Daylilies forum: ATP Series: The Daylilies of Lee Pickles

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Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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daylily
May 19, 2013 9:30 PM CST
ATP Series: The Daylilies of Lee Pickles


Many of us know Lee Pickles from attending the Region 10 Mid-Winter Symposium, or "MWS," which was first held in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Lee always scheduled a great line-up of very educational topics and speakers. I used to go, and I learned so much each time I went. Lee was the first person to organize such an event in the winter, giving all of us daylily addicts a place to get together and meet other daylily people, see slides of the latest introductions and upcoming seedlings - but most important - to attend talks by the top hybridizers, plantsmen, horticulturalists etc. Other Regions soon followed his example, and now it is common for Regions to put on winter meetings. We have Lee to thank for this! I tip my hat to you.

Lee joined the AHS in 1986. In 2009, Lee was the recipient of the Helen Field Fisher Gold Medal. This award is the AHS highest honor, and is given in recognition of distinguished and meritorious service rendered the AHS by a member on the national level. Lee not only put on the MWS for many years, but he was also RVP for his Region, and the newsletter editor for many years. His efforts brought an AHS Best Newsletter Award to The Daylily Appeal in 2000.

Lee and his wife Jean are both from Iowa, where they were married in 1957. They both graduated from Iowa State Teacher's College, and both accepted teaching positions in Council Bluffs, Iowa. They moved to Tennessee in 1974. Lee retired in 1998. At that time, he was working in administration for the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. Jean taught fourth grade most of her career and is also retired.

I remember reading on the AHS Robin of many trout fishing trips that they went on, although Lee says they no longer go. If you go to Lee's Blog, and I hope you do - you will find that they both love dogs, and have been blessed with some fine dogs in their lives. Lee and Jean love to travel, and currently one of their favorite spots is the Napa Valley.

Early on, Lee was influenced and encouraged by local hybridizer Denver Scott, and by Illinois hybridizer Doc Branch. In 1994, Lee and Jean bought a couple acres in Hixson TN, which is a little north of Chattanooga. They built a greenhouse there, and most of the hybridizing is done in the greenhouse during March and April. Lee says that earlier seed set allows for earlier planting, which leads to 90-95% chance they will bloom the second season with 60-70% blooming in 9 months. Lee used to grow 3000-5000 seedlings each year, but these days grows around 1,200.

In 1995, Lee introduced his first daylily 'Choo Choo Fantasy' and has registered 150 daylilies. Lee has won 4 Honorable Mentions - Choo Choo Fantasy in 2003, Denver Scott and Awesome Bob in 2007, and Pardon Me Boy in 2008. Benjamin, Doc Branch, Eleanor Frye and Pardon Me Boy all won Junior Citations.


As stated in the spotlight we did on Bob Carr, Lee and Bob were great friends. Lee has used many of Bob's daylilies through the years. One of Lee's intros is Awesome Bob. That nickname for Bob began during MWS. When I looked at Lee's registrations in the ATP Database, I see several of Bob's intros as parents... Wonder Of It All, Sherry Lane Carr, Thunder And Lightening, Quality of Mercy, America's Most Wanted.... Lee continues to use his friend's lines and he is producing some lovely daylilies from them. Thumbs up


Max Pickles is a 2006 intro out with Awesome Bob as one of the parents.


Lee also works with relief sculpting. Groovy Guy and Groovy Chic are great examples of relief sculpting.



Lee has a blog that I enjoy reading. If you have not read it before, you might want to check it out. There is a great deal of good information on growing seedlings, among other information.
[url=www.daylilypotpourri.blogspot.com]www.daylilypotpourri.blogspot.com[/url]
For more information, go to Lee's website [url=www.chattanoogadaylilies.com]www.chattanoogadaylilies.com[/url]

Lee, being an optimist, always closes his AHS Robin posts with "Life is very, very good."
[Last edited by daylily - May 20, 2013 10:19 AM (+)]
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Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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daylily
May 20, 2013 10:19 AM CST
Lee and Jean in their garden in Hixon TN (thanks to Lee for this photo)
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Name: Liz Quinn
Huntersville,NC (Zone 7a)
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Emquinn
May 20, 2013 6:44 PM CST
I just have one 'Choo Choo Fantasy'. This will be the first summer it will bloom in my garden. After reading this I want more. Not sure I have seen a lot of Lee Pickles' flowers in the gardens visited.
Liz
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger .
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
May 20, 2013 7:46 PM CST
More teachers!!!! No wonder I took to daylilies so readily!!

Looking through the AHS database to see what I might have, and was struck by the Choo Choo series. But, I really like most of what I see. Don't have any of his myself, but thinking now I need to get a few or several. Big Grin
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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daylily
May 20, 2013 8:06 PM CST
Be sure to look at our database here too. Go to this page and type in Pickles as the hybridizer and it will bring up all his registrations, and you can see which ones have had images uploaded.

http://garden.org/plants/group/daylilies/search/
Name: Maryl
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
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Maryl
May 21, 2013 12:22 AM CST
Choo-Choo Fantasy has been on my long list for awhile. I really need to move it up. I don't think I have any of his daylilies, but now that I've seen some of his here, I will definitely give him a look see. Thanks for bringing him to my attention......Maryl
Name: Doris&David Bishop
Cartersville, Ga. (Zone 7b)
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Casshigh
May 21, 2013 4:39 AM CST
Lee is a very entertaining and informative speaker. Read about how he grows seedlings in his greenhouse, a combination of Tommy Maddox's methods and his own ideas. Although he's had some health issues recently, he still signs his blogs and posts, "Life is very, very good." I don't have a picture that I could find quickly but our favorite Pickles' intro last summer was "The Fringe Connection." He uses Carr's "Wonder of It All" frequently as a parent. Lee is a great ambassador for daylilies.

This series of hybridizers thread is a wonderful idea.

NW GA is starting to see some blooms and bunches of scapes, promises of blooms soon. We're having 10-20 seedlings bloom each day, and some named cultivars. The rain has really helped plant growth this year. Doris checking that PH last year and making soil adjustments based on Ted Pruess' recommendations has really helped as well. This should be a best bloom season ever! Not that we are impatient or anything!

"Life is very, very good,"
David
"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
May 21, 2013 5:24 AM CST
Casshigh said:Lee is a very entertaining and informative speaker. Read about how he grows seedlings in his greenhouse, a combination of Tommy Maddox's methods and his own ideas. Although he's had some health issues recently, he still signs his blogs and posts, "Life is very, very good." I don't have a picture that I could find quickly but our favorite Pickles' intro last summer was "The Fringe Connection." He uses Carr's "Wonder of It All" frequently as a parent. Lee is a great ambassador for daylilies.

This series of hybridizers thread is a wonderful idea.

NW GA is starting to see some blooms and bunches of scapes, promises of blooms soon. We're having 10-20 seedlings bloom each day, and some named cultivars. The rain has really helped plant growth this year. Doris checking that PH last year and making soil adjustments based on Ted Pruess' recommendations has really helped as well. This should be a best bloom season ever! Not that we are impatient or anything!

"Life is very, very good,"
David



David, be sure and let us know when it's looking good. I need to bring some friends out and let them see the awesome variety of DLs so I can get them hooked. Thumbs up
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
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Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
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Hazelcrestmikeb
May 21, 2013 5:53 AM CST
Mr pickles have some nice daylilies. Choo Choo Fantasy really stand out. I don't have any of his daylilies. David glad things are looking up down there. With all the hard work and $$$ that you and Doris have sacrifice it continues to pay off.
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Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
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Char
May 21, 2013 4:07 PM CST

Moderator

As David said, Lee is an excellent speaker, friendly, funny and extremely knowledgable. His plants grow very well here, he works hardier plants into his lines and gets some harsh winter weather where he is which clearly helps with his selection process. Choo Choo Princess grew here for many years and was sold out of the garden to a lady that fell head over heals for it( and I needed the room!).

Doc Branch is a huge clump which starts opening early in the season.

Thumb of 2013-05-21/Char/7eba37

Benjamin was one of the first of his that I bought, a huge clump now, my son's name is Benjamin Smiling



Tennessee Memories, another pretty one and good grower.

Thumb of 2013-05-21/Char/349855

Groovy Chick, great relief sculpted form!

Thumb of 2013-05-21/Char/13ee4a

Last year I volunteered to grow a local clubs door prize plant order from Lee. He was very generous and the plants arrived with huge fans, nice and green, with great roots. My absolute favorite of the ones that bloomed was one he named Memories of Mother. Stupid me didn't get an image of it Rolling my eyes. A week ago on Mother's Day I was out and noticed a prebloom scape coming up on Memories of Mother, the only scape here as the plants have barely started growing a month ago. Two others that bloomed last year were Groovin' and Dancing With the Stars. Keep in mind, these images are from plants that were new here, I expect they will be blooming even better this year after settleing in. Do check out Lee's website and blog if you get a chance!

Groovin'

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Dancing With the Stars

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Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
May 21, 2013 4:50 PM CST
Two of Lee's daylilies grow in my garden they are The Fringe Connection and Tickle Me Elmo. They are fairly new to my garden this year they should show me if they like it here, hopefully I will get some pictures of them.
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Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
May 21, 2013 4:52 PM CST
I don't believe I have any of his but they sure look nice.
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Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
May 21, 2013 5:26 PM CST
I knew I should have gotten Choo Choo Fantasy, it is so pretty. It was on my short list a few years ago, but alas, I didn't get it.

I only have one, AGE OF MIRACLES:
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Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
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Char
May 22, 2013 5:42 AM CST

Moderator

I wasn't familar with The Fringe Connection and looked it up in the ATP database, great edge on that one! There are no images for Tickle Me Elmo - love the name, Elmo was always my favorite of the Sesame Street characters, Oscar a close second. Hope they will do well for you Betty and you can post some images.



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
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fiwit
May 22, 2013 9:21 AM CST
I have Tennessee Afterglow, but just got it this year, so no pics yet. Here's a DB pic of it.
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: Lyle
Phoenix
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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lyle627
May 27, 2013 3:36 AM CST
Region 7 enjoyed the humor, and wisdom of Lee Pickles who was joined by his wife Jean in Phoenix, Arizona this past weekend. I too agree Lee Pickles is and outstanding speaker. And as an added bonus to our meeting, his wife Jean accompanied him as well.

I will post some photos of our Region 7 meeting later.

Lee at one of our Phoenix gardens.
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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
May 27, 2013 7:51 AM CST
Neat! Thanks, Lyle. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
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
May 28, 2013 3:08 PM CST

Moderator

So glad to see Lee having a good time and that you enjoyed hearing his program as much as I have. The garden is beautiful, looks warm and sunny, something we have not been this past weekend. Thanks for posting Lyle !

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