Jan Joiner, the Person and the Hybridizer By Tim Herrington We daylily folks sometimes love to remember and love to slip away from reality and go somewhere we’ve been. In preparing to write a story about a Region 5 legend in her on time, I thought about some of my favorite “firsts.” I remember opening my first paycheck, when I went to Memphis and saw Graceland, holding my grandson after he was born, and I remember meeting Jan Joiner for the first time. Her father-in-law, Enman Joiner introduced her to me and she said it is a pleasure to meet you with a very friendly smile. She then loaded about 20 sacks of daylilies with a lot of dirt on them in my back seat and trunk and politely said “Please come back to see us,” in a voice that would be a high standard for great customer service anywhere in America. That work ethic and friendly attitude has made such a huge impact in the world of daylilies that Jan Joiner, the person, has indeed become a legend in her own time. She is a giver, and not a taker... A forgiver and not a resentment holder... A peacemaker and not a fighter. Great people are just ordinary people who really understand the meaning of life and shares their wisdom and is kind to everyone. That is the Jan Joiner we all know in Region 5. 2018 is the last year Joiner Gardens will be open for sales ending a run of 56 years open to the public. Jan will continue growing daylilies and hybridizing and invites all her daylily friends to still visit her in 2019 and especially in 2020 when her garden will be on tour for the AHS National Convention. She simply states that this change is because she wants to enjoy her daylilies without all the paperwork. Operating a commercial daylily garden to the public can be very time consuming, a lot of physical work and requires a lot of behind the scenes recording keeping , forms, tax reports, etc. Jan Joiner, the hybridizer, is also a legend in her own time. Nine years ago Jan Joiner won the prestigious Bertrand Farr Silver Medal which is the highest award a hybridizer can achieve in the American Hemerocallis Society. Compared to other competitive pursuits, it is like a country singer winning ‘Entertainer of the Year’ in Nashville, an actor winning an Oscar, or an athlete winning an Olympic Gold Medal. Established in 1950 and named for an early daylily nurseryman, this medal awarded yearly, is a distinguished honor for members who have attained outstanding results in the field of daylily hybridizing. Jan is one of only six hybridizers from Georgia to ever receive this recognition and one of the 67 winners worldwide to ever achieve this honor. Now being in this elite group out of an estimated total of over 6,000 hybridizers that have registered daylilies , indeed means Jan Joiner, the hybridizer, is in the ‘Cream of the Crop’ category. The recognition of being a Bertrand Farr Silver Medal winner means her daylilies are certainly a major contribution to the daylily world. Jan dabbed her first pollen in 1979. Seven years later in 1986 she registered her first daylily, ‘Sweet Beginning.’ Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that she most frequently used to be successful. Later she started dabbing some double pollen and had a seedling she nicknamed ‘Rose Bud’ in which Enman saw that she was fascinated with. Consequently he turned the diploid double line over to her around 1990. That double was registered as ‘Rebecca Marie’ in 1992 which was a fragrant, light rose self with a green throat and became an instant hit for her. What Jan Joiner has accomplished with breeding doubles can easily be compared to what Serene Williams did for tennis and Carrie Underwood did for country music. She believed that obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. 77% of all her registrations have been doubles so far. Here are two unique and H. ‘Bubbly’ Joiner, J (1989) Photo by Tim Herrington H. ‘Fluttering Beauty’ Joiner, J (1999) Photo by Tim Herrington H. ‘Sebastian The Crab’ Joiner, J (2003) Photo by Tim Herrington The Georgia Daylily 13 exceptional contributions she has made to the improvement of the double daylily. First was a miniature double that was a game changer for the size of doubles in our society. Many years ago I was at Joiner Gardens and Enman Joiner showed me some of Jan’s seedlings and I observed a beautiful little double seedling in Jan’s seedling patch. It was an apricot self with a tiny green throat with super branching and just breathe taking. On a scale of 1-10 I immediately scored it as a 15. Jan Joiner registered this flower in 1989 as ‘Bubbly’ and it immediately became an instant success overnight because it possessed distinction, great growing habits and most important great breeding habits. It won the Georgia Hybridizers Award in 1991 and ten years later ‘Bubbly’ won the Donn Fisher Memorial Award for the most outstanding miniature (under 3”) as voted by the AHS Garden Judges. Many hybridizers have used this flower to establish a small double breeding program. This flower has made an impact in our society and is good representative for the ideal small or miniature doubles. Second, in 1999 Jan introduced ‘Fluttering Beauty’ which was her first release that was an attempt at unusual form double breeding . At 9 inches this impressive flower shook the daylily world up with her brilliant endeavor. She began by putting pollen from her ‘Jan’s Twister’ on any narrow double petal flower she could find. Several years of line breeding followed. The petals of this ivory double are narrow and the entire bloom has a lot of movement. In addition no two blooms are quite the same. This indeed was a landmark flower as it did not fit into any recognized category at that time. Creating doubles with this type of form was a very new concept to breeders then and is still one of the hottest topics among daylily connoisseurs throughout our society. As mentioned earlier, ‘Bubbly’ was one of her 9 AHS Specialty Awards she has won. Others include 4 Ida Munson Awards for best double with ‘Peggy Jeffcoat’ in 2001, ‘Firefly Frenzy’ in 2011, Sebastian The Crab’ in 2012, and ‘Sunglasses Needed’ in 2016 and 4 Lambert Webster Awards for best unusual forms with Sebastian The Crab’ in 2017, ‘Firefly Frenzy’ in 2016, ‘Frilly Bliss’ in 2005 and ‘Jan’s Twister’ in 2000. Some other very distinctive doubles with the spidery/UFO appearance are ‘Spin And Twirl’, ‘Fashion Leader’, ‘Jaw Dropper’, ‘Airy Delight’ and ‘Rosy Outlook’. All are at least 6” and whereas they are all open, loose forms, some are more “spidery” than others. Some just really defies the description and has to be seen to be believed! Color has been important to Jan, for example her ‘Sunglasses Needed’ has a vivid light lemon blush where the center petaloids protrude and are pinched together which gives the impression of an explosion of color. When someone can bring to the fore front innovative forms and color to our favorite flower from a new angle, then that marks real advances in hybridizing. This fact along is an example of society members fulfilling the mission of our society by fostering the development and improvement of the genus Hemerocallis. Jan Joiner’s skills has been duly recognized in the Pyramid of Awards System of AHS with 39 Honorable Mentions and 5 Award of Merits. But what is even more distinguished is that 2 of her cultivars have won the prestigious Lennington All American Award which recognizes a daylily that is affordable, time-tested, and performs well in many regions of the country. Jan Joiner, the Person and the Hybridizer (Cont) Continued on Page XX H. ‘Sunglasses Needed’ Joiner, J (2007) Photo by Claude Carpenter H. ‘Cherish Your Loved Ones” Joiner, J (2015) Photo by Claude Carpenter H. ‘Spin and Twirl” Joiner, J (2008) Photo by Claude Carpenter H. ‘Jaw Dropper’ Joiner, J (2014) Photo by Tim Herrington H. ‘Peggy Jeffcoat’ Joiner, J (1995) Photo by Claude Carpenter 14 The Georgia Daylily - Fall 2018 These two are Jan’s Twister’ in 2003 and ‘Peggy Jeffcoat’ in 2010. Jan’s Little Rascal (2008) was her first small flower tetraploid double and she hit a jackpot with this one. The color is a peachy-pink and very dainty looking. Personally it is one of my favorites for it has great overall qualities. This daylily has been the runner-up for the Annie T. Giles Award for best small flower in 2017 and 2016. Now for big doubles you cannot ask for any better than her ‘Simply Karen’. This 2011 introduction is a 6 1/2” burnt orange blend above a golden orange throat. A tad bigger is the awesome 7” ‘Big Fuss’ which has an extended yellow-orange throat. The color on the ends of the petals and sepals is salmon. This past June, this double won the Georgia Doubles Appreciation Award for the Best Double Daylily Clump seen at the 2018 National Convention in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina which is one of the big four convention awards annually given. This is the 2nd time she has brought the Georgia Doubles Appreciation Award back to Georgia with ‘Peggy Jeffcoat’ in 2000. Her ‘Silence is Golden’ is an intense golden-yellow with a lot of ridges in it. It reminds Jan of the days when she did hair dressing: She would tease the hair and the ends would curl over in a bouffant. Like that hairstyle, ‘Silence is Golden’ is a very fluffy double that is different form from most doubles. Over the years Jan has won numerous Best In Show, Purple and Blue Ribbon Awards in daylily shows. She is a winner of the rare Ophelia Taylor Horticulture Award and 1 of only 23 who have ever won this award with 5 daylilies in one exhibit that scores 95 or above in a show. She also is only 1 of 5 women that ever achieved this status which can only be won once in a lifetime. Her seedlings that won the AHS Achievement Medal reflect her excellence in knowing what distinction is all about. For a seedling to win the AHS Achievement Medal, the total of all three judges’ averaged scores must be 90 or greater or the average scores of two of the three judges on this panel must both be above 90. The following 17 daylilies she hybridized received this great honor; ‘Peekaboo I See You’, ‘Springtime in Savannah’ , ‘Sweet Spirit’, ‘Cherish Your Loved Ones’ , ‘Southern Dance’, ‘Jitterbug Giggles’ , ‘Big Fuss’, ‘Fingers Of Faith’, ‘Garden Jitterbug’, ‘Some Like It Sassy’, ‘Tickle My Fancy’, ‘Southern Made’, ‘Sassy Sister’, ‘Ruffled Ruckus’, ‘Ruth Whitten’, ‘Nell Dean’, and ‘Peggy Jeffcoat’. It is always sad when an era ends, but remember we the growers of all the Joiner daylilies have been part of that era also and we will continue growing our Joiner daylilies that we enjoy. Joiner Gardens will go down in the history of Region 5 as being the commercial garden with the longest time in operation for the public and one of the greatest of all times. Just like her father-in-law, Jan’s daylilies will stand the test of time and she will be known as one of the greatest double breeders in the daylily world. I personally admire her determination while fighting and living with rheumatoid arthritis. This is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. She is a fine example of demonstrating perseverance which is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. Another very important fact about Jan is that she has many daylily friends in our society. Near the top of every list describing what anyone wants in a daylily friend is this: Someone with a good heart. That’s because the most beautiful people have a kind and generous spirit that radiates to those around them. We can’t resist someone who is consistently gentle, compassionate, and accepting. That is the Jan Joiner I and all her daylily friends have come to admire about her. A celebration of daylilies and the people who grow them are indeed represented by this astonishing lady. Jan Joiner ,the Person and the Hybridizer has left her footprints in the sands of time because she has worn work boots.