Sunday, June 13, 2010


32 EE 4.25, Melon Polychrome, Dor Dip
(Sir Blackstem * Boston Symphony) * From Darkness Comes Light

This sib to MH0735M was last year's tantalizing wait.  It was the first thing in the bed of 1000 seedlings to throw up a scape, and that scape was the blackest I'd ever seen in my garden.  That was late May.  It then halted development, and waited until July to open its first bloom.  I've never seen a halt in scape development like that before.  When it finally bloomed, I was jubilant because it was not simply yellow.  It starts off with a fair amount of yellow (photo below), but that fades in the sun leaving melon (photo above.)

As in my rebloom program, leaving the yellow behind and getting melon is a good step towards near white.  It's not nearly as clean a melon as its sib, but it is much darker scaped, so I've crossed them together.  Last year I put this pollen on many things, and so I have 150 seedlings of it coming along.

Another great feature is the deep red sepal backs.  Unfortunately, it is not consistent since the color develops with exposure to light.  Some sepals have relatively little red.

I plan to backcross this one to SIR BLACKSTEM (below), its grandparent.  It turns out that SB can throw melon.  I hate the gnarled scapes and haystack foliage of SB, but the scape coloring is the best I've seen.  SB also has slightly better flower form.  MH0735X has excellent foliage and beautiful, graceful, tall scapes.  Quite a number of other dark-scaped seedlings will open in the next two weeks as well, increasing the breeding opportunities.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


36 EE 3.75, Melon Self, Dor Dip
(Sir Blackstem * Boston Symphony) * From Darkness Comes Light

I've been waiting for this one to open with bated breath, worried that it might be yellow or cream rather than melon.  The branching and budcount are so good: 4 branches and 33 buds that I count today on the first flower opening.  The darkness of the scapes is slightly exaggerated in this photo, and the scape is not quite as dark as on its sibling MH0735X, but it has long branches, delightful height above the foliage, and red backs of the sepals with black tips.  The green throat accents the bright melon (slightly brighter than pictured) color beautifully.  This pollen will go onto everything this year!  A true extra early: Stella De Oro is about due to open, but hasn't yet.  Excellent progress towards near-white on dark scapes!  Larger, taller, and with more buds than its parent From Darkness Comes Light, and also with excellent foliage.


22 EE Re 3.5, Cream Self, Dor Dip

This extra early rebloomer starts at least a week before Stella De Oro, June 1 this year in my garden, and roughly the same time as its parent Busting Out All Over (Sobek 05).  As you can see in the comparison below, it's a much clearer cream color than the melon polychrome BOAA on the left.

MH0708C has instant rebloom and 14 buds.  Like it's parent Vanilla Stella, it has an exquisitely green throat and nice ruffling.  Fans seem rather large so far, and I'll have to evaluate how this looks in a clump.  But it's by far the earliest rebloomer I've got, and I'll breed with it heavily this year.


30 EE 3.5, NearWhite Self, Dor Dip Noc
(Boston Symphony * yezoensis) * Ice Trumpets

This lovely extra early cream is likely a future introduction.  This year it opened the first of June, long before Stella De Oro.  The scapes have 5 small branches with up to 30 buds: these are a bit crowded, and sometimes two open next to each other.  It should have a LONG blooming season, without rebloom.  The flowers furl well when they close, so that no grooming is necessary unless you're compulsive.  Compared to  the parent Ice Trumpets, the flowers look larger and fuller, the budcount is higher, the color is not as white, the throat is not as green and the scape branching isn't as good.  But it is at least 3 weeks earlier and there's nothing like it in the extra early season.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Clump Photo Contest! Free Intros as Prizes!

While I've sold a lot of my introductions all over the US, Canada, and Europe, I very seldom see them at their peak as established clumps in gardens.

So here's the deal. I'll send a free introduction of mine for the best clump photos of my cultivars. I'm planning on between 3 and 12 winners. You don't have to be the grower, just the photographer, and the picture is mine to use if you win. I'll post the winners late summer or fall here. Prizes will be shipped in spring: I'll provide a list of choices.

Please don't send in 500 pictures at a time: just a few of your best will do.

Click away! Send pictures to me at in as high a resolution as they come.