After having to give up my first garden in New York State, a second garden in Northern Illinois, I was faced with a new challenge: a third garden at 1300 m in a small village in the Swiss mountains. Not an ideal climate to grow my favorite woodland flowers and prairie plants, not to mention Hemerocallis, Hosta, Iris and Paeonia.

Attempting the first Hemerocallis crosses in Illinois (1987), I was determent to try to continue my breeding efforts in our new garden. Faced with a climate with cool summers and winters with 5 - 6 months of snow cover has proven to be very difficult. In order to compensate for disappointments, my pollen dabbing efforts were extended to Hosta beardless Iris and Paeonia. Running out of space and time, at the present I am concentrating on Hemerocallis, Iris sibirica and some interspecies Iris crosses, but still evaluating Hosta and Paeonia seedlings.

My goals are to breed plants that are hardy in our climate and perform well in an average garden. I select plants that please me, are vigorous and garden worthy to fit into a design where a more natural look is desired. My passion for daylilies are tall ‘Unusual Forms’ with possible rebloom and reblooming small plants for ‘postage stamp’ gardens or patios. However, I cannot give up gently ruffled diploid and tetraploid Hemerocallis. The new and extremely ruffled or sculpted forms will not open in this climate and may be a challenge even in an average garden in Switzerland.

Liselotte Hirsbrunner

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