"Premediated" Hybridizing Part - 2
A Daylily Robin Posting by Mick Morry
Yes you heard it right-- 'Premediated Hybridizing'. This is hybridizing that is so planned and premeditated-- that it can come only out of serious level headed discussion from one hybridizer to another that are working on the same page and same problem in unison. Line breeding demands records, and thorough examinations of every seedling that gets picked to knowing every plant of yours or other hybridizers as well as you can. With my mom and I we add a level of certainty to the equation. My mom's pick's being the same as mine gives us a real boost of positive vibes, due to the fact we don't tell each other our personal picks until after the garden tour is over. Mom holds back and usually has a paper with her favorite picks on them or will mention them in such a manner that I must tell my hand and then hers is revealed. It's a card game, and it's fun and it has proven that I am my mother's child. And then we discover that we have picked the same darned crosses nearly every single day. There is never a controversy, never, ever, ever -- we are that tight in our selection process and for what she and I like and breed for.
It then moves into a manner of selecting those exact right parents and how to use them. At this point my mom and I select say around 5 parents on a day. They are parents that we have decided at this point, as we usually walk the garden to those 5 or so picks and plot how to use them and finally decide if this is a cultivar to go deep with or very specific limited hybridizing must be done with on select cultivars and seedlings.
So lets do that example I started out talking about earlier. On this black eyed and based seedling day. As I said (it seems like hours before now) first my mom woke me and we then did the 2 or 3 tours we do to select those dads we were going to use. After consultation we decide and agree that it is going to be a black hybridizing day and then we cite our picks.
We start at our place with a top 10--so I mentioned the best 10 flowers of the garden that day in this colour range in my opinion. My top 10 in no order of priority at first were mentioned. I picked these cultivars as my top 10 to run through my mom's top 10.
1. CRAZY IVAN-Smith
2. THE BAND PLAYED ON-Pat Stamile
3. SPECIAL CANDY-Stamile
4. VOODOO MAGIC-Smith
5. LARRY'S OBSESSION-Petit
6. SPACECOAST TECHNICAL KNOCKOUT-Kinnebrew
7. SPACECOAST DEVILS EYE-Kinnebrew
9. SOUTHERN BLACK RACER-Peat
10. WOLVERINE EYES-Peat
So I picked them and then I picked a couple of mine that I considered must be mated to the above mentioned crosses and them to mine. My two were these two.
11. THIEPVAL- One of my future WWI series blacks. It is the darkest black I am showing as of yet and is on my website. Look in Mick's 2008 seedlings, bottom left of that section. It has a minor toothy edge and is out of my MAPLE LEAF FOREVER.
12. MY SECRET BLACK- I can't name it's parentage or name the name I am registering it as. I have never shown a photo of it to anyone or my other darkest one from last year. Some secrets must be kept until the damage is done. Sorry! It is out of orange breeding though!!!!!
Plus we added in mom's best black into the equation so enter number 13.
13. QUIRKS AND QUARKS- Lanny Morry.
Now we had our own cultivars to blend to the stuff we bought. So we have 3 for sure, as she had the black eye we are looking for in her QUIRKS AND QUARKS. You can see it for yourself in her registrations on our site. It's black as can be at times. Now though we have to narrow our top 10 of other peoples choices down. My moms list varied by only 2 plants. She wanted to add in something a little different.
14. VERTICAL HORIZON-Steve Moldovan's best eye ever. His best plant ever. This is twice the plant of his other release of the same year PIECE OF SKY, which is not nearly as good as VERTICAL. Vertical can have quite a bit of blue in it at times and has plant habit sewn up. PIECE OF SKY was not the cultivar Steve was most happy and proud about it was VERTICAL HORIZON. He told me this in person the last time I saw him. I bought most of his collection that year, thank heavens. Lord I miss him. What a sharer and true kind, real person he was. I am so glad to have received some of his valuable mentoring time.
15. MAPLE LEAF FOREVER-Mick Morry- The other plant my mom wanted to run past some of the blackest stuff in flower-- our seedlings as well as the stuff we bought.
I immediately agreed with her two choices. We use a max of 6 hitters a piece a day max, and I knew looking over the decisions we had at least 8 parents that had to be used. However usually it is several less. From within this top list of picks of both my mom and myself come the top 3-6 really big hitters we will use on a day. This gets deeper though. The cultivars that are not used out of this batch of 10-15 picks will move to our-- use when next in flower list. They could be used as early as the very next day, providing just one thing. They have to look as good or better on that day as well. If they fall apart and are half of what they were the last flowering , then no dice. That cultivar then goes under further evaluation and may or may not get our attention again.
On this day we decided in the end to run CRAZY IVAN over most of our non purple seedlings that had a dramatic eye, especially deep eyes. We bred our purples with black eyes and solid near blacks and my MAPLE LEAF FOREVER to everyone else's. It is our practice to breed ours to someone else's and theirs to ours. The other crosses we picked to mix it up with our crosses was LARRY'S OBSESSION, SPECIAL CANDY, SOUTHERN BLACK RACER.
Two days later that colour range was in full swing in bloom again and then in came the black SPACECOASTS and others on the list. The flowers were as solid as before, so right into the hybridizing mode. No need for further evaluation. Always be on you toes and keep yourself there. Don't let yourself get lazy. Record keeping and researching not just your line, but all lines you use is paramount to breeding what you know and like and to be able to achieve what you set out for yourself.
We evolve what we are looking for every season, ever so slightly. We look for flowers showing us less than stellar faces and form or height issues are just some of the things we find we must also take into consideration and breed or cull based on. It is more than pretty looks that can kill a seedling. Never be swayed by just the face of a seedling. If it has a 8 inch flower on a 7 inch scape, then kill it. Don't use any short scaped plant unless you are breeding minis. That's a rule for us.
We also won't use a blemished flower, not anymore, not ever. I may use the cultivar on a non-blemished day if there is no other route, but this is so rare it is hardly ever done. It has to be that way when you are focused on colour or you are constantly backtracking and fixing things that could have been avoided with a more selective and picky nature. In our garden a blemisher is usually almost always put on a sell immediately or cull list. That cull list in this case is a true cull list. The plant is destroyed if it is one of ours. We make no exceptions to this rule.
Anything that we foolishly donated to people at the end of the season was a non blemishing wonderfully formed flower. We used to only kill the ones with the most imperfections and then donated the rest. I say "foolishly donated", as I now believe we must stop and we won't be doing it in the future. Last season we donated 5th generation seedlings that we should not have donated. Looking back now I realize that other than those seedlings being a colour or form we already had or had been done by others or they were just too pastel for us--despite this they were spectacular none the less. We gave away far too many lethal breeders for ruffles or fantastic eyes or perfect form to people that may someday use them to hybridize themselves.
While we kept the most deep blacks and best whites or hottest colours--we also let go some incredible stuff that could be bred to any other colour range in a generation or two. All the people we donated to have to do is pick a colour and use these colours to move in that direction. We armed several people to the teeth. They have a very southern pastel looking program already if they wish, with enough electrics and other colours to go our direction in short order. I feel I have placed them well enough to avoid this, but you never know. And I am still hoping I can reclaim those things we placed that perhaps we should not have placed.
I know that a lot of me has already really rubbed off onto my friend Dianne and her children. They were the people we gifted with a lot of plants a year ago after a very difficult couple of years for that family. They needed beauty in a life that was filled with a deteriorating marriage because of an alcoholic, abusive spouse. Dianne's daughter loves our line and now has 2 years of seedlings to play with if she wishes. She is just over 20 and smart as a whip and she already sees daylilies as something so beautiful that they need her attention and nurturing. This does not scare or concern me as she is into different forms and colours than I care about. However I did do something very stupid in arming a possible future hybridizer 3 blocks from me with complex, very finished flowers that could be released immediately on the market if she wished. Some plants culled to her were 6 years old and in releasable clumps. I have no mercy and show none when I make the final decision. The plant must go for some reason or anther no matter how big or healthy..
There were at least 50 top pastels a year given to her bare minimum that looked like a Floridian program in full swing. Just because I don't care about pastels as much as the strong colours and eyed and edged plants that make up my program doesn't mean they can't be used to lay the hurt on our operation years later. Next season on I will not give or sell anything. As much as I hate to do it I have seen the wisdom of John Peat, Pat Stamile, Phil Reilly, Ted Petit, Bill Maryott of destroying what you don't want out of your hands. It is the only way you can keep an original program intact and safe, without fear of compromise.
My fiancée Jennifer does a marvelous job of mulching and composting and has one of the biggest compost heaps you will ever see. As readers know, we are leaf collectors and rustlers, and the fall harvest of fallen leaves that we have turned into compost on our property is a thing of wonder. Jen disturbs me with the level of enthusiasm for her pile which is this year 50 feet long, about 8 wide and almost as tall as her, LOL! I expect that by next season she will be all the happier to have the seedlings I must do the big ugly to. I see no other choice in the matter now that I going to flower 6th generation crosses next summer. I am also compromising 3 generations of my moms program this way as well, so double foolish. I would be a complete fool to let 8 years of scientific level studying and hybridizing-- mixed in with the tough farming level sort of physical hurt daylilies take to farm them in vast numbers-- do me in by "giving them away for free". I see the light guy's. I was born at night, just not last night.
Since you have been nuts enough to read this post right through to the end-- here is my final comment and your reward for persisting with me to the end. Here are my final 50 of my all time top 100 daylilies that will never leave our garden. If you don't know these plants off the top of your head then you need to know them.
These are our other permanent/never sell or get rid of plants. To be on this list you must have spent at least 2-3 years in our garden and never failed to flower or perform since the second the plant hit our soil until this last season for at least 2 full seasons. In future lists (if anyone is interested!) we will be adding a lot of the newer stuff such as the flawless Lambertsons that we were smart enough to hunt down this year. Luddy's 2008 line never looked bad and flowered flawlessly with lots of rebloom. There is something to be said about having a plant like Purple Peace still trying to bloom on the last day of October on two new scapes in practically sub-zero temperatures. . It will become ever more difficult to pick my never sell outs in the future, as newer cultivars are getting much more complex and the overall quality of future cultivars gets higher every year. And NOW we have the 2009 Larry Grace's to add to the list! It just keeps getting better and hotter and harder to decide what you can put in your all time top 100 hybrids! This list will change but many of the plants on it will always have a home here, even when they gently slide off our top 100 list.
So here, again, in no particular order, are our final Top 50:
51.MISSISSIPPI BLUES-Pat Stamile-Wow what a pattern. You simply just need this plant if you are into blues.
52.PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN-Frank Smith-What a dreamy ruffly white. One of Franks best to date.
53.MEANINGFUL GESTURE-John Peat- I got the biggest edge and flower out of this subtle pony. Go figure.
54.BILL NORRIS-Kirchhoff- This still is one of the greatest plants of all time
55.CARNIVAL IN BRAZIL-Great watermark. A very neat colour combination and never looks bad.
56.GAVIN PETIT-Petit-Now if you have not seen what Ted and John Peat have done with Gavin then you are missing the big picture. Orange with a blackish eye. Hmmmm, what can that do?
57.ADA MAY MUSICK-Luddy Lambertson-Still one of the biggest, tallest, most floriferous true blues out there. Yummy!!!
58.GLORY IN RED-Jack Carpenter-Big, tall, red, dormant and a million flowers in bloom at a time it seems. Huge seed counts and super fertility complete the deal.
59.ROSES AND GOLD-Pat Stamile-The other must have pink from that year. SILENT MUSINGS would be the third from 2006 you need.
60.MORNING COLOURS-Stamile-The hot red on an a clean super bright neon yellow can do wonders for dancing up colour. This flower is above your waist or better in a raised box. Just where I want them to be for height. That and taller are my craving.
61.SAILING AT DAWN-Petit-This flower looks like Ted's photo of it in my yard every day. It is such a consistent face. What a great purple edge and eye. Another 10 in my book.
62.MOMENTS OF INTRIGUE-Peat-We keep a monster clump of this plant around to hit it hot. It never leaves my yard. I will sell it, just never out completely.
66.RITA SUE-Smith-This purple is always on. I can't fault it or even find a fault at this point. Still looking.
67.GOD SAVE THE QUEEN-Morss- I met the queen and talked to her on two occasions in Newfoundland when I was first 9 and then later on a few years later in the army. I was on the feu de joi. The expert rifle drill team that does all the sharp rifle drill you see U.S. Marines doing. The very first time though was the neat one. Queen Elizabeth II attended the yearly Newfoundland regatta as often as she could or other family members could-- and she let kids approach her. I did a curtsy and called her my majesty the first time. She nearly fell over dead laughing. She let me sit at her feet and chatted to me like I was a real person for at least an hour the first time. She is one great, great lady and this plant is all she is. Buy the plant and use it for it's monster size and sheer perfection.
68.HURRICANE SWIRLS-Stamile-Holy crab in a bucket the ruffles on this sucker are gianormous. You have to make up words to describe this one. I declare Gianormous size is 1/3 bigger than either gigantic or enormous
69.CAMAROON'S TWISTER-Benz-A tall great watermarked cascading crispate uf.
70.JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS-Jackie-0 would be so happy to see how used her cultivar is around the world. Up here is no different. A beautiful flower for such a beautiful human being. A must have. PRINCESS DIANA will be hitting this list some year later on.
71. LINDA'S MAGIC-Smith/Grace-Linda just doesn't seem to care about environmental anything. What a superb cultivar and an important breeding tool.
72. ELIZABETH'S MAGIC-Salter-Another fantastic eye with a real complex watermark that does funky stuff when bred to.
73. FERENGI GOLD-Petit-Some of my best yellows are out of it still all these years later.
74. DARLA ANITA-Kinnebrew- This last season Darla had 2 inch ruffles on it. You need to buy and keep this plant and hit solid hot colours that are electric with it and ALEXA KATHRYN. You won't be disappointed.
75. CERISE MASTERPIECE-Pat Stamile-Oh, Pat. Dude I love this plant. It and ROSES AND GOLD are made to be bred to purples and pinks the world over.
76. LARRY ALLEN MILLER-Pat again- Tall wonderfully built and double fertile in my garden.
77. BLUES CLUES-John Peat-Spilt blue died milk is what the patterned eye looks like. I have never seen a leeched out pattern look so dynamic and hot. This is such new turf. Believe that photo of John's he shows. I have seen it much more better though. It's a marvel, a real shocker.
78. OCEAN BLUES-Peat another fantastic blue out of one of the best blue breeders. Ocean blues puts on a storm come flowering time with multiple blooms in flower daily. A 10 in my garden.
79. BEACON AT DUSK-Petit-Ted keeps knocking world class purples out of the park. This semi-recurving light watermarked gold edged beauty never leaves my beds.
80. CHERRY CANDY-Pat again. Don't you love his Candy series. This was one of the first candies to show us where the ruffles and substance were going in modern hybrids and within the candy Stamile line.
81. MOMENT IN THE SUN-Smith/Grace-One of the best most ruffly yellow ever to grace the planet. Everyone down south and an ever growing list of us up north depend on this plant.
82. ZAHADOOM-Pat Stamile-Great unique coloured base and contrasting eye. Mauve meets, blue meets, grey, meets pink. Fascinating.
83. MOONLIGHT SAIL-Pat Stamile- Great height, flower, form and never blemishes in our garden.
84. MEXICAN FIESTA-Bill Maryott-Fantastic watermarked eye. A real fire starter for colour and I think a serious pattern builder. I will see soon enough.
85. OFFBEAT-Another neat unique eyed Bill Maryott. Tall, fertile beyond belief. It never sulks or looks bad. A hundred reasons to have a cultivar this happy and fertile to blend appliquéd and patterned eyes at.
86. CATCHER IN THE EYE-Kinnebrew-John Kinnebrew's donation to the world to aid us in appliquéd throats. The Kinnebrews latest seedlings shown in their latest presentation and in Petit and Peat's new Colour Encyclopedia of Daylilies are wonderful for their new large appliquéd throats. Shameless plug two. Sorry
87.ARCTIC LACE-Pat Stamile-It looks great every day and is always a clean very well formed white. Tall, great seed count. The usual. I expect nothing less.
88. JOY FILLS MY HEART-Bill Waldrop- This is one of the biggest most waterproof flowers on earth. A dream. It has perfect form everyday and is a true uf. It is a 100% cascader. I went nuts with this neon yellow.
89.BONIBRAE JACK LAUNDRY-Barry Matthie-Barry is one of my best friends. I trust his gut, his eye and love his wild breeding. Jack Laundry is a inward pleated purple. It has ROCK LOBSTER style inward pleating. Raised midrib tissue forms out of the throat in 3 raised wide bars. This cultivar is another zip code eater. I have perhaps 50 fans of it in just 4 years of growing it. Anyone want to buy a triple fan of JACK LAUNDRY? I have tons. So does every other person that bought or was gifted it. You know Barry a plant can eat too much acreage
90. PETERBOROUGH-Lorraine/Lycette-This is one of the best near green yellows out of Canada. It breeds like a dream and has such a great greenish glow. We use a lot of Henry Lorraine's line including his last two years newest intro's. His dormancy is tuffer than tough.
91.VERTICAL HORIZON-Steve Moldovan- This is the best plant Steve ever bred when it comes to eyes and patterns. You really, really need this plant people. Buy TEDDY BEARS PICNIC while you are shopping at Roy's.
92. CLOTHED IN GLORY-Larry Grace-It holds up so well in heat and has dreamy perfectly formed ruffles. A great base to build up eyes on.
93.HUCKLEBERRY CANDY-Pat Stamile-Think going blue with this one and a few other older bluish eyed purple candies of yester year.
94.ELDERBERRY CANDY-Pat Stamile-The eye on Elderberry candy is made for hitting patterns or making them with fancy dramatic eyes and with solid whites. Black's love this plant too.
95.EBONY POOLS-Pat Stamile-Again. Ok, Ummmmm, well. Ok, Just It's just as simple as I like Pat's program ok. I know it looks bad, like I am a Stamile addict, but... well...um, I am and I admit it. More so his plants are that good in our garden. Here ends this selfless promotion for the programs I admire and use. However Go to Floyd Cove, Petit Jardins, and Crossboarder Daylilies and all the others I praise as they have really got a sound product you need to incooperate into your line. Sorry I was lying, but promoting the great plants and programs is everyones business in this game. If you believe in a product let people know what a great thing you have found. The programs we hunt down are just that. Special, special programs with very specific game we are after You see the real point really is we all have lines we know and trust and my line is fairly consistent with what I throw at it. I make my own dormants out of 2 or 3 northern programs and use my then made dormants that are mine out of these other dormants I bought to bend to the southern plants and hope for dormants and tuff Evergreens.
I am starting to believe like Pat that there is either only really dormants or Evgs. I am seeing less and less SEV even in our lines this far up north. They are either under the ground or still green, even with snow cover you can see the very green foliage.
96.LAVA FLOW-Smith-I mentioned how good this one is in my orange post. It is tall, electric and is just what you need for orange breeding.
97.ACROSS THE UNIVERSE-Dan Trimmer-What a powerhouse breeder. I was foolish though and bred too similar in colour and didn't get what I needed the fist year. I then threw the neon at it and will see it next year. However what I have seen so far is progeny that is ruffled and big and heavy. Just not hot enough due to my fault in breeding it in the pasture.
98.ISLE OF WIGHT-Dan Trimmer-This one we did breed right and seedlings next year will be shown. You can't show everything. Everyone should look for this perfect formed cream off white, that has flowers galore all in bloom at once with serious rebloom.
99.PASTOR LAURIE ANNE MOELLER-Bill Waldrop- Bill has tremendous ruffles and superb form. We own nearly everything he has put out.
100.SOUTHERN BLACK RACER-John Peat-A great black eye on a tall scape. The base is a deep purple and it is a breeding machine. Both for fertility and for seed count. This year SOUTHERN really got used. WOLVERINE eyes, TASMANIAN DEVIL and UNA SEMA CON JUAN. I believe it is are his other great blacks you need if you are into blacks as much as me.
Knowing the parentage of your line and knowing as much as you can about all the lines you use is paramount. I study the hybridizers lines I use all winter long. That is what is needed to stay on top of everything going on worldwide and most specifically your areas of focus. You must study others lines and how they came up with colour or a form or any other trait you breed for--good and bad. Find out what is linked to what and what traits are in fact recessive and which are dominant traits. Your work only begins with the dabbing of the pollen. If you have done your homework you have invested many hours of your time to knowing a little bit more about the cultivars you are using and you will research how others use the same parents you use and what they got in their programs. Research, research, research!. Sorry about the length again. Hey I'm bored. You can only paint so much before you eyes need a break. That's when I like to type small print into a blinding white screen for hours and hours.LOL.
Ciao all, have a great day.
Avalonia Daylilies and Whippets, AHS Region 4, zone 4b/5 - where research is all we have available to us, all winter long!