Sunday, December 27, 2009

2010 Introductions

This year, for the first time, I'm introducing six varieties. Three from my long-running Continuous Rebloomer lines, including my first two pinks. And at long last I'm able to introduce some hybrids from my newer goals, Dark Scapes and Tall and Small.

As a small-scale breeder, I don't introduce a fixed number each year: I introduce only the exceptional. And I have to wait until I have a supply. That would take a long time in my poor garden: I'm indebted to Bob Sobek, Martin Kamensky, Mike Derrow, and Carl & Marlene Harmon for increasing my seedlings.

I've been inspired by H. A. Fischer's hybridizing of tall and small flowers such as Corky and Golden Chimes. These have graceful, swaying scapes with lots of branches and buds and extraordinary plant characteristics. Unfortunately, he stopped about 40 years ago. Bob Sobek has worked in a similar vein with Aerial and Echo The Sun. Now I'm taking the tall and small theme beyond the merely yellow: into creams and melons and towards white and pink. Along the way, I am introducing rebloom into these lines. Aerial already has some darkness in its scapes: I'm increasing the darkness and bringing the flower colors and forms into more modern directions.

Continuous rebloomers have been my main focus, and this year I'm introducing light pinks with good colors. The Apps continuous rebloomers, while excellent plants, have usually lacked the light, clear colors we crave.

And finally, I'm introducing some of these because not only are they exceptional garden plants, but they are excellent breeders passing on rebloom, dark scapes, melon (in addition to yellow) and good branching.

From Darkness Comes Light (Huben 10)

34 E 3.5, Cream Self, Dor Dip Noc
(Aerial * Boston Symphony) * A Small Multitude
Seedling number: MH0231D

A breakthrough! I've long admired the dark scapes on Corky and Golden Chimes, but I wanted to get away from the yellow to cleaner, brighter colors. Here's a distinctive light cream self with wide petals, ruffles, and plenty of green in the throat on inky purple scapes!  The buds add to the beauty with their intriguing dark shading at base and tip.  This one should win an award.

From Darkness Comes Light is incredibly floriferous because it has high scape density.  It rapidly increases to a beautiful, fountain-shaped clump where each of the slender fans has a splendidly branched scape with up to 25 buds and 4 branches (in my poor garden.)  The graceful dark scapes come from Corky ancestry on both sides; neither parent has more than a touch of darkness on the scapes.

Dark scapes seem elusive: from some angles they appear black, while from others they appear green.  Heat, moisture, and light seem to affect how dark the scape is in my garden: I expect that the scapes will be much darker in most other gardens than in mine.  This picture exaggerates the contrast a little, and only the last 8 inches of scape are colored for me, but the scapes are beautifully purple.  Not as deeply purple as Sir Blackstem, but far more graceful and beautiful.  These scapes stay erect unless they are heavily podded.

Another distinctive feature of From Darkness Comes Light is the extraordinary quality of the foliage.  This year I noticed that it showed no signs of senescence or disease at Harmon Hill Farm at the end of August.  Unlike the gnarled, stubby foliage of Sir Blackstem, this foliage is graceful and slender.  The photo above was taken August 31st.

From Darkness Comes Light is terrifically fertile, setting pods either way with ease.  First results have shown some seedlings with excellent branching, much darker scapes and exciting bud colors.  A few have left the yellow behind, and are melons or clear, pale reds.  I've made a LOT of seed from this one!

Ace Up My Sleeve (Huben 10)

22 E Re 4, NearWhite Self, Dor Dip
Sunshine On Clouds * Early And Often
Seedling: MH0067D

I knew from the first rebloom that this northern continuous rebloomer would be an introduction. It was my first near-white continuous rebloomer. Then I knew that I would never introduce it, because it increased extremely slowly in my yard. After three years, I had three fans. I sent one to Mike Derrow, and it increased like crazy under his more southern care, enough that I can now introduce it anyhow.

And this is one that you want if you breed rebloomers. It throws great kids: all of my near-white rebloomers are kids of Ace Up My Sleeve. It can throw size, wide petals, whiteness, green throats, and rapid increase. It only has 9 buds per scape, but routinely throws three sets of scapes for me with the bonus that all the sets of scapes are the same height. And it is very fertile, setting big pods with lots of seed. In its own right, Ace Up My Sleeve is quite pretty. It blooms about 2 weeks after Stella De Oro.

This is not a plant for gardens as miserable as mine, unless you need it for breeding. In gardens with better conditions, it should be quite good. For breeding, it is one of a kind.

Boston Marathon (Huben 10)

24 E Re 3.5, Pink w'Rose Eye, Dor Dip Noc
Frequent Flier * Early And Often
Seedling: MH0013F

Boston Marathon does not know when to quit: it is one of my strongest continuous rebloomers.  The color has variable amounts of pink and apricot (as you can see below), but always has a triangular form and that gorgeous triangular green throat.  There's no other northern rebloomer that looks like it.

First flower open is about a week after Stella De Oro, and it doesn't quit until the season's finish line at frost.  (At Harmon Hill Form: in my garden it is satisfied with three sets of scapes.)  The scapes have the typical low budcount of a rebloomer (10, which is more than Stella), but they just keep coming, without a break.  It's a vigorous plant making a tidy, tight clump that divides easily.

I use Boston Marathon extensively in my breeding: it throws lots of strong rebloomers when crossed with strong rebloomers.  It carries white and color clarity, and the kids can range from melon to pink to white, with and without eyes, wide or narrow petalled.  If you want to breed for light, clear-colored rebloomers, this is the one of mine that I recommend.

Let Me Be Clear (Huben 2010)

26 EM Re 4, Pink w' Faint Band, Dor Dip
Frequent Flier * (Millie Schlumf * Early And Often)
Seedling: MH0203D

Let Me Be Clear is simply the clearest colored continuous rebloomer to date. Most "pink" rebloomers are distinguished by dull, muddy colors that get worse when the sun hits them. Not this icy pink! Compare its color clarity to Lullaby Baby (on the right):

(Southerners, please note that Lullaby Baby is not white in the north, but much more a clear, pale apricot pink.)

Let Me Be Clear increases rapidly to make a dense clump with outstanding foliage. It blooms three sets of scapes per year for me, and well into October at Harmon Hill Farm. Scapes have only 9 buds, but that's not a problem for rebloomers with a never ending procession of scapes. It's not a strong seed setter, but it does throw strongly reblooming kids when crossed with other continuous rebloomers.

A Small Multitude (Huben 10)

44 EM 2.5, Gold Self, Dor Dip Noc
Corky * Early And Often
Seedling: MH0042D

Imagine a host of tiny, spatulate yellow flowers dancing on tall, nicely branched scapes. This is a delicate, airy-looking variety that looks more species-like than most species. If there are other daylilies out there like A Small Multitude, they must be forgotten because I haven't seen them.

This parent of From Darkness Comes Light is an extremely versatile breeder of tall, reblooming and unusual form seedlings, sometimes with dark scapes and more importantly with melon flowers.

For example, MH0761C above has shed the yellow and become melon, and is moving in the right direction for breeding hanging daylily flowers. Even more impressive:

MH0761E above is spatulate, melon, well branched, and rebloomed this first year.  Perhaps I'll have spidery rebloomers in a generation or two.

I've used A Small Multitude quite a bit in my breeding and even though it is yellow I have looked forwards to the delicate beauty of its bloom every year.  There's nothing in my garden like it.

Umpty Kajillion (Huben 10)

42 E 3.5, Melon w'Cream Polychrome, Dor Dip Emo
Aerial * Boston Symphony
Seedling: MH0047Q

This delightful melon-cream flower floats on tall, graceful, well-branched scapes. I usually count 6 branches (including the terminals) and 40+ buds.  One year I carried a few of the spent scapes to a meeting in the winter, and was greeted by gasps: everybody wanted to know what variety produced them. You can see from the picture below how gracefully the wide branches carry the blooms so that they don't interfere.

The only real fault of Umpty Kajillion is that it wasn't what I was breeding for, it's only half way to my goal.  I wanted a white with those scapes, and of course I'm breeding with Umptry Kajillion for that:

I call this picture "When good hybridizers go bad!"  It shows a few scapes of Umpty Kajillion loaded with pods.  This one has amazing pod fertility.  I recommend Umpty Kajillion as a parent for pretty much any color tall and small breeding.  It passes height, branching, and small flowers with green throats and carries (recessively) dark scapes, clear colors and white.  It does have a dominant petal, which would be a fault for me if it didn't open so flat and well.  As you can see from this picture,  Umpty Kajillion comes close to self-cleaning: the previous day's blooms are well-furled and not too conspicuous.  They furl even better the second day.  I think I need to breed for daylilies that conceal the paper tags and strings....

2010 Prices and Ordering

Scroll to the end of this post for the two sources.

34 E 3.5, Cream Self, Dor Dip Noc
Dark Scapes. A breakthrough! Cream blooms on inky purple scapes, 25 buds, 4 branches. Exceptional plant habits!

$100 sf
22 E Re 4, NearWhite Self, Dor Dip
Northern Continuous Rebloom. Increases slowly, but an exceptional breeder of continuous rebloomers.

$50 sf
24 E Re 3.5, Pink w'Rose Eye, Dor Dip Noc
Northern Continuous Rebloom. A pretty pink rebloomer with a great green throat. Blooms until frost.

$50 sf
26 EM Re 4, Pink w' Faint Band, Dor Dip
Northern Continuous Rebloom. The clearest pink rebloomer. Excellent foliage. Blooms until frost.

$50 sf
44 EM 2.5, Gold Self, Dor Dip Noc
Tall And Small. Minute, species-like spatulate flowers on tall, well-branched scapes. Extraordinary breeder.

$50 sf
42 E 3.5, Melon w'Cream Polychrome, Dor Dip Emo
Tall And Small. 40 buds, 6 branches. Exceptionally floriferous, terrific scapes.

$50 sf

Huben 2010 Introductions Collection
All six introductions. A savings of $100.


Almost all previous Huben introductions are available, excepting Snowy Stella and Ice Trumpets this year. Those two are available in the collection.

Vanilla Stella (Huben 09)

Vanilla Stella (Huben 09)

18 E Re 3, NearWhite Self, Dor Dip
Northern Continuous Rebloom. Starts 10 days after Stella De Oro. Very rapid increase.

$100 df

Begin With A Bang (Huben 09)

Begin With A Bang (Huben 09)

34 EE 4.5, Red Blend, Dor Dip
Starts blooming a week before Stella De Oro, and blooms well into mid season. Extraordinary foliage.

$75 df

Vanilla Gorilla (Huben 08)

Vanilla Gorilla (Huben 08)

44 M 8, Cream Self, Dor Dip Ufo
A striking, tall UFO with excellent branching and budcount.

$60 df

Snowy Stella (Huben 07)

Snowy Stella (Huben 07)

24 E Re 3.25, NearWhite Self, Dor Dip
Northern Continuous Rebloom. The whitest northern rebloomer, available at last! Very rapid increase.

collection only

Ice Trumpets (Huben 07)

Ice Trumpets (Huben 07)

30 E 3.5, NearWhite Self, Dor Dip Emo
Resembles an Easter Lily: no other daylily like it. Excellent budcount, blooms high above foliage.

collection only

Sunshine On Clouds (Huben 06)

Sunshine On Clouds (Huben 06)

26 E Re 4.25, Cream w'Pale Midrib, Dor Dip
Early Bud Builder. Brilliant pale cream, very long blooming. Breeds strong rebloomers.

$40 df

Kanai Sensei (Huben 06)

Kanai Sensei (Huben 06)

18 E Re 3, Melon Polychrome, Dor Dip Emo
Northern Continuous Rebloom. Very rapid increase, could be used as an edger.

$20 df

Twist Again (Huben 03)

Twist Again (Huben 03)

28 E Re 5, YellowGreen Self, Dor Dip Noc
Northern Continuous Rebloom. No other northern rebloomer has this color. Green holds in the sun.

$20 df

Delicate Lace (Huben 03)

Delicate Lace (Huben 03)

18 E Re 4, Cream Self, Dor Dip Fra Ext
Northern Continuous Rebloom. A rock garden daylily: small plant, large bloom. Very rapid increase.

$20 df

Flowers Of Sulphur (Huben 03)

Flowers Of Sulphur (Huben 03)

20 E Re 4.25, Yellow Self, Dor Dip Vfr Ext Emo
Northern Continuous Rebloom. A total self: even the throat is the same pure yellow.

$10 df

Early And Often (Huben 01)

Early And Often (Huben 01)

26 E Re 4, Peach Polychrome, Dor Dip Ext Fra Noc
Northern Continuous Rebloom. Starts 5 days after Stella De Oro. Very rapid increase. HM 2006.

$15 df

Previous Huben Introductions Collection
All eleven previous introductions.

$350 df

I'm thrilled that my introductions are being sold through both Harmon Hill Farm and Partridge Hill Gardens. I highly recommend both gardens for the quality of the plants they ship, good service, and their excellent selections. Both ship internationally. Please contact them to purchase, but feel free to contact me with questions about the introductions.

Harmon Hill Farm
Carl and Marlene Harmon
49 Ledge Rd.
Hudson, NH 03051
Phone:(603) 880-6228

Partridge Hill Gardens
Ellen Laprise
23 Partridge Hill Road
Dudley, MA 01571
Phone: (508) 943-1885

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Speaking Schedule

I speak frequently on a number of gardening and daylily subjects, in the US and Canada (so far.) Contact me to make arrangements.

This post will be updated (and the posting date changed) as new lectures are scheduled. I am normally present at all NEDS meetings, and the spring and summer auctions.

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 1 PM; Wakeman Conservation Center, Vineyard Haven, MA.
Martha's Vineyard Garden Club
1 PM: "New England Gardening, Especially Daylilies."


Saturday, Oct 17, 2009; Goodnow Library, Sudbury, MA.
New England Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society
11 AM: "Setting Up a Hybridization Program and Daylilies for the Rock Garden."
1 PM: "Discussion: New Directions in Plant Selection."

Sunday, Nov 1, 2009; Deep Cut Gardens, 352 Red Hill Rd, Middletown, NJ.
Garden State Daylily Growers Club
1:30 PM: "Reblooming Northern-Hardy Daylilies"

Thursday, Nov 12, 2009; First Parish Congregational Church, One Church Street, Wakefield, MA
Wakefield Garden Club
8 PM: "New England Gardening, Especially Daylilies."

Saturday, Jan 9, 2010; Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boyleston, MA.
New England Daylily Society
10 AM: NEDS Annual Hybridizers Showcase

Saturday, October 3, 2009


MH0628S (Huben nr) 21 E 3.5, NearWhite Self, Dor Dip
(MH0331A * Vanilla Stella)

Green veins! Look closely at the lower petal, how the green veins extend from the throat. I don't think I've seen this color pattern anywhere else before. Now that I look, a fair number of Vanilla Stella kids (including some sibs to this one) show some green veining: this one has the most conspicuous green veins. Not to mention an exceptionally green throat.

Of course I've crossed some of those veined kids together, to try to exaggerate the trait even more. And I've remade the cross long.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


24 E Re 3, NearWhite Polychrome, Dor Dip
MH0013F * Vanilla Stella

Will the real color please stand up? These two photos are of the same flower, taken 3 hours apart. I don't think the flower color has changed significantly, but the lighting certainly has. The camera is more objective about lighting than our eyes.

MH0515B is my first seedling selection for this year: it very likely will be an introduction. It looks a lot like its parent 'Vanilla Stella', except that the overal color is whiter and thus contrasts more with the green throat and touches of yellow. The scapes are held more strongly erect and have more buds than 'Vanilla Stella'. Rebloom scapes are already on the way! It starts blooming with 'Early And Often' and 'Vanilla Stella', which is usually a week after 'Stella De Oro'.

This plant should be tough: it endured two winters unprotected in a tiny tree-tray cell because I was too busy to plant. 3/4 of its classmates died from that abuse.

The other parent, MH0013F is a planned introduction for next year (2010.) It's a great reboomer! Carl Harmon has a large clump of it ready to divide. But I haven't been able to come up; with a really good name. You can suggest names for MH0013F as responses to this post. If I use the name you suggest, I'll give you a fan of MH0013F as a gift when I introduce it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


36 E 3.5, NearWhite Self, Dor Dip
Ice Trumpets * MH0207K = Ice Trumpets * (Boston Symphony * Early And Often) * (Millie Schlumf * Early And Often)

Stella De Oro still has not opened (it's late this year in my garden, perhaps because I moved it and perhaps because of the chilly, dry weather), but this beauty has. I don't know if this earliness is normal yet: the two scapes are both much smaller than last year's and might be outer scapes (as opposed to normal scapes.) Or it might be due to the extreme spring sickness I've had in my beds this year.

It's not the whitest white, but why would I care with that green throat and that delicate play of colors? It's EARLY! Pollen is going on to all the extra earlies that can throw melon, including Begin With A Bang (which can lose the yellow and could throw red, pink, or white.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The season does Begin With A Bang!

Begin With A Bang opened June 2, and so far every bloom has been pollinated and has set pods (using mostly frozen pollen.) It was just so beautiful today, with two days worth of flowers open because of the cool weather, that I had to put up a photo.

A Kamensky seedling (Little Rosy Cloud * Judge Orr) was actually the first thing to bloom, but I ignore yellows. :-)

It's been really cool and dry so far this year; I've had less than 1/2 inch of rain in the past 5 weeks. Stella De Oro will be later than usual: it's still about a week from blooming.

However, I do have a yard full of scapes! I'm going through the usual anticipatory anxiety for the seedlings. Every day, I stare at the slowly appearing and enlarging buds and scapes, hoping they show signs of being white flowered. Then I'll go through the next phase, of hoping that they rebloom. I do have one seedling that already shows a rebloom scape coming, even though the first scape hasn't opened a bud yet. Hope it has a good flower! I can see I'm having some success in breeding for dark scapes, but the key question is whether I'll leave the yellow behind and get white.

The garden is mostly under control this season, with some good mulching (for the first time.) Maybe I'll need to weed less this year.

Folks who'd like to visit should phone to invite themselves over. Seedling peak is usually early July.