Monday, May 23, 2011
I love daylilies, and I have loved them for a long time. My first memories of daylilies are of the orange ditch lily, Hemerocallis fulva 'Europa', which grew in the ditch line past my grandparents house. My grandmother, mother and aunt all loved flowers and grew lots of them. I saw my first hybrid cultivars of daylilies when I was perhaps six or seven years old. We received the Gilbert H. Wild and Sons catalog throughout my childhood and grew many of their offerings. My first daylily cultivars were 'Winnie the Pooh' and 'Melon Balls'. I was eight years old when I got those on an order my aunt made to Wilds. When Stella de Oro became widely available in the eighties, we began growing her and then added many new kinds through the nineties and the last decade.
I have come to appreciate many daylily cultivars, both tet and dip. I love the species forms and both ploidy of hybrids. There is not one particular form I prefer, but I do like ufo and spider forms, especially cascades. I have come to appreciate substance of flower and performance of plant. Over the years, I have grown daylilies in many diverse settings and levels of care. I have found that a great many daylilies are tough plants that can survive considerable competition and neglect. However, they grow largest and flower best with some care.
For the past fifteen years my work with poultry has kept me from working with the daylily to the extent that I wanted. Now, I have greatly reduced my level of research with poultry and have come back to the daylily to work with this fantastic and diverse plant. I hope to apply my appreciation of plant performance and garden qualities with my knowledge of breeding and strain formation in my future work with daylily breeding. As well, my past experience in selection for vigor, hardiness and disease resistance will give me a good basis from which to select for these traits in the daylily. I consider those traits of utmost importance and central to the development of sound strains.