Clarke FarmsCdn

Hello and Welcome to my Garden!

Barrie is located 90 kilometers north of Toronto, Canada and we are in zone 5. You can see from my winter garden shots that the area is in a snow belt that blows in off Georgian Bay. The one saving grace is the normal 3 feet of snow cover for the daylilies.

After hybridizing daylilies for the past 15 years, I have decided to perhaps register a few of my personal favourites. To that end, this fall I chose 4 or 5 from my select seedlings then divided and planted the pretty faces out for "Plant Performance" evaluation and Possible Introduction.






please click on photos for enlargement and description

2018 will be the third year into this hybridizing theme. My stated goals remain "Pumped Up Northern Reds", "Distinctive Patterns" and stabilizing "Variegated Leaf" daylilies. To that end, I somewhat prepared a short list of attributes that I hoped to produce in my yearly batch of seedlings.

     Northern Hardy with early check-list plant habits

     Pretty Faces with distinction

     Good garden performance

     More Pretty Faces

     Majority pod fertile in my zone 4 garden setting

I've been able to introduce a few new traits/genes into my hardy plant base from seed auction purchases. I've been finding that the seedlings often give you surprises in the form of multi-coloured ruffled edges, aggressive sharks teeth, distinctive patterns and a better variety of colours and styles.

For the past two seasons I have been paying more attention to the growth size and the natural ability of the first year seedlings to over-winter and thrive in my Zone 4 garden. To this end, I generally have successful integration from crossing southern plants and seeds into northern hardy seedlings particularly in the patterned daylilies. Any seedlings that don't thrive are "weeded out" after the first bloom season. To date, I have seedling representing approximately 75 different parent crosses in my patterned program.

I have also discovered that although my seedlings are germinated and spend the first three months in a greenhouse situation I need to wait and allow them to have a second bloom season (third year) before selecting prospects. I'm experiencing noticeable changes from the first year to second year bloom particularly in the patterned flowers.

Waiting three years for seedling selection is a huge problem for me because I am so restricted by a limited growing area. Added annoyance comes from un-cooperative pod parents' plurality due partly to my own lack of research in the selection of seed auction parentages.

For the past eight summers I have been selling off my unwanted seedlings to friends and locals and donating half the proceeds to Gilda's Club Cancer Centre. As I walk through the neighbourhood I see many good-looking daylilies, some perhaps I should have kept for more observation. Please visit my 2017 seedling page. All my seedlings are exclusively Tetraploids.

Comments and questions are welcome

John Clarke
Barrie, Ontario,
Canada L4N 4V2

Email John at:

Copyright ©Clarke Farms, All Rights Reserved.
Dec. 7, 2017
Site by chacha