Monday, July 12, 2010

Swallowtail butterfly chrysalis

Greetings from Omaha, Nebraska, zone 5a, where today (with permission) I rescued four small black swallowtail larvae from K-Mart after spotting them on a dying potted dill plant while on a trash can buying excursion for my parents. I relocated the larvae to dill growing in my garden. A gorgeous emerald chrysalis with gold highlights from an older swallowtail larva is located on the scape of this red tet seedling in my garden that will be a future registration.

Yesterday I rescued a monarch butterfly larva and placed it on a clump of swamp milkweed, where it is happily feeding. Last summer it was fun to see a monarch butterfly successfully emerge from its chrysalis. Nature is grand - and so are daylilies!

Mary Baker

Friday, June 25, 2010

Bada Bing, Bada Boom!

Yep that's right. H. 'Ruby Moon' and 'First Bird' both had their first flower open yesterday. That means the daylily bloom season is really here!

I've had lots of pre-bloom this year, which as I understand it, is when a scape didn't fully develop last season, so it rests over the winter and emerges from the side of the fan, rather than the middle. It seems that pre-bloom takes place about a month before the regular bloom. So as a result of our prolonged spring, I've been enjoying daylily blooms since the last week of May - UNHEARD of in Minnesota.

The lovely yellow daylily pictured above is Ted Petit's 'Heavy Metal.' I got this one last year so these are the first blooms I've seen. Boy, do I love that metallic band in the eyezone. Other daylilies I've been enjoying in this early, early season are Mom's Pink Divinity and Red Zeppelin from Region One's own Bob Wilson, plus Bela Lugosi (Hanson-C), Crystalline Entity (Reed-M), Grape Twizzler (George-T), Earlybird Orangeade (Skinner-M), Count It All Joy and Battle of Jericho from Karol Emmerich, Lava Flow (Smith-F), Crimson Edgings (Stamile), Stencilled Impressions (Stamile), and Sky Over Schuyler (Reed-M).

Now that bloom season has begun - it's time to remind you to get your registration in for the regional meeting in Bismarck/Mandan. You don't really want to pay 25% more by registering late, now do you?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

There's still time to send your RP vote

Greetings from zone 5a, Omaha, Nebraska, where it's in the 90s and the heat index is 103 per this evening's weather professionals.

AHS Region One members, there's still time to send me your RP election ballot. The postmark deadline is this Friday, June 25.

Mary Baker
RP election tabulator

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Region One RP vote reminder-this 'n that

Greetings from zone 5a, Omaha, Nebraska, where I managed the third SedgeHammer treatment for nutsedge before the June 21 summer solstice deadline and also applied the third RoundUp/Triclopyr treatment for wild trandescantia (spiderwort). My neighbors watered their lawn, spilling into my yard about one hour after the second SedgeHammer treatment, which in that area negated the effects. This time it had adequate time to dry off (minimal is three hours, optimal is four hours) and I'm hoping for great success. I discovered newly sprouted nutsedge, so the third treatment was warranted anyway. Much of the previously treated nutsedge has died - hurray! Based on the encouraging results, I think nutsedge is easier to control than trandescantia, which I've attempted to chemically control during the past couple of years (this is the first year I've done anything other than pull/dig the nutsedge).

Region One members - please send me your ballots for the RP election. The postmark deadline is Friday, June 25, which is just a few days away. Your vote counts!

I am enjoying many daylily blooms. Among them are the gorgeous VELVET RIBBONS and BALI WATERCOLOR, two fabulous red tet seedling guest plants from David Kirchhoff in addition to David's outstanding COYOTE MOON, and tet seedling 30102 from Karol Emmerich in addition to Karol's NO MORE TEARS. Kathy Lamb's outstanding well-branched diamond-dusted MINNESOTA SUNSHINE was FFO yesterday and is showing off multiple blooms today, and gary Schaben's elegant METABELLE BETH is FFO today. What fun!

I'm also evaluating the last of my selected seedlings - had to stop hybridizing in 2006 due to space limitations. It's fun to see how beautiful some of them are. Nonetheless, I am ruthlessly eliminating many of them as to be keepers they must have good branching and high bud count.

Mary Baker

Monday, June 14, 2010

Region One Reminders

Just a quick note to remind those of you who have not voted for RP yet. Please get your ballots to Mary Baker, postmark date is June 25. Remember you must be a paid members of AHS to vote.

Also, be sure you get your registration in to Karen Schock for the Summer Regional Tour in North Dakota, sounds like it will be a "rip, roarin' good time," so y'all round up yer friends and head north!! Registrations need to be postmarked by July 1. See y'all there!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Congratulations - Region One RP vote!

Good evening from zone 5a, Omaha, Nebraska where today I applied a second application of triclopyr on the trandescantia and the second of this year's three lawn treatments. I still need to apply the second Preen treatment for summer-germinating weeds in the paths and flower beds as well as the second SedgeHammer treatment for nutsedge. I'm starting to think nutsedge is easier to control than trandescantia (if someone had suggested that even a few weeks ago, I would have thought that unbelievable).

Congratulations to Karen Schock for winning the AHS 2010 Region One Service Award, to Karol Emmerich for winning four HMs, and to Kyle Billadeau for winning three AHS newsletter awards. All of these awards are well-deserved!

AHS Region One members, please don't forget to send me your ballots for the RP election. The postmark deadline is June 25.

Enjoy a wonderful weekend!

Mary Baker

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Valdosta Again National Convention

Back from the south with new plants and ideas. Georgia was interesting to visit with beautiful gardens to tour. As part of the business meeting we found Region One standing up with the rest of the winners. I am so proud to be part of Region One along with our convention winners. All the award winners names begin with "K" Karol, Karen and Kyle. Congratulations to our Region One winners. We met many of our "old" daylily friends and made new friends. Our National President is a wonderful lady from Boston. I loved hearing of her background and many of the new challenges she faces with this office. She conducted her first national convention with ease and grace. We now look forward to our Region One meeting in North Dakota and then on to next year's national. The gardens were lovely with many daylilies and of course companion plants. The weather actually cooperated and was fairly decent with less humidity than I expected. I now have the babies I bought planted in their new northern home. We will see how they perform here in South Dakota.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

More news from Valdosta

Back again with some more news out of Valdosta. On Friday night the AHS business meeting was held and run by our new AHS president Mary Collier Fisher. After having the privilege of spending some time with her and getting to know her, she is a very lovely lady and a very approachable lady. She will listen to any concerns or answer any questions that one my have concerning AHS. She did a wonderful job of conducting the business meeting and I am sure that all will agree that she will be a great president for AHS. I am so glad to have gotten to know her a little better.
Also on Friday night North Dakota member Karen Schock won the Region One Sevice Award. Our most sincere congratulations go out to Karen. It was even more special as she had no idea it was coming. It's good when a plan like this comes together and the winner is really surprised.

Monday, May 31, 2010


Where do I begin. This last weekend in Valdosta was truely memorable, the weather was absolutely beautiful, very little humidity most of the time, the food was very good and the gardens were gorgeous. The gardeners really went above and beyond getting their gardens in pristine shape for the tours. Although they were a little behind for peak bloom it was still a wonderful sight to see the daylilies blooming as we were daylily starved when we got down there. This was a wonderful chance to see some of the daylilies we have only read about or seen in pictures. It was amazing to see of the blooms that I grow in a Southern setting, the flowers are so much bigger down there, makes me think I better add a little more fertilizer or something. But, all in all, there wasn't one garden that wasn't beautiful.

The Southern hospitality really came through also. Every one was so kind and so polite, we commented that we have never been called "ma'am so many times. All the people we met were very friendly and helpful. It really is a lovely place to visit.

Now for the big news that came out of the Convention. Karol Emmerich won 4 HM's for "Born to Reign", Fear Not', Forty Days and Forty Nights', and Soul on Fire'. Congratulations to you Karol, we are so very proud of the plants you produce for the north. And we all claim you as our own!
The real surprise of the Award night came when our own Editor of the Pioneer, Kyle Billadeau won 3 newsletter awards. We could not of been happier or more proud of the work she has done on our wonderful Pioneer!! Her award were for Best Article About a Daylily Presonallity "Remembering Fred", Best Use of Pictures and Graphis, and Best Article Demonstrating Aspect of Gardening "Texture in the Garden". We are so tremendously proud of you, Kyle.

I just wanted to get the important stuff out there so you all would know of the Region One winners that came out of the convention. There will be more posted on the others that won awards later.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Keeping up (but not with the Joneses) :-)

Greetings from Region One, zone 5a, Omaha, Nebraska where yesterday morning (before the winds picked up) I treated nutsedge in the garden paths brought in with hardwood bark mulch a few years ago with Sedgehammer. The nutsedge had spread into bordering flower beds, as well as in and around daylilies. I sprayed fearlessly, though, as I need to eradicate the nutsedge. The label recommends a second treatment and I didn't have enough for that (so I bought more), as it took two batches to treat it this first time. I also learned how to use the pressurized spray tank I purchased for this purpose - a little scary, but the safety glasses I used as a precaution (and I) did just fine.

Today I spread Preen (late this year, but during most years would have been on time) throughout the paths and garden areas. I finished just in time ... as my father was taken to the hospital with what sounds like another ministroke (he's been having them over the past several days). I spread Preen today because it's getting almost too late for the first treatment (this year) and rain is forecasted for tonight.

My late grandmother's blue-lavender iris is FFO today. She didn't keep track of the name, but bought all her iris from the Sass brothers who lived in the Louisville area many years ago. I'll take a photo of it (time permitting). It almost died out - but became vigorous near the location I moved it to three years ago, next to the backyard fence where it gets full southern-exposure sun and sharp drainage. This iris, the only bearded iris I still grow, has multiplied exponentially from the three tiny struggling single fans I replanted. Small black ants moved in soon after I moved it there, have elevated the iris via their underground mounds/ant hills. Perhaps this is an example of a symbiotic relationship, as iris and ants both thrive. This iris has never shown signs of iris borer (never had that here on any iris cultivars, even the "modern" ones I formerly grew).

Mary Baker

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Strange days in April

April was a strange but beautiful month. The temperatures were way above normal, the winds dried up up the oceans of water left behind from the gigantic snow and the ground warmed up really fast. All the beds are cleaned and 'Preened', I've already mowed 3 times and the daylilies are over a foot tall. Usually at this time they are just barely out of the ground, so you can imagine my surprise when I was looking at my plants and there was 'Mal' throwing a scape already. Now Mal has given me problems in the past, I have had it for several years and it just kindof pouted and never did much, so 2 years ago I moved it, it came up last year as one spindly litttle fan. I threatend him last summer and told him if he didn't do better next year he was out of here. He must of heard me because this year he came up with 3 nice fans and a scape already...I guess he can stay.

I planted my tomatoes the third week in April...I know that is way to early but the ground temp was 55 degrees so I decided to get them in the ground. If they freeze I will just replant but if they don' t then I am a month ahead. I use concrete reenforcing wire for my cages and then use 1mil plastic bags over the whole cage so it is like it's own little greenhouse in there. The tomatoes love it. They are protected for the wind and it is nice and humid in there so they grow fast.

Most of you know I live in the country, last year there was corn planted all around us. A couple weeks ago they come in and fluffed the ground getting ready to plant. All that did was chop up the corn trash that was left from last year and get the ground loose. Well, last week we had horrible winds from the SE and I think every corn husk from the field to our south was in my yard. I'm not talking about a few husks, I'm talking drifts, in the beds, behind the trees along the fences and everywhere. Some of the drifts were over a foot deep with these stupid husks. I didn't know how in the world I would ever mow through that stuff, so Friday Igot on my mower and raised the deck as high as I could get it and shredded it all. It was a mess but now it is a little easier to pick up next time I mow. It's events like this that make me wish I had a corner lot in the city!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesdays in May

So what happens on Wednesdays in May at my house? Well, when you Region One folks receive your Pioneer (it's in the mail!) read my column on page 5 for the answer. Hint: See the photo for what greeted me at my front door when I returned home this afternoon. Yes, May arrived early at my house....


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A fun day

Hi from Region One, zone 5a, Omaha, Nebraska where it's been a fun day. This year I'm re-doing the entire back yard. The old deck will come down and in its place a new permanent deck.

I finally finished cleaning up dead stuff from the garden, and the next task is eradicating the nut sedge. For that reason, I didn't start any tomatoes from seed - but when I saw my favorite variety Golden Boy at a nursery, I couldn't resist purchasing it in addition to lantanas for the pots on my front porch. There's only one place to put it, and I'll have to move daylilies to accommodate it, but I'm re-sizing that bed anyway and it doesn't house nut sedge. Hopefully there won't be any damage from the deck renovation ...

I found plain-leaved Solomon's Seal at a local nursery and bought a pot of that also today. In that area, I had no choice but to spray weed killer to eradicate wild trandescantia (spiderwort) and it's still there. A few tiny sprigs of Solomon's Seal sprouted, and I cleaned them up and moved them, but just wanted to make sure I still had it. Like hosta, I like the plain-leaved kind of Solomon's Seal better :-))) but that's just me - and my yard is mostly sunny.

But wait - there's more! I bought a packet of Agastache rupestris and planted that in a seedling flat. It will join a flat of germinating Asclepias tuberosis 'Gay Butterflies' that I'm starting for my daughter, who is starting a butterfly garden concentrating on milkweed for monarch larvae. I'll keep a few plants to augment here - several different kinds of milkweed already grow here. It was a huge thrill to watch a monarch butterfly emerge from its chrysalis last summer!

What fun it was to see thousands of daffodils bloom throughout the garden. They do so well here, but now the latest are faded. Old-fashioned lilacs are past their prime but still fragrant. Peonies are next, beginning with the Mother's Day variety.

I love summer, and can't wait to see daylilies bloom!

Mary Baker

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spring Fling Reminder - May 2 at Springwood

Just a reminder that on Sunday, May 2, from 1-4PM, everyone is invited to attend the Spring Fling hybridizing workshop at Springwood Gardens. Kyle Billadeau took this picture of last year's participants. E-mail Karol Emmerich with any questions at Hope to see you there:-)

Great things for Region One

Hi Everyone!

This is such an exciting endeavor for Region One! Our own blog to keep in touch with all the happenings in our northern region of the country. Use this as an opportunity to let us all know what's going on with your local clubs, maybe your will get more participation from others who may not of known about your event. Let us know if you have something outstanding happen in your garden, the possibilities are endless.

Check in often and see whats going on with your daylily friends!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Region One is Blogging!

Hello friends in AHS Region One -

Springtime means new beginnings, doesn't it? So here's something new for the members of AHS Region One - our blog!

Our newsletter, The Daylily Pioneer, is only mailed twice a year. That seems hardly enough for all the daylily happenings in our region, so we thought we'd try blogging as a way to keep connected all year long.

So sign up to follow this blog - or just check back frequently. We'll keep you posted on what's happening around the region.

We'd like this to be a collaborative blog - one where several people can post - kind of like one big family. If you'd like to be a contributor, email me, and I'll get you set up so you can post.

By the way, that Pioneer is going in the mail next week. Hope you like the sneak peek of the cover featuring Gerald Hobbs of Ft. Madison, Iowa.