Michigan Nikki | Daylily Blog on trusting your own eye...

This daylily was introduced this year by the incomparable Dan Hansen of Ladybug Daylilies.
During the AHS National Convention in 2009, this seedling stopped me in my tracks while touring his garden.  Now, remember, on a tour of daylily-related gardens, you see thousands and thousands of daylilies and for a seedling to stand out in the crowd as one of the coolest things I saw on tour, well, that speaks volumes.  I took a dozen photos of it that day.  When I placed my mail order for daylilies from Dan that year, I included a good photo of it and told him of my admiration.  Much to my surprise, Dan sent me a piece of it to try in Michigan.  I planted it in the front beds, where it would get the best sun.  I didnt treat it any differently than I do my other daylilies; if it is going to live here, it has to do so on its own merits.  H. 'Michigan Nikki' did way more than just live, it thrived and bloomed its head off in 2010.  Visitors commented on it, a few offered to buy it (not for sale yet!) and most all took many photos.  The photos of it here in this blog are taken by me, in my Michigan garden this summer.  I was so proud that I picked something out of thousands of seedlings that so many noticed and more importantly- liked. You can see more of H. ' Michigan Nikki' here on Dan's website.

Dan called me late this summer to say he was going to introduce it and wanted my help naming it. 


Even though I have never introduced my own daylilies, I have pages of names that I think would be cool names.  I always note song lyrics, or book titles or phrases my friends say as possible future daylily names.  So, I gave Dan some of my favorites and he gave me a lesson (or two) in naming daylilies.  He finally settled on his own suggestion of H. 'Michigan Nikki' and I loved the idea.

You can buy it directly from Dan if you are interested in adding it to your collection.  That strawberry colored eye, size and frilly-dilly edge will certainly entice several buyers this fall.  I wouldnt wait until spring to buy...especially with the special he's running.  You can buy 10 of his newest introductions for a really good price - that's unheard of, and once you see the selection, I think you will find a few wonderful things.  Dan also has some awesome videos on his site on interesting topics.

I like daylilies that are unlike anything else.  I liked this one because it was long and stretched out with a wonderful, bubbling edge.  These types of edges you dont see on longer, close-to-unusual-form daylilies.  Lots of hybridizing possibilities in this one.  I love its size and cannot wait to see it compete in the Extra Large section of an exhibition show. 

 The lesson I learned with this one is to trust my own eye. I saw it, I liked it, and I followed up on it. I have confidence in my own internal gauge of what is beautiful and what is inspiring. Rarely do the year of introduction or the hybridizer's fame influence what daylilies I add to my collection. Building confidence started with me making the conscious choice to stop listening to what "everyone else" was telling me was beautiful and started listening to the thumping in my chest when I see particular plants. That thumping is in each of us...my hope for all of you is that it's loud enough for you to hear.

H. 'Michigan Nikki' is fabulous, unique and offers something new to the daylily community.  Exactly how I like to think of myself.  Thanks, Dan!


Barb said...

Congratulations!! How exciting to have your own Daylily named after you! The first of many!

Nikki Schmith said...

Thanks, Barb! It is exciting. Mine increased a lot over this summer, so hopefully I will have some to share at the end of next bloom season!


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