had work juggling both work and gardening, but I couldn't see myself doing anything else.  I do love my summers!

Question 5: How many seedlings do your grow each year?

Answer: Unknown.  I don't have the time to count.  It varies.  It all depends on space, which is at a premium here.  I try to introduce 4 or 5 daylilies each year, so I do my best to grow as much as I can to select from.  If I had my druthers, I would love to be able to have a full acre to grow daylilies on.  Maybe someday.

Question 6:  What are some of your favorite daylily introductions from other hybridizers?

Answer: My favorite daylily list could go on for days and days, but I should be able to narrow it down by telling you which daylilies I like to hybridize with.  Some of my favorites right now are Ripples and Reflections (Morss) Four Beasts in One (DeCaire), Zyzzified (DeCaire), Yumph (DeCaire), Waves of Joy (Trimmer), Bowtie Affair (Pierce), Digital Imagery (Slanec), Steve Moldovan (Moldovan), 42 (Townsend), Tessa Ann (Hansen), Gary Bewcyk (Hansen), Geneva Rockin Robin (Hansen), Desire of Nations (Emmerich), All Things to All Men (Emmerich), Shake, Rattle, and Roll (Emmerich), Unlock your Dreams (Grace), Ultimate Sacrifice (Grace), Explosion in the Paint Factory (Howard), Undefinable (DeVito), Wacky Wednesday (Seifert), Penthouse Playgirl (Hanson), The Space Race (Hanson), Stolen Heart (Pickles),  and so many others.  I'm sure I forgot a bunch, but it does change from year to year.

Question 7: What are some of your favorite daylilies that you've introduced?

Answer: Number one on my list would be my new 2018 introduction, Ghost in the Machine. I've had it for a lot of years and would have introduced it earlier, but it got hit with some herbicide over spray, and was set back some years.  (you have to be careful when spraying.) It has a very unique pattern and I've seen a few of it's seedlings that show a lot of promise.  It sold out fast, but I hope others will offer it for sale in the coming years. I would say a close second would be my introduction, Obi Wan Kenobi, a lovely yellow out of Steve Moldovan's Tae Kwon Do.  It's starting to gain a little popularity. After that I would say some of my reds are favs, including A.D. Lewis, Edith Lewis, and K.J. MacRitchie.  I would be sorry if I didn't include Millennium Falcon as well.  Probably my best parent so far. I had completely sold out of it, but was able to buy a plant back from a friend this past Spring.  Look forward to seeing it bloom here again this coming season after probably a 7 year absence.  (Always keep a plant for yourself.....if you can.)

Question 8: What are some of your favorite daylily gardens to visit:

Back in the day, Steve Moldovan and Roy Woodhall's garden was a sight to see in peak bloom.  I used to go there every weekend from July through August. In the present tense I would say The Crintonic Gardens of Curt Hanson are my favorite. Curt has his daylilies over looking a pond, surrounded by gardens of other perennials, shrubs, and specimen trees.  Something is always in bloom there. I have enjoyed my southern friend's gardens a lot as well.  I go down to Florida every other year and enjoy going to Dan Hansen's Ladybug Daylilies, John Kinnebrew's garden, Jeff and Elizabeth Salter's garden, Floyd Cove, the daylilies of Guy and Karen Pierce, Water Mill Gardens, the daylilies of Dan and Jane Trimmer, and Luddy Lambertson's daylily garden.  I have visited many hybridizers across the country.  Some favorites would be Van Seller's and Vic Santa Lucia's Irongate Gardens, Browns Ferry Gardens, Marietta gardens, and Bill Waldrop's garden.  In Ohio I have visited Jamie Gossard's, Mike and Sandy Holmes, and Tom Polston's place.  All of these daylily gardens are wonderful and I would recommend all of them.  There are some others that I hope to get to in the future, so hopefully I will be able to add to that list.

Here are some photos of my favorite seedlings below:

                   Paul K. Lewis seedling out of Four Beasts in One (DeCaire)

                       Paul K. Lewis seedling out of Waves of Joy (Trimmer)

                      Paul K. Lewis seedling out of Spinefeld (Stamile/Pierce)

                                 Paul K. Lewis future intro Secretariat.

                        Paul K. Lewis seedling out of Gaudeamus (Moldovan)

              Paul K. Lewis future intro, Justin Torer. Named for my brother.

Here are some of my favorite daylily introductions:

                              Ghost in the Machine (Paul K. Lewis, 2018)

                                   Obi Wan Kenobi (Paul K. Lewis)

                       A.D. Lewis (Paul K. Lewis) named for my grandfather.

     Edith Lewis (Paul K. Lewis) named for my grandmother. (Photo by Mary Baker)

                                    Millennium Falcon (Paul K. Lewis)

                                           Death Star (Paul K. Lewis)

It's been a lot of fun putting this segment together.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Hope to get some of my other hybridizing friend's segments going in the weeks to come.  Hope you all are having a nice holiday season.



Saturday, December 9, 2017

The holiday season is upon us.

                     Stolen Heart (Lee Pickles 2016) Photo by Paul K. Lewis

                               Sunset Drive (Future Paul K. Lewis intro)

     Whenever we get around the holiday season I always think of the color red, and along those lines I was thinking about some of the best red daylilies of this past year.  I really enjoy seeing what Lee Pickles has been doing in his hybridizing program and was very impressed with the seedling pictures he posted this year.  Here is a sampling of some of the best ones below: (Thanks Lee)

                     Lee Pickles seedling 7059 (Camelot Red X Stolen Heart)

Lee Pickles seedling 7109 [Stolen Heart X (Camelot Red X Blazing Cannons)]

Lee Pickles seedling 7029 [(Seedling 2041 Stolen Heart X Barbara Mandrell) X (Seedling 5006 Marine's Hymm X Barbara Mandrell)]

                 Lee Pickles seedling 5025 (Camelot Red X Blazing Cannons)

Lee Pickles seedling 7044 [(Seedling 2041 Stolen Heart X Barbara Mandrell) X Velvet Throne)]

Lee Pickles seedling 7078 [(Seedling 2041 Stolen Heart X Barbara Mandrell) X Velvet Throne)]

    I also really enjoy red daylilies from my friend, Dale Hensley down in South Carolina.  Here are a couple below that I think are outstanding:

                          Sips of Sin (Dale Hensley) Photo by Paul K. Lewis 

                          Heartless (Dale Hensley) Photo by Theresa Maris.

                         Heartless (Dale Hensley) Photo by Sheila Caldon.

    Well, I really hope you enjoyed this holiday sampling of daylilies!  Thanks to everyone who shared their pictures with me.  Hoping that I can bring you a visit with my friend Dave Mussar with the next installment.  Happy Holidays! (Lee Pickles web site can be found at