I started serious hybridizing in 2008 on a smallish one-half acre suburban Milwaukee-area lot. There were about 300 seedlings that first year, a number that I try to control but usually exceed. With this relatively small number of annual seedlings, my hybridizing goal has to be tightly focused: Purple or lavender, tetraploid, large open form flowers, tall scapes, fancy eyes, no edges. Of course, exceptions do occur and not everything I discovered fits this tight focus, but that’s part of the sheer joy of discovery.
My garden is primarily daylilies, of course, with about 300 named cultivars plus over 1,000 seedlings, but it is also both an AHS Display Garden and a general perennial garden with a great many other perennials such as iris, hostas, peonys, grasses, clematis to name a few. As such, the garden is open for visitors during the summer (please call ahead 414-529-1213) and there are several open house days scheduled each year.
All of my daylilies have survived multiple southeastern Wisconsin winters, some without snow cover, so they have proven to be hardy. Most of my daylily growing soil is improved so I cannot claim to be growing in “rotgut” clay. However, the soil is still clay-based and relatively heavy, with the daylilies showing good root growth and increase.
2013 marked the first introductions from Purple Daze Daylily Garden. There will not be many cultivars per year since this is a relatively small hybridizing program, but I hope to introduce plants of high quality, northern hardy and purple, of course.
My plan is to donate profits from my hybridizing program to worthy charities. In 2014 again, all profits will be donated to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in memory of my late wife Mary. Thank you for your interest.