Sunday, May 30, 2010

What is a Bridge Plant?

My wife said i should not post each day but wait 2 days, so here i am. I am getting itchy fingers so hang in there if you can. Today is Sunday and the first day of the week and this morning i went out before i studied my Sunday School Lesson and saw this beautiful seedling. it is a 6 inch flower and scape is about 32 inches with about 14 buds. This is a Bridge Plant. It is burgandy and a big black eye with a black edge around the petals and 2 owls ears. I am in love. For me this flower made my bloom season and we havent hardly started. This is line bred from Lavender Blue Baby. Pod parent is LBB and pollen parent is 2 kids (F-1s) bred together and the (F-2) kid bred back to granma so to speak. I have been trying to get better blue eyes with great branching and here comes this black eyed beauty and messes up all my plans.

This will be my Bridge Plant. I love the flower and love the height of the scape but i need better bud count and branching. So am i going to do. I have lots of burgandy flowers with great branching and buds. Here is my plan. I have limited polled from the bridge plant that now has a number. D1210. I will pick out about 4 of my best branched burgandy colored plants along the same lines but with the genetics of LBB in them. As the flowers open on my 4 pod parents they will get pollen from D1210. If i am lucky enough to have a pod parent with a recessive gene for black eyes then i am in business and should have lots of seedlings to pick from. Now if this first generation(F-1) of seedlings dont have the black eye i am trying to get i will take the best seedlings that are tall and branching and breed them back to D1210 and most of the (F-2) generation should be showing the black eyes with great scapes. Also along the way there will be other seedlings of different base colors with black eyes and the edges should get bigger with each generation.

See there is nothing to it but time and a plan. When this happens i will have 4 years of breeding in this one flower. If God permits me to live this long i hope God will keep blessing our garden with all these beautiful flowers. We may never sell anything but we will always have a pretty yard. Thanks for listening. Jim Elliott

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cosmic Kaleidoscope Kids

Cosmic Kal. and Super Fancy Face introed by Jack Carpenter are changing the look in my seedlings. I love the patterned eyed seedlings i am seeing. When we moved to our present address i didnt have hardly any eyes, they were all selfs(solid colors). Then I got Jacks Cosmic Kal. and fell in love. Now i am trying to put eyes on everything in the garden but there will always be some selfs around here. The 2 pictures here are Cosmic Kal pollen used on 2 different Lavender Blue Baby seedlings as pod parents. The red eyed pink has 20 buds and is nicely branched. The dark eyed one needs some plant habit. These are dip seedlings.

I had 2 ladies in the garden this morning buying some seedlings for their yard and they loved the cantelope colored selfs and didnt care for the eyed seedlings much. I really intended to take their pictures for the blog but somehow forgot to. Each day more seedlings are opening and more pollen is spread. Lee P. is so right. Life is good. Jim Elliott

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Last Blue

This is the seedling from Jack Carpenters that my good friend Pat Larsen shared with me.
Goodnite. Jim Elliott

Something New , Something Blue

I did it but dont know how. The text is below this one so i hope to put on pictures now. Jim Elliott

Something New, Something Blue

The internet server has been down for a couple days so i have some catching up to do. But it is too late to get long winded. Today i used about 150 blooms to put pollen on today. I had a couple nice surprises in the seedling patch with some blue eyed things. The flower with the color on the sepals with the dark blue eye is a Jack Carpender seedling that i plan on using quite a lot. The other 2 seedlings are line bred down from Lavender Blue Baby. I also had a blue eyed seedling bloom today out of D02-08 X Cosmic Kalidescope that had a patterned blue eye but i didnt take a picture because it was having issuses opening the first time. I hope you like these and maybe something better will bloom in the morning. Enjoy and Thanks for looking. Jim Elliott

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Richer In Red

All three of these red diploid seedlings bloomed this morning. Hooray, i have been looking for a good red dip to breed with for a while and little did i know that it just hadnt bloomed yet. I traded for one named David and Alan by Michael Bouman that will not bloom till next season most likely but now i have 4 new reds that bloomed this morning. Thank You Lord! The seedling on this mornings post was out of Lavender Blue Baby breeding. These three on tonights post are all out of Dr. Elliotts Russell Southall. It is dormant, tall, about 6 inches, red and reblooms here. Folks on the Robin last year wanted to know where a good red dip was at and i told them then that Russell S. was a good one so here is all the proof you need if you like red dips. All 3 are 6 inches plus but only one has the branching i like but when i get through with my reds they will have lots of branching and buds. Big Bright Red.

Come on you cant tell me you dont like these seedlings. I know there are some hard core tet folks out there but could you tell either way if i didnt tell you these are dips? Maybe i can sway you over a little before our bloom season is over. As of yet i dont have a greenhouse up and running and all our hybridizing is done outside in the field, that means no shade. But we still set lots of seed pods. I used Carpenters Home Run King pollen on eyed seedlings this morning. I probably put pollen on 30 or so flowers.

We cant wait till morning to see what is waiting for us in the seedling patch. After all these years the drive is still there and this time of year is better than ice cream to hybridizers. I had 2 visiters this afternoon and they never saw a bloom they didnt like, my kinda folks. Isnt this a great way to pass time. Thanks for listening and see ya in the morning. Jim Elliott

In The Morning Light

Good Morning, we are getting some really pretty seedlings of different colors beginning to open for us. I am self employed and days like today it is hard to leave the house. In 2 weeks the Northeast Arkansas Daylily Club will be here for a visit and to buy some seedlings to put in their yards. We have clubs come each year but this is a brand new club so there will some teaching and lots of questions asked. My wife and i went to their meeting last fall and did a slide show and cut a handful of scapes that were blooming. They were amazed that the scapes were still blooming that time of year.

My good friend Pat Larsen and his wife Patricia, Patman and Patwoman, just came back from south Texas this Sunday and had some nice plants they had bought at Paynes garden and Mark Carpenters( The Lily Farm). Pat shared some seedlings and intro Home Run King with me. Thanks Patman. I did use the Home Run King pollen this morning on about 30 plants.

Here is a red seedling as a single bloom and a clump shot. 5 inch flower and lots of buds and branching. With proper branching you can see the flowers are able to open flat without buds crowding them. I think there is 5 blooms open and no crowding. It is kinda hot red not a clear color but we like it. The seedling bloom was shot in the morning light this morning. The anthers are still closed, now you can see one example of why i use frozen pollen. Gotta run and will show more seedlings tonight. Be Patient. Thanks for looking. Jim Elliott

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Helpful Forums

Now is the time of year when we all, all across this Nation start to get in various stages of excitement. Some are calm, the ones already at peak bloom(florida), Really excited like me because bloom is increasing each day(Arkansas) and those that are just seeing scapes and after a long winter just show me some color please.

Last year before the blog thing came out i did some helpful info about different things like freezing pollen, plug trays for seeds and things like that on our website. When you go there you must click on ENTER first and then go to Forums to find these helpful hint and ideas. I hope they do.

The seedling in this picture is a diploid and dormant as most of my dips are dormant. It is 6 inch flower and scape has 4 branches plus terminal Y and 36 buds. It is a first year bloomer and i really like it. I think it is out of my Ultra Plum seedling X Carribean Whipped Cream seedling. It is a nice purple color but not as dark as i would like.

Many years ago i bought Lee Gates intro Ultra Plum and its a diploid. Purple in color. Branched like a tree. For what ever reason i kept 4 seedlings out of this cross. They were purple and had white edges and boy did i feel good about that. I picked up the phone and called Lee Gates and telling him of my excitement. He told me they would not have the white edge anymore and i didnt believe him but the next season and no white edges. He was right cause he had seen this trait before. I culled down to 2 UP seedlings and finally one was left but it was the best. Before we moved i had 10 or 12 plants of this seedling UP-4. When we moved here to the new house soon to be 3 years i had 3 fans left of UP-4. This UP seedling has been the base of my dip breeding program since moving here and i now have 18 fans. It is hard to increase when you keep the plant loaded with seed pods. I have decided to use it 1 more year then increase for intro and sale.

Very hot today about 93 and humid, it wont be long before summer is here to stay. So if you need a little help in your garden i am just an email away and just maybe i can help you out. I did some trading with Michael Bouman a couple weeks ago. He was looking for a tet i had and i needed his red dip intro David and Alan so we made the swap. David and Alan is red and i hope to use it in my red dip line this summer. There just arent many red dips out there so i have to produce my own. Also Lee Pickles sent me an email inviting me to join the blog team and he hopes he could learn something. Yeah Right, if i knew what Lee has forgotten about daylilies i would have it made!! By the way he will be our main speaker at Region 13 Meeting June 11 and 12 if you are in the area please stop in. I bought my first order of lilies from Mr Pickles way back when Midnight Magic was a new intro. He always gave me extra plants and answered all my questions back then. Hes a dandy. Yall have a great day and slow down and enjoy life. Jim Elliott

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Joy In The Morning

The Bible says(there may be weeping for a night but there will be joy in the morning) Amen.

When i went to bed last night i had seen the buds for tommorrow start to open and i was anxious but there was Joy this morning. I had been seeing all the buds but not the flower so now i can put them together with a blue flag. I will show the flowers then descibe them, hopefully i can do this so please bear with me.

This is a Diploid seedling and the cross is ( lavender blue baby X Carribean Whipped Cream) X

(Edna Shaw x Lavender Blue Baby). This would be an F-1 cross or in our terms half brother and sister cross. Both parents(seedlings) had purple colored eyes and one had mauve colored petals and the other cream petals. This seedling has 26 buds, 3 branches plus the terminal Y some people call this 5 way branching. You judge what to call the branching. It is 6 inches with about 3 1/2 inch petals. This is the pink seedling above.

This seedling is a diploid with 4 branches plus terminal Y with bud count of 49. I counted 50 buds but just to be on the safe side i said 49. Just fantastic plant habit. It is what i call burgandy purple with purple(darker) eye. 6 inch flower with about 3 inch petals. I will show front and back side of plant so you may count branches and buds for yourself. The cross is (LBB seedling X CWC seedling). I hope pictures come out side by side. It came out on top sorry about that. I will attempt to post picture of back side of it.

These are first year bloomers meaning they didnt bloom last year. I have another picture of a purple seedling but i dont know where it will end up. Now for the Rest Of The Story from yesterday.

Selection is what hybridizing all about. Selection sets us All apart. That is the fun part of hybrizing is you can make it fun or serious and if you get off track in your breeding, lets say you lost your branching you can buy some plants that have great branching and put that plant habit back into your genetics just like you can loose something if in your selection you allow it to dissapear. The branching you see in these pictures is all over the garden in our seedlings and not just a couple plants. But it has taken us 12 years of careful selection to get here. I can loose it in one year if i want to breed it out by selecting just the flower and no branching. My plants have been tested in a garden in Ohio for a few winters and most of my seedlings are dormant or very hardy. Not only do we have great branching but the plants are very large so they will support a big scape. I took the tape measure out to the scapes the other day and there are lots of scapes 32- 34 inches tall and have thick scapes to support lots of buds and big flowers. For years i have been breeding for plant habit and branching and let the flower color fall where it will. Now this year i have plant habit in the genetics of my seedlings so now i will start line breeding for different colors and edges and be very selective with the future seedlings to keep the plant habit and only select the colors of certain lines. I have the colors so now i will inbreed these to clear up the colors and keep the bigger edges comming in my dips. I dont get many visiters from out of state but last year we were a tour garden for our club and Herbie and Gayle Phelps came out to see our garden and Herbie was very surprised at what he was seeing. And his dips have the blue eyes that i want and he wants my size so we will be trading plant from time to time.

As more seedlings continue to open there will be MORE JOY. Thanks for looking. Jim Elliott

Friday, May 21, 2010

Building Better Daylilies

This will be my first attempt at writting a blog so please bear with me as we find our way. We have such a great hobby, that we can have a few plants all the way up to several acres. Several acres is the direction we intend to be going. We have several thousand plants now and with each bloom season and setting of seed pods we will add to our plant count. Jack Carpenter told me years ago it is all about selection as to where we end up. As we look at pollenating different daylilies we are changing the genetics of the plant and not only the blooms but also the plant. From the root system to how large of a plant we want to what kind and how high we want the scape to grow.
Lets talk about genetics in plain terms and not out of a science lab book. What you can see is Dominant, what you cant see is Reccessive. When you breed 2 plants of solid colors and get lots of eyes, then the genetics for eyes was reccessive (hidden). But do the eyed plants breed more eyed flowers, only by breeding and seeing the next generation will we get the answer. Lets use Blue Eyes as an example. Lets breed these 2 plants with blue eyes together. Out of say 20 seeds you get one blue eyed seedling but it only has 5 buds. The other seedlings are all different colors and some have eyes but no blue eyes. As you compare this row of seedlings some have a good bud count and others have less than 10 buds. Now here is your dilema, do you go with the pretty flower or go with the ok flower that has lots of buds and a sturdy scape. BALANCE of the plant is what we are looking for.
Have you ever seen a mini with a 1 1/2 inch thick scape. Its not going to happen. Why? Because a small plant usually has a small root base and cant support a heavy scape. But on the other hand i have seen lots of big plants with thin tall scapes that when the wind blows the scape will either break when the flower gets wet or on a windy day it gets laid out. BALANCE is what we all want for our breeding program. And like Jack Carpenter said it all about selection!!
If you are breeding daylilies for the first time and never attempt again then this blog doesnt pertain to you. If you would like to see if you like hybridizing daylilies then you are the person that i would be talking to. I am no expert and have never registered a daylily but i do know what i like and how i am going to get there. I have talked to lots of people that sell daylilies for a living and have good knowledge about what they are doing. I have also done slide shows for daylily
clubs and their new members hadnt bought their first daylily yet. We all have the BIG EYE where all daylilies look good, i mean lets get excited right now, just breath and visit gardens and look at pictures till you settle what you like. Dont be afraid to ask questions but ask them of someone that knows the answer.
We are just starting to bloom here in Wooster, Arkansas and as my excitement grows as more blooms open each day, the nights seem to get longer waiting for the next morning so i can see what God has allowed me see and through HIS BLESSINGS we keep that fire going for that next perfect bloom. Jim Elliott