'Love and Dazzle' (Lamb-K. 2006)

'Love and Dazzle' (Lamb-K. 2006)
A Loon Song Gardens daylily introduction.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

'Betty Ford' at Loon Song Gardens

The daylily 'Betty Ford' in Loon Song Gardens—
FFO on July 8, 2011

Betty Ford died yesterday, July 8, 2011, at age 93. In addition to being former First Lady, she was a noted advocate for women's health and wellness. Yesterday, on the very day she died, the daylily named in her honor had its FFO (first flower open) at Loon Song Gardens.

'Betty Ford' is a 5.5" sunfast garnet red flower with a watermark halo, registered in 2002 by renowned daylily hybridizer David Kirchhoff. You can see a hint of the outstanding branching and bud count in the photo. Being EE (extra-early), 'Betty Ford' is usually finished blooming by the time of our local club tours. Because bloom season started a bit later in 2011, visitors may still have a chance to see flowers on July 23 during the AHS Region One Summer Regional tour.

We are excited to have hybridizer David Kirchhoff as our 2011 Summer Regional guest speaker and special Garden Judges Instructor.

We have scapes! We have buds! We have blooms! See you soon!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July 2011

Future intro, Seedling D3030:
A small twisted crispate Unusual Form diploid.

I hope all Americans enjoyed a Happy Fourth of July holiday! We took advantage of the weather and spent our days in the garden, preparing for the AHS Region One Summer Regional tour on July 23. In the wee hours last night, tremendous bolts of lightning lit up the sky, with booming thunder shaking the house. I might have heard hail, but luckily, when I checked this morning, I saw no significant damage, just a few storm-beaten blooms here and there.

One of my future intros has its FFO (first flower open) today: D3030, a small diploid twisted crispate Unusual Form (see photo above). This is the season of observing FFOs, i.e., first flowers open. It is much simpler to track now before the explosion of FFOs we will see in a week or two.

The rain was welcome after several days of extreme heat. The daylily foliage seems to have toughened up during the last month. After our first bout of 100°F temps in June, the tender new leaves were a bit burned, but for this round, the foliage didn't miss a beat. On the plus side, the heat will help the bloom season catch up. So far, we are about ten days behind our usual bloom schedule. Daylilies love sunshine and water, and they look very happy today.

In bloom today (not all FFO today, but close): 'Chippewa Bride' (one of the earliest here), 'Stella's Ruffled Fingers' (another early), 'Lynn's Delight', 'Omaha Sunshine', 'Piper Mitchell', 'First Bird', 'Stone Beacon', 'Schnickel Fritz', 'Tooth', 'Waiting in the Wings', 'Star of India', 'Skyhooks', and 'Cameroon Night'.

My 2010 intro 'Grape Kiss' has lots of scapes and buds with several instant rebloom scapes emerging. In the north, we get more bloom for the buck with a higher bud count and good scape production, which are two of my breeding goals. Rebloom can be unreliable in cold climates, but it is a nice bonus when we can get it. I am pleased to see that 'Grape Kiss' reblooms consistently for me.

'Grape Kiss' (Lamb-K. 2010), showing lots of scapes, buds,
plus instant rebloom scapes.

We have been enjoying spectacular clematis blooms this season. Nature brings other delights, including pileated woodpeckers, herons, cardinals, and noisy wrens. We spotted a red-headed turkey vulture last weekend. Actually, it seemed to have spotted us, but then changed its mind about its dinner plans as it swooped closer. During evenings we hear owls hooting, foxes barking, and loons calling.

A couple weeks ago, we discovered a huge, old snapping turtle that had dropped by for a visit. Mike's sister GrĂ©the was helping here and thought at first that we had added a new garden decor item! June is the month when turtles travel from their watery homes to look for a spot to lay eggs, so maybe that's why it was here for those few days. If it was looking for sand, I'm afraid it was disappointed by the heavy clay it found. We are close to water, but it's a long uphill hike—especially for turtle legs. Such amazing creatures!

A surprise at Loon Song Gardens—
one enormous snapping turtle!

We are looking forward to further "adventures" plus a great bloom season! Hope to see many of you this July.

Best regards,