Saturday, March 31, 2018

Curt Hanson, 36 years of hybridizing.

   Curt Hanson hybridizing at Crintonic Gardens. (Photograph by Dan Hansen)

   Curt Hanson selecting in the seedling fields. (Photograph by Dan Hansen)

    I've personally known my friend, Curt Hanson since 1999.  While I was visiting at Steve Moldovan's place, Elizabeth Salter suggested I stop out and visit Curt Hanson the summer of 1999. As luck would have it my fiance and I went out there and also fell in love with a house for sale only a couple houses away from Curt. We wound up buying that house and moving in April of 2000.  The rest is history.  So, I thought it would be nice if you got to know Curt as well as I do.  Here is a quick couple questions I asked Curt:
Where did your love of daylilies start?

Curt: Fulva.  I'd find the roots washed up on the shores of Lake Erie, eroded from the banks of the lake. My Dad had a few growing at the property which is now my residence. They thrived there growing five feet tall. When I got into hybridizing Rhododendrons and Magnolias, I got involved with all sorts of plants.  One snowy day at the Cleveland Botanical Garden Library I saw an AHS Journal with Royal Blueblood (Hite) on the cover.  Out of curiosity I bought a couple expensive tetraploids. Cost was $15.  I bought Chicago Silver, and Kings Cloak.  I also began to notice non yellow daylilies growing here and there.  That summer the two daylilies bloomed and I got so excited I drove to Detroit, Michigan to visit Howard Hite.  That blew me away. Then I drove to visit Bill Barrere in the Akron, Ohio area, where coincidentally Steve Moldovan and Roy Woodhall were also visiting.  The next Spring I joined Steve and Roy and drove to visit Wimberlyway Gardens, Bill
Munson's place. That was it, I was hooked. I have been to Florida every year since. A total of 36 years. I will never forget pulling into Wimberlyway gardens at 7:00 a.m., as the dew dripped off the opening flowers. I'd hybridize there, walk the seedlings all day, it was a great time.

What was your first cross?

Curt: My first cross was Dance Ballerina Dance X Chicago Silver.  I made 30 seeds. The next year I made 3000 seeds.  I never got involved with daylilies just to collect, only to hybridize.

Talk about your experiences with daylilies after that?

Curt: In 1983 I had gotten a bunch of seedlings from Bill Barrerre, mostly deep purples involving Marsh, but I had some Moldovan and Munson stuff as well.  Crossing with this group produced my first introduction Ocean Rain (Kings Throne X Enchanted Empress)in 1987. In 1984 I sowed 16,000 seeds. In 1985 I sowed 39,000 seeds. After that it got ever more obsessive. My Dad, Jake Hanson, bought the property which is now my residence in 1959, when I was 10 years old. I lived with my Mom in Euclid, Ohio and saw my Dad on weekends.  I moved in when he was dying of Leukemia the summer of 1969.  That year he passed away.  I got tossed out of art school shortly after that. I traveled the world for some time visiting South America,  New Zealand, Australia, India, and Asia in the early 80's. In 1988 I imported some chickens, then began to build my Mom's house and clear land for the current garden in 1989. In 1992 I dug the pond.  This is how Crintonic Gardens came to be. I will be 69 years old this May.

What are some of your favorite introductions?

Curt: Of all time?  Actually it's always some new seedling that momentarily captivates the imagination.  It's a continual flux of the program as a whole.

Curt Hanson has a total of 770 daylily registrations with the American Hemerocallis Society. (Thanks for that trivia Dan Hansen) Curt won the Stout Silver Medal for his introduction, Primal Scream in 2003, and has won many other awards.  Every May when Curt goes down to Florida he can usually be found at Dan Hansen's Ladybug Daylilies hybridizing with his good friend Dan there in mid to late May.  Peak bloom in Curt's garden is usually in the second week of July. If you've never been there, his gardens are an incredible sight to see.  His new introductions can be found at   Here are some of Curt's introductions and seedlings below:

Now here are some of Curt's introductions:

Ocean Rain (Curt Hanson's first introduction, 1987) Photo by Robert Banczerowski

        Women Seeking Men (Curt Hanson) Photo courtesy of Daylily World.

                 Joan Derifield (Curt Hanson) Photo courtesy of Elaine Seifert.

                     Electric Ladyland (Curt Hanson) Photo by Paul K. Lewis.

                     Pink Thunderbird (Curt Hanson) Photo by Paul K. Lewis.

                     Sigourney (Curt Hanson) Photo by Nikki Keeton Schmith.

                      The Dream Society (Curt Hanson) Photo by Mary Baker.

             Lavender Blue Planet (Curt Hanson 2018) Photo by Curt Hanson.

         Last House on the Left (Curt Hanson 2018) Photo by Curt Hanson.

                    Clash of Absolutes (Curt Hanson) Photo by Paul K. Lewis.

                     Identity Complex (Curt Hanson) Photo by Paul K. Lewis.

                    The Space Race (Curt Hanson) Photo by Paul K. Lewis.

And now some seedlings of Curt's:

    Future intro (Possibly to be called Jake Hanson, named for Curt's Dad)

                     Curt Hanson cristate seedling. (Photo by Curt Hanson)

                      Curt Hanson cristate seedling. (Photo by Curt Hanson)

                      Curt Hanson cristate seedling. (Photo by Paul K. Lewis)

                      Curt Hanson cristate seedling. (Photo by Paul K. Lewis)

                    Curt Hanson sculpted seedling. (Photo by Curt Hanson)

                    Curt Hanson patterned seedling. (Photo by Curt Hanson)

             Curt Hanson Hidden Camera's seedling. (Photo by Curt Hanson)

                                               Curt's dog, "Hey Joe."

I'd like to thank Curt Hanson for taking the time to answer some questions and share some great pictures of his program.  All images are the property of the hybridizer and prior use without consent is prohibited.  Check out Curt's newest introductions at  Special thanks goes to Dan Hansen for sharing some of his wondeful photographs of Curt.  Next segment will be more pictures of patterned daylilies.  Thanks for stopping in.

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