Lanny Morry's  2011  MECCA  Adventure 

The following  e-mails were posted to the Daylily robin by

Lanny Morry during her 2011 trip to Daylily MECCA.

(The fabulous daylily gardens of Central Florida.)

May 8th 2011

I don't know about the rest of the folks , but I had my hands full
driving to Florida from my place in Manotick, Ont. Canada. I just looked at
the mileage I put on my new Toyota getting here and I added 2400 kms on the
long drive south. I left Ottawa at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning,
stayed over night in Charlottesville, Virginia (not again, holy smoke the prices
of pedestrian motels there... stuff that in North or South Carolina would be
under $50 was pretentiously priced at $100 plus -- imagine a Comfort Inn
room 'starting' as the desk clerk announced to me staring down her nose at

me snottily, at $149 per night. Yikes. The drive today included lots of
rain in Virginia heading south, and what seems to be a perpetual problem
when you hit southern Georgia -- the third of five times it has happened to
me going to Daylily Mecca at least -- forest fires and heavy smoke across
I95 and drifting down even into northern Florida. Fortunately it was not as
bad as a few years ago when I actually had to get out of my car and go into
a welcome centre to restore my breathing because of the intense smoke I went

through that year. I left home in moderate weather (if you can call an
overnight low of 5C moderate) and arrived in Florida to 33C weather (low
90s those of you not converted yet to Celsius). I had on winter jeans and
heavy socks and shoes, and while I could not shed the jeans I used a rest
stop to put on crocs and take off the heavy shoes and socks. I am now
settling in and letting Mick Know I am alive. I understand a number of
others will be down here from all over the USA and Canada, and I know

Francois Verhaert will be here sometime later this week as well. Tomorrow I
will make my first foray to a few of the gardens, which I expect to revisit,
each, several times. I have brought down my new Nikon toy with its fab
macro lens, and 6 point and shoot cameras, all with batteries charged and
memory cards at the read for the photo sessions I plan to undertake.

For now, I have had a few minutes to be polite to my friends down here, and
now I am going to go and catch a good nights sleep after a total of 25 hours
driving of the past two days, most of it at 120 kph which seems to be the
new usual top speed on American highways south from West Virginia
downwards. (120 translates roughly to 70 mph).

 

May 11th  2011

Greetings all, Lanny Morry writing in the comfort of my air conditioned
room at the Deltona Inn, away from the heavy heat of 94 degree
Deltona, Florida this afternoon. Today was another lovely day to
visit the gardens of Florida's top hybridizers, and enjoy the
unrelenting sunlight and heat we all seemed to miss two years ago
during the AHS National when Florida was awash in rain and most of the
gardens were regrettably wash outs.


I hope, rhetorically, that what happened here in Florida two years ago
is not going to be Florida redux in Louisiana this year -- this time
not by downpours but by what is on the ground . It will certainly be
interesting to see how this plays out.

As one who recently fought 41 days of unexplained flooding on my own
property before we found my regional municipality was accidentally and
unconsciously flooding me -- with millions of gallons of runoff water
that should have gone into culverts and travelled easily into the
nearby Rideau River -- I have great appreciation for the stress levels
unwanted, unexplained and unnecessary water has on the lives of
people, their homes and their gardens as ours was, for a fortunately
fairly brief period of less than a week, under two feet of water. I
do hope all goes well in Louisiana, there is no flooding in or near
Baton Rouge and the news is good -- and soon -- for concerned AHS
would-be conventioneers.

Today Francois Verhaert, newly arrived from Belgium, and I, visited
the gardens of Nicole Harry and
-- BREAKING NEWS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE
NOT HEARD IT
-- Pete Harry -- Nicole's Dad, who has recently acquired
Frank Smith's holdings in the Krull-Smith Daylilies operation. It was
quite an exciting day!

Francois and I began, as many of us do, with a visit to Dan Trimmer's
garden, to check out his early morning seedlings and see his bloom for
the day. Dan is a handy trip around the corner from the Deltona Inn,
and many of us have made it a habit to drop in on Dan daily to see his
seedlings and see what the future might hold by having a good first
look at newly opened first year seedlings. Once again, Dan did not
disappoint, and had some very interesting keepers to make that trip
worthwhile.

From there we headed down to Apopka to the wonderfully kept garden of
Nicole Harry, the youngest, and certainly the most lovely of all the
Florida hybridizers. I had never been to her garden before -- it was
in the process of being built when I was down two years ago, and so it
was a delight to see a newly built garden looking so fabulously good.
Nicole and her cousin were hard at work tending to the early morning
needs of two chaps there from Germany anxiously buying plants to take
back overseas with them later today, and we were joined to two of the
other early arrivals at the Deltona Inn, to photograph and purchase
some of Nicole's superbly cultivated plants. Nicole has not been in
business all that long, but I realized pretty quickly that her
creations are already an important facet of the hybridizing program in
our zone 4b Canadian garden, where we have either 15... or it might be
16 ... of Nicole's introductions. Today I purchased another I could
not leave there, and will happily bring home after this weekend when I
head back northwards into the unseasonably Canadian cool we have been
enduring this year. There are some exceptionally promising seedlings
Nicole has identified that will probably provide the backbone of her
introductions over the next several years, and it was a delight to
photograph them, as it will be to see how they mature in the period
before their introduction.

From Nicole's we headed to another section of Apopka that has been of
critical importance to all daylily growers who visit Florida each year
-- the splendid spread at Krull -Smith Daylilies (and Orchids) that
up until now has been the domain, and is still obviously the legacy
of one of the handful of the most gifted minds in daylily hybridizing
to have come along in decades, Frank Smith.

I have known of Frank Smith, not for his daylilies but for his orchids
-- he has won more international awards for his plants, as both owner
and hybridizer -- than anyone in the history or orchids world wide --
for what is in essence a lifetime -- since I began collecting and
growing orchids in my early days in law school back in the late 1960s
/ early 1970s. When he moved into daylilies I told everyone I knew to
stand back because I thought it safe to predict based on his extensive
background and track record in orchids, that this would be a
hybridizing genius who would make his mark on daylilies with what he
produced going forward. And so it has proven to be.

Well hold on to your hats folks because there is huge news.

Frank has decided to reduce his positive spheres of influence and
remain in the several areas where he was best know prior to his years
in daylilies -- and ownership of Krull-Smith Daylilies has now passed
to a new owner -- the genial, amiable, sociable, engaging, easygoing
-- folks you will positively love this people friendly man -- Pete
Harry.

Does that name seem familiar, have you heard it somewhere, do you
wonder what the connection is....? Could he be, is he -- yes he is
.... Pete Harry, who has been a lifetime friend of Frank Smith and a
connoisseur of orchids and daylilies, but on a far less professional
basis, is the new owner -- already in place - of the business Frank
built over the past number of years -- and -- drum roll please -- he
is Nicole Harry's father!

And for those of your curious enough to ask the next question... NO,
this is not a Harry family merger going on. Nicole has her own
vision, her own garden, and she and Dad will be separate and distinct,
in operations and hybridizing vision.

It was a fabulous day to see the future of one of the several best
hybridizing programs for daylilies in the world unfold here in Florida
and to recognize that one of the most influential hybridizing programs
in the world is going to be owned by a man whose passion for daylilies
oozes out of his pores. Pete spent hours guiding four dazzled
visitors from Belgium, Canada, Pennsylvania and Maryland this morning,
through his plans and expectations for the wonderful hybridizing
program Frank Smith created, and that he will carry forth and left all
four of us, impressed and thrilled with such an amicable and seamless
transition. It was also a delight to have a cameo appearance on the
part of Frank who assured us this critically important hybridizing
program has gone into hands he utterly trusts.

If I tell you I took 499 photos with my Nikon D-90 of flowers I
positively had to record in all their glory at Pete Harry's new digs,
perhaps you will realize my enthusiasm for and belief that this
change of ownership will only continue the incredible tradition for
cutting edge plants of utmost quality that Frank Smith has established
for those of us who own and grow his cultivars successfully from
Florida, across the USA and Canada and throughout Europe. Today I
saw forms, and ruffles, and green edges I have not seen in any other
garden or in any other hybridizing program, that Pete Harry will now
carry forward.

Sometimes the winds of change are unsettling as something familiar and
comfortable is possibly (or certainly) in peril. In this case, those
of us who have come to be able to fully rely on Frank Smith daylilies
for plants that grow well where we live, that flourish, increase well,
resemble the plant in Florida and often look better where we live
than the plant does in the south, and that re-bloom .often into
September and October -- feel like we have been dealt a future that
has landed on its feet and that will serve our needs going forward --
hopefully for many more years with no obvious speed bumps!

That's all the news fit to print from the daylily world in Florida
tonight, so on that note I will now close.

More, from other gardens, tomorrow!

Ms. Lanny

 

More great daylily gardens and plants -

 and an ice cream social and daylily auction well worth taking in this evening!

May 12th 2011

Greetings Robins, Lanny Morry here again in daylily central - at the
the Deltona Inn here in Deltona, Florida, after another wonderful day
of daylily garden visits. More folks have now arrived, so the handful
of us bumping into each other for the first few days has now been
augmented to the pint there are enough of us here now that we have to
learn new peoples names and where they are from and learn too a little
about their specific passions in daylilies.

Today was a somewhat less hot day than Monday through Wednesday of
this week, but the fact that the temperature was skirting the 90
degree mark did not mean it was much more comfortable than it was when
it was in the mid 90s because the humidity remained very high.
Fortunately every garden keeps a stock of water, pop, or gatorade (my
personal favourite for rehydration) and boy are these offerings
welcome!

Today I visited two gardens -- the fabulous Floyd Cove nursery of
Karen and Guy Pierce, and Florida`s most tranquil garden - the
captivating garden of Ludlow and Rachel Lambertson.

For those who have visited Floyd Cove premises while the Stamiles
owned the property -- in and around the nursery there is a nasty, ugly
shock as you come to the gates of what was once an entrancing
property. The new owner of the premises (NOT the daylily garden owned
by Guy and Karen and they are not responsible for this ugly travesty)
has cut down most of the trees across the front of the acreage sold by
Pat and Grace, and the remnants of once proud palms and live oaks lie
waiting removal at some point in the future by the new owner.

I was told by other residents along that strip of the
Osteen-Enterprise Road, that this new owner will be using the land for
agricultural purposes -- someone suggested raising livestock which
seems a reach when you know the property -- probably motivated by the
need to keep taxes on the property at a low rate. Farm land has an
advantageous tax rate, and hence the destruction of the wonderful
canopy of trees along the front of the old premises that leaves a
frontage more resembling a strip mining operation. .

The garden itself remains where it always was, and Guy was busy
hybridizing while Karen was kept extremely busy preparing a large
number of plants for shipment overseas, and addressing the needs, and
assembling the orders of garden visitors anxious to secure some of the
treasures produced by this magnificent hybridizing program. While the
economy for many may have slowed sales, the allure of Floyd Cove
daylilies has clearly remained steady because most of the plants in
both the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 collections are now sold out.
Those showing up expecting to find all their desired plants on the day
will find to their chagrin that their choices while still great were
decidedly limited -- good for business but not so wonderful for avid
collectors such as some there today. The plants will be replenished
by Floyd Cove of course, but this cannot be in time for this year's
growing season. Caveat emptor!

My wants were smaller -- perhaps because we have had to limit the
amount of new plants we bring in to leave room for our own seedlings
(Mick has about 50,000 seeds sprouted and growing in our hoop house at
home right now and our next big dilemma will be figuring out where in
Hades to plant them when it is time to do so -- I think I need an
expert in land management to help us at this point).

I nonetheless found three plants from that hybridizing program not
already in our collection and arranged to purchase them before setting
off on another photographic odyssey, recording all the flowers that
caught my eye -- old and new, including registered plants and futures.

The garden is stunning, the plants are huge, the scapes are laden with
fabulous blooms on multiple branched scapes, and there are some
breathtaking breakthroughs in form and colour -- especially in the
blue range -- amongst plants coming down the pipe. Four hundred
photos later, I felt done like dinner, melted and near cooked from the
intense heat and humidity, having pushed myself to travel row after
marvellous row of stunning future introductions, not willing to give
in to the heat and humidity and call it a day as long as a single row
went un walked and a single flower that caught my eye left unrecorded
by my camera.

Most of the futures do not have names, so it is impossible to tell you
watch for this one, it is to die for, but there were a few plants with
names assigned to them that I made a point of photographing. My
absolute favourite because of its perfect pinwheel perfection -- a
perfectly round flower with the most exquisitely subtle baby breath
pink colouring and with white gold edged ruffles so symmetrically
positioned around the plant you would think someone carefully pasted
them all equidistantly apart from each other -- is something that had
the name Polar Dusk in front of it. There must have been two hundred
equally perfect blooms on the many scapes filling its space in the
futures section of the garden, and I swear I photographed half of
them, I was so captivated by it. Remember the name and then fight to
buy it when it is introduced. It is positively to die for.

I moved on from Floyd Cove -- taking a welcome break in the
air-conditioning of my car -- to the garden of Luddy and Rachel
Lambertson in Lake Helen -- a fifteen minute drive away from Floyd
Cove. Rachel and Luddy have become very good friends over our many
visits to Florida (our including my son Mick who also shares a sense
of kinship with Luddy and Rachel), and it was very much like greeting
family you have not seen in a awhile when I arrived. This is a most
welcoming garden, and those who come in the realization that it is one
of Florida`s smaller gardens, inevitably linger for a very long time
because it is also the most carefully conceived, planned and
artistically perfect garden in Florida. It is impossible not to be
drawn into the heart of the garden, and its owners, when you stride
out from under the heavy canopy of trees and into the brilliant
sunlight of the garden and realize this must be much like what heaven
on earth is all about.

This is, of course, no real surprise since both Rachel and Luddy are
artists. This is a tranquil, peaceable garden in which cares
disappear, and you can feel very comfortable, very quickly and a short
visit may stretch for many hours because you are reluctant to leave
the ambiance and peace and tranquility you find there.

Luddy`s hybridizing program is noted for many things, not the least of
which are his registered names that relate so very often to his
passion for birding -- he travelled recently to Africa to see birds on
that continent too -- his sense of artistry that comes from his
artistic background -- that is perfectly reflected in his wonderfully
organized garden, ponds, and open and private spaces and little rooms
within the garden proper, and the predominance of blue in his daylily
palate -- a deliberate choice which has led him to create perfect
daylilies coming in many forms, all carrying the tranquil, comforting
harmony of subtle shades of blue blended magically with golds, and
yellows and whites.

Three years ago when I visited the garden in the company of Bill
Maryott from California, and Kathy McCartney from Canada (who grows
daylilies in a zone 3 northern garden I am pretty certain I would
never have had the courage to attempt) the three of us pounced, almost
as one, on a small green-throated, heavily veined daylily in bloom in
Luddy`s seedling grouping in the garden. What was it we all wanted to
know, and was he going to introduce it, and why was he -- a tetraploid
person -- growing what appeared to be a diploid. A diploid it was and
a diploid it turns out that has been of great import to that garden,
because at that point it was one of very few in the Lambertson garden,
and it was notable by virtue of its difference from anything else in
the garden.

Well folks, fast forward to 2011 and revisit the garden. I bet about a
quarter or gosh perhaps up to a half of the seedlings in the current
seedling crop are diploids descended from that fabulous little
seedling, and other similarly captivating veined, green eyed, blue
toned diploids in the years since, and you realize Luddy has created a
whole new generation of diploids carrying interesting eyes, veining,
colour tones ranging from grey to slate to blue blended with those
eyes, he has taken that little diploid`s size and super-sized it by
carefully selecting other wonderful diploid material out there and
bred the plants up to tetraploid sized plants, very usually in one
generation, from small flowers to imposing, remarkable plants of size,
substance, quality and captivating character that you cannot get
enough of them.

There are a raft of unique potential diploid introductions bedded
down in that garden awaiting introduction to the greater daylily
world, both as diploids, and ultimately, almost certainly as
conversions Luddy will use to advance his tetraploid program and his
search for the perfect blue tones to maintain and move forward that
program.

I took 403 photos in that `small` garden, and but for the fact the heat
eventually whacked me down and left me forced to seek shelter out of
the sun and heat -- I would probably still be there this evening,
happily photographing.

We had placed an order for a number of the Lambertson introductions
this year, and today I made sure his three current diploid
introductions were being added to the order I will pick up this
weekend to bring back to Canada.

This is a hybridizing program to lock your eyes on and watch unfold.
There is magic happening with the delightful spirit of experimentation
that is going on in the Lambertson garden.

Tonight, Kathy McCartney, newly arrived from Canada yesterday, and I
went to the welcome Ice Cream Social at the Deltona Community Centre.
This is put on by growers in the central Florida area and is a chance
for hybridizers/garden owners/ and visitors, both American and foreign
(we were a mix of Americans, Canadians and a Belgian in the crowd
tonight) to meet and greet face to face.

For those wondering what an ice cream social is, I can best describe
it as an opportunity to have three overly generous ice cream scoopers
put way too much home made ice cream -- available in three positively
delicious flavours, all of which they positively insist you must try
-- in scoops big enough to fill a good sized soup bowl to
overflowing.. And you are supposed to eat it all down (along with the
brownies, chocolate chip cookies and various home made squares) and
then go back for seconds till there is no ice cream left in any of the
three huge vats. Because if you do not eat it all up, near as I can
figure, it is some sort of insult to your hosts. Oh gosh, I love ice
cream, but even I could not manage a second bowl of this divine
dessert -- it was just magnificent!

After that comes an auction of multiple fans of high end, current or
very very recent daylily introductions from growers in the Central
Florida area. I told myself privately I would observe and sit on my
hands as I really needed nothing. But how can you sit on your hands
when top quality plants of three, four or five or more fans of 2010 or
2011 plants come up for auction and you can have them for half of what
you would pay were you to visit the growers garden and buy the plants
there (I know because one of the plants I bought a couple of days
ago... a very nice double fan of an introduction, so I am not
disappointed because I picked it myself, had to have it and love it
do death) went for little more than half of what I paid for the plant
at the garden it was hybridized in. There were a series of active
bidders and I found myself at the end of the evening with four plants
I had not expected to acquire (but which my son Mick will tell me
convincingly I was so smart to do so), trying to fit them into my
Toyota Corolla along with two of Kathy McCartneys as well. But I
think no one was more thirsty for these luscious plants than Nancy
Eller, who was there with husband Don, to carry out her multiple wins
to their van at the end of the evening.

I too found good fortune in the fact Charlie Dorsey, who had been
filming an interview and a tour of the garden of Luddy and Rachel for
one of his upcoming garden features, earlier in the day, volunteered
to lug my plants to my car, at the end of which I renewed my
membership in his video DVD series of interviews with notable
hybridizers and garden owners amongst the AHS population.

Today was a lovely day and I can hardly wait to see what I decide to
do with tomorrow ... starting with Nicole Harry's early morning garden
breakfast, and moving on from there.

Till later, Ciao. I gotta get some sleep and be ready for another
heavy duty day of visiting -- and reporting on -- the fabulous daylily
gardens of Central Florida.

May 14th


Greetings all. Lanny Morry here in more moderate temperatures in
Deltona, Florida.
where daylily gardens here in central Florida welcomed much needed
rain today for the first time in more than a month. And as those of
you who attended the AHS convention rain fest here two years ago, as I
did, can attest, sometimes you get a lot more than you hope for and
today's heavy rains greatly resembled the convention experience.
Enough already!

That was certainly the case today because the rains were torrential
downpours mixed with a lot of thunder, lightning and hail stones,
putting an end to an open garden visits.

How incredibly lucky was I then, to find myself, and my travel
companions for the day - Francois Verhaert from Belgium, Kathy
McCartney from Canada and her husband Len Gallagher, arriving at the
garden premises of two of the daylily world's most legendary and
deservedly awarded hybridizers -- Jeff and Liz Salter -- at the
precise moment moment the skies opened up after an earlier rain we had
entirely missed, had swamped their garden and destroyed all outside
bloom.

Our unfortunate poor timing and great misfortune very happily turned
into great good fortune indeed when Liz and Jeff threw open the doors
of their hybridizing greenhouse and invited us to take shelter away
from the elements and amidst the dazzling and astounding treasure
trove of their choicest, newest, most unique and cutting edge
hybridizing plants. As the lightning lit up the sky and the thunder
rocked the greenhouse, before it turned to darkness so dark that our
camera flashes took over to provide enough light to photograph by, and
as the torrential downpour crept into the greenhouse around its
perimeters we were happily safe inside for nearly two hours of nirvana
enjoying some of the most outstanding daylilies in the world. The
unbelievable diploid patterns created by Liz at one end of the
greenhouse left all four of us gasping and searching for new
superlatives to describe daylilies with patterns and colour
combinations the world has not seen seen before. And Jeff's intensely
coloured full form tetraploids -- a Jeff Salter trademark in recent
years -- , some with very exciting new exotic patterns and eyes and
edges, showed us why this team of daylily royalty continues to command
the attention they deserve with simply outstanding plants.

In candid conversational exchanges we learned a few new facts that I
think delighted us all. The move from Eustice to their new premises
near Gainseville, relocated them into a site where hardiness needed to
be reassessed as the climate in that distance is different enough to
require a genetic mix that includes more dormant genes to maintain
strong and vigorous plants. Some of the plants coming up from
Eustice, Jeff confided, did not make it and are no longer part of
their program, and the Salter's both realized they would need to
hybridize with hardiness clearly a priority to allow their future
introductions to travel and acclimatize to conditions better and more
widely in gardens across growing zones in the USA and Canada. This
is indeed welcome news to all of us who have incorporated Salter
daylily genes in our daylily programs and wish to capture the wave of
the new generation of plants that will be emerging in future from
this still very dynamic hybridizing program. A look around the
greenhouse showed hundreds and hundreds of tags hanging from already
very large seed pods which will carry those commitments forward into
the next generation of Salter daylilies.

My sincerest regret, as I know it was for Francois and Kathy, was that
we could not go into their garden to purchase plants on the day
because the weather persisted in further major lightning events and
downpours as we said protracted goodbyes. But having seen their
website photos of plants I saw and photographed in real life in the
greenhouse, I have every confidence that I can order what we want to
use in our Canadian garden, and rely on Jeff's advice re durability in
a northern climate, because the photos, and descriptions, if anything,
actually fail to do justice to some very remarkable plants.

But now I need to back up because today was truly a jam packed day.
Our day actually began at 7 a.m. with a departure from the Deltona Inn
for a 90 minute drive for what was to be a return visit for me, and a
first visit for my travel companions this season, to the positively
awesome garden and hybridizing greenhouse of Ted Petit. I had tried
to describe to them, in words, what I had found to be so remarkable
about Ted's hybridizing program, but words cannot possibly do justice
to the feast for the eyes actually seeing his introductions, futures,
and seedling futures present. It really is a case of sensory overload
as you see -- as I did again today -- a whole new series of cutting
edge plants that had not been in bloom during my first visit just a
couple of days before. I thought for myself personally today I would
be able to go through the hybridizing greenhouse quite quickly this
second time around, but so many new flowers were open for the first
time it was impossible to move at anything more than a suck in your
breath and stay calm snail's pace as I snapped photo after photo
through the greenhouse. And the same happened with the outdoor
seedlings.

I had moved through these many many rows of seedlings under evaluation
and been stunned by all the new blooms that were not there during my
last visit, but I had assumed, incorrectly as it turned out, that Ted
had already made a similar trip through them. But in fact he had been
taking advantage of lower morning temperatures to spend all his time
hybridizing up to the time of our arrival, and it was only when he
took a break sometime later that he walked those beds and discovered a
new treasure -- perhaps the best bloom in the garden on the day -- and
a flower he had never seen before.

It is wonderful to watch someone who has created something -- they
know not what -- suddenly discover what it is precisely they have
produced... and I wish I could have captured both a photo of the plant
(which I did) and of Ted's face, which I unfortunately did not -- when
he found his treasure of the day. All of us came away from Le Petit
Jardin, again today in awe, and deeply respectful of the genius behind
this hybridizing program.

Our third visit of the day was to the Cross Border Daylilies garden of
John Peat. We arrived at John's Orange Lake premises -- message to
John -- put on your website where exactly you are located so people
can find you -- we knew but some other individuals tried to find you
and failed, and next year give Leslie Mauck this information too,
please!

John has been in Florida since early May and the amount of work he
has put into single-handedly improving his garden is remarkable in
several weeks is, frankly, remarkable. I know John pretty well, and I
was frankly impressed because I know how hard it is for several people
to make demonstrable improvements -- based on our personal experience
at our Canadian garden -- and John is doing this by his lonesome. It
is a long slow process to build a good daylily garden all by oneself,
but John has clearly devoted himself and all his time pulling this
garden together, building new beds, and hybridizing actively amidst
all the garden expansion he has undertaken. He has more hybridizing
tags hanging on big fat pods in his garden than I ever remember
seeing, which augers well for a new crop of seedlings and some new
Peat introductions in the foreseeable future.

It was really too bad our visit was brief -- but the downpours we hit
driving from the Salter's to Peats slowed us down and when we arrived
in Orange Lake we sat in the car for a full 10 minutes waiting for the
rain to abate (it didn't) before I finally hit the horn on my car to
signal to John someone was actually outside. John responded, by
throwing open the door -- but neither he, nor we, emerged for about
five minutes more and the sheets of water subsided to a slightly
gentler torrent at which time we four raced, like bats out of hell,
into the trailer out of the rain. It was a very nice visit, and very
comfortable sitting on the lovely furniture Pat and Grace Stamile
gifted John with before they headed west to California -- with time
out to pat the latest Chihuahua John has acquired (Lily, a still young
puppy who is white with black head markings is the latest) but again
the visit was spoiled by the fact the blooms on the day were in utter
ruin from the torrential rain.

Tomorrow will be my last full day in Florida before I head back to
Canada and I have many balls to juggle. I have plants to pick up from
Dan Trimmer, Luddy and Rachel Lambertson and Karen and Guy Pierce
-- and I have plants in pots I have to clean to be able to take them
back into Canada. I also have every intention of getting to the
gardens of John and John Kinnebrew, and Dan Hansen. I have no idea
how I can do all this in one day, but I am sure gonna try.

And because tomorrow's cup is already obviously too full, I am going
to close this missive now and get a bit of sleep, to get an early
start on what promises to be a pretty packed Sunday.

Stay tuned for one more Florida report, before I head north to what I
have learned is a forecast of 7 consecutive days of awful rainy
weather. The map of Ottawa where I live shows a long range forecast
that does not have a picture of the sun anywhere in it. Every picture
for all seven days is of clouds with rain pellets. I surely wish we
could share this with those of your with drought like conditions. If
this sort of weather persists for us I am afraid we are going to have
to be issuing water wings for our poor whippet dogs (who have low body
fat and really need life vests in watery areas) and our laying hens,
who hate rain with a vengeance.

Ciao for now.

Ms. Lanny

 

You really do COME for the plants BUT STAY FOR THE PEOPLE!

Greetings all, Lanny Morry here in overcast but 90 degree Deltona,
Florida, on my last day here before I head north to a week of
relentless rain back where I come from in Ottawa, Canada. How
discouraging it is to see a long range weather forecast with nothing
but clouds and raindrops in it... not even a piece of a sun to suggest
there will be more to look forward to than endless rain.

But that is not the purpose of this post which will be my last post
about Florida daylily Mecca as it is 5;30 a.m. on my departure day and
I will begin my drive within the hour.

Yesterday I was able to accomplish all the things I thought it might
take me two days to complete, thanks to the very kind and extremely
generous offer, gratefully accepted by me, of Francois Verhaert to
collect and clean plants I had purchased at two nurseries. When he
delivered them to me last evening in a very huge and heavy box and a
series of bags I was overwhelmed by his kindness and I am deeply
indebted to him.

Freed of the tasks I had to complete I was free therefore to make a
series of garden visits and my first visit of the morning was to the
Kinnebrew nursery in Scottsmoor, just north of where the Space Shuttle
will take off from, hopefully without more delay, in three hours from
now. I actually sailed past the property on my first go because I was
looking for the house I used to remember, and not the one I saw this
time -- a completely remodelled interior and exterior make John
Senior's home look like a brand new build. The only reason I knew I
was in the right place was the huge daylily garden -- hard to miss as
it covers much of the property adjacent to the house.

John Junior was busy hybridizing at just after 8 a.m. when I arrived,
and I encouraged him to keep going till I had taken photos of the
regular part of the garden, after which I gratefully accepted his
offer to walk me through the seedling patch within which he was busy
hybridizing. The Kinnebrew's Spacecoast daylilies are a prominent
feature in our garden. with Midnight Rendezvous, one of their first
registrations from back in the 1970s, their oldest in our garden, and
retained because of its dark, near black colour. John is still
actively using it, and it is behind several of the major very black
introductions the Kinnebrews have put out in the past couple of years.
We also have clumps of SC Tiny Perfection, and Alexa Kathryn, and
have many other of their plants are reaching clump size in our garden
now.

I had been fortunate to win two of the 2011 introductions at the ice
cream social last Thursday, but I could not leave the garden without
purchasing several more of their recent introductions to take north
with me.

I travelled from there to the fully opened out garden of Dan Hansen in
Geneva, just north of Sanford. Dan grows in plain air -- in the wide
open, without benefit of tree cover, shade cloth, hybridizing
greenhouses or any of the accouterments, including high priced name
brand time release fertilizers that Dan made it clear he scorns. He
is a man of very fixed opinions and views and while you may not agree
with everything he tells you, you have to respect and consider his
views in light of the fact that he clearly practices what he preaches
and his garden was fabulously in full bloom with strong, vigorous,
sun fast plants (I was there between 11 and 1 so the heat of the day
was upon us already). My car load was already going to be stuffed
enough but there were two intros of Dan`s I could not resist -- not
with expansive frog green throats, so I happily came away with his
those as I set off for my final destination of the day.

That was back to Rachel and Luddy Lambertson`s fabulous garden to pick
u the plants we had purchased from them, and which they had - thank
you! - cleaned for me. This allowed for a wonderful sit down and talk
as Rachel nurtured a young feral black cat she had found abandoned in
the forest -- estimated age now 5+ weeks so he is tiny, but lovely
life sleeping in her lap being stroked by the hands of such human
kindness. Cats are very much a part of the Lambertson family and it
is a heartbreaking time for them now as two elderly cats -- one 21 and
the other just 17, but with a very recently diagnosed cancer that
cannot be cured -- face the inevitable, perhaps in just days. Luddy
and Rachel need lots of hugs, those of you still visiting gardens,
because this is a tough time for them right now.

Luddy and I again walked the garden, and I again took another 250
photos (I took more my first visit), almost all of which were of his
astonishing eyed diploid program. As Luddy reminded me, with 40% of
his seedlings this year made up of these plants, it is hard to believe
that just three years ago he had exactly three small diploid seedlings
in his garden -- those being the little unnamed plant I mentioned in a
previous post, along with Green Treat and Calico Blues if I remember
well. And out of them, and brought in bigger diploids acquired from
breeders such as Clarence Crochet, has come as diverse and stunning a
collection of modern faced diploids as I have ever seen. I think all
my favourite photos taken on this trip -- and I have more than 4,000
are wild eyed daylilies, found in the gardens of both Luddy for the
diploids and Ted Petit for the tetraploids. Both programs deserve
intense watching for those following breaking developments and trends
going forward.

On a final note, I want to thank Steve Morrison for giving me
directions that will take me around DC without having to go to the
west end of Virginia to avoid it. I estimate it will save me three or
four hours of travel time and I am indebted to him taking the time to
help me out.

But that really is something you learn when you become a daylily
fanatic as I am. I came to Florida for the daylilies, but migosh, what
kept me here and what I most enjoyed were all the fine growers, and
garden visitors I met and renewed acquaintance with. This whole trip
has been such a positive experience and I want to thank everyone for
being so kind and sharing during my time here.

It really truly is true, that while you come for the plants, you stay
for the people. AHS hybridizers, AHS members down here during my week
in Florida have made this a week of fabulous memories and I am ever so
thankful to all who made my week so positively delightful.

Till I get home and start posting again about the incessant rain at
our place (not looking forward to that), adieu. I hope to be home
tomorrow evening.

PS. Please excuse the typos in this post as I am writing in haste.
I forgot to eat yesterday and am starving so I am rushing to hit the
breakfast room before Ii pack the last of my stuff and begin the long
trip north. No time for spell check right now!

Ms. Lanny