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/da...
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.
lbe x sig2 -->
RAM ROSE X ISABEL ROSE -->