Just outside Charlottesville, Virginia is Woodhenge Garden where the daylilies are tall, narrow and unique. Woodhenge is home to the hybridizing programs of Jim Murphy and Margo Reed.
Both Jim and Margo were drawn to the narrow forms early in their beginning as hybridizers. At a time when the fashion was to focus on rounder forms, Margo was attracted to the graceful narrow daylilies of earlier days. She began collecting the older spider forms and narrow discards from those seeking fuller flowers and began hybridizing in her small backyard garden in Maryland. At about the same time, Jim began collecting daylilies and making his first crosses in the early ‘80’s. Early in their hybridizing Jim and Margo developed an appreciation for daylilies that would perform without a lot of fuss and bother, the carefree performers that come back each year and perform well in an average garden. In 2001 they bought the property now known as Woodhenge Garden. Margo, taught kindergarten and Jim, a landscape supervisor for the University of Virginia, worked together establishing their hybridizing programs and garden.
Clear and distinctive color, height, vigor, branching and budcount are all traits found in Margo Reed’s registrations. Margo specializes in distinctive diploid unusual forms and spiders. Her cultivars creative, unique names give a glimpse into a hybridizer with a quick sense of humor and an eye for beauty. ‘Scarlett’s Web’ (1995), ‘Planet Max’ (1996) and ‘Chesapeake Crablegs’ (1994) were the first to receive recognition with garden judges when they each received an Honorable Mention in 2002. In 2003 ‘Jellyfish Jealousy’ (1995), ‘Orangutan’ (1991), ‘Rocky Horror’ (1994) and ‘Eggplant Escapade’ (1996) each received HM’s. ‘Creature of the Night’, a 1999 registration, went on to an Award of Merit in 2009 after a 2004 HM. Another of Margo’s cultivars, ‘Grey Witch’ (1999) was also awarded an Award of Merit in 2009 after a HM in 2005. ‘After Awhile Crocodile’ (1997) was recognized for two awards in 2005, the HM and the Eugene S. Foster Award for the most outstanding late blooming daylily. Daylilies that receive the Eugene S. Foster Award also have to be registered as blooming in the late or very late season. More recent HM’s include ‘Dances With Giraffes’ (2005) in 2009, ‘Flight of Orchids’ (2005) in 2010 and ‘Third Witch’ (2003) in 2012.
Jim’s goals, beyond those carefree plant habits he and Margo strive for, include tall daylilies, late bloomers and sunfast colors. In 2011, ‘Monacan Trail’ a 2005 registration, 49” tall, cream beige with a purple eyezone and a bud-builder was Jim’s first “tall” to receive an HM. Others to receive HM’s are ‘Ocean Spirit’ (2006) in 2011, ‘Lotsa Dots’ (2004) and ‘Candy Cane Dreams’ (2005) in 2009, ‘Rocket Science’ (2005) in 2008 and in 2012 ‘A Little Fire, Scarecrow’ (2005) and ‘Lucky Streak’ ( 2007). One of Jim’s most popular introductions is ‘Margo Reed Indeed’ (2004), a beautiful cream white cascade unusual form which has earned the second highest award in the AHS Awards pyramid, the Award of Merit in 2010 after an HM in 2007.
‘Margo Reed Indeed’
Not to be outdone by Margo’s sense of humor with names, Jim has some great ones too. ‘Santa’s Pants’ (2007) is a cherry red spider form, ‘Wasn’t Born Yesterday’ (2007) another spider, ‘Heavens to Murgatroyd’ (2011) and ‘Droopy Drawers’ (2005).
‘Heavens to Murgatroyd’
If you are into ‘Alien Stardust’ (Reed 2011), ‘Don’t Know Jack”(Murphy,JP 2007) about ‘Rocket Science’(Murphy, JP 2005) or just want to be ‘Up the Wazoo’ (Reed 2013) in ‘Unidentified Flying Objects’ (Reed 1997) check out the Woodhenge Garden website for the creations of Jim Murphy and Margo Reed.
From Margo Reed….
‘Dances With Giraffes’
‘Creature of the Night’
From Jim Murphy….
‘A Little Fire, Scarecrow’