Launching the new Website

Hello All,

We’ve quite recently finished the dispatch of the new Midnight Gardens website and blog.

Among the progressions you’ll see we’ve:

Propelled of the 2012 new daylily discharges

Included perusing pages

Multiplied the extent of our thumbnails

Included this blog

Included our Social Networking

Included a Daylily Resources area

Propelled a Free Daylily Promotion (and it’s extremely an extraordinary offer, yet more on that adjust)

Make a trip and see what we’ve done. Tell us what you think.

2012 Daylily Seedling Fields

The most exciting part of the summer is walking the daylily seedling fields to meet the flowers that have opened to the world for the first time. Many are ordinary, some are spectacular and some are totally unexpected – all are unique-never seen it before-wonders of the imagination. While everyone has their favorite colors, my focus in recent years has been to create saturated reds, clear blues and the greenest greens – easily the most challenging colors to produce in daylilies and also the most rewarding. I am also working with some patterned genetics – the broken or striped genetics a la PINK STRIPES as well as creative eyed genetics such as MIDNIGHT CALL ME AL and MIDNIGHT SMOKE RINGS. Finally, I am working on a line of plants with dark, eggplant-colored buds out of the MIDNIGHT KENYAN SAFARI line.
In all of these cases I am working toward my passion of large-flowers with intense color on tall plants. Branching and bud count are always important, as is the ability for a flower to open properly even after cool nights – a common occurrence in the Northwest and one of the reasons why heavily ruffled plants from Southern hybridizers fail to thrive in this climate.
As it turns out, many of the genetics I’m trying to uncover or enhance are recessive or incompletely dominant in nature – making it difficult to reproduce the traits with a simple F1 outcross. The green of EMERALD STARBURST, blue of NAVY BLUES and stripes of PINK STRIPES often times do not fully express themselves in the first generation of seedlings. And so this year many of the crosses I am making are F1 back to the parent in order to concentrate recessive genetics.
The truest, blood red in my garden is RUTH OLIVER. She is one plant I’ll probably always have, and has been crossed this year with some large flowered seedlings out of COWBOYS DON’T CRY and ROSA BRYANT. Give me RUTH OLIVER with a larger flower and more branching and I think I will die a happy man. On the green front, EMERALD STARBURST remains the star of the show. This year I am crossing her back with F1 seedlings as well as CERULEAN STAR, MIDNIGHT SHUKRIA, GHOST RANCH and a BLUE PETUNIA LACE seedling. And the blues, well, KALEIDOSCOPIC INTRIGUE is a favorite pollen parent with SOUTHERN BLUES, LITTLE BLOOMRIDER, MIDNIGHT COOL WATER and MIDNIGHT CALL ME AL. I’m also using KI on some NAVY BLUES X LAVENDER BLUE BABY seedlings which are showing exceptional branching and interesting color patterns. For those who are not familiar with Salter’s NAVY BLUES, it was one of my favorite true blue eyes but did not like the cool NW weather, like many blues was not pollen fertile and set seeds only grudgingly. So after many years of trying and failing I am very pleased to have these NAVY BLUES seedlings in my hybridizing program.
Blue eyes are one thing. An entire flower of sky or cobalt or azure blue, well that’s another story entirely. LEONARDO DA VINCI was always the closest in my eye – although it is technically silvery lavender. BLUE PETUNIA LACE is on the cooler side of lavender and MADAME ROYALE is as close to steel blue gray as any daylily has come. The theory regarding the quickest path toward a completely blue daylily is that the lavenders or purples should be crossed with near whites and the coolest lavenders should be kept for future crosses. This year I am using a very nice BLUE PETUNIA LACE seedling crossed with PREMIUM CREAM – a plant with excellent branching and a 7 ½ inch flower. Only time will tell whether this cross is successful.
PINK STRIPES is an excellent and very popular plant. It is very vigorous and almost always produces seedlings with large flowers, even if all of them are not clearly marked. If I could fault PINK STRIPES it would be for the warm tones of creamy yellow and coral orange that comprise the color scheme. Give me some combination of red, white, pink and purple. That’s why I have been excited by one seedling in particular out of COLD FRONT – a huge flower with distinct striping of clear pink and white without a hint of yellow or orange.
Finally, the MIDNIGHT KENYAN SAFARI line. Gorgeous lime green leaves, eggplant-black buds and terra cotta blooms. Don’t get me wrong, I like terra cotta. It just isn’t my favorite flower color. So the F1 seedlings out of this plant have pollen parents of pink and lavender – but none carry the dark pigment in the scapes and buds. So I am crossing the lavender F1 seedlings back to the parent plant with the ultimate goal of creating white, pink and lavender flowers with dramatic purple reverse.

Call it an exercise in patience, faith and an expanding knowledge of plant genetics. The journey itself is rewarding, but the fireworks at the end are those one-of-a kind plants that wouldn’t have come into existence otherwise.

2012 DAYLILY EXOTICA

I adore heading to California. Simply past Mt. Shasta on the declining side of the Siskiyou Pass everything changes. I realize I’ve arrived when I see the transcending palm close to the old farmhouse out there. In only a couple of brief hours the Douglas Firs and Japanese Maples become Olive forests and Eucalyptus – the climate warm and verdure intriguing.

Maybe with an end goal to bring a smidgen of the intriguing home, cultivators around Portland have been planting bananas, palms, citrus and other tropical or sub-tropical plants in expanding numbers recently – meticulously wrapping, mulching and covering in the winter a very long time to guarantee their prized plants aren’t harmed or killed by our infrequent sessions with sub-frosty temperatures. Indeed, even the McDonald’s down the road from my home arranged with fan palms.

The uplifting news for those of you in cooler regions of the nation who envision yourselves tasting Mai Thais on the Lanai is that there are various joyful, solid plants that loan themselves to making your tropical desert spring – hemerocallis, the daylily, is boss among them. Daylilies flourish when evening temperatures are over 55 degrees and their foundations get profound watering amid the mid year heat – so I’ll make reference to friend plants that likewise flourish under those conditions and can be developed in agreement with daylilies.

Daylilies, for example, SHINING BEACON, MIDNIGHT FIRE DANCER, PINK STRIPES and JEN MELON follow in the tropical convention of brilliant, warm hues – hues so sparkling they can be seen from extraordinary separations. Considerable EVIDENCE and BEAUTIFUL EDGINGS open with blooms so extensive they may be confused with a hibiscus. GARDENIA DREAM and FRAGRANT LIGHT are scented so sweetly and unequivocally they ought to be planted close to the sitting territory where you can completely appreciate them. At last, GREEN ARROW and MIDNIGHT SPIRIT WORLD keep on offering visual intrigue long after the blooms are gone – plantlets (expansions) create here and there the blossom stems.

Buddy plants that add to the tropical wonder are Canna “Australia”, Canna “Thai Rainbow”, tough Hibiscus, Pitcher Plant “Dainas Delight”, yellow Bamboo “Alphonse Karr Clumping Bamboo”. The mammoth leaves and pendant lilac bloom bunches just as the Reese’s shelled nut buttercup aroma of the Clerodendrum blossoms additionally include intrigue. I have effectively developed Whale’s Tongue Blue Agave for a few seasons. My most loved discover this year is the red yucca – it was a genuine emerge in a larger than average cobalt blue fired pot – it kept up its coral-red sprouts and glaucus foliage all season with almost no consideration.

(Note: that the deer do appear to have a liking for the Hibiscus and the Clerodendrum is vigorous to the point that it will send up new shoots for a few feet around the first plant so may should be contained).

As season extenders I would prescribe the daylily LEMON LOLLIPOP alongside Japanese Iris “SOUTHERN SON” or “NEPTUNE’S TRIDENT” for early season shading. Nicotiana Sylvestrus with it zesty, musky scent; dahlias, for example, “Thomas Edison”, “Papageno” and “Chunk of ice”; just as tropical-hued gladiolus can be joined with later blossoming daylilies, for example, LATE BOUQUET, JEN MELON or CHALLENGER to keep shading admirably into the late-summer when numerous plants have quit sprouting. Possibly include Rudbeckia Maxima in its gold structure for its larger than average appeal and shining, lunar green leaves.

I will test a few additional plants in 2013 that I expectation will flourish here and add to warmth and enthusiasm of my greenhouse – Eucalyptus, Mock Orange, Clerodendrum “Blue Butterfly” and Paw to give some examples – and I trust you will almost certainly include a couple of new top choices also.

Prescribed Nurseries:

Cistus Nursery – Portland, Oregon

Swan Island Dahlias – Canby, Oregon

Hughes Water Garden – Wilsonville, Oregon

Plant Delights Nursery – Raleigh, North Carolina

Annie’s Annuals and Perennials – Richmond, California

Thompson and Morgan – Jackson, New Jersey