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IDA MAE NORRIS seedling 03-3 (TAKE MY HAND X SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE) 7" DOR 34" M  DIPLOID This is the new flagship of the SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE line. IDA MAE NORRIS is one of the most beautiful of all our introductions to date. The three images above give evidence of three aspects of this proud introduction. The first image was typical of the look under greenhouse conditions. In these conditions IDA MAE NORRIS has the ability to stop a visitor in his/her tracks. It has the ability to stop the owner in his tracks despite having seen the flower hundreds of times. The second image shows the outdoor look. Under outdoor conditions the pink is not quite as strong. The third image indicates the type of plant habit, budding and vigor. A picture is worth a thousand words. Be sure to click on all four images to see them well. Bud counts are in the range of 25 to 30. 

Besides being a superb garden specimen, IDA MAE NORRIS is a grand parent for knock-you-dead babies. They are big and flat with a presence that is unique. It is the size of the green throat that puts IMN and many of its babies over the edge. The colors are very clear and bright in the progeny and with those wonderful throats, they are not to be denied. Highly recommended to anyone interested in breeding distinctive and unusually beautiful dips. While we have not been able to set a pod on IDA MAE NORRIS the pollen fertility is good. It is currently the heart and soul of our diploid program. Anyone who is able to successfully convert IMN will have a world class breeding tool.                                                        

We all know that any daylily cultivar benefits from establishment. We learned in 2009 that this doubly true of IDA MAE NORRIS. The budding and branching were improved on the remaining clump that was not lined out for sale. We were impressed by the performance of the plant in the second year in place, 2008. In 2009 we were simply blown away by that performance, just as were the visitors here. 

2010 note: The 2010 seedling bloom out IMN was over the top in quality. We bloomed about half of the seedlings in a bed of some 3,000 seedlings direct from IMN. There were perhaps some 30-40 that could qualify as introductions. Of course, we will not introduce that number or anything close to it. We point that out to illustrate the breeding potential in IDA MAE NORRIS. We can't wait to see what this phenomenal daylily will be able to do with the tetraploids.

IDA MAE NORRIS won an H.M. from the American Hemerocallis Society in2003 with enough votes to place third in the voting. For such a new cultivar to do that it must be very well thought of by the garden judges. We certainly think highly of it here.                 DOUBLE $35






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*MEMORIAL TO STEVE seedling T03-34 {(ELIZABETH'S DREAM X ENCHANTED APRIL) X GREAT WHITE} 6" SEV 34" M This one may shake out to be our most significant introduction to date. The floral display that is seen from MEMORIAL TO STEVE is unique among daylilies in our experience. For several weeks in the middle of the bloom season a clump of this wonder is nothing but bloom. The blossoms simply obscure the foliage. There is also a week at the beginning of the season and another after the main rush of bloom that gives a more typical look to the plant. 

Off season the plants are among the finest we grow. Numerous times in the last several years we have stood at a distance from the "clay soup" bed where MTS has been growing and asked visitors to point out the best looking plant in the bed. When the plants are out of bloom the answer is invariably MEMORIAL TO STEVE. When the bloom is on the answer is the same. The plants are vigorous, dark green, robust and healthy. 

We had been braced to have to tell you that MEMORIAL TO STEVE was not as fertile as we would like to see. That tentative conclusion came from the 2006 season. We were able to make quite a few seeds from the pollen that summer but the pollen fertility was not what we like to see. The pod formation was definitely suppressed that summer. The 2007 season was a study in contrasts. Nearly every pod we attempted to set took and gave a good number of seeds. The pollen was about as good as one could hope for. We will call MTS quite fertile but with some variability.   

The 6 inch blossoms are a grand shade of lavender pink with a definite gold edge. The heart is a deep green which transforms to yellow as it radiates from the center. One of the most valuable characteristics of the blossoms of MEMORIAL TO STEVE is the manner in which they make themselves scarce after a day of bloom. We all know what  larger tet blossoms do at the end of a day, melt, flop and bleed. The flowers of MTS shrivel back toward a bud shape and dry as they do so. This allows the blooms for the coming day to open without interference. You will almost never see yesterday's melted bloom sealing today's shut. What a relief for the busy gardener. Click on the thumbnail images below to see two images of completely ungroomed clumps. Look carefully for the spent blossoms and note how they essentially disappear. Realize that the numbers of blossoms from the previous day were about the same as the current day's. Where did they go? 


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Here is another image below that will illustrate why it has been so easy for visitors to decide which seedling in this bed of select line outs was the choice plant. MEMORIAL TO STEVE is the group of plants in the top slightly to the right of the center. One might even be able to pick it out from the tiny thumbnail image below before clicking on the image to enlarge it.  


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The image above was taken in the summer of 2007 after three months of heat and drought. The bud counts were depressed by 20 to 25. The typical scape was carrying 30 to 50 buds. The previous summer the range of bud counts was from 50 to 70 with one scape carrying 72. The branching is long and tree-like allowing the vast majority of the buds to open and display themselves advantageously. Bud drop is virtually non existent. This was even true in '07 at the same time that virtually every plant in the second and third year seedlings beds a few yards away was either failing to bloom at all or dropping buds. MEMORIAL TO STEVE is simply a plant of exceptional strength and vigor.

note: The 2010 season showed us the value in waiting for any babies of MTS to mature. The babies blooming in their third year showed bud counts and scape qualities that were what daylily hybridizers strive for. It seems that that much bloom simply requires more time for a plant to build up its reserves. 

             H.M. 2011                                                                                                                 limited              double fan  $30



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*UP AGAINST THE SUN  seedling T04-42 (SHERRY LANE CARR X CLARIFICATION) 6" SEV 44" EM RE This introduction combines the all the plant qualities you should expect from us with the height and commanding presence in the garden that we all desire. At forty four inches the well budded scapes provide a show that demands that you pay attention. The flower color is quite similar to that paragon, PRIMAL SCREAM, but the presence in the garden is entirely distinct. The blossoms are less spidery in form and the scape is so tall that none ignore it.

The drought of '07 caused many of the other plants here to show signs of distress in the foliage. That is to be expected when nature is as rough on the plants as it was this past summer. At the point when stress was starting to show in most of the plants the foliage of UP AGAINST THE SUN was flatly perfect. It remained excellent for the entirety of the bloom season. This introduction should be invaluable to the gardener who wants a center focus for a bed which simply screams, "Look at me." It may even prove to be invaluable the breeder of northern spidery or unusual forms who wants to improve the plant qualities in their seedlings. Although the cross with SHERRY LANE CARR masks the eye/edge sophistication of CLARIFICATION, this cultivar should be valuable in breeding for eyes and edges with improved plant qualities also. UATS is fertile both ways.                                                                                                                                                    double fan $15




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2016 NOTE : We are very pleased to relay the fact that PIGMENT OF IMAGINATION was awarded an A. H. S. Award of Merit for the year 2015. This is our first and we are simply delighted. While quite a few HM's are awarded in a given year, the AM is much more exclusive and special. With only 10 allotted for the honor it isa sign of what the garden judges are thinking that a cultivar is singled out. Coming in at third in the voting numbers is a very sweet icing on the cake too! Our thanks to the AHS garden judges and the AHS itself for the designation. We look forward to the presence of PIGMENT OF IMAGINATION on the Stout Medal ballot in a couple of years. Maybe, just maybe..............  


PIGMENT OF IMAGINATION  seedling 04-11 (BIG APPLE X SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE) 5" DOR 26" M This is a very unusual introduction for us. This would be a very unusual introduction for anybody. When we first saw this as a seedling our mouths dropped open and we were speechless. There were colors on the petals we had never seen anywhere in the daylily kingdom. But let's go back to the beginning. The flower begins the day as a reddish purple or perhaps purplish red might capture it better. As the morning progresses the red/purple disappears from the petal surface. What is revealed underneath is a shade that has described by consensus as turquoise. That was consistently true when this was grown as a seedling in its original location. When we brought PIGMENT OF IMAGINATION in to the line out beds and a richer soil other shades appeared in addition. Besides the turquoise we saw jade as well as gun metal gray. We suspect that an interplay of weather and and soil chemistry determines what is seen. There are times when the color is quite blue which is what the camera often picks up. All images shown here are just as they came off the camera. 

The pattern in which the red/purple surface coloration disappears adds another interesting dimension. The color in the outside layers washes away from the center of the blossom and progresses towards the edges of the petals. This leaves the turquoise/jade/bluish/gray pigments below exposed. For a time during the course of the day PIGMENT OF IMAGINATION takes on the appearance of the much desired edge/no eye pattern. As the day proceeds the second pigment layer follows the pattern of the first layer until it takes on another variation of the edge/no eye look. This time the outside edge is the same unique color as what was seen on the main area of the petals a few hours earlier. 

We saw just enough evidence in the seedling beds this past summer that PIGMENT OF IMAGINATION passes along this unique ability. We saw several babies from it that went through similar transformations in the course of the day. You don't have to work real hard to realize what we are hoping may come from this fascinating. plant.  

In our original assessment of the plant qualities we were not very encouraging about the vigor of the seedling, 04-11. That was entirely based upon its performance in the seedling bed in which it was crowded badly and overgrown by neighbors on all sides. At that point we were having to weigh the uniqueness of the plant with a perceived lack of vigor. However when we moved the plant to the line out beds and decent soil magic happened. PIGMENT OF IMAGINATION grew like a weed. At 15 or so bud counts are still not what we would prefer but there is no question of vigor. From just a couple of small fans lined out in the fall of '05 we now have a sufficient supply to meet the demands of introduction.

Our thanks go to Dick Henley of Baltimore, Ohio for the inspired name, PIGMENT OF IMAGINATION. As is our policy Dick will get a free division of the plant in the spring of 2008 when it is introduced. 

The pollen is quite good on PIGMENT OF IMAGINATION. Pods are a bit difficult but not that hard. We even had a few bee pods in 2009.

PIGMENT OF IMAGINATION was awarded an AHS H.M. in 2012. This introduction received more than the needed 20 votes to win. In fact POI received 74 votes to put it in 3rd. place in the voting. 

                                                                                                                                                           double fan $20



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Here we see PIGMENT OF IMAGINATION as it appears in the early morning. 


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As the morning progresses we see the lower layer of pigmentation appear. 



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The appearance seen later in the morning has much of the characteristics of the edge/no eye look.