Adventures With Ra (Peat '02)
*ADVENTURES WITH RA  - [(Clothed In Glory X Pirate’s Ransom) X Mardi Gras Ball)] 23"sc., EMRe, 5.5"fl., 3-4 way branching, 25+ buds. This exquisite cultivar begins blooming in May and continues to rebloom through to September in north Florida.  ADVENTURES WITH RA is a spectacular performer, and I consider it to be my finest eyed edged creation to date. The dark burgundy purple eyezone and picotee are so dramatic that they leave very little peach pink petal self. The crunchy and ruffled double edge of gold and purple can span up to ½ of an inch. The sheer width of the purple picotee will leave you breathless.  ADVENTURES WITH RA is the “piece de resistance” of my Spring 2002 collection. Pod & Pollen fertile.
?    I named this flower in honor of our friend Ra Hansen (pronounced Ray) when she was visiting Toronto as a daylily speaker at the Guild Inn, where we hold our yearly Canadian Hemerocallis Society Fall Extravaganza. Ra was a gifted hybridizer with strong convictions. Once a Ms. Texas finalist, she was considered not only a beautiful lady on the outside, but, a wonderful and strong lady on the inside. An absolute delight to be around, Ra always put a smile on your face.  

    The name of this cultivar depicts the adventures that Ted Petit and myself had with Ra Hansen, who decided to spend a few extra days with us after the meeting to see all of the unique and wonderful sights that southern Ontario and Toronto had to offer. In my eyes ADVENTURES WITH RA is a beautiful and complex flower much like her legendary namesake.  

    Our adventure began the moment she arrived at the airport. On the way home, I stopped at the Rare Wines Store, where Ra insisted that she wasn’t feeling well enough to have spirits, but would love to see the inside of this marvelous store. Once inside, she discovered the ‘free sample’ counter with the product of the week and her cold magically disappeared. Ra tried the flavored rum on display; straight up, on the rocks, with Coke, with Pepsi, with 7 UP, then again on the rocks. Every time she dropped a quarter in the cancer box, she proclaimed that it was for the children. A healthy donation was made to the Canadian Cancer Society that day. 

    Arriving at my home, I had yet to deal with the finer details of the meeting. As luck would have it, Ted Petit had arrived. Ra & Ted poured themselves a glass of wine, and began to reminisce while I ran downstairs to the computer room to finish things off. I suddenly realized that it was time to pick up Sydney Eddison at the train station. I was fifteen minutes late so I rushed out the door. Sydney somehow found me at the train station (although we had never met before) and we were off to meet up with Ted & Ra. To our amazement Sydney & I found Ra sitting on the couch folding my skivvies, with a glass of wine in her hand, while watching a my living room floor. Sydney quickly turned to me and said “You were right, this is going to be a very interesting meeting, and YES, I will have that glass of Chardonnay!”. We all laughed, and settled down to a lengthy chat while I continued to pack everything up for the meeting. 

    Ra entertained us at the meeting keeping everyone in stitches of laughter. However, I think the highlight of that weekend was seeing both Sydney & Ra climbing over the fence that separates the beautiful gardens of the Guild Inn from a 300 foot drop to Lake Ontario. You see neither of these distinguished ladies where ‘spring chickens’. They were however, spry and full of life. They were determined to have their photographs taken at the edge of the cliff. 

    We must have patronized twenty or more restaurants during the short time that Ra was here. We visited several daylily gardens out of bloom, made a trip to the zoo, attended a Minister’s house warming party, and had drinks high atop the CN Tower. The adventures never stopped with Ra who took her short ‘energy boosting naps’ in the car en-route to our various destinations. 

    Ra gasped in awe when she first saw the image of this flower displayed on the screen during a private slide show. I asked her permission to name this cultivar ADVENTURES WITH RA. The tears welled up in her eyes and she cried while coming toward me to give me a giant bear hug. She then exclaimed, as she wiped the tears from her face “I would be honored if you named that special seedling ADVENTURES WITH RA”. 

    I am sure Ra would not have minded, so I have cut a clip from her 1999 catalog and re- printed it here for you to enjoy: 

    “If I ever move, it will have to be to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In early October during the gorgeous fall foliage, I stayed with my multi-gifted “part time Florida pals” John Peat and Ted Petit. For several nights we closed up the finest food places at famous dining / music spots. On Fri and Sat I had the privilege to meet their Club members at a terrific all daylily meeting. I love those folks up there - in fact I even joined their club. A highlight was a day tour out to We’re In The Hayfiled Now. It was sad that Doug Lycett had passed on recently, but delightful to visit with talented hybridizer and co-owner Henry Lorrain.” 

    I am delighted with the knowledge that I was able to bring a little more joy into Ra’s life. It gives me great plaesure to be able to introduce one of my favorite daylilies after a woman I respected and admired. I am sure that wherever she and her husband may be, Ra is smiling down upon these flowers. I can picture her giggling, as she remembers the week that she spent in southern Ontario with two young men; eating, drinking, telling jokes and having so much fun 
touring the fall colors, all the while filling my refrigerator with ‘doggy bags’. 

    I know that every time ADVENTURES WITH RA blooms in my garden, terrific memories of a fantastic person will always flood over me. Thank you Ra for the privilege of spending such a special time with you and allowing me to name this flower after you.