Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Retain the term 'dormant'. Do not change this to 'deciduous'.

Retain the term 'dormant'. Do not change this to 'deciduous'.


PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK TO SIGN A PETITION THAT WILL BE SENT TO THE AHS PRESIDENT, NIKKI SCHMITH, IN ORDER TO PREVENT THE TERM 'DORMANT' FROM BEING CHANGED TO THE TERM 'DECIDUOUS'.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

EVERGREEN EXPOSE


Would any everyday gardener put up with sick looking foliage on tulips, daffodils, irises, peonies or perennials when they emerge in spring? The answer is no. Then why do we, in the AHS, subliminally agree to tolerate the goo-balls and tangled, browned ‘fans’ of Evergreen daylilies upon emergence, throughout most of the country?

When we hybridize with evergreens we get results that will not satisfy anybody who craves beauty and health as an integral part of their existence. What is ornamental gardening for if not the fulfillment of those pure aesthetic energies?  What about the serious gardener who enjoys collecting the latest varieties? It just doesn’t do the WONDERFUL GENUS of Hemerocallis justice.

What are the factors playing into this increasingly shady issue? Money is likely the biggest. Status too. They usually go together. In the 80’s and 90’s several large daylily nurseries were established in central Florida. They set up business and sold very large quantities of evergreen daylilies, hybridized in a sub-tropical climate (thus multiplying quickly). These varieties commanded high prices, much higher than a typical perennial, about 2,000% higher. Yeah, no kidding. And they weren’t even hardy. They were tender and prone to disease. These evergreens were very well-suited to Florida, but little place else. However, they were widely disseminated across the entire country and into Canada. Most performed in a very substandard way. Many declined or perished…because they are not cold hardy – winter hardy. And it gets cold in most of the USA. Good and frosty cold.

Why then, did people buy these daylilies? I’ll tell you why. We bought them on faith, and we wanted them because advancements were made in terms of ruffling, edges and heavy substance. It is very tempting to buy something when opening a catalog filled with (sometimes color enhanced) gorgeous photographs during a long cold winter. Gardeners and hybridizers shelled out gladly for the exotic beauties. There was a sense of glamour and newness, like discovering a new galaxy full of glittering stars. Many upcoming hybridizers used these varieties to hybridize with, wanting to emulate the big breeders or just have a bit of the BIG ROMANCE. Because that’s what all this evergreen business is – a big romance, one that cannot endure on substance or quality over time.

Every member of a society, group, community or neighborhood wants to feel that they have something of value to contribute. As a tribal species this is indeed very instinctual and necessary for our wellbeing. When individuals do their best to share their ideas and accomplishments with anticipatory joy and are subsequently ridiculed, the outcome is feeling they are of no viable consequence to the group, the tribe. But we are all of value. Every single member is of value in some very intrinsic way. More valuable than they know.

Some successful individuals set out to deliberately manipulate the system to win a disproportionately huge number of awards. Administrators and committee members write a disproportionately high number of Journal articles. There is precious little chance for the average, humble member of personal integrity to be appreciated, get noticed at all, none the less win an award or see their name in print. Sure it happens from time to time on a token basis and then the implicit agreement is to be faithful to the 1%. This is what is going on in the American Hemerocallis Society today. It is fashioned and shaped behind the scenes for that top 1% to reap the glory.


Evergreen 2/21/17
Evergreen 2/21/17
Healthy dormant at Patterned Daylilies 2/21/17
normal perennial monarda emerging 2/21/17
Healthy dormant at Patterned Daylilies 2/21/17

Membership has plummeted. From 12,000 members to currently scraping just 5,000 members we still hear self-congratulatory remarks concerning the ‘buoyancy’ of membership, as if we are now proud of our inflatable-raft emergency. Only dropped a few percent in the last few months? Well fine then, no reason to panic. Let’s keep leaning into the oligarchy and build it ever stronger. Some members simply jumped ship to avoid this pressure chamber but many were given a firm push. And I was given that push myself but my husband dried my tears and told me I wasn’t a quitter. All this, because I reported what I observed in an honest way. A kindly put truth I might say. I wrote a solicited article about daylily dormancy for the AHS journal that was incredibly, rudely rejected. It went on to be well received by a very large proportion of members and published elsewhere by individuals of integrity and high standards for the beloved daylily. It is too difficult for me to say nothing after this recent high-jacking of self-evident facts - in regards to changing the word dormant to deciduous. All in order to confabulate the real meaning of the term dormant and lull northerners again. Can we just act like rational people and not go along with what some radical person is purporting? I really hope so.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hedonist

                                                                                                              strong Hedonist seedlings
Hedonist has lusty red blooms with lightbulb white breaks and a complementary small green throat. Sometimes the blooms are tinged with notes of cinnamon or plum, it just depends on temperature variations. Petals are roundish with a light ruffle and the sepals are flat.

This plant is seriously vigorous having large, deep green fans. Fertile both ways. Totally northern hardy as the pollen parent is a hard dormant with teal green foliage. Very good branching and bud-count.

5.5" flowers
28" scapes
Mixed Habit (in between dormant and evergreen)
Late season bloom

Velvet Manners X (red patterned seedling x Four Beasts in One)

$200  Sold out for 2016

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Zyzzified

Zyzzified continues the excitement that Four Beasts in One started. Add a ruffle and a more expanded pattern on a lighter yellow base. This photo depicts the extreme best, but I couldn't help showing it off. It more commonly looks like the photo below. Sunfast is fair with some softening on high dew point days or in heavy rain.

I think this will be a versatile breeder because of its mixed habit. The plant is strong, healthy and makes prolifs naturally. I never use bap, ever. The scapes are straight with good branching and loads of buds - nothing to complain about there.

6" flowers
31" scapes
Mixed habit
Early season bloom

Seedling x Four Beasts in One

$200 - sold out for 2016





Cherry Bliss

A big splashy pattern of deep cherry with a brushstroke of fig at the base and a vivid green throat. Though the colors do tend to fade by afternoon these large flowers are open wide early in the morning. The scent is like cherry pie baking in the oven, though I do admit to a suggestible imagination.

Cherry Bliss has huge fans and big scapes with good branching and blooms aplenty. The arching leaves cascade with unusual twists and twirls.

6" flowers
32" scapes
Dormant
Early

Seedling x Seedling (no relation to the FBIO lines)

$200 sold out for 2016

Friday, August 21, 2015

She Sells Seashells

Patterns call to mind so many things we love to gaze at - kaleidoscopes (I won't coopt that name from Mark), butterflies, most obviously, rainbows and ancient script. But this particular daylily holds a shell-like fascination with its form, coloration and a tendency towards mother of pearl patterns. Sunfast and opens a bit slower on cool mornings.

A very hardy and vigorous blue-green dormant. Well-branched scapes explode with plentiful flowers.

5.5" flowers
28" scapes
Dormant
Mid season bloom with possible rebloom
Seedling x Four Beasts in One


$200 sold out for 2016

Percussion

Percussive vibrations emanate from a small olive throat. The pattern is chestnut red on honey yellow, rounded petals and sepals. More sunfast than some and a lot of intricate pattern fun.

The plant is a hard dormant with tidy arching fans that emerge with clever caution. Fair branching and bud count.

5.5" flowers
30" scapes
Dormant
Mid season bloom, sometimes rebloom

Seedling x Seedling (Four Beasts in One grandparent)

$200 sold out for 2016
Photo by William Marchant

Chubbykins

Chubby blooms of heavy substance, a big ruffle (for a pattern at least) on a stocky plant with chubby fans. The grape and cream blooms have clear breaks some days and are filled with silver metallic glints on others.

The plant is a hardy blue-green dormant with good branching and bud count. Overall you get an impression of chunkiness and somewhat smaller blooms with rich coloration.
5" flowers
27" scapes
Dormant
Early season bloom

(Answering Angels x Oceans Eleven) X Four Beasts in One

$200 sold out for 2016