The Happy Daylily Blog - daylily pictures and thoughts from my garden

October 31st, 2017

Today I finished clearing out my final new seedling bed. While finishing a project is always satisfying, this one was somewhat bitter-sweet. This was my last new seedling bed. That means no more bloom-time checks for new, never-before-seen seedlings. This doesn't mean I'm totally out of hybridizing however. I still have a couple of hundred seedlings in the evaluation beds which I'll continue to test for possible registration.

Hybridizing has been great fun but eventually age and an arthritic back caused me to realize I couldn't keep up with what it took to produce 2000 new seedlings every year. So now I'll have to be satisfied with growing, showing, and just enjoying my remaining daylilies and I'm okay with that.

Seedling 13-043

Seedling 13-043 is another that doesn't have a special bloom but is a good performer. It has 26" scapes and carries up to thirty 6" blooms on 6-way branching. It comes from the cross (Moon Over Tibet X Spacecoast Gold Bonanza).

October 27th, 2017

Spectacular weather continues with blue skies, cool nights, and moderate daytime temperatures. With the cooler weather however the fall rust season has begun. Here along the gulf coast rust is most prevalent in the spring and fall when daytime temperatures are in the 70's and 80's. So recently I did my first fall rust treatment spraying with 'Heritage' fungicide. To help the fungicide to penetrate the leaf surface I added a little surfactant to the mix.

Rust itself doesn't kill daylilies but it does negatively affect the health of the plant, not to mention it makes the foliage look ratty. So this will be the first of several sprayings I'll do throughout the fall.

Seedling 14-012

I grow some seedlings not because their blooms are special but because they are really good garden plants. Seedling 14-012 is one of those I grow because of how well it performs. It only has a 5" bloom on 32" scapes but the scapes have 7-way branching and the bud count is in the mid 30's. It comes from the cross (What Fun X Bella Vita).

October 23rd, 2017

In my August 5th 2017 post I described the process I was undertaking to get rid of a huge nut grass problem in my front beds. Last fall I dug and potted the daylilies and then sunk the pots in the ground. Double pots were used to prevent the nut grass from invading the pots through the holes in the pots. Having the daylilies in easily removable pots would allow me to remove the pots temporarily so I could spray the nut grass without damage to the daylilies. I waited until August to give the nut grass a chance to fully emerge in the beds, removed the pots, and then gave it a good spraying with Bonide Sedge Ender.

The August spraying seemed to kill the nut grass but I expected some to re-emerge later in the summer. Sure enough, in one bed about 5% of the nut grass come back while in the other bed about 15% come back. The difference was probably because it had reached 90 F. by the time I sprayed the second bed. The best temperatures to spray were between 65 and 75 F. Lesson learned...

In any case, temperatures were perfect this morning and I removed the pots and sprayed again. Hopefully this will kill the remaining nut grass. I plan to transplant the daylilies back in the ground later this fall.

Seedling 16-097

This is seedling 16-097, a cross from (Wonder Of It All X Wild Cherry Round Up). It has 5.5" blooms on 25" scapes.

October 20th, 2017

Now that cooler temperatures are prevailing, it's time for the fall fertilization. This presents a little problem this year because just about everything will be going from pots into the ground later this fall. Organic materials like compost and mulch will be used when I prepare the beds but that won't happen for a while yet. So I decided to give all the daylilies in pots a little snack to hold them over until the transplanting begins. I had a little lawn fertilizer (3-1-2 ratio) left over so I gave each pot a little pinch. This should give them a little boost so they'll be ready to transplant.

Seedling 15-002

Today's image is seedling 15-002. It has a 5.5" bloom on 26" scapes and comes from the cross (Mississippi Memento X Calamity Jane). The bud count is in the low to mid 20's on 6-way branching.

October 17th, 2017

The weather these past couple of days has been unbelievable! The temperature this morning was in the low 50's and the high this afternoon was in the mid 70's. Perfect weather to begin my fall projects.

My first project, which I finished this afternoon, was to dig up the 4 dozen or so keeper seedlings from this past year's seedling bed and pot them up in 1-gal pots. The evaluation beds where these will be planted needs to be tilled up and amended which won't happen for a while yet. So the daylilies will have to play musical chairs (or musical pots) until the beds are ready to be replanted.

Seedling 10-002

Seedling 10-002 is one of those seedlings that I keep growing year after year just because I like the bloom. It hasn't every performed anywhere near well enough for registration but somehow always seems to make the cut when I decide who gets to stay around another year.

October 13th, 2017

Excitement is building as the weather forecasters are predicting several days next week with lows in the 50's and highs in the 70's - perfect weather to start on my fall projects. I'm trying to get as many non-daylily related chores done before it gets cool so I can really enjoy being outside. Yesterday I fertilized the roses and hybiscus and did some more weed control. I also picked up a few bags of composted cow manure that I'll need in my first daylily project.

Seedling 02-021

Seedling 02-021 is all about the color, a nice medium pink with a bright pink eye. It has 6" blooms on 30" scapes and comes from the cross (Great White X Strawberry Fields Forever).

October 11th, 2017

We got a little taste of fall today with morning temperatures in the low 60's. Unfortunately it will be gone by tomorrow so I had to be satisfied with trimming the roses and some weeding. I'm holding off on any real fall projects until we get some extended cooler weather.

Seedling 05-038

Seedling 05-038 is probably the last of my seedlings to begin blooming each year. It comes from the cross (Edge of Heaven X J.T. Davis). These are both mid-season bloomers and most of the resulting seedings from this cross were also mid-season bloomers. 05-038 is late getting started because of the way it performs. It has a bud count in the mid 20's on 5-way branching and it reblooms at least once with the rebloom scape also having a similar bud count. By the time both scapes have finished blooming the plants are usually on the small side. I believe it's this weakened state that causes the bloom to start late because it takes a while for the plants to fully recover from the previous year's bloom.

October 7th, 2017

I'm still waiting for the first 'real' cool front of the fall season so I can get started in earnest on my fall projects. There have been a couple of 'not so warm' fronts (local weather guy's terminology) but they haven't lasted long. So for now I have to be satisfied with just trying to keep up with the weeds (smile).

Seedling 15-062

Every once in a while a seedling will come along that even though it doesn't seem particularly special, will still make it to the evaluation bed. Seedling 15-062 is one of those seedlings. When I look at the picture and the recorded bud count I sometimes wonder why I selected it. When it is blooming however, it always seems to catch my attention. It has also catches the attention of garden visitors who frequently ask about it. It has 5.5" blooms on 20" scapes and comes from the cross (Honky Tonk Floozy X Jessica Lynn Bell).

September 24th, 2017

I keep records of the any seedlings that make it to the evaluation beds. I keep the info in a Microsoft Access Database. The database includes the same data that's used to register a daylily like bloom size, scape height, bud count and branching, parentage, etc... I also include a picture. Every year I review the database pictures and replace any where I've taken a better picture. Even if the seedling is later discarded I keep the data. I just mark it as no longer in my garden.

Today I realized that I hadn't gone back and updated the database with the 2017 season pictures. So I spent a couple of hours replacing pictures with better ones. This review is often quite revealing. It shows which seedlings have improved since the previous year and I'm always surprised at how many do improve. Of course there are always those that I had hoped would improve that didn't, but that's part of hybridizing.

Seedling 14-029

Seedling 14-029 didn't make it into the evaluation bed because it has a knockout bloom. It's attractive enough but it's being evaluated because it is a great performer. While the first year bud count was only 10 on 2-way branching, in 2016 it had a bud count of 28 on 5-way branching. It also reblooms very well.

September 20th, 2017

Today I reviewed the newly marked seedlings from this past season's bloom selecting about 40 of the best for further evaluation. Using my bed map I identified the parentage for each of these seedlings and entered the info in my spreadsheet. I don't update my database until the seedlings are actually moved to the evaluation beds. As this was the second year for this bed to bloom, all remaining seedlings will be given to my yard guy (that will make his wife happy).

During bloom time when marking possible keepers I write the number on a white plastic flag using a sharpie. Sometimes, over the summer the sun can fade the black ink even when the flag is folded with the numbers on the inside. This year I had no trouble reading the numbers on the flags.

Seedling 14-010

Seedling 14-010 comes from the cross (Edwardian Charm X Happy Halloween). It has 5" blooms on 22" scapes.

September 17th, 2017

Yesterday I completed analyzing the garden changes for this fall and I sure have my work cut out for me. All the landscape timbers in the back yard bed beds have to be replaced as they have reached the end of their useful life (and then some). About 250 of the 300 or so daylilies that I grow are currently in pots and the plan is to get them all in the ground but before I do that the beds need to have compost added and tilled in. This will probably be the last big rework for my garden and I'll have to hire someone to do the tilling.

I've decided to relinquish the bed next to the driveway. To accomplish this I'll be re-establishing the bed in the back yard that I closed last fall. This will allow me to move the daylilies from this bed to the back yard. Then all my daylilies will be in the ground. Experience has taught me that many daylilies just don't do well in pots when the hot summer temperatures set in. Previously, I had moved all my daylilies to pots thinking I might move to the country when I retired and I wanted my daylilies "packed and ready to move" (smile). Now that I have decided to stay where I am the plants need to go back in the ground so they can grow properly.

Seedling 08-029

Today's image is seedling 08-029. It has 7" blooms on 30" scapes and comes from the cross (Sheer Excitement X Zephyr's Song). The only issue I have with this seedling is that it sometimes blooms so much the plants get quite small by the end of the summer. It's been doing this for 9 years now but always comes back the following year.

September 15th, 2017

The first step in preparing a plan for this fall's garden updates is to do an overall analysis to identify bed changes I want to accomplish. I'm cutting back on the number of daylilies I grow plus I'll be transplanting most of my potted daylilies back into beds. This will necessitate a major restructuring. I also want to provide better spacing for my plants. In the past, in an attempt to cram more daylilies into my limited space, I grew them so close together that it was sometimes difficult to tell which foliage went with which cultivar. Having some space between clumps makes for a more attractive garden (IMHO).

Seedling 10-087

Seedling 10-087 comes from the cross [Open My Eyes X (Hedwig's Eyes x Spacecoast Gold Bonanza)]. It has 5.5" blooms on 24" scapes. So far the bud count has only been in the mid teens but I like the bloom so I'll probably continue growing it.

September 13th, 2017

Cooler fall weather usually starts here about mid October and that's only a few weeks away. Fall is the time of year that I do all my garden renovating and this year I have a lot of changes planned. My main objective is to get all my potted daylilies back in the ground except for the bed next to the driveway. Those will have to remain in pots because of the root invasion from the neighbor's huge oak. After spending so much time indoors during the heat of the summer, I look forward to getting back outside again.

Seedling 15-066

Today's image is seedling 15-066. It has 6" blooms on 29" scapes and comes from the cross (Mississippi Memento X Thomas Tew).

September 4th, 2017

Harvey really overstayed his visit but has finally moved on. We got at least 36" of rain over 4 days but there could have been several inches more because my rain gauge overtopped overnight on Saturday. We came through the event with nothing more than a good helping of concern and a little inconvenience (my internet was down for a couple of days). It was much worse for many thousands of Houston area residents with thousands flooded out of their homes so I consider us to be very lucky. It stopped raining 6 days ago and the daylilies in pots already need watering. All-in-all a pretty good report considering the events of the past 10 days.

Sunshine Kisses (Jarvis 2010)

I still have a few daylilies that have been blooming which is not unusual for this time of year. I took this image this morning and decided to post it. Sunshine Kisses is a mid-season bloomer but it did better than usual this year. It has already sent up 3 sets of scapes with this scape being the 4th. It has 5.5" blooms on 28" scapes and is a vigorous grower.

August 27th, 2017

So far hurricane Harvey has dumped about 20" of rain in my garden in less than 48 hours. Daylilies love rain but this is a bit much...

Daydream Spirit (Jarvis, 2010)

This is Daydream Spirit. It has 5" blooms on 24" scapes. It comes from the cross (Senegal X Sherry Lane Carr).

August 26th, 2017

Hurricane Harvey is keeping me inside today. No direct hit here but we've been having on-again, off-again rain all day. The 3.6" of rain yesterday and last night was most welcome as are the mild temperatures today. The forecast is still calling for up to another 24" of rain over the next 5 days so everyone in Houston is remaining alert.

Seedling 16-117

Today's seedling is 16-117. It has a 5.5" bloom on 28" scapes. It comes from the cross {Midnight Amulet X [Mask Of Eternity x (Islesworth x Awesome Blossom)]}.

August 19th 2017

There is one day every year that I find to be very sad. It's the 'first day without a bloom'. The daylilies started blooming in earnest back in April. Since then there has been at least one bloom open in my garden every day... until today that is.

I really can't complain as I had continuous blooms for over 4 months and blooming is not completely over. I still have a couple of scapes with buds and about a half dozen new scapes that haven't bloomed yet.

Seedling 10-046

Today's seedling is what one that I used a 'bridge plant'. It isn't something that I would ever consider registering even though it did win a purple ribbon in our daylily show in 2013. It just isn't that pretty (IMHO). What it does offer however is it gives some interesting seedlings when used as a parent plant. When I crossed it with Shipwreck Cove (a cream with a dark purple eye and edge) I got some seedlings with lavender eyes and edges and green throats. These seedlings were striking but most haven't performed up to my standards for bud count, etc...

Seedling 10-046 has 6" blooms on 20" scapes and comes from the cross {Always Baroque X (Hedwig's Eyes x Spacecoast Starburst)}.

August 17th, 2017

The summer doldrums continue with 'feels like' temperatures reaching the mid to upper 100's during the hottest part of the day. Because I no longer have to deal with the '9 to 5' I find the summers to be much more bearable than before. Early morning temperatures are warm but my front yard beds are all in the shade for the first couple of hours. The back yard beds on the other hand, are in the shade beginning in the late afternoon. In the early evening temperatures can still be in the 90's but lower relative humidity levels and a typical nice breeze can actually make it more pleasant in the garden than the early morning. Of course I still have weed issues but overall the garden looks better than it used to at this time of year.

Seedling 15-068

Seedling 15-068 was one of the last ones to make the cut for evaluation in 2015. It's a nice pink with a bold red eye and edge but was a relatively small plant with mediocre bud count. Nevertheless, I decided to see what it could do because I liked the colors. The bloom actually got a little better this year but overall performance still has it on the 'probably not' list. It has a 5" bloom on 20" scapes. I have no idea what the parentage is on this one.

August 11th, 2017

I have always heard that serious daylily hybridizers have "programs" that target specific goals. Just about anything can be considered a program such as increasing the size of patterned daylilies, sunfast reds, green edges, etc... Years ago I decided that my program would be large dark purples with wide petals and ruffles. A noble goal indeed especially in the early 90's when there were not a lot of good purple daylilies to work with. Still, I persisted and bought many purple daylilies to start my program. I suppose things might have worked out better if I knew then what I know now but to say the program was a flop would be kind.

After a couple of years with nothing to show for it, I read somewhere that at that time purples were the most difficult color to hybridize with and because the number of good seedlings compared to the total number planted was so small, it was best suited to the larger hybridizers who planted tens of thousands of seedlings every year. So I decided that I needed to change to a program to something simpler that produced better results. In the end I decided that just creating daylilies that I like was what I really wanted to do.

Seedling 15-043

This is seedling 15-043. It has 6" blooms on 25" scapes. It comes from the cross (Frank's Hot Tamale X Bella Vita). The midribs through the red eye gives the appearance of the eye being segmented instead of a solid band of color.

August 9th, 2017

We've been having 'happy daylily' weather. During the past 5 days we had 5.5" of rain, with 4.5" of it coming a couple of nights ago. Usually, when we get multiple inches of rain from the same storm it often falls quickly causing much of it to run off. In this case it rained for over 5 straight hours giving much of it a chance to soak in.

Seedling 16-096

Today's seedling is 16-096. It has a 5" bloom on 31" scapes.

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