Rossie Daylily Garden


The Rossie Daylily Garden is an AHS Display Garden and is located in Hammond La. on two lots close to SLU. Ronnie is in a family run retail Furniture business that he had done for more than fifty years and Cathryn divides her time between many social, community clubs and seven grandchildren and three great grand children. They are members of three Daylily clubs; Ronnie a Garden Judge is president of the North Shore Daylily Society and are members of the American Hemerocallis Society.


Ronnie and Cathryn happened on Daylilies while bicycling in the country and spotted a yard full of daylilies. The couple sold us our first plants and gave us the name of a lady in Hammond that also sells plants, Margaret DeKerlegand (the pot lady) half of her Daylilies were in pots. Margaret gave us the name of the biggest grower and hybridizing in the area Clarence Crochet; both took us under their wings and that is how we got started 35 years ago.


The purpose or adding Daylilies to the garden was for landscaping but that all changed while visiting Clarence Crochets garden to buy plant material. Clarence asked if I had tried hybridizing? My answer was no and Clarence said its easy and showed me the basics of hybridizing and how to keep track of the seedlings. That was the beginning of my dabbling in hybridizing. While at Margaret's garden to purchase plants  she showed me a double, I  couldn't believe how different it was. Margaret didn't  care for doubles because she found them to hard to pollinate, that was all the challenge that I needed to begin collecting and pollinating doubles, today a large percentage of my registered plants are doubles.  I had no plans to sell Daylilies and to this day don't sell my plants they all go to the club for our plant raffle that is at the end of each meeting. It wasn’t until I met Jimmy Terrio and Joe Goudeau that I started to register my crossings, and those have been named after family members for the most part.


Their garden consists of fifteen or so raised beds that cover most of the yard. I specialize in diploid doubles but dabble in spiders eyed and big edged Tetroploid. Recently I have been interested in small and mini daylilies with some good results but not quite ready to register. My favorite Diploid is Cathryn Rossie CATHRYN_ROSSIEnaturally, a large full form round pink dip and Doubles are Bryce Cothern, Katie Andres, Christy Andres, Denise Cothern, Martini Arruebarrena, Brenleys Reject, Kelly Andres, Angel Andres, Tetroploid John Cothern, Tyler Cothern, Courtney Andres, all named for my 3 children 7 grand children and 3 great grand children. Most of the Daylilies have been in my garden for years with their seedling number but not named or registered in 2010 I registered 5 and the rest is history. There are about 450 named and labeled cultivars along with 2,500 numbered seedling clumps waiting to be registered or raffled at club meetings.


Every Morning Ronnie spends two hours or more in the garden. He heads out with a folding ruler, 6" strips of mini blinds and a couple of pieces of pvc pipe fourteen inches by one half inch. If there are any new blooms of interest it is described and all the stats are noted the blind and it is inserted in the pipe at the seedling base for future references. It is his time for exorcise and enjoying the sights and sounds or lack thereof. That is the time to do his crosses, take photos, moving and separating clumps. This is my favorite time of day. It take almost A year to dig line out and add new soil to all the beds in the garden. I start just before the last blooms in mid July, it is normally to hot to bare root and line out, so I raise the clumps and if I can divide them in half or quarters without removing too much soil then they are raised and plant. As it gets cooler I line them out. This year I started the process in June because last year we had two floods one in March and again in August along with hip replacement surgery that slow me down. I am behind the usual schedule this year but I will catch up, and replace the lost plant due to the flood.


My program, if you can call it that, was more of a challenge to find doubles from the only gardens that I visited, Margaret and Clarence, with registered Daylilies. While visiting Clarence's garden I spotted a yellow double King Kahona that he had just registered but could not sell because of short supply. It cost $100.00 more than I had spent on a single fan. I told Clarence that I wanted it along with a few other introductions when they are available. A few weeks later I got a call from Clarence asking if I still wanted the daylilies? It was a definite yes with, I come get them. I'll bring them to you was the response, great you can visit my garden, don't have time can we meet at the Holiday Inn. It was years later that I finely got him in my garden at a region 13 meeting. While there he spotted an unusual form double seedling, his comment was, Ronnie keep an Eye on that one. I said, the cross that I used was, King Kahona and Peacock Madden. Clarence said that he wouldn't have thought to cross those two. Clarence gave a lot of thought to every cross that he made. For me there wasn't any though behind the cross with King Kahona it was my most expensive and best and I crossed it with every diploid and more than once.  Years later it won two region 13 wards.


My numbering system. Every daylily in my garden is assigned a number, my retail experience a model number, King Kahona is 58 that is a low number I am in the 500 now.  when I cross #58 with #62 for example, the seedling number would be F58M62 if it is the only seedling from that cross with more seedlings from that cross a number (1) and (2)  and so on is added. The seedling number for the second seedling will be F58M62(2) That seems to be complicated but I can check the heritage by the numbers. let's look at it F58M62 2 if crossed with 80 it will be  (F (F58M62 2) M80) so at a glance you can see the cross line. for many years my seedlings only had numbers it was only with the encouragement of Joe Goudeau  that I began to name and register my seedlings at first it was family then other manes that came to mind. The first, and my favorite is Cathryn Rossie # 230 so you can see that I had 230 daylilies by the time Cathryn was registered. my interest today is not only big doubles but small doubles and  with big eyes with wide edges but also single color flat with wide ruffles and miniatures. At one time I had an interest in plants that would perform good in shady conditions I called them Shady Days but the control conditions to prove that they preformed best in shade was too much. I would have to have 6 or so in each control, shade, dapple light, partial light, and then full sun to see how each group would perform. That study was scrubbed, may be someone will tackle the job, if they haven't already done it.


What is new? I am partial to pastels full form and plate size flat diploids. Cathryn likes pastels so it became my choice of color and form when selected plant material for breeding in the beginning. You are influenced in your program of hybridizing buy your taste and what is available. My daylily world revolved around Clarence and Marguerite and to some degree the daylily club that I attended on occasion.                       


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