Gardening and Hybridizing with Daylilies (Hemerocallis)
Sylvia "Scotty" Innes
1629 Sawyer Spring Trail, Signal Mountain, TN 37377-1632
Phone: 423-886-5845 | Fax: 423-886-4628 | E-Mail:

Scotty's Seedling Gallery   

Click images to see larger, more detailed pictures.

Mountaintop Gardens is located on Signal Mountain, Tennessee, just outside Chattanooga. The altitude is sufficient to warrant a Zone 6 climate designation. The combination of wicked freeze-thaw cycles and snow cover only 1-2 weeks each winter strenuously tests both hardiness and performance of daylily cultivars. I grow around 700 registered daylilies. Seedling production from my hybridizing efforts had been reduced somewhat in recent years to about 3,000 each year, which translated to the presence of approximately 10,000 seedlings at any given time, including seedlings selected for further observation.

Mountaintop Gardens was formerly a commercial daylily nursery for 9 years, beginning in 1999. However, my parents' increased need for assistance resulted in a decision to suspend selling daylilies - whether temporarily or permanently remains to be seen. It is hoped that I will be able to continue hybridizing, even though that is the aspect of my daylily involvement requiring the most time and effort. My husband, Ron, and I may be able to continue to welcome visitors, but a call or e-mail first will be appreciated. Spots to picnic are available, as well as a rest room.

My interest in daylilies led to an increased interest in gardening, particularly landscaping. The most recent major project was a water feature, which includes a stream bed, waterfalls, 4,600-gallon koi pond and viewing deck with benches. I definitely recommend a spot to sit if you add a water feature. The water is enticing, and you may find yourself taking breaks more often while working outside.
Growing a lot of daylilies has also heightened a previous interest in photography. "Mug shots" of seedlings are important to most people who hybridize, of course; but I find myself looking at blooms in different ways, too. Extreme close-ups can reveal the beauty of even parts of daylilies. My praying mantis garden buddies are almost irresistible as subjects and so cooperative, even letting me move them from one bloom to another.

Seedling #046 TET (H. 'Fred Wiche' × H. 'Spacecoast Surprise Purple')

Scotty with her father,
hybridizer Denver Scott
My interest in daylilies was sparked by my father, Denver Scott. That interest quickly escalated after 1990, when I decided was ready to give up being a flight attendant for Trans World Airlines. As my husband was an international pilot for American Airlines and our schedules seldom meshed very well, that decision resulted in much more time together. In 1991 I joined both the Tennessee Valley Daylily Society and the American Hemerocallis Society, which led to myriad daylily-related activities and meeting many wonderful new friends.
Another passion has been following thoroughbred horse racing. Then in March, 2006, I began riding instruction, having previously been on a horse only a few times. The next December I acquired a horse of my own, Solo, a purebred Arabian (Sullivans Solomon), and my life changed! At 16.1 hands, he is quite large for the breed and is definitely more of a challenge than the forgiving lesson horse. Not surprisingly, I now have a much greater appreciation of the skills of competitive riders!

0638 (Tet)

I have not yet registered any of my seedlings. I hybridize almost exclusively with tetraploid daylilies, working with the large full forms, some smaller "pony" sizes and a few "spider" and "unusual form" types. Primarily to focus my efforts, the only forays into the world of diploids are with occasional spidery parents. I love purples and try for a variety of clear, saturated berry colors. Much effort has been expended with reds, resulting mostly in lessons in humility until very recently. Except for pinks and lavenders, I don't venture as often into pastels, although the softer colors can be found in some of my seedlings with patterned eyes. I don't make many crosses for doubles, but I get them anyway!

Please join me in a look at a few of the seedlings that please me.

American Hemerocallis Society | AHS Region 10

site started September 10, 2003