Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Trip to Whip City!

A small section of Lori's yard that shows Pequot Pond in the background -- Beautiful!

This past July I had the pleasure of visiting Lori Jones out in Westfield, Massachusetts. She specializes in tetraploid unusual forms and, wow, what a show her garden put on. You can view both her website and her blog. Harmon Hill Farm in Nashua, New Hampshire also sells many of her earlier introductions.

Lori invited me to her garden several years ago at the Region 4 Picnic at Harmon Hill. This summer, I finally made up my mind to visit, and with no regrets! Her garden was around, if not in, peak bloom and, although it was a very hot day, the breeze off of the charming pond was refreshing. 

Over the past several years, Lori has been trying to "shake-up" her program by adding all the current bells and whistles to her Unusual Forms: ruffling and teeth. To do this, she has used the genetics from her friend, Mark Labbe, as well as other hybridizers. While perhaps a generation or two away from her ideal goal, her results thus far have been promising!

15-1588

Above is an example of her efforts thus far. This seedling (I have not inquired about the parentage since I neglected to take pollen), while not a UFO, could easily be crossed with something to make it a cascade, crispate etc.. And, if you direct you attention to the left petal of the flower, you will see some little teeth forming. I'm sure next year the teeth will be better for Lori, considering that this seedling was only planted last year.

I did, perhaps, come a tad too early in the season to see the majority of her seedling with teeth, but I was still blown away by her "typical" seedlings and registrations. A few photos:

'Whip City Coo Coo Cachoo' (Jones-L. 2015)
This photo does not do this plant justice, stunning in a clump, and TALL!

14-930 
My favorite from all her seedlings I saw this day. This drew me from across the garden, the color pops THAT much! Has a toothy parent, too! Looks like their might even be some sculpting...

LJ 11-1267 (Whip City Candy Canes)
I don't recall any comments from Lori regarding a possible introduction of this one, but stunning in a clump overlooking the water! Look at that veining! Reminds Lori of a candy cane.

10-888 (Whip City Calypso Disco)
One might think, "Just a simple red" but this notion would be wrong! Lori said she'll register this next year and, if you're looking for a sunfast red, this will be the one to get! Wowed me with its presence!

This is just a small sample of what was showing at "Knoll Cottage" that day. I must say that, although I do not currently work with tetraploid UFOs, I took SO much pollen from Lori's garden because the plants were just that stunning. Even though her seedlings are close together due to limited space (a problem I, too, face!) her plants were still able to preform splendidly. I also, in the past, have seen her plants grown at Harmon Hill and they, too, amazed me with their vibrant colors (and charming names!). There was one last seedling that I wanted to share:

15-1508

This is another one of Lori's seedlings that has a toothy parent. I really am just in love with the color! It was very short with low bud-count but, quite frankly, this means absolutely nothing since this was the first year it bloomed. I'm excited to use this pollen with my yet-to-bloom seedling out of Vampire Fish. Oh the possibilities... 

I'll end this post with a few more glimpses of Lori's garden:





Sunday, January 3, 2016

About Me

Hi, and welcome to my daylily hybridizing blog. My name is Andrew Reilly, currently living in zone 6b, Boston, Massachusetts. I joined the American Hemerocallis Society in the Winter of 2008 at just 9 years old after discovering daylilies the previous summer. I began hybridizing in the Summer of 2009 and I've been locked in ever since! My first year yielded little success, but my lack of a seed crop was supplemented by extra seeds from Mike Huben, a hybridizer well known for his hardy, northern-reblooming diploids. In the Summer of 2010, I got my first successful crop of seeds and have been pursuing my own lines with these seedlings and various registered cultivars that I own. I mainly do diploids, but I'm pursuing teeth and dark reds with tetraploids. I scoff at those who claim that their breeding programs are small as they "plant only a few thousand seedlings a year." I'm lucky if I plant 100 seedlings. Because of the lack of land available to be (aka, not claimed by my parents for garden space), my program has moved slowly. Nevertheless, my collection of cultivars is growing, and I'm excited for the directions that it will take me in the future. If you have an questions or comments, please feel free to email me at deepsea@icloud.com. I hope all of you have an excellent growing season in 2016.

Peach Skin (Reilly-A., 2016)

36", EMRe, 3.5", Melon with Variable Red Stippling and Streaking, Dormant, Diploid, Fragrant, 4 Branches, 18 Buds
(Sugar Candy x Helicopter)
Well I've gone and done it: my first registration! I felt kind of guilty for registering it at first, considering there are those who have been breeding far longer than I and have not registered anything, as well as the fact that I ended up with this seedling by mistake! There probably won't be another registration from me for a while, unless I get another surprise like 'Peach Skin.'
I can certainly say that I never expected to get such coloring when I crossed a pink with a melon.The naming of 'Peach Skin' comes from the unique broken pattern that has become a bit of a fad of late. Peaches often have a variable skin, ranging from light yellow to a darker red. The melon and salmon red of 'Peach Skin' reminded me of this, hence the name. Here are a few photos that demonstrate this (pardon the low quality):



What a chameleon this flower is! It ranges from an almost solid, to streaked, to faintly stippled. It's always a treat to see what face it has on each day.
'Peach Skin' typically has 1 or 2 lateral branches with a terminal Y and 16-20 buds. Standing 3 feet tall, it has a light, graceful air about it, reminiscent of the Huben lines from which it stems. From 'Helicopter,' 'Peach Skin' inherited rebloom. Peach Skin's instant rebloom scapes, beginning to rise from the bottom of the plant a day or two before the initial scapes begin to flower, are about a foot shorter than the original scapes and only have 8-9 buds, but it prolongs the plant's flowering by about a week (blooming June 26- July 25 in 2015). I don't want to bill Peach Skin as a Northern rebloomer because I have only seen it rebloom 2 of the 3 years that it has bloomed for me. I expect it will rebloom more profusely further south.
Speaking of rebloom, I crossed Peach Skin with Dappled Dynamo (Derrow, 2013) this summer. Both rebloom and both are stippled; the seedlings should be interesting to say the least! Peach Skin is ridiculously pod fertile and sets a bee pod on nearly every blossom if you don't deadhead. Pollen is just as fertile.
Above, you can see how the top petal has a straight line splitting the petal into two zones: stippled and  streaked. Interesting! The three photos below (along with the photo at the top of this blog post) are images of different blossoms open on the same day. Truly variable:


I find fault in the foliage, as it takes after Sugar Candy in that it is very broad and a medium shade of green. Certainly not ugly, but something that could be improved upon.
As for availability, I lined out a handful of Peach Skin in the fall, figuring that there wouldn't be all that much demand for it considering my relative obscureness. I'm not going to put a price on it yet, but will in the Spring when I see how much I actually lined out. If I recall correctly, most are single fans or a double fan consisting of a larger and a smaller one. Email me if you have any questions at deepsea@icloud.com.



AR11AR.73



4.5", EM, 27", MuddyWine Bitone w/ DarkerBand and YellowThroat, Dormant, Diploid, 3 branches, 17 buds
(Sugar Candy * Huben Seedling)
Wow! Look at this horribly muddy color! I'm not sure what else I could have expected from a cross between a pink and a rust-colored daylily, but that would be the inexperience talking. I crossed nearly everything with Sugar Candy because it was the daylily with the prettiest color in my garden at the time, but crossing it with everything Huben was a smart idea in retrospect because the offspring could have some nice color with great plant habit! Well, looks like the color got left out with this seedling. I was ready to toss it in July after it stopped blooming, but then I noticed something strange happening: small buds were forming out of the now fruitless scape! Yes, it is a bud-builder. This was very exciting for me because I had never actually seen bud-building in my own garden, and that's just as great as rebloom! Because of the bud-building, this seedling bloomed from June 29 to September 12th! However, there was about a three week gap between flowerings, which is not ideal. Nonetheless, it added (muddy and disgusting) color to the late garden. Breeding is all about correcting flaws, so now I just need to find a clear-colored bud-builder to cross it with. I'm up for the challenge.
I wish I could link you to Mike's page to read about the pollen parent, but the seedling was not selected. If you click here, you can see a sibling. Looks like it came out of dark scape breeding. I do have one photo of it though, just no information regarding the bloom season, height, etc. Looks like AR11AR.73 took its color after its pollen parent: 



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

AR10AR.95

4", EM, 33", DeepYellowSelf with small GreenThroat, Dormant, Diploid, 4 branches, 20 buds
(Sugar Candy x Helicopter)
I am in LOVE with this seedling! You can't really see in the picture, but there is a light orange overlay in the color that really contributes to the deep, unique, yellow. I know many people have things against yellow daylilies because they're "common," but I think that this mindset is wrong. There are so many different shades of yellow that really stand out and serve an important place in the garden. Take a look at the backs of the sepals, interesting:
I would register this, too, like its sibling (which will be registered next year), but a major fault is that the scapes lean. However the very nice branching and unique color make it a nice bridge plant. Its form is also reminiscent of an unusual form, so I think that crossing it into UFo forms would work smoothly. This year, I crossed it with the newly acquired and amazing 'Lemon Ice Tea,' by Margo Reed. Something else that intrigues me about this seedling is that by the end of the day, the ends of the petals and sepals bleach out to a lighter yellow:
Not sure how I feel about it, but I don't think that this look in unattractive in entirety. I definitely want to remake the cross because I only saw 5 bloom and 4 were stunning! (I threw away one, which I regret, but the three I kept are amazing!)

Monday, August 10, 2015

AR11AR.33

25", M, 4.5", BlackRed Self with Orange Throat, Tetraploid, 5 branches, 36 buds
(Notorious * Congo Dancer)
Now, don't be fooled by the high budcount and branching. It is terribly branched, with all of the buds bunched together in a compact manner. The scape is so think and so dense with buds that it could easily support a small bird or two if they were to perch on it. Although pod fertile, the pollen is a bit iffy. When multiple blooms are open on the same day, only some appear to actually have pollen on their anthers. Even when a bloom does have pollen, only some of the anthers have it. I hope that this will change next year, as this was the first year for it to bloom. The color is just what I wanted when I envisioned this cross. Now I have the hard part: trying to breed good plant habits into this line. The foliage of this one is also too stiff for me. The color also fades throughout the day from an almost black to a deep red. I believe that this seedling is darker than the photo shows: as many daylily lovers woefully admit, it is extremely hard to capture deep, velvety reds like this on camera. I have high hopes for this seedling, and crossed with it this year to grow my red tetraploid line. I'll leave you with a few more photos:
 The velvety texture is apparent in the photo above. Very close to actual color, wish it was a more head-on photo.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

AR11AR.82

18", EE, 4", LightYellow with PeachOverlay, ?, diploid, 3 way branching, 13 buds
(AR09MH.16 * AR09MH.33) ---> ((A Small Multitude * Swiss Diplomat) * AR09MH.33)
A light yellow extra early! It first bloomed June 16th this year (normally some earlies would have started blooming at this time, but because of the extreme winter we've had here in New England, things are pushed back about two weeks). Both parents are early, so I'm not surprised by its bloom season. If it was only an early, I probably would not have kept it because the flower isn't too special and the bud count is kind of low. Two aspects of the flower that I like, however, are the delicate ruffles that it has and a peach overlay, which I have tried to capture on camera, but sadly my efforts have been fruitless. I'm planning on crossing it with colorful things this year to hopefully achieve extra earlies in other colors than yellow. I anticipate that the F1 generation of these crosses will be muddy and probably won't be extra earlies, but that's why hybridizers must not be so rash when selecting seedlings: an F1 that doesn't have all the qualities you desire could be the key to the "dream" garden plant when used in breeding.