Daylilies forum: ATP Series: The Daylilies of Don Herr

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Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
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Char
Jul 14, 2013 6:12 PM CST

Moderator

Posting this one early, I'm headed out in the morning to visit some friends for a few days.

Can the hobby hybridizer produce quality, garden worthy daylilies working on a small scale when larger hybridizers produce thousands of seedlings to choose from, is hybridizing a “numbers game” or does everyone have the opportunity to produce daylilies worthy of recognition? This is a question often asked and thought about by many small scale or hobby hybridizers. Hobby hybridizers may find inspiration and the answer to this question in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with the daylilies and hybridizing program of Don Herr.

Several years ago Don retired from his veterinary practice. Now he enjoys doing advanced dentistry for a variety of species one day a week. He and his wife, Trish, share a passion for antiques with Don being an expert on antique pewter. He is the author of “Pewter in Pennsylvania German Churches” and has assisted in the recovery of a rare pewter flagon by recognizing it at an auction 30 years after it was stolen.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09...

The daylilies began after visiting a friend’s home, seeing the beauty of their garden and the variety of colors and forms of the daylilies. For Don hybridizing is a hobby and he began making his first crosses in 1992. He has introduced daylilies in a variety of forms spider, sculpted, polymerous, unusual and double forms, round, ruffled, tall…clear colors, eyes, large, small. He works with both dips (diploids) and tets (tetraploids) and plants approximately 800 seedlings each spring from crosses involving carefully researched parents. The crosses are planned with goals in mind for hardy plants, better than average budcount and branching, daylilies that bloom for long periods of time and of course, beautiful flowers.

His first introductions were ‘On Display’ and ‘Top Attraction’ in 1996. ‘You are My Sunshine’(2000) was awarded a Junior Citation(JC) during the 2000 AHS National Convention held in Pennsylvania. A Junior Citation is the first step a hybridizer can take when considering the worthiness of an unregistered seedling. To receive a JC, ten votes from garden judges are needed recognizing the seedling as being distinctive and showing qualities better than the average daylily registered within the past five years. A seedling receiving a JC must then be registered within the next year. Other seedlings of Don’s with JC’s include ‘Dancing Gypsies’ (2009),’ Her Late Bloomers’ (2011) and ‘Big Bertha’ (2012).
‘Her Best Bloomers’( Herr –D, 2001).




‘Her Best Bloomers’(2001) has been recognized with several awards, the 2006 the Florida Sunshine Cup, an award voted for during the AHS National Convention, the Annie T. Giles Award for best small flower and an Honorable Mention(HM) both in 2007 and an Award of Merit in 2010. Other HM winners include ‘Whistle a Happy Tune’ (2001) in 2007, ‘Trish Herr’ (2002) in 2008, ‘Beth Herr’ (2002), ‘Summer Fireworks’ (2005) and ‘Lavender Suspenders’ (2002) in 2009.

‘Whistle a Happy Tune’ (Herr-D, 2001)



‘Summer Fireworks’( Herr-D, 2005)



In 2010 ‘Martha’s Memories’ (2003) and in 2011‘Tall, Dark and Handsome’ (2006) were awarded Honorable Mentions.

‘Martha’s Memories’(Herr-D, 2003)



‘Tall Dark and Handsome’(Herr-D, 2006)



Don is active in AHS Exhibitions receiving four AHS Achievement Medals for his seedlings. The first medal was in 2001 for ‘Whistle a Happy Tune’(2001). In 2006 ‘Aaron Brown’ (2006) caught the judge’s eye for the second medal and in 2008 ‘Carolyn’s Curls’ (2008) received a third medal. ‘Dancing Gypsies’ (2009) received the fourth AHS Achievement Medal in 2009.

The polymerous form has been a focus for the past few years with several outstanding registrations having high percentages. ‘Star Poly’ (2009) and ‘Jolly Polly’ (2010) are both high percentage poly forms. Other polymerous forms from the Herr garden include ‘Poly Want a Cracker’ (2012), ‘Fours Are Wild’ (2011) and ‘Dolly Polly’ (2013).

With this brief introduction I am unable to completely cover the true extent of the quality, performance and beauty of the daylilies hybridized by Don. I hope ATP members will help me out with images and comments. To visit his website...

http://donherrdaylilies.com/galleries/newest_intros.htm

and don't forget to check the ATP Database, there are many images there as well!
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Jul 15, 2013 4:48 PM CST
What a wonderful and varied array of interests Don Herr has. I am very impressed with his help in recovering a piece of stolen pewter.

The daylilies are very nice!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Doris&David Bishop
Cartersville, Ga. (Zone 7b)
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Casshigh
Jul 15, 2013 7:36 PM CST
Doris and I heard Don at the hybridizers' meeting in Chattanooga a couple of times. He's a good speaker, has a beautiful garden, and some interesting polys and other things coming soon to the daylily world. Backyard hybridizers need to know that it doesn't take a greenhouse and thousands of dollars to hire help in order to produce thousands of seedlings to come up with a seedling worth introducing. Our dreams must be bolstered occasionally by success by others.
Thanks, Don!
David
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
http://daylilyfans.com/bishop/
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Newyorkrita
Jul 16, 2013 12:10 PM CST
I love Don's intros! Real solid performers in my garden. Great plants that do so well and flowers that look so pretty.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Jul 16, 2013 5:27 PM CST
I don't believe I have any of his that I know of.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
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floota
Jul 18, 2013 6:24 AM CST
Over my many years in daylilies, I've learned a lesson about growing them. When I first began in AHS and joined the local club, all I heard about was ordering from the Florida hybridizers. That was all the rage. ( absolutely nothing against Florida grown plants) But over the years, there have been some tender evergreen genetics that didn't do well here. And at first, everyone sort of scorned the "local" ( those in our region) hybridizers as being "ordinary." It took me a few years and lots of dollars lost to realize that I valued good garden performance more than a pretty face that might produce ( if I was lucky) 10 blooms in a season. So I slowly began trying daylilies from people who lived in Region 3....in a similar climate. And wow, what an eye opener. All of a sudden the plants began producing more blooms and were totally vigorous. I didn't have to worry about any more tender plants coming up looking like a couple of blades of grass. Don Herr was one of those who was just getting started back then. I think the BIG revelation for me was the last time AHS had a convention in Minnesota and I saw two ladies from Region 1 going absolutely wild over Don's then not very well known 'Her Best Bloomers' because it had the most amazing bud count they'd ever seen. Wait a minute, people were paying attention to Region 3 hybridizers? There were some of Jim and Margo's plants in Steve's garden also and they were getting a lot of attention also. So at that point, I began to realize the value of growing locally hybridized plants, and I haven't looked back. Every single one of Don's plants do fabulously well here. As mentioned, he's been working more on Unusual forms and Polymerous and is making great strides in both areas.
AARON BROWN, may be my all time favorite of Don's! and BIG BERTHA'S SISTER ( new this year!) huge and eye catching.

CAROLYN'S CURLS ( new this year- didn't bloom here) and FOURS ARE WILD, one of Don's high percentage polys

I have grown HER BEST BLOOMERS for years, but the best illustration was the clump growing in Don's garden ( below) and HER PURPLE EYELINER

MARTHA'S MEMORIES - I saw this for the first time on LI, and saw Pat Stamile walk up to Don, tell him it was the clearest lavender he'd ever seen, and order it on the spot!
I came home and later that summer, got it at a bargain at our club auction when no one else was familiar with it. I told them the story ( above) after I'd won it. They weren't too happy with me.
LAVENDER SUSPENDERS on the right:

STAR POLY ( another favorite, almost all blooms are poly.) and TIGER BY THE TAIL ( IMHO, improved version of ADORABLE TIGER and sculpted to boot!)


I have a few more pictures of some of Don's ruffly ones, but will have to look them up!
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Jul 18, 2013 9:47 AM CST
You sure hit the nail on the head about paying attention to more local hybridizers instead of looking way down south! I just so totally agree with everything that you wrote! Well said.

Don's daylilies do really well here. As do many others from northern hybridizers. But the same experience you described happened to me at our local club meetings when I was telling other members I was buying intros from Don Herr and Melanie Mason. If it wasn't from Florida, it wasn't looked upon as "first rate". What hogwash! My garden is stunning and my daylilies are troopers. And lots of Herr intros bloom here including HER BEST BLOOMERS. Big Grin
Name: Liz Quinn
Huntersville,NC (Zone 7a)
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Emquinn
Jul 19, 2013 4:56 PM CST
I agree Have learned that my zone 7 has some amazing hybridizers as well as Region 15. They do the best in my garden.
Liz
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger .
Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
Daylilies Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Region: Vermont
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Char
Mar 12, 2014 5:39 PM CST

Moderator

An AHS Awards update....

Three cultivars from Don Herr were awarded 2013 AHS Honorable Mentions.
Star Poly


Carolyn's Curls


and
Roger Herr


Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Mar 13, 2014 4:29 AM CST
Nice ones! Congrats to Don Thumbs up

I was able to give thumbs to the last to pictures, but not Star Poly. Not sure why Shrug!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Doris&David Bishop
Cartersville, Ga. (Zone 7b)
Daylilies Cat Lover Clematis Region: Georgia Garden Art
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Casshigh
Mar 13, 2014 9:34 AM CST
Don Herr will be the guest speaker at the Cobb County Daylily Society (Marietta, GA) this Sunday afternoon. I am looking forward to seeing him again and hearing all about his program. If anyone is interested in going to this meeting, send me a T-mail before Sunday, and I will give you all the particulars (address and time).

Doris
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
http://daylilyfans.com/bishop/
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
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fiwit
Mar 16, 2014 5:05 PM CST
I don't remember reading this thread last summer, but I heard Don speak today and saw his beauties... WOWZA!!!!!!! I am now the happy owner of Jelly Dancer (well, I will be when he ships it to the club in May - it was an auction plant) and Her Best Bloomers will be moving into my yard sometime this year. If I can afford it, I'll grab Lilting Curls at the same time.
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Doris&David Bishop
Cartersville, Ga. (Zone 7b)
Daylilies Cat Lover Clematis Region: Georgia Garden Art
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Casshigh
Mar 16, 2014 8:04 PM CST
We will be getting CARNIVAL KING from Don Herr in May. I hope to add POLY WANT A CRACKER to the shipment. It would be great to add STAR POLY one of these days.

Mary, I look forward to seeing pictures of HER BEST BLOOMERS in your garden. It is one that I am considering adding one day. Happy that you are getting JELLY DANCER. Nice!
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
http://daylilyfans.com/bishop/
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
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fiwit
Mar 17, 2014 5:53 AM CST
I would LOVE to add Poly Want a Cracker, and Outen the Lights, but I'll have to wait until they're older plants. I can't afford the prices new intros command. I'm not big on doubles, but would happily make room for Stubbly... a "spidery double UF," it took my breath away when I saw it in the slide show yesterday. From his new intro brochure, Don creates the kind of plants I like best. Thumbs up I'm so very glad I didn't let the rain keep me home yesterday.
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Pat
Near McIntosh, Florida (Zone 9a)
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Xenacrockett
Mar 17, 2014 9:49 PM CST
I'm in Florida and found some Northern dormants didn't do too well here.
But that was years ago and I might have better luck with some now after learning more about how to tend daylilies.
(And I would plant them where they could have afternoon shade.)

Some semis that were seriously neglected seem to have evolved into vigorous plants all on their own.
Not sure what they are, but any same variety from out of the area would have a tough time competing in endurance.

For me, I'd say that if a Northern hybridizer had a plant I really loved, I'd consider it and make allowances.
















Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Jul 14, 2014 6:56 PM CST
Here are some videos by Carol Trego on you tube of the Herr open day on the 13th July.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TQUWk7wljs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTLuNapgvpE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDooe4wiIDI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGlmYPAy-60

(Zone 7a)
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dormantsrule
Jul 14, 2014 7:02 PM CST
Gleni said:Here are some videos by Carol Trego on you tube of the Herr open day on the 13th July.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TQUWk7wljs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTLuNapgvpE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDooe4wiIDI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGlmYPAy-60



Thanks for links, Glen.
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