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TOPIC: The 'Bearded' Daylily - "A Cinderella story..."

The 'Bearded' Daylily - "A Cinderella story..." 7 months 1 week ago #19723

  • Brad Best
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The 'Bearded' Daylily 

A Cinderella story about ‘The Modern Daylily’ of the new millennium!*


~ Preface ~


Every once in a great while 'the hybridizer' has something important to say about God's new creations.  It is those who dare to go against the grain and reveal background truths about new breakthrough creations that gives inspiration for the next generation's hybridizing pursuits.  I believe good ol' Arlow would smile and grin from ear to ear if he were here today to see the progress 'the daylily' has made!  Meanwhile, a New Age in daylilies has begun to make it's mark in the history books of hemerocallis!    





This story is dedicated to the small hybridizers in our beloved hobby.  A story with focus on hybridizers, with northern persuasion, achieving new and exciting things in daylilies, while working genetics, against all odds, ahead of the southern USA zones.  Southernmost zones typically known to dominate all other regions of the USA as well as overseas - until the new millennium began!  A story that illustrates the background and origin of how a 'new and stable' distinct daylily form presented itself years before the scientific community even knew it existed or believed it could exist for that matter (one of the reasons why you may not hear or see much about it via the American Hemerocallis Society).  A daylily form first and foremost named and most accurately defined with botanical reasoning via the hybridizer as "The 'Bearded' daylily!" (reference:  "THE DAYLILY JOURNAL" - winter issue 2005, p.458; 'Hybridizer's Corner' area.).  A label that has endorsement and standing per ICNCP code/rules of Nomenclature per Article #11. To this day, some keep ignoring the botancial facts and the technical rules of ICNCP code in regards to how a new daylily form was discovered during it's infancy!  





Herein you will learn the true facts about something incredibly new and exciting in daylilies! There's only one way to describe it: by telling all sincere aspects how it came into this world with God's help (of course, some may prefer to do or say otherwise). The 'Bearded' daylily has a Cinderella story all it's own like no other daylily known in the hobby today. An untold story that was pushed by the wayside until the hybridizer unsheathed the full truth in Daylilydom about a new and distinct daylily form that began when MICHAEL'S SWORD (BEST '05) was introduced! And the light has shined brighter in daylilies ever since!


Over the past 20 years, I have found hybridizing with daylilies is more rewarding than most anything I've ever done outside of raising a family.  However, over time, I've noticed how some who've risen to the top in daylilies do not always give credit to the One Who's created every living creation on this earth (Genesis 1:1). Light vs. darkness continues to wage war to this very day.  

Of course, it could be said my purpose in daylilies is more of a spiritual endeavor than anything else forsaking designs that have been known to interfere with sincere hybridizing pursuits.  I began with a trusting and sincere carefree spirit in daylilies and that's how I intend to continue enjoying life with daylilies as I keep dabbing in the gardens, until death do us part.


DAN PAtCH (Best 2010)




Chapter One - The Beginning of 'God's Rainbow'


It was at the age of five, I said to myself one day, during Kindergarten art class, "I’d like to be an artist someday!"  Of course, the Lord knows our every thought.  I never cared back then how famous artist's works only brought fame or fortune after death.  I simply loved art and working with my hands!  A passion of the heart I realized would endure throughout all stages and every facet of my life.  And of course, like a guy named Forest once said, "Life is like a box of chocolates!"
 
Unlike most kids my age back then, I'd already experienced a personal tragedy associated with death.  It was the summer of '69 when my father passed away, at the age of 35, just two months prior to my first day of Kindergarten.  The anticipation and excitement of my first year in school was suddenly replaced with learning the stark revelation of death.  I was only four yrs. old when dad's departure from this world happened a week before my 5th birthday.  This sudden unexpected discovery of death by losing a father was confusing and painful at such early age.  It was at this point in time I accepted the reality of life vs. death and believed in the spiritual reality of what is to come.  This was the time I began working with my hands and witnessing the blessings and gifts from above appreciating every single moment life has to offer in more ways than one!  



1917 William Lutton greenhouse we salvaged the fall of 2007 near the shores of Long Branch, New Jersey


An awakening:
While I have loved art and working with my hands, for as long as I can remember, my true love for flowers suddenly awakened when I was in elementary school.  I was 12 years old when Mr. Faucett, my sixth grade teacher, put me in charge of managing our elementary school greenhouse.  There was something about planting all those geranium cuttings, seeds, and re-potting plants etc. that energized my soul!  Somehow, working with my hands and flowers allowed my mind to block everything else out - good or bad (even losing recess with friends). I was in my own little quiet zone with the peace of nature surrounding me.  

However, it would be another 17 years, after college, dealing with the up's and downs of a corporate retail buying career, in ready-to-wear, before I'd start collecting and hybridizing daylilies at the atypical age of 29. I like to refer to the daylilies around our home as our 10,000 angels (our babies).  Today, and after so many yesterdays ago, growing daylilies is still so therapeutic and relaxing.  All stress and hurt disappears when your heart and soul is into daylilies (the word "daylily" in Asian culture means:  "to forget all sorrows").





When I began hybridizing, in the 1990's, I had just left my corporate job in Milwaukee, leaving stress and political environments behind to start a small business.  I moved back to my hometown in Lafayette, Indiana.  A place called "hoosierland" where I'd grown up most all my life on a small farm, in Buck Creek, Indiana.  An area within a small farming community just a trot away from Oxford, IN, where 'Dan Patch' the most famous harness racing horse was born (hence: DAN PATCH the daylily).  It was during the spring of '92, I started building the foundation for my Landscaping/Landscape Mgmt. business.  A type of work I'd dabbled in the 80's with success in between spring/fall semesters at Purdue University - not to mention a summer stint working for Purdue's Grounds/Landscaping Department.  

Landscaping was a different kind of business with a much more humble storefront vs. the fashion world of ready-to-wear I'd experienced after my years in college.  This new business endeavor took me back to my farm roots allowing me to 'work with my hands' once again and become reacquainted with the dangers of frostbite, heatstroke etc..  All of which I had grown tolerant of in my youth working on the farm as I grew up a country boy.  

"A little bit of sweat and tears never hurt anyone," my step-father would always say!  Both my father and step-father grew up as country boys with strong Christian upbringings.  Thus, God blessed my youth with faith and the opportunity to grow up on a farm learning good common sense about life and how to help those who may be less privileged in this area of knowledge.  



Arthur's 1st attempt at hybridizing - summer of 2013


This period of transplanting, as I like to call it, was around the timing I jumped into the melting pot of daylilies in the 90's.  However, at the time, it seemed like everyone else I met in daylilies was retired, or just a 'hop-skip-and-a-jump' away from retirement and had lots of time (and more traveling funds) for those expensive symposiums and daylily National meets rubbing elbows and learning daylily secrets (except the ones I learned on my own with God's help).  As a newcomer in daylilies it was hard to relate and participate compared to most of my hybridizing peers (mostly retirees) who had more flexible personal schedules and discretionary funds to burn in daylilies.  

Extracurricular traveling was something my business schedule simply did not allow so well back then and most likely never will as per the economy our generation has been blindsided with today. Fast forward into tomorrow:  in order to thrive in daylilies, the next generation of hybridizers will need to become most efficient with the way they navigate and spend their hard earned dollars. Print color catalogs are a thing of the past. Back in the day, they were the rage in advertising daylilies and were so intriguing to browse before and after we grabbed the phone to make that urgent call to our favorite hybridizer - hoping our first choices weren’t yet gone or out of stock. Since the 90's we've had the internet as an even better more affordable tool for advertising daylilies and a whole new way of networking has presented itself to the hybridizing community!





Today, there is no longer room for wasteful spending on junk plants or fancy soirées for that matter.  The 'bright light-bulb' ideas will be to save on traveling costs and advertising dollars in order to thrive. These are the things that effect your bottom-line.  Without more user 'friendly' venues (emphasis on "friendly" here) working together to harness efficient communication technologies available so many yesterdays ago, networking will be what it has been in daylilies over the past decade or so:  a vast separation of knowledge 'and agreement' - which is becoming an unfashionable trend in daylilies as per the new methods employed today and a few yesterdays ago (AKA:  politics - the not so beautiful part of our beloved hobby where some never came for the daylily to begin with - they came for something else).    

Simple known fact:  
If it wasn't for Mydaylilies.com, so many wouldn't know the background and historical truths about a 'New Age' breakthrough daylily form:  the 'Bearded' daylily (AKA:  the 'Genuine Article').   Today, no other venue in daylilies has as much access to exclusive photos and factual data on such new and stable daylily form as Mydaylilies.com (true fact)! Thanks to Cary Peterson‘s website know how - we have a new and most improved ‘Shirley Farmer concept’ working for the sake of the next generation! Only in this particular case, it’s user friendly with the technology of today, for the whole world vs. the limitations of hybridizer/enthusiast gatherings that only work for select demographics and more or less exclude the youth and the majority of working men (and women) - also known to have a creative touch in daylilies!





My early years in daylily's:
Unlike some hybridizers, me, myself and I, were introduced into daylily hybridizing by learning pollen dabbing basics from a local elderly hybridizer who was not affiliated with AHS.  My ol' friend Steve was someone I like to call, "the genuine article" like good ol' Arlow - those who marched to the beat of their own drum.  It's hybridizers like Steve I learned the most from as I later discovered all the necessary elements, with God's help, how to cultivate a new daylily form!     





Steve was a hybridizer who's eyes glowed with a love and passion for daylilies and it was his energy and enthusiasm that lifted and propelled me even further into daylilies like no other hybridizer I've ever known!  I acquired so many flowers he owned that summer and fall season in the '90's.  Steve's daylily gardens and landscaping could be compared to the likes of Bell, and a few others who have similar creative touches.  However, before I'd ever heard or met a "celebrity" hybridizer, or saw my first “DAYLILY JOURNAL”, I already had a 'rainbow vision' in mind for painting my first landscaped portrait with God's paints.  I named this piece of art:  "Rainbow Hill Daylily Farm."  Even though we've not focused on selling daylilies, for some time, growing and hybridizing daylilies remains a labor of love and a part of our homestead.  Daylilies are a part of the family growing each new season with a new piece of art in the making of creation with God's help!  





I believe an important part of hybridizing is not to focus so much on the financial aspect in daylilies or things scientists of today keep demanding from hybridizers for that matter.  If so, a good hybridizer may run the risk of losing focus on working the daylily - the way God intended it!  



Rainbow Hill Daylily Farm: landscaped in 1999 (photo taken summer 2002)


To this day I thank the Lord for Steve and so many other local daylily lovers for the colors that have flowed down our hillside gardens (AKA: the small hybridizers and daylily collectors).  In order to capture all the vibrant colors of the rainbow it wasn't $100.00 daylilies that created 'our first rainbow' in daylilies.  It was created by using simple bold colors and pastels from an age of hybridizers that are now long gone, but left an incredible legacy in daylilies (legacies that began before there ever was an AHS).  Hybridizers like Meade (HYPERION-1924) and so many unknown hybridizers are the ones I wish I had the chance to know better.  Especially 'the unknown' hybridizers and all the lost genetic codes that may have died with them.  

I've often wondered how many hybridizers like Steve created something new and distinct and were never acknowledged or accepted for their pioneering efforts?  I believe there were probably many hybridizers back then who never had a chance to discuss new and exciting breakthroughs happening in daylilies due to limited access to venues back then and what some may dare mention in private as:  "the politics in daylilies."  Those lost potentials represent the "lost genetic codes" and data that's slowed progress and creativeness in daylilies even today.







CHAPTER TWO:  A New 'Golden' Era in Daylilies


The '90's was a time when names like Emmerich, Smith, Mahieu and the likes had not yet been heard of within the ranks of well known hybridizers. Back then, they too were newcomers in hybridizing daylilies like myself.  At that point in time, popular names in daylilies such as Kinnebrew, Stamile, Carr, Salter, Carpenter, Ra Hansen and others were the names to seek out for ultra new daylily genetics.  These were the hybridizers I found most intriguing and sincere in the '90's as I began my quest in daylilies.  From those daylily heros a new generation of hybridizers suddenly emerged out of the starting gates into a new millenium.


As a 'New Age' in daylilies began to evolve, some hybridizers in the '90's took different paths, in more ways than one, as more and more exotic daylily introductions slowly began to emerge from the next generation of hybridizers.  Some took the high road and some took the low road, while a few took 'the road less traveled' (the narrow one w/o all the spotlights).  Some opted for the 'political path' that gets hybridizers quickly noticed as "celebrities" or "stars" by running all over creation obliging every daylily club in the daylily circuit generating those all important 'popularity poll' votes to help sell and promote their daylilies.  Meanwhile, some small hybridizers, caring little for the glitter and glam of the spotlight, stayed home and started families or retired and focused on more important aspects of life along with a continued passion for hybridizing daylilies, by simply hybridizing the old fashioned way: for the love of the daylily! Hybridizing a flower only God knows what undiscovered hidden potentials lie ahead in the future!  



Summer 2009 northside gardens (on top hillside), foreground clump: PARADISE OF GOD (Best 2005)


'Start-up' methods and sorts:
While some of the new & bigger sized nursery hybridizers I greatly admire (ie:  Mark Carpenter, F. Smith, K. Emmerich etc.) bought-out veteran hybridizer's generations of prized seedlings and got incredible head-starts so to speak, within select genetic pools, being in the right place, at the right time (great way to start if/when you can afford it), others like myself, started from scratch starting new alternative hybridizing programs that simply did not exist in the 90's.  Thus, some are blessed with deeper pockets or close connections starting out in daylilies - while others, living on shoe-string budgets, can only afford to buy a few $100-$200 hybridizer flowers every so often.  Which means, if your budget is limited, one needs to make very wise choices when buying and selecting daylily genetics.  I admit, I've made a few poor choices (ie:  scape blasters/crown rot etc.), but the good choices have outweighed the bad ones and I have no regrets.  Every mistake had a purpose for a better tomorrow in daylilies!  





Auctions and the trading game:
In the 90's, some daylily lovers aggressively worked daylily auction venues and/or played the 'tug-of-war' trade-game with other enthusiasts (everyone has a different opinion of a daylily's value).  In the meantime, a few of us kept our ear to the ground (ignoring the daylily gossip) wondering what on earth would be the next incredible new breakthrough daylily?  While some hybridizers were being mentored on other daylily designs (ie:  patterns, sculpts, chicken fat etc.) or how to become political in daylilies, some of us dared to go out on a limb and do 'something' totally different with God as our Mentor.  Something that didn't happen by chance (the way unstable designs happen), it would be something incredibly new and exciting that happened with focused effort and prayer.  


A labor of love with challenges:
An impromptu decision, based upon the economy at hand, forced a decision to open our daylily nursery 'Rainbow Hill Daylily Farm' for business, during the spring of 2001, as a formal business design, offering open hours to the public (which is no small task).  This was only possible after spending nearly a decade collecting daylilies and landscaping display gardens all around our century old homestead.  At the time, it was not my intentions to open up for business so soon.  I preferred keeping our landscaped artwork (our babies) intact at least two more decades until my years closer to retirement. Back then, we did not have the convenience of a computer or the internet for selling flowers until later in 2001 (catalogs were the rage for upper tier flowers).  A souring economy and the aftermath of the 9-1-1 terrorist attacks proved devasting for my landscaping business.  And somehow we had to feed the family within a challenging new millennium!   



Summer of 2003: photo of my wife Natalia and I with our firstborn, Alexander


Between 2001 and 2009, my wife Natalia and I shipped and sold over 75,000 daylilies, at wholesale discount prices (not to mention starting a family in between it all).  In a matter of eight years we totally emptied our hillside collections erasing my 'heart and soul' of landscaped art in the process.  After selling out of my older daylily stock I closed our 'Wonka factory' of daylilies, due to refocused effort, devoting myself full-time back into the chocolate of hybridizing along with raising a family.  Of course, my competition despised me during many of those mega selling years with our unusually affordable wholesale $1.00 daylily offerings!  It was 'a hit' on the Lily Auction.  Consequently, price-point rules were changed against selling cheap $1 daylilies, after we sold most of our dollar daylilies, due to competitor "complaints?” I can truly say, “I think I’ve seen and heard it all selling daylilies.”  

Interestingly enough, HYPERION was a common bonus plant I included within our auction shipments back then.  Today people are talking about HYPERION and it was a contender for the 2013 Stout Medal Award - imagine that?  Even the small hybridizers and their daylily collections can influence enthusiasts in the daylily world by selling off their collections of old daylilies! The oldies but ‘still’ goodies is how I like to think of them.

In time, I've learned everywhere I go in dayliles rules keep changing to challenge my hybridizing endeavors (even scientifically).  While my creative efforts continue to grow in daylilies, some things will remain the same:  being unique in daylilies & staying one step ahead of the game under the radar while keeping things fun and simple along the way!  That is the key to success with the daylily and it is not defined by how much money you can make or how many awards one rakes in.  The awards and the popularity contests have little to do with one's true success in daylilies.  'The daylily' in itself is the best reward and greatest blessing of all for those with a sincere passion for daylilies!  I believe when one figures that one out, they know what is truly special in hybridizing.  If you're into daylilies, solely for all the awards and accolades, you're in the hobby for all the wrong reasons.


“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” -Apple Computer, Inc advertising campaign, 1997.
 
Sometimes it's the littlest things, by thinking outside the box, that makes a world of difference - even in daylilies!  
 ~ B. Best (The 'Bearded' daylily, c. 1997)




CHAPTER THREE:  The In's and Out's in Daylilies


By 2009, after nearly 17-years in daylilies, I decided to get daylilies back to hobby status once again and slow things down with daylily business operations.  Beforehand, the daylily hobby, as I once knew, was no longer a hobby. It was a lot of "W-O-R-K" and took much time away from my hybridizing endeavors (plus my daytime job and family).  And I must admit, it's hard to please everyone in differing regions (mainly the south) shipping 3,500-5,500 daylilies per week within tight shipping windows - not to mention the rains and early spring freezes happening in between living in the north.  But, it's even harder to please "the critics" - mostly the competition who are always looking for something to complain about trying to make themselves look better, in one way, or another, gossiping within various daylily venues, as they keep throwing fellow hybridizers under the bus left & right with the newest of new hazing techniques (one of the new methods of choice employed today).  These places I learned to stay away from for the most part years ago until I learned about Mydaylilies.com.  Mydaylilies.com is one of the few places I've found you can hang your daylily hat and feel at home while learning about what’s new and exciting in daylilies without spending a fortune in fuel costs, plane tickets, baby sitters, hotel etc.-etc. (not to mention costly days off work). These costs add up quickly for the small hybridizers living with the revolving challenges our generation now faces.  





Dog fights in daylilies:
While some may argue who, what, why and how (or w-h-a-t-e-v-e-r) regarding people's "dog's in the fight" for naming daylilies or new classification processes (some of which make no sense at all these days), we've stood back at times and simply smiled because the 'Bearded' daylily is truly the "Top Dog" amongst MODERN DAYLILIES of today and has already proven and documented that it was officially introduced within a copyrighted print publication first and foremost meeting the rules of ICNCP code in 2005 (Art. #11). Which in fact, 'officially' qualifies it's existence by name despite what some have argued within manipulating conjecture struggling and straining over the past few years trying to say otherwise as scientists keep revising daylily terms and definitions trying to corral a new daylily form and tame it down as something (ie: crested) it never was to begin with - something called "elsewhere?" Obviously, it didn’t take much botanical know how to come up with some of the misguided things that have been thrown around over the past few years.

I've often wondered how interested some truly are in daylilies when I see how they do in the hobby against newcomers (especially against the underdogs).  From what I've seen, it's just a part of the fame game some people are addicted to as they bully their way thru the ranks in Daylilydom.  Meanwhile it is the small hybridizers and enthusiasts who prefer to keep a low profile and enjoy the daylily for what it truly is.  This is the life I enjoyed in daylilies for most of my years, since the 90's, until I began to see false doctrine injected into the background of a new daylily form a few years ago by those infamous armchair hybridizers.  So, I decided it was time to step away from the sidelines and show some in Daylilydom how the small guys can play ball for the sake of surviving the truth in some daylily matters (ever seen the movie:  Hoosiers?).  





With all said and done, it's best to "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars" - as Casey Kasem always said, in my childhood, as I used to listen to America's top-40 most popular song hits on Saturday's.  That's one of many motto’s that's driven me the most over the past 20-years in everything I do as we've worked the daylily into new frontiers very few have explored and ventured into until a few years ago - after it was realized what the 'Bearded' daylily can do!  


Making a list & checking it twice:
Due to so many unstable designs that may create disappointment when buying new daylily cultivars, I recommend asking many questions if hybridizer's generalize and say, "It looks like this pic most of the time(?)” etc.. These kinds of statements do not tell inquiring minds so much.  Buyers need to know more and ask further questions by asking (in the case of 'Bearded' forms), "Does that mean the flower 'Beards' on all three petals (3-way) most of the time or only on one petal?" BIG DIFFERENCE!  And, "What are the percentages!?"  Personally, as a hybridizer OR a daylily collector, "You NEED percentages!"  In most cases, I've learned that some comments w/o any specifications means it's a part-time performer showing barbed appendages that most of the time are only on ONE or two petals in various subdued formats. Except for those perfect Kodak moment pics (or photoshopped pics) reserved for registration that have fooled so many over the years into buying something quite unstable (or something not so blue or white in color). Crested daylilies are notorious for being very unstable or inconsistent. In other words: they look like 'single' bloomers most of the time.  


LADY PATCH (Best 2011)


Over the years, since I’ve been in the hobby, I've noticed many hybridizers do not show specific numbers or percentages (specs) about their cultivar's plant habit data. By doing so, it helps them sell unstable designs and makes stable designs look questionable in the eyes of those who've been cheated in the past. And to this day, registration does not allow specs for 'Bearding' unlike doubles and spiders classifications require (sad but true).  And since there are not enough stable 'Bearded' daylilies out on the market yet, AHS has not taken the 'Bearded' daylily seriously (or ICNCP code for that matter) and it may not happen in our lifetime. For those who may ask why AHS doesn’t have much info on ‘Bearded’ daylilies: it’s because they haven’t acknowledged it’s most "official" namesake (per ICNCP code) to be displayed as in Doubles or Spiders. Yes, for some, it's all about politics etc.. One important thing to remember, country folk don't brown-nose, nor do they welcome it for that matter. They prefer the honest to God truth (especially when it comes to daylily matters). Some of us who've witnessed things first hand cannot go around talking about a new breakthrough daylily form using pieces of misguided pseudoscience as a basis for discussion like some are doing these days. As a hybridizer, I prefer to speak with sincerity with our daylily audience while preserving the background, origin and namesake of a new daylily form.



CHAPTER Four:  My First Daylily Introduction


Despite the fact MICHAEL'S SWORD (Best '05) was ready and set to make it's first debut in 2002, my first daylily registration 'HEART OF DAVID' (Best '02) became the priority that year and was registered as a memorial for my neighbor - a good friend of mine who died in his late 40's - an age I am today.  Dave was one who was always there for you when you needed a helping hand.   


HEART OF DAVID (BEST '02)


David was tragically killed in a work related accident in the train yard, during the spring of 2002, where he had worked for many years as a train mechanic.  He left behind a wife and his three children still in school.  I decided then to name and register just one of the thousands of seedlings I'd been growing for the sake of David and his family.  Rena, David's wife, was given most of the increase and I kept a few fans to grow and nurture back into our landscape in memory of David.  Despite it's formal presence and introduction on our website HEART OF DAVID has never been sold or allowed into commerce despite customer requests.  HEART OF DAVID is too special of a daylily for me to sell and most likely will remain solely as a display flower in my lifetime (like some of the other "babies" we grow). 

'HEART OF DAVID' was our first daylily seedling ever to rebloom here in mid-northern Indiana and the first and most perfect rose blood-red daylily I've ever seen (most of those pretty red faces from the south simply do not do so well in the north).  While there are other fine red daylilies that grow nicely here in Indiana, I've never had one that could rebloom here in our parts until 'HEART OF DAVID' rebloomed for us during it's maiden blooming in the late 90's; and did so well reblooming for Rena when she moved to California.  


DOROTHY HALE (BEST '09)


A few years later, after registering HEART OF DAVID, I began registering more daylilies for introduction and sale.  In 2004, my focus was somewhat concentrated on those ever so round Stamile bagel formed daylilies combined with Kinnebrew's piecrust ruffled edges via SPACECOAST STARBURST.  At the time, nobody I knew was focusing on perfecting Kinnebrew's pie-crusted designs for northern hardiness (a unique trait still quite rare today in the north).  Nor were they hybridizing for that 'other daylily form' with petal tissue growing "elsewhere" that has suddenly become so scientifically contraversial in recent years (even though it's been growing here at our nursery for nearly two decades).  Many hybridizers, at this point in time, were working on 'chicken fat or bubbly edged' forms, which I felt were not nearly as refined as the perfect un-zippered defined effect of pie-crusted forms.  Stamile's ABSOLUTE TREASURE (w/Tet. BARBARA MITCHELL's genetics) crossed with Kinnebrew's SPACECOAST STARBURST gave us JESUS AROSE (Best '04) and so many more wonderful pie-crusted beauties!





JESUS AROSE, crossed with Kinnebrew's JERRY NETTLES created many newly refined pie-crusted daylilies that 'could survive' our northern exposure vs. those that only thrive in the south.  JERRY NETTLES lived just long enough to give us hundreds of offspring before biting the dust and eventually SPACECOAST STARBURST (an evergreen too) also died a slow death due to our northern climate - sad but true.  





Out of a few thousand of those wonderful pie-crusted seedlings grown, we've opted to register and introduce only a few of my favorites to date due to other personal priorities in our lives.  My favorite and most defined pie-crusted registration to this day is:  DOROTHY HALE (Best '09); a special flower named after an avid daylily enthusiast and mentor to many daylily lovers in Lufkin, Texas.  


JESUS AROSE (Best 2004)


However, by this point in time, my heart was also focused on something else that I simply could no longer allow my sights to drift any further.  My focus was on the 'Bearded' daylily (c. 1997).  A distinct new daylily form I'd been discussing with other enthusiasts/Master Gardeners and hybridizers since the late 1990's as I'd been working to develop something new and exciting in daylilies with an unusual stable appendaged plant habit. A daylily with forked ‘Bearded’ appendages’ is what we called it before the scientific community borrowed things and ran with it in other directions.

I had no idea “The ‘Bearded’ daylily” would become so controversial and debated against years later after introducing such stable new daylily form in 2005 via the net as well as in print publications (especially with those in AHS who know very little about it).  For years, many in AHS adored the 'Bearded' daylily for what it is and it was never formally, or informally known, or referred to as a sculpted daylily for that matter. Those labels have only caused delay or ‘hangups’ (like the blooms), as one might say, in the daylily sense against the understandings of a new flower’s origin and true namesake.


MICHAEL'S SWORD (BEST '05)



CHAPTER FIVE: A Battlefield and A Sword:


So, in 2005, with a bit of hesitation, we finally introduced MICHAEL'S SWORD - our first stable 'Bearded' daylily and parent to so many other 100% stable 3-way 'Bearded' seedlings.  I hesitated to some degree only because inventory to sell vs. hybridize was very limited and I needed all inventory to keep developing the form (since no one I knew was focused on it at the time).  Regardless, I wanted to give others opportunity to grow it and utilize it's unique and most stable genetics.  At this point in time, scientists within the authority of AHS said this new daylily form should be registered (and I quote) as "a double."  Of course, as many will agree, “A Double this is not - a new unknown stable daylily design this is so!” Regardless, I politely wrote the registration with descriptives and classified it as a "Double" as directed despite the fact we'd already been calling it, "The 'Bearded' Daylily" since 1997.  Ever since then, 'Bearded' daylilies have drawn quite a following and the term 'Double' was thrown out the window about as soon as it was recommended by the scientific community during the fall of '05.  I threw it out first (in one ear & out the other) then years later, the scientific community followed suit and then broadcasted, within various venues, it was the hybridizing community’s fault for registering it as a double. Some things may never change in daylilies.  


LADY PATCH (Best 2011)



CHAPTER SIX: Hopes & Dreams for a Better Tomorrow in Bearding:


After MICHAEL'S SWORD was introduced, Jack Carpenter's TEXAS FEATHERED FANCY (Carpenter '06) was introduced a year later with similar but unstable appendaged effects. An effect that Jack liked to call "feathering" or "throat feathers" - terms I admired while working our program, but for us and so many others, 'Bearding' already fit like a glove in the 90's like no other in the botanical sense for a distinct new daylily form's most stable 'barbed appendage' plant habit, which differs greatly from that of crested forms, or things some like to call “elsewhere” designs. Imagine trying to use that label to describe something new and exciting to a friend? You'll be there all day playing 20-questions etc. without a photo. We've already been there and done that some 20-years ago.

To the chagrin of the scientifc community, 'Bearding' was indeed introduced first and foremost into commerce and illustrated with it's stable appendage effects within a scientific journal (THE DAYLILY JOURNAL) - before articles of poetic license and scientific rhetoric ever began against the form's origin.  Of course, we'd already been using the 'Bearded' label (c. 1997) for several years prior and the public has admired and related to it quite well when discussing this new daylily form with Mastergardener groups, fellow daylily enthusiasts, as well as, customers that have visited Rainbow Hill Daylily Farm over the years (home of the 'Bearded' daylily).  



Lafayette's Tippecanoe Master Gardener's enjoying the view at Rainbow Hill Daylily Farm - learning & witnessing all about the newest in daylily forms: the 'Bearded' daylily! Pic was taken summer of 2005, during peak bloom in early July.



And so, a new chapter and New Golden Age in daylilies is about to begin!  Where it goes nobody knows (except One).  But you can bet your bottom dollar, as long as I live and breathe, for me and my family, we will continue working, developing and talking about the 'Bearded' daylily for the sake of daylily enthusiasts, with God’s help, w/focus on the truth about a new daylily form, that is like no other daylily known to mankind!  Call it what you like and ignore, or hide the facts, if you wish or insist, but if you really want people to take you seriously and save yourself time when describing such new daylily form, you call it "The 'Bearded'* daylily!"  Because that's what it was called in the beginning and that’s what such new and distinct daylily form is still called today by those who adore it and are seriously hybridizing and working it into a new frontier in daylilies!

*ICNCP rules/code botanically apply, per the form's barbed (‘Bearded’) appendages (such as Bearded Soap Fish or Bearded Dragon Lizards) vs. hair filaments also known as bearding in irises (or) various grass varieties.


DAN PATCH (BEST '10)


As we approach the finish line of a 20-year odyssey, the next few decades will tell even more how the 'Bearded' daylily's genetics will unfold in the future of God's creations!  Old fashioned methods of yesteryear's ago can no longer quarantine simple truths about a new daylily form and how it came into this world with God's help.  

At this point in time, we can no longer ignore the facts:  a stable new daylily form has been created and has existed for quite some time.  The 'Bearded' daylily, is what it is, with such barbed appendages that grow and lift off the petal surface - like the unbound arms of an infant child reaching into the air with impatience waiting to be nurtured and picked-up!  

Yes indeed, even small hybridizers from the north can have something scientifically new and exciting to contribute in daylilies!  In the case of the 'Bearded' daylily - we prefer to tell the truth about such wonderful new daylily form’s origin.  Because Michael's Sword of truth allows nothing less. Ever heard the phrase, "...the truth will set you free?" (John 8:32) Now, you know the rest of the story. The full truth and nothing but the truth! It is what it is.

I thank God for all He's done helping us 'nurture and foster' a new daylily form into this world!

Sincerely, B. Best & family  
Last Edit: 1 month 3 weeks ago by Brad Best.
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The 'Bearded' Daylily - "A Cinderella story..." 6 months 2 weeks ago #19769

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Wow, Brad! This must take the record for the longest MyDaylilies.com posting!
I hope a lot of people will read this and come to appreciate this form you have worked so long on and promote so vigorously!
And I for one resonate with the joy of the creationist viewpoint! Thank you for including it!
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The 'Bearded' Daylily - "A Cinderella story..." 3 months 1 week ago #19882

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Hi!

I'm so glad I found you again. I ran across your website page months ago but didn't bookmark it and searched for this same article that I'd started to read "very late" one night but couldn't find it either. I signed up for "Mydaylilies" and here you are! I commented on another blog page here but want to say, too, that I absolutely love the pie crust edge daylilies that you've hybridized. Dorothy Hale is the loveliest daylily I've seen in a long time. I hope to find her and some like it on your website. Your daylilies are for sale, aren't they? (except where noted)

Honestly, I'm not at all a fan of the fatty, bubbly, pulled under edges! They're not for me at all. To each their own. I much favor elegance and form above all things.

Great work you're doing. We owe you a debt of gratitude for holding fast to your vision. I've only dabbed pollen for the first time last year and held them in the fridge because it was late in the season and none of them sprouted yet. :/ Oh well, God willing, I've finally got the time to try it!

Thanks!
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The 'Bearded' Daylily - "A Cinderella story..." 3 months 4 days ago #19893

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Dear Sheila,

You got a good eye if you find the pie-crusted ones interesting! They run along the same line of difficulty as the 'Bearded' ones to get. It takes some time to get one that ruffles so balanced and refined like DOROTHY HALE. I helped Dorothy's daughter (Marti) pick one out to be named as a gift for Marti to give her mother.

I do miss working with the pie-crusted genetics! Life only allows so much time when you get seriously into hybridizing for unique daylily forms! The best and most fun working daylilies is when it's just a hobby. It doesn't seem like work when you keep it at the hobby level. Selling daylilies is a whole different ballgame. Gotta learn some street smarts if you're gonna survive in Daylilydom. Ha!

FYI - our website needs updated. I've held off selling daylilies, since 2009, after we completed a major crop rotation. After digging and dividing some 75,000 plus daylilies, over the previous years, I figured it was time to take a break for a while. We may offer some daylilies for sale for next spring? Haven't yet decided exactly how many new intro's will be for sale? All our older daylily collections and regular daylily stock are sold out.

Glad you found us here at Mydaylilies.com and have such interest in our daylily efforts! More pics to come as things start blooming here in a couple months! Take care Sheila and enjoy the journey in daylilies! I for one can say, "It's been quite interesting so far!"

- Thx, Brad

P.s. - My dream is to see newcomers like you Sheila take the 'Bearded' daylily to the next level! That will keep the smiles and energy flowing in daylilies for a few hundred more years!
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The 'Bearded' Daylily - "A Cinderella story..." 3 months 4 days ago #19895

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Hi Brad,

Thank you so much for your kind words. It's an inspiration coming from someone of your expertise.

Yes, dabbing pollen is just a hobby now that I've retired. I have no desire to go commercial, although I can certainly appreciate the need to "make room" for new varieties eventually... If God has another plan for this time in my life I'm sure He'll let me know, until then I'll keep plugging away! Right now I'm enjoying the freedom to thoroughly appreciate and photograph the many varieties of birds (hawks and eagles) and flowers that are living and growing in my neck of the woods. Being a creative person who tends to run with her passions I've no doubt just begun to investigate the heritage available to me because of the years, decades really, of dedicated hybridizers such as yourself. It's a lot of work chasing down the lineage of the various cultivars that I like best. My notebook is bulging already! :blink:

I can't wait to own one of your Bearded Daylilies! They're so multi-faceted and the colors are like looking at a rainbow, as I said earlier, like looking into a kaleidoscope. I "do" love the sheer elegance and perfect balance of the pie-crusted varieties though. I don't think I'll ever tire of them. I'm just now beginning to collect the ones I'd like to incorporate into my hybrid program. The problem is most of them are older varieties so I'm pretty much starting with a deficit of breeding options. If you could point me to any worthy cultivars I'd be more than thankful. I'm so excited to see what I might create together with the One who started it all! I think those of us closer to the intricate beauty of nature are most likely to be cognizant of our Creator.

Best Wishes to You! May the Lord bless your efforts!

Sheila

p.s. I'll check your website for updated photos this Spring and also next Spring for sale items! Thanks!
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The 'Bearded' Daylily - "A Cinderella story..." 3 months 3 days ago #19898

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Oh, and I've since been on your website and I see we both have some of the same cultivars for hybridizing!! I feel I'm on the right track for sure after seeing the parents you used. I'll post some of the ones I'm going to use this year at a later date.
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The 'Bearded' Daylily - "A Cinderella story..." 2 months 3 weeks ago #19909

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Sheila,

Sorry for the delay here in my response. The start of my work season with landscape work etc. makes my ventures into forums much lesser during the spring/summer months. Cary and the gang know I'm pretty quiet this time of the year ...but I wanted to respond per your question:

"If you could point me to any worthy cultivars I'd be more than thankful."

I must say, when I got started I was all over the board with differing coloring selections/sizes etc. (hence, the creation of Rainbow Hill...). Many of which never created anything better than the parents themselves, despite the famous maker genetics used, until I started working with pie-crusted genetics!

The pie-crusted forms of SPACECOAST STARBURST & JERRY NETTLES crossed with ABSOLUTE TREASURE (w/Tet. BARBARA MITCHELL in it) got us some northern HARDY daylilies with that southern-belle look etc.. From there we were getting seedlings that could grow with hardy plant habit in the north with balanced symmetric pie-crusted looks. Faces that had only been flourishing within a handful of cultivars from the south for the most part. Of course, there are plenty of hardy 'ruffled' flowers that grow well here in the north, but there's a big difference between your average "ruffles" vs. extreme "pie-crusted" flowers. If you want to get into pie-crusted daylilies, there's more new seedlings coming down the pipe following DOROTHY HALE ('09).

~ However, if you're looking for adventure and excitement in the mysterious taboo world of 'Bearded' daylily forms - look no further! We got a few hundred of them! Over the next few years we'll be rolling out the red carpet with new 'Bearded' daylily Intro's. I guess if I were to give advice on worthy cultivars, I'd recommend saving every nickel and dime and venturing into an ultra new daylily form such as the 'Bearded' daylily! It is indeed a new age daylily form for the next generation's hybridizing pursuits! Of course, there are few out there successfully growing it with stable plant habit - that's what makes it cutting edge and most desirable!

In a nut shell - ya need to go after things that are either quite rare and/or don't yet exist! :)

Good luck Sheila and keep on truckin' in dayliles! :)

- Brad
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The 'Bearded' Daylily - "A Cinderella story..." 2 months 3 weeks ago #19910

Wooh hooo, I guess its time to start saving some $ brad..... I just finished planting about 2,000 seedlings. But I could always find room for some new bearded intros..... can't wait.
:laugh:
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The 'Bearded' Daylily - "A Cinderella story..." 2 months 3 weeks ago #19913

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Keep me on your list!!!!
Cathy JAckie
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The 'Bearded' Daylily - "A Cinderella story..." 2 months 2 weeks ago #19915

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Hey gang! :)

Mother's Day weekend was a busy one here! We finally got the rains we needed for the new 9,000 seedlings to grow - and of course, it helped the weeds too! Weeding, a never ending story requiring so much elbow grease and sweat! I'm learning more and more it is best to till up the gardens for one simply reason: it inhibits the 'swiss cheese' tunneling effect that the moles and voles create in the gardens (in other words plant yer seedling patch in 44"+/- rows for tilling).

Last year I mulched heavily only to see, during the dry spells, moles wreaking the most havoc in those areas that were heavily mulched. This year, I'll be tilling more often and of course irrigating to some degree if needed due to the reduction of mulch that retains moisture and cools the soil (to the delight of the moles)! Not to mention costs a lot of money too! At least tilling will keep the weeds at bay as well as chop up a few undesirable pests. I regret letting loose that big fat mole my dog dug up over a decade ago. Yes, I did a stupid thing, I 'saved' him from the dog and let him loose in a nearby farmer's pasture. I'm sure he and his new family have found their way back into the gardens and are prospering to this very day! (Argghh!)

Yes Zach/Cathy, start saving your pocket change! I've learned a year's worth of pocket change can buy a new hybrid or two. Don't worry you two, I have both your names on 'the list' - ;) And DAN PATCH and LADY PATCH are both getting kinda anxious to graze in new green pastures - not to mention start racing against a new clock in time!

B. Best
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