Our dream of creating a stable line of extra large, hibiscus form daylilies in the 10" or better range came closer to being realized in 2016. There were quite a few new seedlings in the 9' plus size. This continues to be the central focus in our adventures in daylily hybridization. After close to 30 years of the efforts one might think that all the avenues have been explored. The opposite is the truth. Every year there are unique paths that open. The biggest challenge is to resist following many of them. We believe strongly in the principal that if you try to follow every path that makes itself known, you end up getting nowhere. 

A line we do wish to pursue in addition to the creation of the hibiscus look, is the embracing of instant rebloom combined with superior budding and branching. The use of the paragon in that regard, SUNSHINE ON MY SHOULDERS, continues and in fact accelerated this past summer. After seeing the quality of the babies in their second year of bloom, we increased the number of crosses using SOMS pollen. (We are glad that we do at least have enough in stock to provide pollen!) 

Breaking the trend of the previous several years we are looking at almost as many tet seedlings right now in the greenhouse as dips. They are almost all from SUNSHINE ON MY SHOULDERS pollen on a wide variety of types of tet looks. The motivation for this abundant use is dual. The plant quality of SOMS is leaps ahead of any plant we have ever seen, with instant rebloom followed by another round and sometimes a fourth round of bloom. The scapes are sufficiently budded and branched on their own to warrant attention. (Last summer one scape showed 43 buds on initial bloom.) The babies has yet to equal SOMS in that phenomenal bloom but they are GOOD. The foliage is as fine as it gets as well, lasting a dark green all season with no apparent stress from blooming. We have noted elsewhere that the babies for this fine intro are in a variety of colors, including good reds and purples. Of course, we are looking for the plant qualities to be passed along intact to the children, but even if they are only half as good as SOMS we will have some great plants on our hands.  

One other pollen that was used a bit was from a seedling which had gone off the radar only to return. It is a baby of tet IDA MAE NORRIS. While it is a little old fashioned in its own appearance. The babies which showed up this past summer are several big leaps more sophisticated and modern. 

Among the dips. a seedling appeared late in the season that put smiles on our faces. It is a baby of Polston's Shards of Kryptonite crossed to a SE line seedling. It is the richest deep purple in a pattern reflecting the Emerald Starburst line. The throat is as deep a shade of grass green as any I seen in that line. Both colors last the day and the fact of rebloom makes this seedling 16-36 a standout. We feel that the melding of the Emerald Starburst/Rose F Kennedy lines with our SE lines will create a new expression of the deep, rich emerald throats that we are seeing everywhere now. The blending of the wonderful triangular throats of the RFK lineage with the gigantic, but rounded throats of the current SE lines here is most assuredly going to produce some looks that will capture our hearts. 

We hope that you have noticed that we are not producing a paper catalog this year. We also hope that that does not create a problem for anyone. There is so much more information and insight available on line that we hope this works out for all concerned. If you have strong feelings on this let us know. 

We need to express our thanks once again to the garden judges who recognized REPEATED DISCOVERY with an Honorable Mention in 2016. It is clearly an outstanding performer and we are glad that others recognize that. Thank you!

A candidate for future awards from the AHS is from our friend Bryan Culver of Ontario. His Sun Panda is a favorite here. The colors are unique and very pleasing to say the least. I believe it has already won an HM and thus will be up for the AM in a short while. But it is hampered by very limited distribution due to the hassles of bring Canadian cultivars into the US, just as it is in the reverse direction. To offset this handicap we would like to offer a free piece of Sun Panda with any order going to a Garden judge or to anyone whose plants are regularly viewed by garden judges. The supply is limited with perhaps 20 divisions here presently. Just indicate on the order if you meet the above criteria and we will make sure we get a division to you as long as the supply lasts.    




Richard Norris


 We have decided to continue to retain the article from the region 2 journal that I wrote on hybridization as it seems to still be of interest.