Weclcome to the world of Lilium!!

Please join me in the exploration of news, pictures of new varieties and information I have collected about these gorgeous flowers and other plants I grow.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Planting Lilies

Lily bulbs are never truly dormant. Especially in the spring, these bulbs want to grow. Plant as soon as possible. If your gardens are not ready to receive the bulbs yet, they may be held under refrigeration. Do not allow them to freeze. If sprouting, be sure to loosen the packaging to allow for the growth to insure they grow straight. DO NOT hold in a refrigerator used for storing fresh fruit such as apples. Gases given off by the ripening fruit will inhibit flowering. Be careful not to break the stalk.

Lilies require excellent drainage. If you fail to provide it, your lilies are doomed. Pick a spot where soil is loose and will allow water will drain away from the bulb and roots.

Lilies love the sun. If you live in area where the summers are very hot, you may want to consider growing your lilies in an area with high overhead shade to prevent rapid fading and scorching of the foliage. Lilies planted near a building will generally lean towards the sun. To improve appearance, you may want to stake them. (It is best to place the stake in the ground when planting to avoid spearing the bulb later in the season.)

Plant your lilies 4 – 6 inches deep. The rule of thumb is three times as deep as they are wide. However, with spring shipped bulbs, they frequently have started to sprout during shipment. At a minimum, plant sprouted lilies with the entire stalk underground with the tip of the lily about an inch below the soil surface. Lilies should be planted 6 inches apart at a minimum. Remember, lilies love to have their heads in the sun and their feet in the shade. Mulch or use low growing perennials or annuals at their feet. Once planted remember to water them in! Even if your soil is moist, watering settles the soil around the bulb and stimulates root growth. (I personally like to use a water soluble rooting stimulant in the water to give them extra encouragement to start growing.)

Lilies are heavy feeders. Fertilize in the spring and again after they bloom while they are storing for the next years bloom. Do not cut stalks back until the stalk has turned brown. A good all purpose garden fertilizer is adequate.
Happy gardening! May your lilies be the centerpiece of your garden!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


My friend in the UK is a gold medal winner at Chelsea Flower Show. He is hoping to add a section to his display of lilies to promote new hybridizers and their creations. The Dutch hybridizers primarily create and produce bulbs for the cut flower industry. That is, upfacing lilies with a solid color. However, their a good market for lilies with spots and chevrons and mixed colors for home gardeners.

His plan is to display lilies. Those that create excitement or are much admired at the show have the possibility of being selected for propogation and production. This would involve assisting you with registration procedures and getting the bulbs ready to market. What is in it for you? Royalties!!!

In order to be considered, you should have at least 3-5 bulbs of the same lily. The bulbs are sent to me in the fall, cleaned and prep[ed for a phytosanitary certification and then shipped to the UK for evaluation and showing. If you are interested, please contact me. This is an ongoing project so if you don't have enough bulbs of your prized creation, please consider reproducing your bulbs to meet the minimum amount. This is a chance to be recognized and maybe, makes some money. Pictures must be submitted prior to shipping to me.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tetraploid Lilium

There appears to be to be a growing interest in Tetraploid lilies. This information comes to me from numerous conversations I have with some of my customers.

What is a Tetraploid lily? This is fairly easy to explain. It is a lily that has four sets of chromosomes vs the two sets (diploid) of chromosomes that normally appear in plant material.

Why would you want a Tetraploid Lily? Because plants having four sets of chromosomes (also called 4n’s) generally are more vigorous and floriferous that it’s diploid counterpart.

How does one get a Tetraploid lily? This is where the subject gets heady!! It is usually a result of chemical introduction during the fertilization and growth of the embryonic cells. The most common chemical used is colchicine. However, this condition can also happen naturally in plants,

Okay, that’s about as technical as I am going to get! Please excuse me as I do not have a degree in Botany or Genetics. So it’s probably not a good idea to discuss such a technical subject!!

Dr, Robert Griesbach, among others, has worked with Tetraploid conversion. Known Tetraploid lilies currently available from http://www.farawayflowers.com/ are:

The Pearl Collection (Asiatic)
Rosella’s Dream (Asiatic)
Chiara (LO)
Tanita (LO)
Vandella (LO)
el Condor (LO)
Santa Rosa (LO)
Faith (LLA)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Pearl Collection -- Information regarding the origin and marketing

The Pearl Collection
The “Pearl Collection” as sold by Faraway Flowers for the 2010 spring delivery has generated a considerable amount of interest into the background of these bulbs. In conjunction with one of my customers, I have been doing some research on the origin of these bulbs.
Several years ago, Dr. Robert Griesbach of Wisconsin sold some stock of bulbs to a Dutch firm for propagation and introduction into the commercial marketplace. These lilies were selected because they were tetraploids and for their garden presence. Among these bulbs were a series of “Pearl” bulbs named after his granddaughters:
Jessica Pink

Justine Orange

Jennifer Spotted yellow

Caroline Orange-red

Gracie Salmon-orange
(The above information was acquired directly from Dr. Griesbach.)
Pearl Jessica was sold by a Canadian firm in 2009. Apparently the stock was not true to name as the resulting flowers were not that similar to the flower picture and description. As a side note, I purchased a group of bulbs from another source that were supposed to be “Satin Slippers.” Upon bloom, these bulbs turned out not to be “Satin Slippers” but had an uncanny resemblance to the photo of Pearl Jessica. Pearl Jessica does not appear to be available from the supplier this year and in no longer in production.
Pearl Justine is currently also being marketed as Pearl Justien by another firm. This is the name given by the Dutch firm that is distributing the bulbs and is confirmed based on sales material distributed by the company.
Pearl Jennifer is apparently marketed correctly based on my information.
Pearl Caroline is currently marketed as “Pearl Carolina.” Based on the description and other information received, this has been sold to me as “Pearl Lorraine.”
Pearl Stacie is most likely the bulb intended by Dr. Griesbach to be “Pearl Gracie.” This information is once again based on pictures, sales materials, and description.
To the best of my knowledge, these bulbs have not been registered. And I further would like to note that the sales material seems to be riddled with spelling discrepancies which leads me to believe that that it may be related to translation errors.
In addition, there appear to be other lilies marketed under the “Pearl” name. However, I do not know if they from Dr. Griesbach’s program. But I am sure they were not part of the original ones named for his granddaughters.