Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Afterthoughts

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Just in from a brief walk with Karl the Wonder Dog. His feet and mine weren't doing too well this morning on the glaze that covers the walks, driveway and road. That glaze arrived yesterday morning but is nothing like what is en route in the next few hours. It's 26 degrees right now and the wind is clocking at 9 mph. The humidity is 76% and that makes the air feel heavy outside and colder than the thermometer suggests.

Christmas Day has passed but the spirit and happiness we enjoyed here continues. I always try to take time off now to be here with Alex as sometimes the senses of the holidays get confusing for him and us too. Autism, just like gardening, is something everyone should try to learn a little more about in today's world.

Gardeners and especially flower hybridizers enjoy using Christmas names when they register a new plant. We grow a lot of hostas and daylilies and although we don't have such individual collections specific to Christmas, we're aware of the numbers out there. Each of these plants has its own society and membership is worth every nickel.

The American Hosta Society ranks number one with us but folks could debate that either way. We belong to both societies and a bunch of others too. For years now the hosta group have had an incredible journal of table top book quality paper and a pictorial display that's unmatched among the societies. I recommend membership for yourself or friends if you even think you should learn more about hostas.

During the past year the American Hemerocallis Society (hemerocallis=daylilies) has revamped their journals and taken on a larger paper/print/picture format. They are moving along with much more content and still publish seasonally four times. Again, a great journal with lots of information and details about regional and national events, plant sources, and growing information.

So the registered names, what are some examples? With hostas the list is a third that of the registered daylilies but still interesting. Actually that's not a bad ratio because there are probably 15 times as many registered daylilies as there are hostas. I recently wrote to the daylily registrar asking for the actual count because I don't know what it really is any more.

With hostas try Christmas Candy or Christmas Cookies or Christmas Cup; try Christmas Dome, Christmas Gold, or Christmas Jewel. How about Christmas Lights, or Christmas Pageant or Christmas Stocking? Try Christmas Tree, Christmas Tree Gala, Christmas Surprise or Christmas Tart. If you want to see what these look like, try the Hosta Library .

With daylilies the list is longer than I want to write. It's probably around 50 registrations. Try these as example, all with the prefix "Christmas". There's Christmas Angel, Balls, Blessing, Candles, Candy, Carol, Celebration, Cheer, Cherub, Chocolate, Colors, Comet, Concerts and another 40 or so. If you use Tinkers Gardens daylily database, many of these are pictured. Just enter "Christmas" in the database and you will get the list.

Slim availability here at Vermont Flower Farm which is probably surprising to anyone who knows us and knows how well we decorate for the holidays. We have the daylily Christmas Is pictured up top and then the hostas Night Before Christmas and Christmas Tree pictured below. Sometime maybe we'll move along with a collection.

Better get going here! From the mountain above Peacham Pond where a lone blue jay is sitting on the platform feeder outside my office asking "Where's the breakfast buffet?" Guess it's bird food time.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Gardens
Vermont Flower Farm


Hostabuff, Zone 6a said...

As a member of the American Hosta Society, I agree with your assessment of the Hosta Journal; the gift that keeps giving as it is mailed 3X a year. This must have Journal for hosta lovers is overflowing with educational information and glossy photos and is a welcome read during the long winter months. I recently acquired a few older copies via online auction. The bids placed suggest the Hosta Journal is worth more than the price of membership.

I love the photo of Christmas Pageant, a 2008 addition to my collection. And while I don’t have any holiday named daylilies – who knows what the New Year will bring…

Gensparkie said...

I love the Christmas varieties, especially Night Before Christmas Hosta and Christmas Is Hemerocallis. Gorgeous!

On an unrelated note - George, I would love to comment on your blog more regularly, but I hate posting from my blogger account. Can you set your account to allow name/url posters, like many folk do? It would make it a lot easier for me to comment. No worries if not...