Saturday, February 20, 1999

Re: Bob Sobek and his Daylilies

Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 19:11:28 -0500
From: Mary Collier Fisher
Subject: Re: Bob Sobek and his Daylilies
Mary Collier Fisher here in Walpole Massachusetts where the temperature dipped to 0 last night, a very cold zone 5b

Bobbie Brooks and Lynn Purse's posts on Bob Sobek were both enjoyable. I'd like to add to it a bit as well. When I first joined our local group, the New England Daylily Society, Bob Sobek was serving as our President. That year I attended my first August auction as well. Phil Reilly of this forum served as our auctioneer - a tradition he has maintained outstandingly ever since with great humor. Being a newcomer, you can believe that I thought the bulk of my purchases were already made at the bargain table before the auction started, because there were mini clumps of daylilies identified by their color sold for the price of $2.50 or $3.00. For the heck of it, I took an auction number to be able to bid, and I was amazed to hear of much more expensive daylilies being auctioned off for very reasonable prices, even to my newbie's definition of reasonable. I even bid on a few when there were so many fans being offered that the price came down under $10 and even under $5 - how could I resist a bargain like that (you all know this was the first sign of the imminent full blown hemaholism about to take over my life)? Then, onto the auction block came an offering called TOY TRUMPETS. Phil stated that this was this year's (1984 registration) introduction by our own President, Bob Sobek, and he asked Bob to get up and describe it "in a loud and booming voice" since Bob is quite soft spoken for a teacher . Bob described a charming, highly branched and budded, delicate clear yellow daylily with a reddish back to the petals and sepal. He went on to describe the details of the parentage of the daylily in depth (I must say he totally lost me at that point) and gave a great deal of information. Well his introduction price for this daylily was $25 and he had brought in several fans of this to the auction. Phil started the bidding at $25 and there were no hands up - the price started going down from there (which is the way our auctions all go). When it got down to $13 I was feeling so embarrassed that no one had bid yet that I bid for it. The final price that day was $13 for a brand new introduction. Although a bit over my maximum amount to buy one daylily for {that was a long time ago :-)}, I was really glad that I had purchased it for a variety of reasons. When it bloomed the next year, I knew that it was only the beginning of my getting Sobek daylilies. It has many of the same qualities as Bobbie described for AERIAL, being a sib I think. And many of the traits described by Lynn of CORKY, as I think CORKY was one of its ancestors. One of the first years I competed in our Flower Exhibition, I won Best Mini with TOY TRUMPETS.

GOLDORA is another of his that is described as a 1989 golden orange self, 26" tall, EE, 2.5" Dor, Dip. The clump I have of this flower was among the very earliest of mine to start blooming this year, and continued right on through til the lates were blooming. I didn't take note if it was a bud builder but it was one of the best clumps I had this past year. I can't imagine a garden without that bright sunny plant.

MELON EXTRACT, 1990, 30 ML-L 3 5/8" Orange melon self was described by Bob when he brought it to our auction as the clearest melon color he had ever seen. I have to agree with him. When it bloomed for the first time in my garden the day of our show one year, I bravely cut the scape and put it in the show. I won Best Small Flower with it that year - for just one pristine bloom opened on a clean scape. It was lovely.

PUMPKIN TIME, 1984, 37 Late 5.25 Orange gold self - I've posted about this one before. It makes my top 25 list each year. This is definitely a bud builder here, and keeps on opening flowers when not much else is in bloom. Another real bright addition to the border.

Bob is definitely a giver. He shares his information freely with those of us here in NEDS. A number of years ago, when he heard that my son (he's 18 now) was interested in hybridizing for a black daylily he shared a few of his seedlings and COAL MINER and AFRICA with him. I'm glad to say I've met Bob and very glad that I've enjoyed his daylilies.

Regards to all,
Mary Collier Fisher, Zone 5b, AHS Region 4, NEDS Bulletin Editor

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