Sunday, July 3, 2022

2022 Update

Hello, all! Hope to get some more posts up here soon re: exciting seedlings blooming here for the first time, as well as ways I'd like my program to develop in the future.

In the meantime, just a quick note to clarify that my introduction 'Peach Skin' (2016) is available for $20/clump. Email at for inquiries.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020


31", E, 3", Purple bitone, Dormant, Diploid, 28 buds & 3 branches
((Sugar Candy x Vanilla Gorilla) x Blueberry Trumpets)

Another year... another blog post. This one was certainly the standout of my 2016 seedlings as it has the full package of what I would want in a daylily: great plant habit and a great bloom.

One aspect of the daylily plant that I am trying to be more cognizant of is the foliage: I have come to prefer fans small enough that one would be able to fit the plant into a small garden space without too much trouble. AR16AR.94's foliage is just that: thin and elegant, it is not small enough to be 'grassy,' but not big enough to steal the show from the scape and bloom, both of which I think should be the focal point of the plant.

The scape, too, is quite nice. While AR16AR.94 has developed a nice clump, it only sent up one scape this year (its first year of bloom), and bloom stretched from 20 June to the 20 of July. Imagine what it could do in a multi-scape clump! I do think that the bloom spacing could be improved upon, as sometimes the blooms are forced to compete (see below). I also wouldn't mind it if it were a bit taller (say, in the 40-45" range), but it may grow taller once it's more established.

That being said, I really find myself drawn to the bloom itself. It varies (I would assume with the temperature, but further observation is needed) and is actually quite intricate for a flower so small. A slight bitone, the sepals have an attractive lighter edge. The eyezone can also have a feathered appearance. In terms of sunfastness, I've not yet decided if it meets my standards. It does slick slightly when in the heat of the midday sun, but it recovers by evening. The color also fades, but I think this is to be expected.

I'm including below a photo of the pod parent (AR10AR.58), which I plan on getting rid of in the coming weeks since its children surpass it in all aspects. A clean purple with a nice green throat and attractive purple buds, it lacked any and all plant habit. I have Bob Sobek's excellent 'Blueberry Trumpets,' then, to thank for AR16AR.94 and its siblings' great performance.

Pod parent AR10AR.58 (Sugar Candy x Vanilla Gorilla)
AR16AR.94 will be an excellent seedling to cross into Mike Huben's 'Tall and Small' program (think: 'Venous Blood' and the phenomenal 'O Positive'), as I already did last year with sibling AR16AR.93. I've also crossed it with AR14AR.53 (a post on which I'll write soon) to get more airy branching... yet such a cross will certainly get me nowhere in terms of height!

And if I haven't raved about this seedling enough, it's currently shooting up a rebloom scape! This surprises me for two reasons: 1) neither of the parents rebloom and 2) weather conditions (minimal rain in May, June, and July) have been completely unfavorable this year. Hopefully this trait is something that will return in the years to come.

Monday, July 29, 2019


37", EM or M, 6", Rosy purple with dark purple eye and green throat, Dormant, Diploid
(Protostar x Jelly Dancer)

It's been a while since I've had the desire or time to write a blog post-- but I'm back! This season saw the first bloom for most of my small crop of 2015/2016 seedlings, and AR15AR.132 has been one of the most exciting.

I crossed the two parents with no particular goal in mind; they are both dark-colored unusual forms, and so the cross seemed a logical one to make if I wanted to create my own line of like-colored cascades. But subsequent observation of the parents in my garden has allowed me to realize that both plants present their own unique flaws. 'Jelly Dancer' (Herr-D., 2010) makes a striking clump, but seems to be exceptionally susceptible to thrip damage so severe that often some blooms are gnarled and so hideous that I'm resorted to liveheading at 7 a.m. Each bloom on 'Protostar' (Mahieu-Burris, 2007) by contrast opens perfectly; my only complaint is that it tends to slick on hotter days, something that 'Jelly Dancer' does not do. This cross, then, had the potential to produce seedlings free of the parents' issues. And this is what I may have achieved in AR15AR.132!

'Protostar' (Mahieu-Burris, 2007). Notice the slicking it presents, even at the early hour of 7 a.m.

The description for 'Protostar' on the original site says that the plant "has the genes for clear purple-blacks" that take a "spidery or UF" form; its offspring proves this to be the case. I measured AR15AR.132 to see if it's a true spider, but it's not quite; I'll content myself by labeling it as a spidery cascade.

In the photo above, a detached bloom from 'Jelly Dancer' is next to AR15AR.132, which appears much more purple than its maroon parent. It is also of note that AR15AR.132 has more of a drooping cascade form than either of its parents, something that I find attractive.

There are only two issues that I have found with this seedling. The first is that the color fades, a fault I don't think is that detrimental to the health of the plant (see below).

There is an eight hour difference between the two photos. There is also a considerable difference in the quality of the natural light.

The second is that the scape leans, but there is a caveat to this otherwise deal-breaking flaw: the plant currently grows in an area that is heavily shaded by 2 or 3 p.m., and I've observed many scapes lean towards the sun over the years in this location. The issue may resolve itself in a couple of years when I transplant the seedling to a more sunny bed for further observation.

But what a scape it is! This was its first year blooming, and an elegant terminal-Y and one lateral branch yielded 16 buds that bloomed over the course of three weeks... it promises to make a fine clump! Increase is slow thus far, with only one fan.

I'm excited to see how this seedling does in the coming years!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


23", M, 4.5", Yellow Orange Peach Polychrome with Small Green Throat, Tetraploid, 4 br., 35+ buds

I've loved this seedling since its first bloom. I had already had high hopes as it was the only one of the cross that has dormant foliage, which, while I've heard has no bearing on its hardiness, does make the plant more attractive in the spring. Then, I saw the scape slowly develop buds and then some more buds, along with great branching, and I hoped for a beauty. And a beauty I got! One perceived flaw thus far is that it is too short for my taste, but, as this is its first year in bloom, it could always grow taller with maturity. I also found that, while the branching may look good on paper, it just didn't cut it for the amount of buds that the plant had. As the bloom season, AR14AR.41 would frequently have 3 or 4 blooms open per day. One can imagine that crowding ensued:

Here's a close up of its edge:

Nowhere near teeth, the ultimate goal, but it has great bud count that can be crossed into those lines. Too often people sacrifice plant habit for the sake of a flower's beauty, and why do that when you can have both, just with a little more work. During the day, the yellow fades and leaves a peach tone more prominent in the bloom:

I took the above photo with my iPhone 6, and it is my recollection that the coloring is a tad over-exaggerated. 

I think that there's a lot of ways that I can take this one, as evidenced by the amount of seeds that I produced with it this past season. Some new tet pollen I acquired from Lori Jones this past summer (but past bloom here) will surely find its way on AR14AR.41 next summer!

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!


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!

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:


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

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! Hopefully the seedlings from this cross will have more reliable rebloom (thereby extending the season) and increased pod fertility (which Dappled Dynamo unfortunately lacks). Peach Skin itself 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.

2018 Update: Availability is relatively limited as I'm sending some to be auctioned off at the upcoming 2018 National. All sold should be double fans or larger. Email me for pricing or if you have any questions at

The above are all the many faces of Peach Skin in 2017, all open on the same day!


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: