My Top Ten 08
Lanny Morry here in AHS region 4, zone 4b/5, Manotick, Ont. Canada where we
continue to have rebloom on this last day of August 2008.
Here are my top 10 winnowed down from some real contenders from a diverse variety of hybridizers. Bloom this year was exceptional due to the fact our
spring and early summer this year was wet -- it rained a little or a lot for most days from April through July, relenting only as the month of August
began. And now it is too dry again, but at least that allows us to build new beds, move plants, finish lining out seedlings, and collect pods without
All of the plants on my list bloomed their heads off and showed no problems of any kind opening whether the opened after a hot or very cool
overnight, or whether they were forced, as some were, to bloom on some pretty heavy rain days. I detest plants that bloom down in the foliage --
and there are a couple of hybridizers whose otherwise beautiful flowers are off my list for both using as a hybridizing tool and for selection as a top
10 pick because of their habit. I also have no time for plants that hang up when opening. I don`t care if it was cool overnight, I expect a good
plant will open consistently and fully come rain or come shine, be this with cool or warm overnights. Regretably some of the same plants that grow down
in their foliage exhibit this detestable characteristic.
Here, in order of preference are my favourite 10 from the Summer of 2008.
1. OCEAN BLUES, 06 John Peat. My favourite flower in our garden in 2007 was Peat's LINDA SIERRA, a stunning plant with perfect plant habit and
exceptional and prolific bloom -- way over the advertised bud count -- over a long period of time in our garden. OCEAN BLUES, and its equally stunning
full sibling BLUES CLUES, are double line bred from two seedlings using Linda as one parent, one using MRS. JOHN COOPER and the other TET LAVENDER
BLUE BABY, so there is no surprise that it has exactly the same exemplary plant habit. It is still in bloom in our garden, and as advertised, again
it is extremely fertile. Every pass of pollen on this plant took. This is an exceptional cultivar and one everyone, north or south, should own.
Amongst other Peat contenders still high in my favour are his fabulous, prolific, strong growing BRIGHT AFTERGLOW which sets up large clumps very
fast in our northern garden and blooms its head off with stunning 6 inch yellow flowers for the whole of July and a good chunk of August, his cherry
pink CASA DE JUAN, a substantial, large, nearly 7 inch flower, with a deep green throat and large red eye and lacy red edge, MEANINGFUL GESTURE,
SOUTHERN BLACK RACER, and WOLVERINE EYES -- a cultivar that was our first bloom open back in June, and which bloomed extensively throughout all of
Though he may hybridize in the south, this man knows, and grows, plants that increase and bloom outstandingly in the north, making his cultivars an
incredibly valuable tool for northern hybridizers. Everything we own in our garden from him performs exceptionally.
2. JUDY FARQUHAR, from Pat Stamile. I have never been a fan of big, gaudyand ostentatious daylilies (though I do like individuals who have
personalities larger than life), and when the plant was introduced and Ifirst saw it advertised and promoted for its exceptional size, I was
ambivalent about having it in our garden at all. Of course I should have realized that anything from Pat Stamile would be tasteful and not overdone,
and after two years in our garden I have been fully won over by Judy who is just beautiful and not a bit over done! Of particular appeal with this
plant is the fact it has increase strongly in our northern garden and is now multiple fans (like most Stamiles), which means we had multiple scapes with
multiple blooms opening perfectly all summer long.
Still high on my favourites list from Pat are his SHORES OF TIME and itsfull sibling LESLIE RENEE, two slightly older cultivars that do
exceptionally well here in the north. Both of these plants have given me personally seedlings that are being grown on for future registration. A
new Stamile, not eligible for recognition this year because we have not overwintered it yet, is his spider ROLLING RAVEN. It has been blooming for
us since June and is still in bloom today. Unlike many spiders this one is sinfully fertile, and I have had a lot of fun incorporating it into my
modest unusual form program. Finally I cannot leave Pat without commenting on his LIME PEEL which reached heights this year I did not believe could be
possible for a daylily. Now with multiple fans and scapes after a few years in our garden, in Summer 2008 the tallest scape of Lime Peel was over 7 feet
from ground to the flower. My son Mick has some very interesting UFOs that bloomed for the first time this year out of Lime Peel. This is a valuable
hybridizing tool for those possibilities.
3. CRAZY IVAN, Frank Smith. We have two small clumps of CRAZY IVAN growing in different parts of the garden and both were outstanding this year. This
is a tall, reliably, floriferous plant that captures your eye from anywhere you may be in the garden. Also extraordinarily high on my list of Smith
favourites that perform exceptionally in our garden are his CIRCLE OF FIRE,VINTNER'S TREASURE, DOYLE PIERCE, FLORIDA'S GARDEN LIGHT, GRANDMA'S SMILE,SPANISH WEDDING GOWN, JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS, PORTOFINO, and a series of
others from the first Smith's introduced four or five years ago. Not to beforgotten or ignored from this list is my number four plant....
4. LAVA FLOW, Frank Smith. I may not like big gaudy plants, but I never said I don't like bright, clean in your face colour and this electric flower
offers that in spades. This plant lights up the garden -- you can see it from wherever you are on the front two acres, and it blooms early, and
reblooms, and continued to bloom for nearly two months. It also sets pods on ever flower to which pollen is taken. I have a small selection of
seedling plants I am working on that I call my Hotties, and Lava Flow has been instrumental in bestowing some added heat to those already hot
cultivars. I can hardly wait to see its kids.
5. LARRY'S OBSESSION, Ted Petit. This didn't flower the first year we got it, and it wimped its way through its first summer here to the point I was
sure it would perish over the tough Canadian winter we get here. Instead, it shot out of the ground this year and grew strongly, putting up two strong
scapes in early July. The question then was, how good would the flower really be? Well, wow is about all I can say. It looked better than the
artsy photos I had seen of it (I prefer to see a natural photo of a cultivar when I am considering buying it and find artsy makes me suspicious... but
then maybe that is just me). This plant is totally as advertised -- no, let me correct that and say it is better than advertised. The flowers are held
high above the foliage, they open beautifully, the plant sets pods with abandon and its pollen has given us some potentially wonderful futures in
the seeds we have already collected from selected plants bred to it. This plant would have been my number 4 choice except for the fact that LAVA FLOW
has been established for a longer period of time, has more fans and scapes, and rebloomed for us. LARRY'S OBSESSION may move up my list next year if it
continues its positive growth at our place.
We have a number of other Petit's that I love as well, and a few new ones that were acquired this year that will have to wait for the future to cite,
but Ted's FERENGI GOLD from the 90s is still and always will be a classic yellow and is a parent in several very exciting yellow seedlings my son Mick
is currently growing on for registration and release, and his MATRIX RELOADED and TRIPLE CHERRIES were astonishingly good this year. MATRIX
RELOADED is now multiple fans and the last blooms on its multiple scapes ended within the past week.
6. SPACECOAST DEVIL'S EYE, John Kinnebrew. I bought this during a garden visit during Mecca 2007 because I love black eyes and my son Mick is
hybridizing with black eyes, and other than his seedlings, this is just about the blackest eye out there. This is an exceptional plant which has
increased well in just one year. It is hybridizer flower really, but that said, garden visitors were drawn to it too. We have about 40 Kinnebrew
plants growing strongly in our garden -- Marjorie asked my son if we could let her know how they hold up and what we lose in our winter, but the honest
truth is, we don't lose them they just get better. People told us that plants like ALEXA KATHRYN or SC CRANBERRY KID with their heavy edges would
pose problems opening for us here in the north with cooler night temperatures, but we have had both for a number of years now with nary a
problem. I have to say too that the nighttime temperature drop we enjoy in the north has an added benefit, from my point of view, because it
intensifies colour in the opening bloom, and Alexa and Cranberry Kid are more colour intense flowers than in the south. Also notable this year for
us was SC TECHNICAL KNOCKOUT, another of the Shiner kids with the big black eye. Another fast increaser, this one is a smaller flower on a very tall
scape. In our garden it was staring me straight in the eye and I am 5 feet 9. Still bloom in in our garden and looking every bit as current as it was
when it was introduced is the inimitable DARLA ANITA.
7. VERTICAL HORIZON, 06 Steve Moldovan. Oh Steve, how much we miss you and your hybridizing talents when we look at this one. What a stunning and
unique eye, what a wonderful strong plant, with exceptional plant habit! This will be one of my garden favourites for life. We have many of Steve's
older registrations, all of which are superb plants in our environment, but amongst his last collections, DAVY JONES LOCKER is a positive standout and
pushes Vertical Horizon for its spot on my list, and I certainly cannot leave Steve without mentioning another of his cultivars Roy Woodhall sent us
as a bonus, suggesting we might enjoy it. TEDDY BEAR'S PICNIC, also a recent Moldovan introduction, is a genuinely brown (well, silky tan) flower
with a funky patterned eye zone. It just thrilled me this year with its form, colour and its unique beauty. The fact it easily sets pods set my
8. GRAND CANYON SUITE, Phil Reilly. When it flowered in 2007 it was nice but not exceptional. This year, well established now in our garden, it was
nothing but exceptional. This is a very large flower (more than 7 inches) with saturated purple colour and a wondeful rolling white edge. This one
really picked up the best out of its two parents, BELLA SERA an DARLA ANITA, both of which we own and grow and which flourish in our garden.
Also remarkable this year from the Reilly garden was LINDA CHAFFEE -- verystrong and still blooming for us on rebloom scapes, DUCHESS OF VERONA (wow,
and still blooming), and my namesake, LANNY MORRY, which looked like its pictures for the first time in my garden this year.
9. BOLD MOVE, Bill Maryott. This one arrived in the summer of 2007 and tried to bloom madly through October. We cut its scapes off and encouraged
it to forget about California and think about going dormant here in the less hospitable winter we enjoy here in central Canada. It did, and after a
winter with a near record snowfall of 14.5 feet, it bolted out of the ground in April and promptly set up scapes. It began blooming in late June and
continued on rebloom scapes into mid August. What is not to love about a lovely deep red flower with a daker red eye and wire white edge that also
sets pods freely and performs like this one does in our garden. In the same league as BOLD MOVE is Bill's INCENDIARY, no less superb in its plant habit
and quality, and willingness to bloom whenever, however. Hunt these ones down folks, you won't be disappointed.
10. ADA MAY MUSICK, Ludlow Lambertson. We have had this plant in our garden for 5 years now and it is probably my favourite Lambertson plant of
all time. The flowers this year were huger than I ever remember them, all pushing 7 inches plus, and the colour -- the bluey range of mauve that tells
you that true blue cannot be too far away -- is exceptional. This is an outstanding daylily that has grown into an established clump in our garden.
Also remarkable this year was ORNATE HAWK EAGLE, bigger, more full of bloom, with an extended bloom season from the beginning of July well into August
for us this year.
Notable new Lambertsons that exceeded expectations, but that cannot be counted in my top ten till next year are the fabulous PURPLE PEACE, which is
on its second rebloom now, CANYON COLORS, and UNICORN TAPESTRY.
Not quite making my top ten were some other vey wonderful plants from other hybridizers, two of which I will note as honourable mentions.
CAPTAIN JACK'S EYES is a Salter everyone should have. I think my son picked this one up at the Can-AM Niagara a year ago, and I sure am glad he did. It
has a mesmerizing eye zone that drew me to use its pollen on a number of my solid coloured plants this year looking to capture that same sort of eye.
And Judy Davisson's MISTER BUTTERS and TILL I TURN PURPLE, had garden visitors in awe not just of their height but their prolific rich coloured
and huge blooms.
Also on my list, if the truth be known, is the registered, but not yet released, CANADIAN BARNBURNER of my son Mick Morry. Now being grown on for
release in the next year or so, think saturated orange with an intense red eye zone so strong you almost think this is cartoon colour. Parents are
ANDY CANDY X MAPLE LEAF FOREVER (also one of Mick's registrations).
And on that final note, I will end.