2018- Grace Gardens Updated Newsletter

Tom and Kathy Rood 1064 Angus Rd
Tel/Fax 315.536.2556 (Cell 315.694.0123)Penn Yan, NY 14527
E-Mail tom@gracegardens.com Web Site https:/www.gracegardens.com
Please place Grace Gardens in the subject box  

Thank you for your interest in Grace Gardens. Grace Gardens specializes in hybrid daylilies growing over 2300 registered varieties including 128 of their own introductions (21 in 2017).  Those of you visiting the garden will find Tom and Kathy's intros planted in bed 2 and adjacent bed 6 by the gazebo. Kathy's are on the east side and Tom's on the west.  This will allow visitors to observe all their intros in one place. 

Garden annual open house day will be Saturday July 21 with a rain date the following day.

Every year Grace Gardens adds many "new" plants to the garden.  This also means a like number have to leave the garden permanently and become no longer available from Grace Gardens.  Tom and Kathy visit other gardens looking for exceptional daylily cultivars. They purchase a few newer expensive hybrids to add to their breeding programs.  Kathy specializes in miniatures, patterned eyes and double daylilies.  Tom's main specialty is to lengthen the bloom season with extra early and very late blooming daylilies.  He is always on the look out for any that will add to those programs with good vigor, branching and bud counts.

About honey bees.  Honey bees are in decline all over the world.  Bee colony losses are in the hundreds of thousands continue across the US.  In some places in Upstate NY losses of 70 percent is not uncommon.  We lost 6 out of 9 colonies late 2016-2017 winter.  At this writing in mid-January, Tom still has three live colonies and plans to split them early May. Chemical spraying in orchards and the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on field crops are night mares for bee keepers.  While these chemicals do not seem to attack honey bees outright, it is believed by some researchers, to weaken their ability to fend off diseases and predatory insects such as the varroa mite.

For a number of years, Tom was disappointed in the performance of some of his best looking seedlings.  That caused him to hold back on introducing them.  A few years ago he gave a friend a box of his rejects.  Driving by her home a year later, he stopped his car to look at a beautiful pink with many branches and buds and learned that it was one of his rejects.  He was able to get a piece and increased it.  It is now registered as "Rose II Freedom."

Decades of poor agricultural practices prior to Tom and Kathy purchasing their farm resorted in a sorely depleted soil.  An example is Seneca Towers.  In the rich soil of their seedling bed, Seneca Towers reached almost 5 feet in height. In bed 15, it rarely reached 3 feet and bloomed out quickly.  In the fall of 2012, Tom lined out 30 fans of Seneca Towers in good soil with ample watering available.  The northern end of the row the plants only grew to 3 feet tall.  But on the southern end of the row, they reached almost 5 feet.  In 2013, they begin to bloom the first week in July and continued blooming into early September.   There was a Seneca Towers bloom open just about every day with several days showing many blooms.  This repeated every summer through 2017.

Many large commercial daylily growers resort to artificial means to gain increase and to push the daylilies to their peak of perfection.  These growers use products such as Milorganite (composted sewage sludge). Then, they irrigate daylily often with a liquid fertilizer mix especially for that garden.   The whole point is that these daylilies may look great and perform at their peak but will be disappointing due to the culture shock when transplanted in their new home.  Keep in mind that some purchased daylilies rarely look like their retouched catalog photos.

Because Grace Gardens has not used any super special means to get daylilies to look good, their daylilies have a reputation of transplanting and performing well. 

A word about the catalog/price list.  Something like 100 images were added along with almost 100 new additions to the garden.  Prices are subject to change.  From time to time we do make a few mistakes in the price list and reserve the right to make corrections.  Kathy makes the price determinations and Tom does the web changes.  The way the on-line catalog is set up is laborious.  Our customers have asked us not to change its format and it is as bear to update with additions. Tom set the narrow width of the catalog pages so that those so inclined may print them out as many have.

Please note that some cultivars are listed as sold out or display.  In a some cases they may have increased to the point where a double fan or two single fans may be obtained- we have to go look in each case.  There are so many cultivars on the list that it is hard to keep track of the increase from year to year.  If a daylily is no longer available, that means it is no longer in the garden.  All daylily images on this web site are free for you to use.  Credit is appreciated.

Tom and Kathy have lowered prices on most of their intros so more people can obtain them.  It is not all about making money as it is getting good cultivars out of the garden and in the homes of others who appreciate them.  In some cases their intros are in such demand that it is almost impossible to build up inventory of them.  Therefore we may limit purchase to single fans to avoid disappointing our customers.

Tom and Kathy appreciate all their garden visitors and loyal customers.  It is a labor of love and a connection to other like-minded friends.  It would be very hard to list all the people whose lives have been changed from a short walk through Grace Gardens in peak bloom.  It would not be a short list.  It is more than flowers, it is more about making friends.

A short word about local wineries.  There are now seven within two miles of the garden.  Boutique breweries and a few distilleries continue to pop up near by as well.  Along the west shore of Seneca Lake's watershed, these tourist attractions (at least 25 wineries) continue to pop up and some drop out.  Penn Yan has added three motels in town to help accommodate this tourist traffic. Not every visitor to our central Finger Lakes region wants to spend a day or two bending elbows over tasting counters.

Grace Gardens offers a wonderful place to visit, relax in the shade, have a picnic lunch while visiting with Tom and Kathy when they are not busy digging plants for people who want a few to take home. Free bottled water is always available and Fox Run Winery next door has graciously offered their rest room facilities to our garden visitors. Dogs are not allowed in the garden but there are shaded areas where they can wait while their owners walk the gardens.

Please stop by for a visit this bloom season.

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