'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,


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Website update for June 2011

Today I repaired broken links in my Loon Song Gardens Price List for 2011. The web server was also down for maintenance this weekend. If you recently visited and ran into problems, please give it another try.

Thanks to those who helped by letting me know the links did not work!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Early summer bloom

Sunday, June 5, 2011, was a perfectly beautiful day in the garden. Lilacs still perfume the air as bloom continues with Korean and 'Miss Kim' varieties. The photo above shows lilacs in bloom on June 5, 2011, sharing a border with Lady's Mantle (Achemilla mollis) and 'Obsidian' Heuchera.

Historic Hemerocallis 'Apricot' has been in bloom for several days now. Even though the scapes are top-budded with a small number of buds on each scape, 'Apricot' is still a cheerful sight because it is one of the earliest daylilies to bloom in our garden:

In addition to a handful of daylilies, a feast of other bloom greeted me today:

Dictamnus alba 'Purpureus' is known as Gas Plant due to the volatility of its oils. I once saw a demonstration of how the vapor can ignite when lit with a match!

While I love the wide variety of newer Heucheras with their fascinating foliage, I still enjoy the bright red flowers and crisp green foliage of traditional Coral Bells, which looks especially lovely with a vigorous daylily clump as a backdrop:

Columbines are another favorite. We always called the native yellow and orange columbine 'Honeysuckle', and they are plentiful throughout the garden. I remember the pink and white double variety I purchased having the name 'Granny's Bonnet'. The original plant is gone, but luckily seedlings continue to sprout up here and there, so we always have a few 'Granny's Bonnet' columbines to enjoy. Here is the 2011 version:

A couple years ago I added several Spirea betulifolia 'Tor', also called Birchleaf Spirea. It is beautifully in bloom right now, and the foliage is attractive throughout the season. Here is a photo of 'Tor' as it looked in full bloom on June 5, 2011:

And yet another favorite is the native Geranium maculatum or Spotted Geranium (because of the mottled coloring of the foliage). The soft lavender blooms brighten up a partial-shade garden.


All this and birdsong, too! It was truly a lovely morning to enjoy the sights, the sounds, and the smells that mean the garden season is in full swing!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Loon Song Gardens Daylily Seedling

Loon Song Gardens Seedling D2145, a large diploid
Unusual Form out of 'Lemonfellow'.

2011 Daylily Update

Greetings from our Minnesota daylily garden
Winter seems to have finally given up for 2011 and temps are heading up. Spring rains mean daylily foliage is incredibly lush. Lucky for us, the worst of the severe storms bypassed Loon Song Gardens—hope it stays that way! A pair of fox kits—a smaller litter than other years—have been scampering through the woods, and warblers have been serenading us for the past couple of weeks.

Website Update
Our shipping season has begun! Please visit our newly updated website with 2011 Price List at LoonSongGardens. New introductions are on hold, but we should have several soon.

I always appreciate hearing if you have any problems or concerns regarding the website. (You know—those pesky links that don't work, etc!) If you have recently visited, you may need to refresh your windows to see the new pages.

2011 AHS Region One Summer Regional
"Daylily Heaven in 2011"—July 22-24

Mark your calendars! Loon Song Gardens is on tour for the AHS Region One Summer Regional—"Daylily Heaven in 2011"—hosted by the Daylily Society of Minnesota. Early registration deadline for best price is June 15, and the final registration deadline is July 15. Headquarters is the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel, Bloomington MN.

David Kirchhoff of Daylily World fame is our special guest speaker and will also be a Garden Judge Workshop 2 Instructor. If you are working toward your Garden Judge appointment, renewing, or want to learn about what to look for in a great daylily, plan to attend the workshop on Sunday morning at Karol Emmerich's Springwood Gardens in Jordan. Go to the AHS Region One website for more details and the registration form: AHS Region One.

It's begun! First Flower Open (FFO)…

'Bitsy' (Warner 1963) was FFO on 5/31/11 in the Historic Garden, our first FFO of the season!

Yesterday, 6/1/11, was FFO for the noted historic daylily 'Apricot' (Yeld 1893).

Two species, Hemerocallis middendorfi and on H. minor, are showing scapes and buds.

It is always fun to watch bloom progression, and the early bloomers get a lot of extra attention!

I hope your 2011 season is off to a great start!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Daylily bloom season begins!

Yesterday, May 5, I saw my first flower open (FFO) for the 2010 daylily season. No photo because of rain, so I have to wait for another photo op. The FFO is on Arlow B. Stout's 'Elfin' (1949), always the first of all my daylilies to bloom each season. It's a cheerful, low-growing plant—top-budded, but with numerous scapes for a lovely extra-early season display of small yellow flowers.

'Elfin' is 10-14 days ahead of schedule. Many daylily gardeners are wondering if the whole season will be early, and I am guessing it will be. It could be a longer bloom season than usual if temps aren't too hot. Let's hope! We must wait to see what nature has in store.

Next in line for its FFO will be 'Apricot', a very special historic daylily. It is considered to be the oldest registered hybrid with a date of 1893. Its breeder, English plantsman George Yeld, began working with daylilies in 1877, starting with only a half-dozen varieties.
The American Hemerocallis Society book, Daylilies—A Fifty-Year Affair, includes a short but fascinating article about Mr. Yeld. I love the photo of his ivy-covered home in York, England, called Clifton Cottage. It is fun to imagine our beloved daylily starting on its journey from such a charming place.
Two different plants arrived here with the name 'Apricot'. One of these looks more like photos I have seen of 'Apricot', so I had assumed the other was mislabeled. But then I read in A. B. Stout's book Daylilies that in 1932, the Royal Horticultural Society trial gardens had four clones with the name 'Apricot'. Both of my plants are scaping and forming buds right now. I wonder if it's possible that I have two different 'Apricot' clones in my garden?

Rain is on the horizon as I write this evening and—with temps dropping—we may have frosts and even a little snow. I expect the daylilies to be fine, but I'm not sure how hostas, roses, lilacs (in glorious full bloom today!) and apple trees will fare.

Weather like this is a good reminder of why we love daylilies. They are a perfect perennial for the ups and downs of spring weather in the North.

© 2010 Kathleen M. Lamb