Clarke FarmsCdn

Clarke Farms
Hello and Welcome to my Garden!

spacerBarrie is located 90 kilometers north of Toronto, Canada and we are in zone 5. You can see from my winter garden shots that the area is in a snow belt that blows in off Georgian Bay. The one saving grace is the normal 3 feet of snow cover for the daylilies.

spacerThe daylily pictured above first germinated in the spring of 2014 on a stony pathway out from under a large granite stone. I don't know where the lone seed came from and attribute it to natural pod spill from the only red daylily growing in the area; a seedling from a cross of Captain Blue X Joan Derifield. The plant persisted to grow the first summer, however, it did not scape. I intended to relocate the plant later in the fall but alas never got around to moving it.

spacerThis spring the seedling grew one thick, medium tall scape (picture on the left). The bloom to me was not normally something I would be attracted to, kind of a plain tangerine red with a bit of an edge; but whoa the plant habit! The scape had seven-way branching and multiple 6 1/2 inch blooms. The mysterious seedling, to which I gave the garden name " Red Perchance" produced both a late summer secondary scape (see picture on right with earlier pod set) and later a small prolif.

spacerRed Perchance just kept giving, sinfully pod fertile, strong fluffy pollen and every hybridizer in the north loves winter dormancy. I have now decided to keep this seedling as a "bridge plant" to put a pretty patterned face on.

spacerUnique pattern daylily's came on the market with southern U.S. hybridizers about 8 years ago. As a result, my "shotgun hybridizing goals" narrowed significantly in 2012 and now seem to be predominately patterns and edgy reds.

spacerThis spring I had the opportunity to visit Subhana Ansari in Pinole California, a very gracious and resourceful daylily hybridizer. Many of Subhana's seedlings were just starting to bloom in May and I was fortunate enough to be able to purchase three or four of her 2015 patterned seedlings and of course 2 of her latest introductions, One Night Pollination and Infinitely Interrelated.

spacer I'm anticipating approximately 250 patterned seedlings to bloom next summer covering a wide range of colours, patterns and forms. In addition, approximately 70% of my crosses this summer were made within my own pattern stock. I try to keep only seedlings that produce consistent pattern design with every flower, which unfortunately eliminates many exciting "One Hit Wonders".

spacerI have been hyber/experimenting with variegated leaf daylilies since 2010. I accidently received my first variegated daylily from Barry Mathie, the owner of Bonibrae Farms in Ontario. I gave it the garden name "As Tough As Nails" and you can see the flower in my 2011 seedlings. Two third generation seedlings with variegated leafing, " As Tough As Tacks" and "Modern Connection" are included in my 2015 selected seedlings.

spacerFor the past six summers I have been selling off my unwanted seedlings to friends and locals and donating half the proceeds to Gilda's Club Cancer Centre. As I walk through the neighbourhood I see many good-looking daylilies, some perhaps I should have kept for more observation.

Feel free to browse my site and offer comments or questions.

John Clarke
Barrie, Ontario,
Canada L4N 4V2

Email John at:

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Nov. 29, 2015
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