Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Daylilies!


I've almost reached the end of planting out my winter-sown seedlings - only six containers left! I'm pleased with how many perennials I sprouted this year, and surprised at a few that didn't sprout at all for me. Winter sowing has been a great, inexpensive way for me to try plants. I've put a picture above of some of my seedlings in their recycled containers.

I got my daylily seedlings planted out - all 50ish of them, all winter-sown. In two to three years they'll bloom, and then I can decide which ones to keep, and give away or compost the rest. I figure if I get 2-3 good garden plants with special blooms each year, I'm ahead of the game. Big-league hybridizers might plant 1000s of seeds every year, and keep only the dozen best out of all of those to name and sell as their "new introductions" for a particular year. I really need to join the American Hemerocallis Society (daylilies are from the genus Hemerocallis), so I can eventually officially name, register and introduce my plants, if I think any are worth it. The big-name hybridizers can sell their new introductions for $75-150/plant, and sometimes even more. I can't imagine buying any plant for that much money (except a tree), and I can't imagine selling one for that much. But, it sure is fun to look at what's being bred and sold. I love seeing what's new from the Shooter family at Marietta Gardens, or from Melanie and Bob Mason at North Country Daylilies. I could spend HUNDREDS of dollars at either nursery, if I had such an amount to throw around.



I guess it's like any "fancy" (cat fancy, dog fancy, guinea pig fancy, ad infinitum) - people who develop an interest in a particular breed of plant or animal soon learn to speak a whole new language. It took me a while to figure out some of the jargon. SEVs? Dips? Tets? SPUFs? Bagels? What the heck?? I'm somewhat fluent in daylily-speak now, but try not to use it on unsuspecting victims (i.e. people who see my flowers and ask innocent questions, like, "What is that flower?"). They just want to hear, "It's a daylily," not, "That's one of my favorite daylilies, it's called 'Fairy Tale Pink.' It's a SEV, a peachy-pink self with a chartreuse throat, a rebloomer, and a Stout Silver Medal winner." THEY DON'T CARE. It's a pretty flower; that's all the information they want, lol.

For those who DO care, I am trying to breed hardy daylilies for the north, ones with an old-fashioned open form and clear, striking colors. No "chicken fat" on the edges, no minis, no "bagels," no super-SPUFs, just tough, hardy plants with good foliage, elegant flowers, and a high bud count on medium-tall scapes. Eyes and patterns or stripes would be fun (I've got a number of crosses with 'Pink Stripes' growing now), but I'm not anticipating the next "it" plant to bloom in my garden any time soon.

In other news, I had a root canal on Monday. The procedure went well, and it wasn't too achy until I ground my teeth in the night last night and woke myself up in PAIN. Now it's sensitive again. Advil is a good thing. I have another tooth right next to that one (with a crown and a root canal already) that's going bad (well, bad to worse). No fun there - it'll either be another root canal and crown, or an extraction, to "fix" that problem. Gotta get all that done before our dental insurance changes midsummer. I am so grateful for good dental care, but I am SO tired of needing it.

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