My introduction to the world of daylilies was a matter of serendipity. A little over 20 years ago my wife's sister moved to Birmingham, and while visiting her and looking around her yard, I noticed her next door neighbor had a large collection of daylilies. The neighbor was the late, great Harris Olsen. Harris kindly gave me the 25 cent tour of his collection, and noticing my interest or recognizing a sucker, invited me to the next meeting of the (then) Southeastern Michigan Iris and Hemerocallis Society. I soon became a member and since then I've served on the Board of Directors,chaired a few exhibitions, planted a complete Stout Medal Collection at the Community
Center here in Mount Clemens, and helped host our 2002 National. Most recently I've been SMDS' Vice President.
Harris later gave me a little tip that has influenced my hybridizing program. He told me that when he first joined the club there were very few small and miniature flowers at the exhibitions, and decided to concentrate his collection on these types of daylilies.
After I had grown out some seeds Harris had given me and made some crosses, I began to look for a niche of my own. Spiders were just beginning
to get some attention on Planet Daylily . Harris' tip came to mind.
After many hours of catalog research (database? what's a database?),
I noticed something: the proportion of spiders to round forms was minuscule
(there was no UF class or Harris Olsen Spider Award ) and small spiders were
exceedingly rare. Hmmm, maybe this was my niche.
Anyway, to make a very long story longer, I quickly acquired
Nutmeg Elf (McCabe, 1978) about the only small spider then commonly available, and began my planto dominate the world of small spiders. I put NE on everything I had while continuing to look for, and not having much luck finding, other small spiders for genetic material.
I line bred NE X Little Rosy Cloud (Winniford-E.,1985)
(a cultivar suggested by my other mentor, Martin Kamensky) and eventually came up in the F3 with a small, red, pinched UF, LRCNE3.
Kindly Light (Bechtold, 1950) X NE, F2, gave me the 4.5 inch 4:1 spider, KLNE2
and Kindly Light X Perpetual Motion (Knocke,1990),
F2, gave the small tight cascade UF, PMOKL2.
I've also made some detours on my path to small spider domination,
I've introduced two large UFs,
the beautiful lavender Jane's Dream (Cody, 2004)
and its sibling Simply Jane (Cody, 2004)
named in memory of my sister.
I garden on a small side lot in Mount Clemens
and grow around 200 seedlings a year.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- John Cody