Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Waterbed Survives Winter . . .

Most of you have had a very hard winter this year, including us. Last fall I put about 120 potted seedlings in a water bed to see how they would take the winter, not knowing that we would have one of the coldest winters in history. As the winter came upon us, I expected to lose many of them, some Ev, some Sev, and a very few were Dor. They were in the freeze, thaw, freeze mode all winter standing in water.

Monday, I decided to go out and see the devastation and was completely surprised. NOT ONE POTTED PLANT WAS DEAD, NOT ONE!

Below is a picture of the waterbed that I took today, April 1, 2014, and NO, this is not an April Fool's joke.

I hate to do this, but I guess I have to give Tommy credit for the waterbed idea, but don't tell him. Besides, I am younger and better looking than him.

Life is very, very good.


Monday, December 9, 2013

The True Story of the Greenhouse Door Christmas Wreath

Those of you who have heard me talk know the story of the Greenhouse Door Christmas Wreath. For those of you who have not heard me talk, here is the true story.

Back in 1992, it was evident that we could not continue to hybridize daylilies and live in a townhouse, so when we were still full of vim (there is another word that could go in here but it would probably get me kicked off this Robin) and vigor, we began looking for a flat piece of land that we could grow and hybridize our daylilies. In the spring of 1993 we found two acres of flat land with a 60s style ranch home on it that had not been updated since being originally built. In fact, it still had the old dark walnut panelling in the living room. Jean was not thrilled with the house so we continued looking. After about 6 months, we still had not found anything suitable so I said to Jean, What would it take to get you to move into that house"? She relied, "Gut it or burn it." Well, since burning it would be against the law, we gutted it clear down to the studs and did a complete remodel.

We moved on to "the farm" in October 1993. I immediately began looking for a greenhouse to use for hybridizing daylilies and one was purchased and construction began. I believe I remember that it was finished by November. Well, the Christmas of 1993 I went out to the greenhouse one morning and there was a Christmas wreath hung on the door. I asked, "What is this". The reply, "This is to remind you that this greenhouse is your Christmas present, birthday present, and anniversary present each year it appears on the door". The wreath has been there each year since.

To add insult to injury, this year I was told, "The Christmas wreath is on your workbench in the greenhouse, please hang it when you go out." Guess I won't be getting anything again this year. Maybe I will go out and buy something to give myself, maybe not.

Merry Christmas to all and best wishes for a Happy New Year

Life is very, very good.


Friday, September 6, 2013

2014 Daylily Collection

    We have six new introductions this year for your consideration, all are tetraploids, and most are limited. This is the most diverse collection we have ever offered. We always grow a few of our introductions in the greenhouse during the winter for those wanting their plants early.

H. ‘Bogart’...................................................................d/f...$150.00
33” high, M. SEv. EMO, Re, 5¼” diameter, petals 2¾ wide, sepals1½” wide. 4-way branching 22 buds.
    The flower has ruffled garnet segments with a faint scarlet watermark and a day glow lime throat. The flower seldom water spots after a rain and is completely open early in the morning. We have gotten some very nice seedlings from BOGART. Salter’s H. ‘Camelot Red’, one of it’s parents,  was why we got  interested in hybridizing for reds.
Seedling 1052 [(David L. Hansen X Roses and Gold) X Camelot Red]

H. ‘Bacall’....................................................................d/f...$125.00
34” EM Re EMO Re, 5¾”diameter,  petals 3” wide. sepals 1½”. 4-way branching, 20 buds.
    A foggy watermark showcases this rosy  fuchsia beauty. Ruffled petal and sepal edges echo the watermark colors of white tinged hyacinth blue. The citrine throat of lemon and lime is a perfect ending. Another that does not watermark easily. We have used  the pollen and have set pods on this in the greenhouse.
Seedling 1059 [(Shores of Time X Larry Allen Miller) X Desire of  Nations]

These are all images of H. 'Headache' that I have seen in my garden, taken outside three different years. Maybe now you will understand why I named it Headache.

H. ‘Headache’..............................................d/f...$100.00
28” high, M SEv EMO Re. 5¾” diameter, petals 3” wide, sepals 1½” wide, 3-way branching, 17 buds.
    An extravagantly sculpted knock-out with a lemon yellow bubbly fringe wide baby blanket pink petals with the throat color echoing the fringe to a green heart. The substance is like leather and I have never seen this flower hang up on opening. HEADACHE is fertile both pod and pollen. It is one of our most striking and unique sculpted introductions.
Seedling 0742 (Mandalay Bay Music X Wonders Never Cease)

H. ‘Blue Bayou’ ...........................................d/f...$100.00
27” high, ML SEv Re, 4½” diameter, petals 2½” wide, sepals 1¼” wide. 4-way branching, 20 buds.
    This flower has the WOW factor! A true magenta beauty sporting a smoky blue eye. The petals are lightly crimped and partially lined by the color of the smoky blue of the eye. This flower is a bright spot in the garden and opens flat every time. The substance is heaver than most in this color range. Does not water spot. Fertile.
Seedling 2150 (tetra Lavender Blue Baby X Blue Grass Memories)

H. ‘Scott Drucker’.......................................d/f...$100.00
31” high, EM SEv Re, 6” diameter, 3¼” petals, 1¼” sepals. 3-way branching, 17 buds.
    A heavily ruffled flower of cream tinged pink. The substance is amazing. The ruffles are tinged a darker yellow. I would guess that a flower with this much ruffling would not do well in colder climates. Named for a local designer/landscaper specializing in “cottage gardens”. Another outstanding flower from WONDER OF IT ALL. Fertile both ways.
Seedling 0020 (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis X Wonder of it All)
H. ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ .......................................d/f...$100.00
28” M SEv EMO Re. 5¾” diameter, petals 3” wide, sepals 1¼” wide. 4 -way branching 17 buds.
    The flower has rich carmine petals and sepals with lightly crimped white petal edges. A lighter halo leads into a citron throat and honeydew heart. The carmine color is well saturated and holds up well in the rain and sun. Good substance. It opens as shown every morning. Pollen fertile, but have not tried to set pods on it.
Seedling 8071 (Awesome Bob X Larry Allen Miller)

SPECIAL - Purchase our entire 2014 collection of six daylilies for $500.00, a savings of $175.00. Plus, we will pay the shipping.  All will be double fans.

    If you find yourself in the southeast near Chattanooga, please stop and visit with us. In March, April and May we have many newer cultivars blooming in the greenhouse. We usually have good garden bloom from the end of May to the end of June. We will also have several thousand seedlings blooming in late May and early June. A call ahead is appreciated to insure we are here to greet you. Always some special garden prices.

Life is very, very good!

Lee and Jean Pickles

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A New Journey Has Begun . . .

Sara Lee, our 12 year old yellow lab, left us on April 22, 2013 succumbing to a 9 month battle with pancreatic cancer. Our hearts were sad, but we know her spirit is in Heaven with God, creator of all life.

 A new exciting and sweet life entered our home and lives on July 24, 2013. A three month old yellow lab puppy whom we have named “Sara Jessie Lee” and she will be called “Jessie”. Wow! What an explosive bundle of energy, chewy teeth and wet paws (likes to play in her water bowl).

Spikey, our 12 year old rescued mixed breed male dog went with us to choose Jessie, and was not thrilled with her desire to jump and play. However, he is proving to be a good mentor on exploring the yard and mom’s flower garden, as well as on walks around the farm. He has already put her in her place several times.

And then there is Shiloh, our 4 year old male Snowshoe Siamese cat. The first meeting with Jessie was disastrous to say the least. Mom was holding Shiloh - all was calm - until Jessie decidecd to jump up and investigate. She had never seen a cat before. Explosion on Shiloh’s part - tore mom’s shirt (glad it was not an arm) on the fastest jump and run ever. Tail was three times it’s normal size! Since then he has spent the better part of three days under the bed. It has to get better.

This will be an exciting time again, with house training, obedience training, riding in the car, manners, meeting new people and playing at the doggie park at Greenway Farms. The hugs, cuddle time, and licky kisses will be the best and help Mom and Dad through the days ahead.

We wanted to share our new family member with you, for we know you realize how much we grew to love labs - not to replace, but to continue a “tradition”.

Life is very, very good.

Lee and Jean

Saturday, April 27, 2013

2001 - 2013

"As Long as Forever"

As long as you love me
I’ll stay by your side
I’ll be your companion
Your friend and your guide.
As long as you love me
As long as you care
I’ll do anything for you
I’ll go anywhere.
I’ll bring you the sunshine
I’ll comfort your fears
I’ll gather up rainbows
To chase all your tears.
As long as forever
My love will be true
For as long as you love me
I’ll only love you…

                                                           Lee and Jean

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2013 Daylily Collection

I thought that I had already put our 2013 daylily collection on our blog. Evidently not! There are 9 introductions for you to consider. All have been field grown for at least 3 years. We use no sprays or chemicals on our field grown plants except for Nutricote and Milorganite fertilizers and Treflan for weed control.

Shipping normally begins around the first of April, depending on the weather. We ship to the U. S. only and the shipping fee is $12.00 plus $1.00 for each plant.

Remember, a left click over an image will give you a larger picture.

H. 'Black Sears’   s/f ... $65.00 ... d/f ... $100.00
32" M SEv EMO Ext Re 5". 4-way branching, 21 buds. Petals 2¼” sepals 1½”.
    Named for one of our favorite wineries, Black Sears, on Howell Mountain in Napa Valley. The flower is a velvety textured burgundy that shows a blue purple haze in the shadows. This lush darkness is contrasted with a brilliant light lemon throat that leads to a green heart. All this is bound together with a tiny white threaded and lightly crimped petal and sepal edges. Seedling No. 8169 (Awesome Bob X Larry Allen Miller)

H. 'Cabernet ‘N Brie'   s/f ... $65.00 ... d/f ... $100.00
27”" EM SEv EMO Ext Re 5½". 4-way branching, 21 buds. Petals 3”, sepals 1¾”
    A clear lemon flower heavily contrasted with petal edges and an eye of deep cabernet. The substance is heavy and holds up well. This flower opens every morning like the picture, and is a beacon in the garden and one of the most admired by visitors. Pod and pollen fertile in the greenhouse. Seedling No. 9033 (Lipstick on My Collar X Crazy Ivan)

H. 'Flatlander’   s/f ... $65.00 ... d/f ... $100.00
34" EM SEv Re EMO Ext LFr 5". 4-way branching, 22 buds. Petals 3”, sepals 1¾”.
    Open every morning like the picture the flower has heavily ruffled acacia segments that have a subtle pink overlay. The ruffles extend down into a citrine throat  Shows some light sculpting and should work well in a sculpting program. The substance is very heavy which allows it to hold up in sun and on a rainy day. Has good branching and bud count on a very tall flower. Fertile. Seedling No. 0745 (Wonder of it All X Shelter Cove)

H. 'Jo Kellum’    s/f ... $65.00 ... d/f ... $100.00
35" E SEv Re EMO Ext 6". 3-way branching, 15 buds. Petals 3”, sepals 2”.
     This flower is named for Jo Kellum of Signal Mtn, TN who is the author of several perennial books. Brilliant mulberry segments are trimmed with extravagant white ruffled edges. A lemon throat leads to a lime heart. The segments have heavy substance. The flower opens with perfect form every time. Fertile in the greenhouse. Seedling No.8065 (Mandalay Bay Music X Larry Allen Miller)

H. 'Jumpin’ Jive’   s/f ... $65.00 ... d/f ... $100.00
28" E SEv EMO Ext Re 5½". 5-way branching, 27 buds. Petals 2¾”, sepals 1¾”.
    This has been a show stopper in the garden. A complex overlay of lavender pink mixed with lemonade shows up in the color.  A bright lemon throat leads to a green heart. The petals are extravagantly ruffled along with light ruffles on the sepals. Some light sculpting is in evidence. Excellent substance that holds up well. Pod and pollen fertile. Seedling No. 0020 (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis X Wonder of it All)

H. 'Linda Loves Red’   s/f ... $150.00
28” EM SEv Re EMO Ext 5¾”. 4-way branching, 20 buds. Petals 3”, sepals 2”.
    Our niece, Linda Weithorn of Pennsylvania, chose this to carry her name. A brilliant ruby red flower with extravagant ruffling that is edged in yellow. A striking yellow throat leads to a green heart. Opens like this every morning. Very heavy substance which holds well in the sun or rain.  Fertile. Seedling No. 8167 (Awesome Bob X Larry Allen Miller)

H. 'Mystical Mood’   s/f ... $65.00 ... d/f ... $100,00
33" E SEv EMO Re Ext 6". 3-way branching, 18 buds. Petals 3½” Sepals 2”.
    One of the most distinctive flowers in the garden, the flower is a cream with a peach tinge overlay. The petal edges are heavily ruffled and a yellow color. The throat matches the yellow petal edge and leads to a green heart and shows some light sculpting. Tall scapes carry the flowers well above the foliage. Substance is excellent. Fertile. Seedling No 9001 (Spectral Elegance X Wonder Of It All)
H. 'Stairway to the Stars’   s/f ... $65.00 ... d/f ... $100.00

28” M SEv EMO Ext Re 5½”, 4-way branching, 23 buds. Petals 3” sepals 1¾”.
    A lovely pale lavender with tightly crimped and ruffled petals of yellow. A large yellow throat sets off the image and leads to a green heart. Opens well and is like the picture every morning. The substance is very heavy and this one holds up well in rain and sun. Pod and pollen fertile in the greenhouse. Seedling No. 0769 (Mandalay Bay Music X Belle Cook).

H. 'Tropical Tango’   s/f ... $65.00 ... d/f ... $100.00
28” M SEv EMO Ext 5”, 5-way branching, 28 buds. Petals 2½” sepals 1¾”.
    Tropical sunset colors of amber and yellow are set off with a round rosy saffron eye that fades into a yellow mist and green heart. Ruffled edges are awash with saffron. The heavy substance holds up well in sun or rain. A bright beacon in the garden which drew garden visitors. Lightly fragrant. Fertile both ways in the greenhouse. Seedling No. 0654 (Steve Trimmer X Sherry Lane Carr).

If you see something that you like, please let us know.

Life is very, very good.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Buds in November

This post is for my friend David Hansen in Nebraska who reminded me that I had not updated for a while.

It has been a while since I updated this blog. So far, the month of November has been long so I hope that changes tomorrow when we move on to December 1. On November 12, I had open heart surgery to replace the aortic valve with one from a cow. Now I moo and swish my tail to keep the flies off. They had a hard time getting my heart to stay in a normal rhythm so I was in the hospital an extra 3 days, getting out the day before Thanksgiving, November 21. Kidney problems and diabetes compllicates things even more. I can have all the rubber chicken I want along with a plastic green bean. I am still weak, but believe I am getting better each day.

My first trip out to the greenhouse was on November 26. Jean drove me out in the car and I walked back after turning on the overhead sprinklers for a little while. On my second trip, November 28, I saw something funny looking on one of the seedlings . . . yep, two buds.

These seeds were planted in July and transplanted to the pots on September 29, and this being November, makes them 4 month old seedlings. Picture was taken on November 28. You can see that the buds will probably never open, but still, two buds in November? By the way, the cross is (Groovin' X Johnny Comes Marching Home).

These are the first batch of seedlings transplanted to pots. The seeds were planted on July 27, and transplanted to trade 3-gallon pots on September 25. This picture was taken on November 28, showing very nice growth for 4-month old seedlings. I believe many of them will bloom in April and May.

I have yet to get the hybridizing plants into the greenhouse which will be the next task. I hope to get some help probably in mid December, depending on how much cold weather we have had.

Those of you who have heard me talk will remember the greenhouse door and around this time each year a Christmas wreath mysteriously appears. This was a tradition which began with our first greenhouse in 1993. I was told at that time if a wreath shows up on the greenhouse door it is a reminder that the greenhouse is my Christmas present, birthday present and anniversary present. Soooooo, I guess Santa is not coming to the Pickles' household this Christmas again.

Be healthy and enjoy life to the fullest. (can you do both)?

Don't forget the Mid-Winter Symposium in Nashville, TN on January 18-20, 2013