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

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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