Views: 5706, Replies: 18 » Jump to the end
May 13, 2013 3:59 AM CST
|The hybridizer we are spotlighting this week is Dr. Robert Carr, M.D. |
Dr. Carr graduated from The University of Miami School of Medicine and was a pediatrician who practiced emergency room medicine for many years. He was well known and well respected in his community, and to law enforcement. Bob named the daylily ‘Sherry Lane Carr’ after his wife in 1993. The ATP Database entry for Sherry Lane Carr shows 113 child plants. Click on the child plants to see the impressive list of many famous daylilies with ‘Sherry Lane Carr’ as a parent.
Lee Pickles of Chattanooga Daylilies and Bob were long time friends and were known for their friendly, joking banter. Bob attended the Mid Winter Symposium for many years, where he presented many scientific talks, as well as doing the slide shows of new introductions and seedlings each year.
I first time I met Bob was at a luncheon held by one of the Ohio daylily clubs. Bob was their guest speaker later that day. There were 10 or 12 of us at the table, and he kept us all laughing the entire meal. His humor even focused on his own seedlings now and then - he once said “I had seen better color and form on the sole of my shoe.“ I met Bob several more times at MWS, and that is one thing I remember about him - his humor. He was one of those people who always had a twinkle in his eye.
I had several conversations with Bob on the phone back then, because I was - and still am - very interested in relief sculpting. I grew many of Bob’s new introductions, and they always grew well here in the north. He had a lot of patience with my list of questions on how to enhance the raised ribbing on the petals. America’s Most Wanted, Sherry Lane Carr, and Wonder Of It All are just a few of the sculpted introductions of Bob’s that are still widely grown and still being used in hybridizing today.
Bob translated his scientific training and knowledge into his daylily hobby in several ways. Bob was already scheduled to be this week’s hybridizer when I noticed a discussion of Bob’s charts on color possibilities and some discussion about them popped up in a thread on crossing for certain colors. There is a link to the charts in the thread, and also some interesting discussion about the charts.
Click here to go to the Thread on Crossing for certain Colors
Dr. Carr was also credited as one of the first people to use frozen daylily pollen. I remember talking to him about how to freeze pollen, and how to use it all those years ago during our phone conversations. As a pediatrician, he must have been knowledgable about the techniques being used in humans and animals to store sperm - and thought why wouldn’t it work for flowers? I don’t know how he came up with the idea, or if he just took someone else’s idea and “ran with it” but I think that really changed hybridizing. No longer did two flowers have to be open the same day to cross them. Not even the same year!
He was very focused and deliberate in his hybridizing, spending a great deal of time planning his crosses in advance. By doing so, the morning pollenating would be done efficiently. The plants he was using for breeding were growing in pots, and he would move them into the shade of a big oak tree to set pods. He was known for his focus being on breeding - not on selling.
Bob was often asked how he selected his seedlings. He had a long list in his mind of certain faults he looked for. If the plant had more than one of these faults, it was not selected unless it was an exceptional breakthrough that he had never seen anywhere before. Some examples of items on that list would be early morning opening, blooming down in the foliage, bad branching, bad proportion of branching.
“Bob Carr’s Daylilies,” as the garden was known, was located in Ocala, Florida and Dr. Carr registered 135 daylilies between 1992 and 2005. Bob was not big on submitting his daylilies for awards, yet America’s Most Wanted, Pearl Harbor, Sherry Lane Carr and Wonder Of It All received Awards of Merit. AM winners must be beautiful, of course, but also distinctive and perform over a wide geographic area. His cultivars also received 27 Honorable Mentions. To win an HM, the cultivar must receive votes from at least 4 regions.
When reading about Bob to write this introduction to his daylilies, I ran across this quote from him, and I think it sums up his feelings about hybridizing.
“If you aren't creating daylily seeds you are missing one of life's greatest joys.”
Bob passed away on Oct. 29, 2007. Lee Pickles wrote Bob’s obituary for the AHS Journal. If you would like to read the obituary, which tells more about Bob than I do here, how he became known as Awesome Bob, see his last website, his color charts, or the famous photo of Awesome Bob with Lee, please go to this page that Lee maintains in Bob’s memory.
Photos from my garden here in Ohio
America's Most Wanted
Sherry Lane Carr
Never Been Kissed
Key To My Heart
and photos taken at Rice's in KY
Rage of Paris
Storm of the Century
From the ATP Database
May 13, 2013 6:30 AM CST
|I have Passion District and Wait Until Dark, which is one of my favorites. |
Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cackle maniacally and people back away from you slowly.
May 13, 2013 7:29 AM CST
|I only have one, mainly because most of his are evergreens.|
GOLDEN TEAR DROPS
May 13, 2013 11:47 AM CST
|I have a few.|
Element of Surprise
Key to My Heart
It's my cats world, I'm just here to open the cans.
May 13, 2013 2:14 PM CST
|Juli, I enjoyed your comments about Dr. Bob Carr. He was one of the first hybridizers I spoke to ever, and I vividly recollect walking in from school very late one day ( after 6 PM) - this was back in the mid to late 90's - and right as I walked through the door, my husband handed me the phone, saying, "this is for you." It was Bob Carr and during the entire conversation, I kept thinking, wow, I am talking to Bob Carr!! At any rate, I used to grow quite a few of his cultivars, and still grow a few. The vast majority were really good garden plants. Here are some have grown or still grow here: |
Art of Seduction:
Candied Popcorn Perfection still grows here - great plant!
Living in Luxury:
Key to My Heart: ( still here)
Rags to Riches:
Sherry Lane Carr:
Up In Flames - a great red:
Wonder of It All:
Better Than Butter:
Visit my blog at:
Name: Elizabete Rutens
May 13, 2013 3:44 PM CST
|Juli, this is a great series that you and Char put together! : ) Many thanks!|
Kim, when I saw your image of “Key to My Heart” with a pang I instantly thought of Moldovan’s “Avant Garde,” which I miss dreadfully. Its palette and slapdash colors – making each flower unique – so reminded me of my late husband’s paintings. (I had to get rid of AG because it was a rust bucket, at least in my garden.) Well, it turns out that AG is a parent of KTMH! No wonder it brought to mind AG. : )
One question. I also looked at the image of a clump of KTMH that you have in the ATP database. One not-so-great habit of Avant Garde was a tendency for its quite sturdy scapes to love each other a bit too much, and almost fall on top of each other, rather than stand erect. Does “Key to My Heart” tend to do that, too?
Thanks! : )
May 13, 2013 4:11 PM CST
|I currently have Rue Madelaine, and will have Smith Brothers when Robin C. sends my order. But I told her to put me at the end of her list because I still have to build my beds. |
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...
May 13, 2013 6:21 PM CST
|Elizabete, I have not had Key to my Heart have scapes falling over on each other. I have however had it have trouble opening fully some mornings. All in all it is a nice plant.|
It's my cats world, I'm just here to open the cans.
Name: Elizabete Rutens
May 13, 2013 7:24 PM CST
|Thanks again, Kim! Good to know that it has trouble on cold mornings. But, now that I think of it, so did Avant Garde, somewhat. On the other hand, Carr's "Living in Luxury" is always perfect regardless of the weather : )|
May 14, 2013 5:43 PM CST
|What a great article and such lovely daylilies. I especially like the pictures of Key to my Heart. |
I only have two of his. Inherited Wealth is one and here is Blackjack Cherry with its 2012 drought-ridden foliage.
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
May 14, 2013 8:41 PM CST
|Here are two of my favorites by Carr:|
May 14, 2013 8:51 PM CST
|Debra, I don't think I have ever seen either of those before. Charmed Existence is really different!!|
May 15, 2013 10:16 AM CST
|One of my best memories when I visited Florida was my visit to Bob Carr's garden, he was so funny! We were there with Francois Verhaert and friends. My fun memory of that day was standing in a field of blooms, camera in one hand and an umbrella in the other. It had just started raining but I didn't want to stop taking pictures. I finally had to when it started pouring so hard there was literally a sheet of water coming off the umbrella all the way around me and I went into hysterics laughing, telling my Mom what a crazy die hard photographer I was doing this! Good times. |
His Sherry Lane Carr, named for his wife, is an excellent classic daylily!
as is Presumed Innocent, which I photographed in his garden.
His blooms have this classic 'Carr' shape.
May 15, 2013 11:29 AM CST
|Juli - Here's Charmed Existence in a clump. It's very well budded and always reblooms here in my Nashville, TN garden. Being a dormant, it's taller in the north than it was in Florida. Scapes are 27-28 inches tall here.|
CHARMED EXISTENCE has a small flower in the 4-inch range, but it makes a big impact in a clump.
WONDER OF IT ALL - One of very his best!
NEVER BEEN KISSED
May 15, 2013 3:28 PM CST
|I forgot to mention Presumed Innocent and Blackjack Cherry. Both of those were favorites and grew here for many years!|
I saw Presumed Innocent at the first National convention I ever attended ( 2003) and came home and ordered it. Wonderful substance!
Visit my blog at:
May 17, 2013 5:28 AM CST
|A bit late this week in adding to the hybridizer thread, spring is a small window of opportunity to get so many things done up here plus it just feels so good to be outside!|
The images are all beautiful! Charmed Existence and Blackjack Cherry are now on the "when there is room" list which continues to grow longer as we do the series on hybridizers. I may have to make a new bed and call it the ATP Hybridizer bed
Excellent intro Juli. Like you I became interested in Bob's daylilies because of his relief forms. He was one of the few early hybridizers to work with the sculpted forms, Tycoon's Treasure (96) appears to be the first one he registered. America's Most Wanted registered the same year, 1996, is the parent of some very nice relief forms. Jeff Corbett registered Shelter Cove in 2002 and Bonnie Holley in 2005 both from America's Most Wanted. Ashwood's Magic Crystal, Empire of Desire from Richard Norris and Conga Line form Dan Hansen were from AMW and registered in 2010. Jack Carpenter has two of my favorites, Sculpted Treasure and Song of the Empirte both registered in 2004. The same year, 2004, Lee Pickles registered Montana Gold with Groovy Guy (2006) and Groovy Chick (2007) following. Bob's own Beyond Riches was a 2000 introduction from AMW and Ancient Echoes (2005), a pleated sculpted form with a complex patterned eye, was a preview of the different colors and patterns that can be worked into these forms.
Ancient Echoes (Carr 2005)
I used Bob's plants in my early hybridizing and now use a few from other hybridizers that carry his plants in them. My Mandarin Firecracker (2008) is from 2 of Bob's intro's, America's Most Wanted X Quality of Mercy. It has a vibrant orange throat that glows when the light hits it.
Mandarin Firecracker (Rich 2008)
Over the years there have been a few of Bob's many daylilies grown here, his plants do very well in the north. America's Most Wanted, Call to Worship, Girl's Night Out, Sherry Lane Carr and Quality of Mercy have all been here and moved on to make room for new plants. Still here are Beyond Riches, Ancient Echoes, Engraved Invitation, Permanent Impression, Wonder of it All and Worthy Creation with a new addition of Living in Luxury which I can't wait to see blooming!
May 17, 2013 9:00 AM CST
|Several years ago I purchased what was labeled as CHARMED EXISTENCE at our local club's sale. Unfortunately, when it bloomed it was yellow..... After seeing your beautiful pics of it, Debra, I really really wish I had had the real deal. Love bitones/bicolors! Of course, I don't really have any room and have to get rid of one for every one I add to the garden (and should really be cutting back to make room for seedlings......). Oh well, the daylily lover's lament.|
Jan 31, 2014 6:09 PM CST
|There is no photo of H. 'Robert W. Carr' (Pickles, 2010) in the database. There is one at http://chattanoogadaylilies.co.... How do you normally go about getting photos you see on the web for ATP?|
Jan 31, 2014 8:23 PM CST
|I got permission from Lee to add his photos in the past so I'll go grab it, thanks for the heads up.|