Our Hybridizing

Our Approach to Hybridizing:

When we first discovered the "wonderful world of daylilies" when living in northern PA, we were just simply overwhelmed with the variations of color and form that were available! The ease of care was a huge bonus to us... and it didn't take long to cast financial worries of obsession to the wind, and buy up nearly every gorgeous lily we saw. Unfortunately, given the exposed zone 5 location (quite cold!) that we lived in, we learned after the very first winter that all named daylilies were not, in fact, "created equal".

Having already bred new patented cultivars in other genera of perennials, and the simple fact that daylilies are relatively easy (being a "simple" flower) to breed... it didn't take long for us to see there was room for advancement in cold-tolerant cultivars. Though the loss of so many beautifully rounded and ornate types that do so well in the south was truly heartbreaking, there were several in that genre that did just great! Dumb luck, really, but enough to start working on lines that would "incorporate" this newer look of cutting-edge daylilies from the south into the taller and more stately forms from the north. We now had a mission!

Within just a few years, we had over 30,000 "kids" growing in situ. A sight to see, for sure! Meanwhile, as we ourselves aged, the incredibly long PA winters were beginning to take their toll. With much family in NC, the call was just too much to ignore any longer. Knowing that taking ALL of the kids with us was just impossible, we selected out 10,000 of the best performers... just enough to fit into an extended tractor trailer, floor to ceiling... and headed south. The intricacies and labor that went in to the move are far too complex to discuss here, but suffice to say, it was our "last great gasp at youth"!

It took over 2 years to really "get settled" here in NC, and in that time of locally record-breaking heat and drought (lucky us), we were able to cull quite heavily that original crop of all the kids that were quite unhappy with these new conditions. Because we got here late in the season, we were unable to amend the hard red clay before tucking them in for winter... upsetting initially, but this also helped us eliminate plants that wouldn't "perform" under the very harshest of basic cultural conditions as well. The "original crew" of PA plants fell to just 1600 that have continued to perform fantastically. As a result of all these hardships in moving, we've now a foundation of new plants to breed with that we know full well can take just about anything one can throw at them! Talk about the "ultimate gene pool"! Very unusual, and good timing too... as it seems a pretty big rift has been forming lately between northern and southern hybridizers. Now, our goal can include an attempt to breed plants to "bridge" that seemingly evolving gap. Indeed, we have a field just full of little diplomats!

Because our first daylilies were older ("time tested") daylilies, and it was their ease of care that we found so appealing, and our personal history of losses and moving were pretty intense, we've decided to move forward with the hybridizing comcept of breeding for overall hardiness. To this day, we start all our seeds in ground (not flats)... and in beds that are most exposed to the elements (no mulch, high winds). Seedlings don't even get a normal "spot" in the beds until they've graduated at least one full year with no care in these exposed beds, and certainly have no clue what a shade or green house is! It takes us 3 extra years to get to introduction due to our beliefs, yet... we can sleep at night, with the knowledge that all our introductions have proven they can take a LOT of punches (and still perform beautifully)!

With a very unique and scenic location, a great foundation of "universally acceptable" genetic material to work with, and a truly unusual attitude towards life in general... we actually take the name "Slightly Different" to describe far more than just "our business". The vision and summation of what our "goal of goals" is, would be for people come visit us here... and when leaving, know that they've truly just had a slightly different "experience"!

So, beat feet, and come see us! We're less than an hour from either Asheville or Charlotte! Because the vast majority of what we have here to see is the result of our own hybridizing efforts, over 90% of our sales inventory are our own creations... a great opportunity for people who desire something they know no one else will have, as well as the many "hybridizers at heart" that would like some slightly different genetics to add to their own efforts.

Between the original PA kids, and the newbies produced since arriving, our nursery covers ~5 acres of our 106 here now... plenty to choose from for even the most WILD at heart! There are ~1200 "slightly different" hybrid cultivars selected and lined in multiples for retail sale... guaranteed to be unique! We hope to see you here... SOON!

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