H. "Rooty Tooty" (Pickles, 2011)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February, 2012

Well, the Mid-Winter Symposium has come and gone, just as my initial rough draft of this blog came and went as I played with inserting the pictures and formatting the article. However, hopefully my thoughts are just as fresh of what I wrote only two hours ago as the memories are of the recent MWS.  Regardless, with the passing of the MWS comes the onslaught of acute spring fever brought on by our unusually mild winter and a desire to 'get it started'. One personal rite of spring that I have is the annual sowing of daylily seeds from crosses that I made the previous summer.  I've been doing amateur hybridizing a little over 10 years sowing several several hundred seeds each year and finally feel that I may register a few this year.  It's mind boggling to think that in a span of 10 years, AHS registrations have increased almost 25,000, from 50,000 to 75,000 !!  For this reason I have been especially cautious with my possible registrations, wanting to register only those cultivars that are truly different and make a contribution to the current cultivar pool. I've had several to bloom that seemed to match recent introductions, but when viewed with the critical eye as to whether or not they were truly different or just a repeat of what was already available - they didn't meet the litmus test, and went to the compost heap. 
Several have asked about the status of the Region 10 Daylily Appeal and this was discussed during the MWS business meeting. A Fall/Winter edition was not printed, but it is hoped to post it on the AHS membership portal in the near future.  In the meantime, work has already started on the Spring/Summer edition with a goal of printing it as normally scheduled in the spring. The year 2012 brings to the Region a new slate of officers that are eager to continue the previous growth of Region 10.  Advisory, newsletter, and finance committees have been named, all to provide additional support to the Region 10 Board of Directors and utilize the wealth of experience available from within the ranks of Region 10 members. I am excited about the potential ahead as I hear about the innovative ideas people are tossing around for Region 10 members.
There will be MWS highlights in the upcoming Daylily Appeal, but from a personal perspective, a few stand out. First, there was the enlightening lecture by landscape architect, Duncan Callicott.  Utilizing his previous experience as Executive Director of Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and landscape projects throughout the southeast, we all gained a better insight of how to incorporate our daylilies into an actual garden, and not just line our daylilies up as soldiers in orderly rows as I am prone to do sometimes. And apparently, Duncan was impacted by the MWS also as he was overheard stating that he hoped to add a daylily bed to his gardens this year after seeing the array of new daylily cultivars. Another personal highlight was listening to Mary Fisher talk about the Doorakian introductions.  I have had Hemerocallis  'Emerald Starburst' in my garden for several years and have always been intrigued by this hybridizer.   And of course, I can't end the article without commenting on the Saturday night auction.  I paid much more for H. 'Neon Flamingo' than any sane person should have, but I was a determined bidder after having seen this cultivar in bloom on the Region 10 summer garden tour of 2011 in Louisville. I had no idea who I was bidding against during the auction, but only knew to kept my hand up and stare forward.  Only after it was over, did I find out that I had been bidding against the formidable Brenda Macy, and her insatiable appetite to add another daylily to her renowned 'flamingo theme' daylily bed.
That is all for the month of February - remember - if you want any upcoming club activities added to the blog, please feel free to drop me a line at wcoltharp@comcast.net.