Another Daylily season is coming to a end. Sad to see it go, but excited for what’s around the corner with the new babies that have just gone to bed. This year started off dangerously slow due to the unusually cold weather. We rarely ever see snow this far south, but 2018 brought it all. Snow and lots of ICE!! The snow acted like a blanket and seemed to stimulate the plant as it melted. The ice was a whole other story. We had 7 straight days of heavy ice that covered our already growing daylilies. We walked the garden every day looking and watching for damage. The end result was a lot of lost tender seedlings and many damaged growing daylilies. We worried if they would ever overcome the damage. It took almost the entire season before we saw these babies conquering the damage caused by the harsh winter. But overcome it they did.
We had a very unusual hybridizing season. I’d estimate that only ½ of our crosses took and the ones that did, produced fewer seeds than normal. As we read others posts over the internet we saw we were not the only ones that had this happen to them. If it wasn’t the cold start, the heat came in full force. Humidity was ungodly and lots of rain at one time and then would come a drought… then flooding… then more heat. Never ending nature having seemingly negative effects on the daylilies. All in all they bloomed in all their glory. Blooms were beautiful once they settled down and got going. There were larger than normal blooms and brilliant colors. Seedlings were amazing. It was like Christmas Day every morning we walked out into the seedling field. I loved getting that call to hurry out and to hear, “ You got to come see this seedling”. Or Bruce hearing me yell, “Come here. Look at this one!” We carried our book with us… always checking the number to see the cross. WOW! So nice. We shared pictures daily on Facebook. We also thoroughly enjoyed seeing other daylily friends seedlings as well.
Now it’s time for us to start making the plans for next year. Things like ordering new flowers we’d like to introduce into our hybridizing program. Yes, even we can’t resist getting new flowers. We all know that feeling of “Where the heck will we put any more flowers.” It’s a never ending cycle of “just a few more”. We’re always on that never ending quest for that one perfect flower. One with a tall strong scape, lots of nice branching and a gorgeous bloom. Forever hearing Bruce remind me to go for “GOOD” genetics. Not to breed bad into a good things just because it’s pretty. I was learning each and every day why this is such a good practice.
Now it’s time to take the soil samples, redo beds, divide flowers, pot the sales flowers, watch the seedlings start to grow, dig the seedlings to be lined out and throw out what didn’t make the cut. That’s the hard part for me. Throwing away a daylily is heartbreaking, but I’m learning you can’t keep them all. Look for the strong ones and move on.
We’re not any younger and moving about a little slower, so making more work for ourselves is becoming less of an option. I didn’t say we’ve stopped. HAH.. much the opposite. We’ve been blessed to be able to do what we do. It’s a love for daylilies gone wild!! We are a little different from a lot of daylily folks. This isn’t a must, it’s truly a love and need for this flower. But like others, it is a addiction you can’t get enough of.
In closing…we would like to share some pictures of our new seedlings and daylilies we enjoyed growing and seeing bloom every day during the growing season.
Till next time … we are “Kathy’s Daylilies” Come see us next year!