I am completely in love with the daylily 'Music Monkey.' Hybridized in Wisconsin by Phil and Luella Korth of Pinewood Gardens, this showy, dormant tetraploid was introduced in 2007. It is categorized as a UFo (Unusual Form) crispate (floral segments that have a pinched or folded effect). The 7" blooms are waxy and thick. Sun, humidity, rain, or wind don't bother this monkey; he always looks great. Occasionally the sepals twirl and the bloom actually looks like it's dancing! Last year Music Monkey grew 31" tall and bloomed in my garden from July 9 into the second week of August.
Music Monkey was one of my husband's picks, using his 'pretty picture' method of choice. Who knew it would be so awesome? And it surely can't hurt having two award-winning parents like Primal Scream and Unending Melody. If you are a northern gardener, and love oranges like I do, you can't go wrong with Music Monkey. I like the catchy moniker too.
Where do I start? Maybe with died-and-gone-to-daylily-heaven? I spent Saturday with my friend Roger walking one of his seedling fields. This particular field had between 8,000 and 10,000 daylily seedlings. (And yes, you read those numbers correctly.) It was nothing short of amazing! In addition to his magnificent home garden, Roger also keeps two large seedling fields, each in a different location, on extra acreage that friends let him plant on. They, of course, get the added benefit of a beautiful landscape full of flowers.
Roger is an American Hemerocallis Society (AHS) certified daylily garden judge. When he hybridizes, he aims for specific outcomes when making a cross. He keeps in mind parent genetics, bloom color, pattern, size, and substance, branching, bud count, foliage, scape strength, and many other specifics that determine what a good cross may be. Green eyes are one of his favorite bloom traits that he often hybridizes for.
Our main task was to methodically go through the garden and choose the seedlings that we thought showed the most promise. We also tagged some 'put in the compost pile' seedlings. He appreciates other people's opinions, because with 10,000 seedlings it's very easy to overlook a plant or two. And as daylily aficionados, we all like and value something different.
It was a daunting task at first, but for each seedling that caught my eye, I asked myself, 'Does this plant have the wow factor for the characteristics I value?' Everything I loved got tied with pink vinyl tape that had my initials on it. And believe me, there was no shortage of pink tape being used. Here are photos of *just a few* of the seedlings I loved. I stand by all of my choices and I would totally bring any one of these babies home to grow in a heartbeat.
We also did a little bit of pollen-dabbing with some bloom pollen from my garden. It was fun determining which plants to make the crosses with. If only the units on genetics and plant biology were this much fun in school I would have paid more attention.
'Greedy Governor' was part of last year's mission to add more red daylilies to my garden, a color that I didn't have much of. The Gov's first blooms, on June 27, were greeted by extremely high humidity and unrelenting 98-degree temperatures. Being a red (some of which are notorious for melting in the hot sun), the flower substance still looked good in the evening, if only just a bit lighter in color. I thought the lighter look was pleasing, as well. Greedy Governor is categorized as a dormant tetraploid unusual form (UFO) cascade, crispate, spatulate. The blooms are large (8.5") and I love the way the sepals twirl and curl. In the bright sun the blooms have somewhat of a yellow-orange cast to them and the diamond dusting appears to make them glow. Oh the details! I tried to capture this with my camera but didn't have much luck.
I can see that Gov is already growing taller (29") than expected (26") and this is just year one. No worries; that can be easily remedied with a future move. From what I have observed so far, I think this will be a hardy, happy plant no matter where I put it.
Greedy Governor was hybridized by Nate Bremer of Solaris Farms in Reedsville, WI and introduced in 2013. I grow a few other Bremer daylilies and they all perform very well in my Zone 4B Wisconsin garden.
As I patiently wait for my daylilies to bloom, I am definitely enjoying my Asiatic lilies in the interim. Here is a hardy and reliable mini I grow named 'Tiny Padhye' (pronounced Pad-high). This cutie was a gift I received from a friend about six years ago. I got the bulbs in early March and placed them in my refrigerator until mid-May when I planted them in the ground. As you can see, they really took off!
This bi-color Asiatic was developed the Netherlands. You can grow it successfully in full sun or part shade (mine are in full sun). It is an easy-care plant that lives in normal, sandy or clay soil that is neutral, alkaline or acid. This variety is also showy in containers, rock gardens, and in front of the border because of its petite size. Tiny Padhye grows approximately 16" to 18" tall. They are said to be deer resistant, but I can't be sure about that since I regularly spray deer deterrent on all of my flowers. The deer in our area seem to eat just about anything and everything. I take no chances.
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my backyard and garden, I LOVE to talk about it!