Daylilies forum: ATP Series: The Daylilies of Judy Davisson

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Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
Dec 9, 2013 12:03 AM CST
In this week's ATP Hybridizer Series we will spotlight Judy Davisson of Sherrills Ford, NC. I looked forward to doing this write up as I know that Davisson daylilies are among the forum favorites. When I contacted Judy, she was so helpful in answering my questions and sending photos. She is a member here at ATP, and it's fun to be spotlighting "one of our own!" I have seen a few of Judy's introductions growing at a couple of my friend's gardens, and have been drawn to them. A couple years ago I added LOUD GIRLS to my garden, and really enjoyed the extra large rose blooms last summer. I wish I had room to add more.



Judy, and her husband Glenn both grew up on farms in Iowa. Judy earned her BA from Univ. of Northern Iowa and did post graduate work at the Univ. of Illinois, where Glenn got his degree. Glenn took a job with General Motors and they moved to Michigan. Judy worked as an accountant. She and Glenn have one son, Adam, that they named a daylily for, AMAZING ADAM. Judy has also named daylilies for her daughter-in-law Abby, and her grandson - ABBY DAVISSON and MICHAEL DAVISSON.



I got a chuckle out of her writing that when they decided to retire to North Carolina, that they sold their furniture in order to move the garden - a true hemaholic gives up her furniture to move her daylilies!



A little more than 30 years ago, Judy started growing and hybridizing daylilies. Her early influences came mainly from 3 people. Howard Hite, who inspired her to try to develop tetraploid unusual forms with motion - which did not exist at the time. Al Goldner, who taught Judy the value in carefree, disease-free, hardy, self-cleaning plants with tall, sturdy scapes. And, Curt Hanson, who encouraged Judy to "go her own way instead of following the pack." She says Curt continues to inspire her year after year.

Judy would like to see all hybridizers create things that do not now exist instead of copying what has already been done. Judy works with appliqués, watermarks, fancy faces, clean colors, bi-tones, fragrance. She enjoys extra tall, well-branched scapes with big flowers and northern hardy plants under them. On the other hand, though, she also works with tet miniatures that are sculptural.



Judy plants between 1500 and 6000 seeds a year. She starts some seeds in the house, and some by direct sowing out in the ground. It sounds like she is pretty heavy handed with the shovel pruning on the seedlings, as she only selects about 50 each year for further evaluation. She doesn't have a lot of garden space, and so she has to have a tight rotation on bed space.

From the sounds of it, Judy's number one hobby, other than daylilies is grandson hugging! If she is not doing that, then you might find her out fly fishing. She also grows vegetables, annuals, flowering trees and shrubs. She has been enjoying living in beautiful North Carolina, and tries to get out and hike, fish, or boat as often as time permits. And, they are always looking for a reason to go to Florida to see their grandson!

Judy won an Honorable Mention in 2012 for two of her daylilies - NO BOYS ALLOWED and also for RIOT ON THE KINDERGARTEN BUS. In 2013, she won the Annie T. Giles award for Best Small Flower for RIOT ON THE KINDERGARTEN BUS.



It's always hard for a hybridizer to pick just a few favorite daylilies that they think are extra special to their lines. Judy says that the ones that she has named for people she cares about will always be special to her. In addition to those, CAROLINA COOLDOWN, CURT'S GIFT, DAVI'S DILEMMA, and PAINTED GIRLS were ones that she mentioned.

Link to Judy's website http://www.picturetrail.com/davijk

Here is a link to a thread where we discussed Davisson daylilies…. The thread "Davisson daylilies" in Daylilies forum

Judy sent some seedling pictures to share. I don't know which ones to choose - so I will post them all.

10-41 -->Thumb of 2013-12-09/daylily/f2455b 10-43 -->Thumb of 2013-12-09/daylily/f6f570

11-18 -->Thumb of 2013-12-09/daylily/d237ac 11-27 -->Thumb of 2013-12-09/daylily/c37267

11-40 -->Thumb of 2013-12-09/daylily/ea72ae 12-27 -->Thumb of 2013-12-09/daylily/50d78a

13-20 -->Thumb of 2013-12-09/daylily/b088e5 13-34 -->Thumb of 2013-12-09/daylily/f46939

lbe x sig2 -->Thumb of 2013-12-09/daylily/34d12c RAM ROSE X ISABEL ROSE -->Thumb of 2013-12-09/daylily/542d38

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
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blue23rose
Dec 9, 2013 5:38 AM CST
These are all very nice! I really like the color of Dancing on Daddy's Feet. And seeding 13-20 is gorgeous!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
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beckygardener
Dec 9, 2013 6:32 AM CST
Juli - Wonderful article!

All of those are lovely! Will be interested to see what names Judy chooses for the new intros!

I like the name, "Riot on the Kindergarten Bus"! That is so funny! And it looks like quite a producer of blooms! If I had to pick a favorite, it would be impossible! They are wonderful!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
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lovemyhouse
Dec 9, 2013 7:45 AM CST
I like all those seedlings!
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
There's a place of quiet rest !
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Hazelcrestmikeb
Dec 9, 2013 8:59 AM CST
Juli, thanks for bringing her to the forefront. I tried searching the AHS and ATP database by her name. I was only able to find the ones that she registered along with someone else. I am guessing that the way it is put in the system if you don't match it exactly it wont come up. I tried searching by last name also. I don't believe I have any of her intros. She does have some beautiful plants.
robinseeds.com
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Dec 9, 2013 11:06 AM CST
Judy is one of my all time favorite hybridizers, I am just in LOVE with her daylilies. Lovey dubby Lovey dubby Lovey dubby I have added a number of them to my garden and am sure more will be added in the future. Wow her seedlings are so beautiful! Thumbs up
I see that a picture of MEAN GREEN is not posted here so drool away:



Here on the ATP database search for hybirdzer Davisson-J. and it will show all of her daylilies, except for new releases.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers!
Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

[Last edited by daylilydreams - Dec 9, 2013 12:03 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #523784 (6)
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Kaspar-scourge of daylily seedlings
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Gleni
Dec 9, 2013 4:35 PM CST
Mean Green. I agree And Sneaky Girls just looks and sounds soo good.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Dec 10, 2013 4:42 PM CST
Judy has lovely late and extra late blooming daylilies. I grow quite a few in my garden. Really like them!

Excellent article Juli. Very well done! Thumbs up
Name: Doris&David Bishop
Cartersville, Ga. (Zone 7b)
Daylilies Cat Lover Clematis Region: Georgia Garden Art
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Casshigh
Dec 11, 2013 6:22 PM CST
Judy is one of my FAVORITE hybridizers! I do not remember how many of her daylilies that we grow but quite a few and have more coming in April.
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
http://daylilyfans.com/bishop/
Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
Dec 14, 2013 8:38 AM CST
Since rediscovering daylilies earlier this year, the work of several hybridizers has become a favorite in one way or another, but Judy has quickly reached the status of my "most favorite" hybridizer! I admire that she has a unique vision and works toward her own ideas of beauty rather than breeds what is most popular at the moment. The fact that her plants are highly sought after speaks volumes about their performance, hardiness and garden value in a wide range of climates. After all, who wouldn't love huge flawless blooms with clear colors and tremendous movement on massive, sturdy scapes with excellent branching *and* produced by a plant with impeccable foliage? Well, maybe some people would not want this, but IMHO they are approaching an ideal of perfection in daylilies!

A few other things I like about Judy's plants:
1. Many are fragrant and the scapes are tall enough to be able to smell the blooms easily.
2. Many of her blooms are not only huge but also highly "finished" as well, with watermarks, diamond dusting and lots of movement.
3. She focuses on season extending with a wide variety of early season, late season and instant reblooming selections.
4. The plants she sends out are enormous, healthy and a tremendous value!
5. She accomplishes all of this in a home hobby garden with limited space, which has encouraged me to want to experiment with hybridizing on my own small city lot.

I have quite a few of her plants reserved for spring delivery Smiling She provides top notch customer service and recommendations, and I appreciate that she will tell you honestly if she feels a certain plant will not meet your needs or might not perform well in your area.

The seedling photos that are posted above are amazing! 10-43 and 11-27 appear to be especially wonderful, reaching new heights of refinement and movement among huge-flowered tetraploids!

Surely more people here have photos of--or comments about--her creations? Please keep sharing!

Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Region: Virginia Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Heucheras Cat Lover Hummingbirder
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floota
Dec 14, 2013 9:58 AM CST
OK, I'll dig out some of my "Judy" plant images. Hers are wonderful here and I have quite a few, with more on order for spring.
ABBY DAVISSON - named after her granddaughter; poly bloom and regular bloom and CAROLINA COOLDOWN.
Thumb of 2013-12-14/floota/89ef9f Thumb of 2013-12-14/floota/b19639 Thumb of 2013-12-14/floota/cd8ac8
DANCING ON DADDY'S FEET; DEEP DARK SECRET; MEAN GREEN

MICHAEL DAVISSON ( named after her grandson); NO BOYS ALLOWED;SISSY PANTS

SULTRY GIRLS; IN WITH THE OUT CROWD; WINGING IT


Likely have missed a few and some of my new ones didn't bloom this year. Actually the deer dined on two of them. Ugh. Will add others as I find them!


Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
There's a place of quiet rest !
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Hazelcrestmikeb
Dec 14, 2013 10:20 AM CST
Julie, Abby Davisson and Mean Green stand out IMHO. Thanks for sharing your blooms.
robinseeds.com
Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Region: Virginia Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Heucheras Cat Lover Hummingbirder
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floota
Dec 16, 2013 9:19 PM CST
Knew I'd forgotten a few!
Here are BOY CRAZY and LITTLE BIG EARS.

Thumb of 2013-12-17/floota/02a0d9 Thumb of 2013-12-17/floota/ddd9e5

Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
Dec 16, 2013 9:45 PM CST
Beautiful photos, Julie! Thank you so much for posting these!
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
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beckygardener
Dec 16, 2013 10:04 PM CST
I agree Thank you!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
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Char
Dec 17, 2013 1:54 PM CST

Moderator

Only one of Judy's growing here, her pleated & cristate sculpted form ...

Little Big Ears



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
Dec 17, 2013 5:29 PM CST
Love that color on Boy Crazy!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Debra
Nashville, TN (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Cat Lover Butterflies Region: Tennessee Seed Starter
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shive1
Dec 21, 2013 7:38 PM CST
Judy's plants grow well here.

MICHAEL DAVISSON


MISS DEMEANOR


MISS GOLDIE GOLDDIGGER
Thumb of 2013-12-22/shive1/09a9b9

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS


Davisson Seedling
Thumb of 2013-12-22/shive1/98b487


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
Dec 22, 2013 7:51 AM CST
Those are very nice looking daylilies, Debra! Love them all:)
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
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bluegrassmom
Dec 27, 2013 8:52 AM CST
Yes, very pretty! I just love BOY CRAZY. That is a must have for me. Someday Rolling my eyes.

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