Wednesday, November 01, 2006

1954-55 Farr Catalog of A.B. Stout Daylilies

This catalogue, generously shared by a member of the Spider Robin, states the following about a 'good daylily':

Good daylilies take care of themselves. They thrive in spite of weeds or neglect. They last for a lifetime. When age, or circumstances, discourage the labour that roses, gladioli, or annuals, etc., require, plant daylilies and let them take care of themselves.

On 'How to Judge a Daylily'
1-Is it hardy? Will it survive in sub-zero temperatures? In poor soil? In spite of neglect?
2- How long does it bloom? The number of bloom buds to a stem equals the approximate number of days of bloom.
3- How dependably and profusely does it bloom? Does the plant produce a liberal number of bloom stems, with many branches and many bloom buds, year after year?
4- Do the blooms and the stems have goood substance? Are the blooms resistant to hot sun and to rain? Or do they curl, bleach, burn or open poorly? Do the stems remain upright and graceful regardless of winds, drought or beating rains?
5- Is the plant clean? Do the shriveled buds hang on to disfigure or do they drop quickly? Does the foliage remain green and upright into fall or does it sprawl or flop? Does it become 'blightly' by late summer?
6- Do the blooms remain open evening?
7- Is it distinct from other daylilies? Does it vary sufficiently in season, type, shape, pattern or color from others already existing?

Sometimes, it seems, it is good to go back to basics, and these seem to me worthy goals to pursue in any modern hybridising program.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I always knew that my goals needed to include more than just 'pretty faces', however, the more I think about it and the more I talk to other people about it, the importance of plant habit and maintenance needs to be a priority in my mind.

Think of peonies, or some other treasured old perennial. How much work do they need to keep them going? To keep them flowering? To keep them looking nice? In my garden, not much! They seem to be able to look after themselves. The same goes for my species daylilies - I planted them (or someone long ago planted them in my garden) and for the most part, they are left to get on with looking pretty and producing the right effect in the garden at the right time. This is what I need to have in my seedlings. I want to produce plants that, if the garden were abandoned for years, these plants would be found still happily flowering each summer. Can this kind of vigour be reclaimed from the species daylilies?

I'm betting that it can.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wilson Spider x Thorhalla

Sometimes, life if just too tempting. As if I didn't already have more seed than I can possibly hope to raise myself next year, I have succumbed to the temptation to add genes to my gene pool for plants that I don't yet grow here. Thus, I have bought the following seed: (Thanks, Rebecca! I will say, my consolation - or the way that I justify this to myself - is that Ned advised me to focus on seed as opposed to trying to import so many plants...)

So, the crosses:
Wilson Spider x Thorhalla

I'll ask Rebecca shortly if I can knick her photos showing the crosses....
EDIT: Of course, she said yes, 'cause she's sweet like that! So, thanks to Rebecca, we have visual!

Wilson Spider x Gudrid

Wilson Spider x Gudrid (and the reverse cross)

Lee Reinke x Frozen Mert

Lee Reinke x Frozen Mert

Eggplant Ecstasy x Frozen Mert

Eggplant Ecstasy x Frozen Mert

Frozen Mert x Heavenly Angel Ice

Frozen Mert x Heavenly Angel Ice

Emerald Eye x Black Arrowhead

Emerald Eye x Black Arrowhead

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Some thoughts on next year

Some of my thinking so far about crosses I would like to make next year:

  • use some more of the Lamberts I have (different from this past year)
    • Blue Diana
    • Cote d'Azure
    • Cerulean Star
    • Isolde
    • Phenomenal Sapphire
  • work with more of some of Ned Roberts lines
    • Talon
    • Orchid Moonrise
    • Lavender Handlebars (thank you Diane!)
    • Green Warrior (again, thank you Diane!)
    • Burgundy Crab
  • others to work in
    • Android
    • Fol de Rol
    • How's the Weather Up There
    • Tomorrow's Song
I will do less crosses than I did this year to keep the seedlings to a manageable number! I should also begin to see first flowers on my first seedlings, so I can hopefully start the process of selection next year as well!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Last seed pod collected

I collected my last seed pod today - from 'Peacock Maiden'. I still have the last few pods that I had collected to dry, sort, and store until I'm ready to start germinations. The crosses that I am looking forward to seeing are:

Prague Spring x Talon

H. citrina x Unidentified Flying Object

H. citrina x Concorde Nelson

H. citrina x Laura Lambert

H citrina x Trahlyta

H. citrina x Lemon Meringue Twist

Asterisk x Talon

Concorde Nelson x Talon

Dancing Summerbird x Purple Many Faces

Cerulean Star x Harbor Blue

Peacock Maiden x Android

Jocelyn's Oddity x Purple Many Faces
(No photo Available)

Eggplant Escapade x Harbor Blue

I will start the germination process by soaking these in water sometime in February or March. All ready to plant out as soon as the danger of frost is past. Once the first batch is planted and growing, I'll start on a second batch (this will be the H. citrina crosses). I can probably do 6 or 7 batches before it gets too late in the year to allow the seedlings to get a relatively full growing season. Next year, I probably won't make as many crosses - I will focus more on particular crosses. What are they? I have all winter to find out!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

H.citrina crosses 2006

Here are some of the H. citrina crosses that I have done this year:

  • (citrina x Lemon Meringue Twist) hopefully a couple will show the clean, beautiful movement of LMT with narrower petals,
  • (citrina x Laura Lambert) with this I should get some purples, and some interesting unusual forms,
  • (citrina x Wilson Spider) which I'm hoping will give nice open formed seedlings with narrower petals,
  • (citrina x Peacock Maiden) which will hopefully give me some nice open forms in some colours other than yellow,
  • (citrina x Trahlyta) which should give me something interesting and some should be open as well due to 'Trahlyta's' curved back form counter-acting the H. citrina trumpet shape,
  • (citrina x Talon) should give something that has the typical 'Talon' twisty look, maybe some spatulates or narrower petals,
  • (citrina x Android) will hopefully give me some nice thin seedlings,
  • (citrina x Connie Reeve (NR)) which should give some pinks and peach/melons with an open form.

My hope is to have some seedlings from these crosses to use as bridge plants with my other seedlings when the time comes. I expect that H. citrina seedlings will in general help me to increase bud count, branching, overall vigour and fast increase.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Nearing the end of the season

Almost done collecting pods, only about a dozen more left now.

Apart from the H. citrina crosses detailed below, other parents that I have used this year are:

  • 'Laura Lambert' (Lambert 1975) 6"/36" M DOR

  • 'Talon' (Ned Roberts 1997) 6.5"/25" EM SEV

  • 'Lemon Meringue Twist' (Ned Roberts 2003) 7"/44" MRe DOR

  • 'Wilson Spider' (Oakes 1987) 7.5"/28" M DOR Registered as Spider
    (only 2 pods set for me! Must move this to a better spot.)

  • 'Harbor Blue' (Lake 1961) NG/26" EMRe EV Registered as Spider

  • 'Ra Hansen' (Talbott 1986) 4.75"/28" EMRe EV

  • 'Pandora's Box' (Talbott 1980) 4"/19" EMRe EV

Most are not the 'latest and greatest'... however, I have tried to make crosses that haven't been done before. Many of these have proven to produce interesting children, so I hope that by combining their genes in new ways, I will end up a couple of 'keepers'.

Some of the ones that I'm quite keen to see are the (Ra Hansen x Chesiere's Lunar Moth) and (Pandora's Box x Chesiere's Lunar Moth). I hope that CLM will give some movement to some of seedlings, and that the colours come through from RH & PB. See here one of CLM's 'looks' and see previous post for another photo.

I really like the open, reflexed, graceful flowers of 'Harbor Blue' - even though it is an old variety, it has a grace that I would like to have in my seedlings.

I've crossed 'Talon' back to 'Prague Spring', as well as using it with some of Lambert's other intros, like 'Asterisk' (another nice spatulate form) and 'Aquamarine'. From what I've learned, the colour on these seedlings will probably not be very good. But if I can get some good forms, I can cross later to get the colour I want.

Monday, August 21, 2006


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Ned Roberts 1997
6.5"/25" EM DIP Sev Unf

Green Flutter

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Williamson 1964
3"/20" La DIP Sev

Sir Blackstem

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Hager 1988
2.5"/24" ERe DIP Ev

Hawk (with Concorde Nelson)

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Wheeler 1970
10"/18" MLa DIP Unf

Wilson Spider

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Oakes 1987
7.5"/28" M DIP Dor Spd

Concorde Nelson

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Reeve 1998

9"/24" MLa DIP