Larry's Candy Stripe Swizzle (Heidi Douglas)
Browns Ferry Gardens (Photo taken by Paul K. Lewis)
I think it was back in June 2012 when my wife, Kyle and I went down to South Carolina and visited Browns Ferry Gardens for the first time. This was the first time I got to meet Heidi Douglas in person as well. Heidi was a wonderful host showing me around the main garden and then the seedling fields. I highly recommend all of you go down and visit Browns Ferry Gardens, probably one of the nicest daylily gardens I have visited. Heidi was nice enough to do an interview for us, so with nothing further, here is our segment with Heidi Douglas:
|Charles and Heidi Douglas|
I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio quite some time ago. I graduated from Wyoming High School in 1976 and then went to Ohio University where I studied Fashion Merchandising. I bounced around doing a lot of different things until I started computer consulting for an accounting firm in Cincinnati in 1998. I found out I can learn anything when I put my mind to it and became quite good at it. I am still doing it 25 years later. I currently work for a tech company in Cincinnati managing and developing their accounting systems. It is wonderful that I can work remotely from South Carolina, where I currently live. In 2003 I met Charles Douglas at the Mid Winter Symposium in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I started working on the auction for the Region 2 Winter meeting and would call Charles for donations. Late 2005 we became an item and in October of 2006 I moved to Browns Ferry Gardens in Georgetown, South Carolina. We were married at Disney World in November, 2007 and now I have 2 grown daughters, 6 grand children, and 3 great grand children.
|Heidi and Charles Douglas, Disney World 2007|
Heidi: I had just bought a house and asked a landscaper to put some flowers in for me. Well, I was not very happy with how far my $500 went, and then I received a Spring Hill catalog in the mail. Spring Hill did the garden by numbers in their catalog, so I started studying the different plants and where they needed to grow and planted my first garden around 1999. I noticed my neighbor had these little yellow flowers that bloomed all season long and none of mine did that, so I asked her what they were and that is when the obsession began. I decided to do some research, because certainly they must come in other colors and that is when I discovered Charlotte's Daylily Diary. I combed through all of the websites all winter long and settled on five daylilies to put in my garden. After they bloomed that first season, I was hooked and had to have more. The following year I had over 300 daylilies, the following year over 600, and then over 1000. In 2005 my garden was on the national convention tour with over 1000 cultivars. I also discovered the Lily Auction chat room and met a lot of daylily addicts. I became good friends with many of the people there and one lady bought me my first years membership in the AHS so I could join the daylily robin. Then I joined a local club and now I understand the meaning of come for the flower and stay for the people.
|Heidi Douglas, Miss Marie, and Charles Douglas|
Heidi: I became good friends with Wanda Evans in the club because she won Best in Show at the flower show I went to see about joining a club. She hybridizes some, but then I met Dan Bachman and JR Blanton, also members of the club. They took me to the Shirley Farmer meeting where I met some amazing hybridizers. This was back in the beginning of the Shirley Farmer meetings and it was just a group of us sitting around a big table and sharing slides. Steve Moldovan, Roy Woodhall, Richard Norris, and John Benz were some of the big names at the meeting and I sat in awe!! Of course at that time, I wasn't going to be a hybridizer, I was just going to collect. Yeah right! We took a weekend and went up to see Steve and Roy's garden and then went to Curt Hanson's. Dan Hansen was in Curt's garden and a bunch of people were there spreading pollen everywhere! I didn't actually start making my own crosses until 2003. My very first seedlings were blooming at the National in 2005.
3. What were your first goals in the beginning of your hybridizing?
Heidi: The first thing I wanted to do was put the edge of Spacecoast Starburst on Bela Lugosi, so I made the cross both ways to see what would happen. The results of one of those crosses was actually one of my very first introductions in 2010 called FIRST TRY.
|Heidi Douglas and Julie Covington|
Heidi: I think the biggest challenge was just last summer when I really couldn't decide what direction I wanted to go and just didn't do a lot of hybridizing. I was exhausted from hosting the National convention the year before and just couldn't focus. I am hoping this year I can some of that focus back, but we are really trying to downsize the garden, so it isn't a bad thing that I hybridized less.
5. How many seedlings do you grow each year?
Heidi: I have grown as many as 5000 a year, but that is way more than I need. This year I will have about 1000 that will bloom for the first time.
6. What are some of your favorite introductions from other hybridizers?
Heidi: Who doesn't love Rose F. Kennedy? (Doorakian) I got some really pretty flowers from that and Tropicana Treat.(Carpenter) Recently I have used O'Bannon Orchid on everything dip and Planetary Conversion (Hansen) on everything tet.
7. What are some of your favorite daylily introductions?
Heidi: Papa Goose! Duh! Breathing in Snowflakes, Larry's Candy Stripe Swizzle, and Southern Shiner...just to name a few.
8. What are some of your favorite daylily gardens to visit?
Heidi: I Can't Believe it's a Dip in Conway with Ed Zahler and Duane Therrien. Gary and Angie Maly in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Strictly Daylilies in Cambridge, England.
|Charles Douglas talking with visitors|
9. What are some of your favorite memories involved with daylilies?
Heidi: Of course the fact that I met my husband in daylilies and now have a beautiful family because of that is my very favorite. I have met so many wonderful people through daylilies and many have become good friends that I will never give up, no matter what!
10. Heidi wanted to add: Lots of people like to ask why I made that cross? I don't really have a reason. I am not like many hybridizers that like to put pink on pink or watermarks on patterns because it will give them a better pattern. I am not one to think it through. I typically take one pollen and go out and put it on everything that suits me. Sometimes it makes sense, most of the time it is more like "What IF?" I'm not as focused on the cross as I am the result. Charles is very focused on his crosses and many times he will flag a seedling before it blooms because of the cross. I am just the opposite. I will show him a pretty seedling and he asks what the cross is and it turns out I didn't even look to see.
|Charles Douglas and Gene Tanner|
Mr. Z (Heidi Douglas 2020)
Mr. Z clump shot (Heidi Douglas 2020) Awesome!
Points for Distinction (Heidi Douglas 2020)
The Night King (Heidi Douglas 2020)
Loving you is Easy (Charles Douglas 2020)
Carter McGhee (Charles Douglas 2020)
Clifton Plantation (Charles Douglas 2020)
Cokerville (Gene Tanner 2020)
Bang-a-Lang Street (Gene Tanner 2020)
Dribble or Shoot (Gene Tanner 2020)
Now some of Heidi's favorite intros:
Breathing in Snowflakes (Heidi Douglas)
Meme's Lovin' the Limelight (Heidi Douglas)
Papa Goose (Heidi Douglas) Photo by Edvinas Misiukevicius
Southern Shiner (Heidi Douglas)
Perry and his Harem (Heidi Douglas)
Boss Hogg (Heidi Douglas)
Here's some of Charles Douglas and Gene Tanner's intros:
For the love of the Game (Charles Douglas)
Sally Kitchens (Charles Douglas)
Putting on the Dog (Charles Douglas)
Calling All Hearts (Charles Douglas)
Humble and Kind (Gene Tanner)
As you can see there is a LOT to see at Browns Ferry Gardens!
|Heidi leading the geese. (Photo by Edvinas Misiukevicius)|
Or just simply Google Browns Ferry Gardens and it should come up. My next segments should be on blue eyed daylilies and some that I felt were stellar in my garden this past summer. Stay tuned.