Episode #305 – Lilies in Bloom
Today on Life In Bloom it’s all about Lilies! These flowers, derived from bulbs, provide bountiful blooms when cared for properly. We’ll visit an expert lily grower, show you some fun and easy arrangements, and I’ll create a festive Day Lily hors d’oeuvre.”
“The only Commandment I ever obeyed — ‘Consider the Lilies.” – Emily Dickinson
Lilies have always been an important flower to me- I was born on my Grandma’s Birthday- and her name was Lily Green. So my infatuation with the lily goes waaaay Back. I’ve always loved lilies of all shapes and colors.
As a 4th generation florist- my family grew thousands – yes thousands – of Easter Lily plants every year. We also grew Tiger Lilies in the back yard – and I arranged all different kinds of lilies into arrangements over the years – for just about every occasion you can imagine…
My Grandpa- Carnation Joe Green- even invented a little contraption for lilies. It’s a Lily Pollen Picker- that allows you get inside a lily- that is just barely open- to ‘Pick the Pollen’ – so it wouldn’t stain a dress, tablecloth or interior of a home. The other benefit of removing the pollen – is the long lasting effect it has on the lily- removing the pollen immediately makes lilies last about 25-30% Longer… in a vase, a pot or even the garden!
There’s so much to learn about the Lily- and that’s what we do best at Life in Bloom- learn more about flowers.
Lilies All Around the House
It’s easy to fill your home with Lilies- simply by using this special technique- I purchased a 10 stem bunch of lilies at my local flower seller. I look for bunches that have only a few flowers open- because Lilies are ideal for providing – what I like to call: Waves of Flowers- for a very long period of time.
I prepared a collection of different vases- with the specific purpose of using a few stems in each vase- and then being able to spread my Lovely Lilies- all around the House!
Special Thanks to the US Lily Growers and their European Bulb Suppliers- for their Support of this “Lilies around the House” segment and of Episode #305- Lilies in Bloom
A visit with the LILY Expert: Benno Dobbe
Let’s learn a bit more about Lilies- and how they grow- from my friend Benno Dobbe. Benno is an expert when it comes to growing lilies… I recently visited him to learn more about commercial lily production. Benno immigrated from the Netherlands to the US – and brought his family to the West Coast of the USA. Benno has Dutch Roots for sure- but now he is firmly “planted” in American Soil- with his Dutch Bulb Productions- in both Washington and California. Benno grows Tulips in Washington- and Lilies in Arroyo Grande- on the Central Coast of California.
I caught up with Benno- at the Arroyo Grande Location- where he taught me so much about the production of lilies- You can see my entire visit with Benno- at this LINK!
The Dobbe Family is proud of their Dutch Heritage- so much so- that you can see his grandchildren in Traditional Dutch Costumes-including a Dutch Rabbit… but it goes so much deeper- it’s about Benno’s fascination with growing Beautiful Flowers- from the bulbs- to the soil they are grown in (Yes this makes a HUGE Difference)- the growing and harvesting- and you’ll learn in this segment of Life in Bloom- why you NEVER see a field of Lilies in Bloom… it’s interesting and worth the visit!
Planting Lily Bulbs
Planting lily bulbs in your garden for harvesting blooms later, is easy to do- let’s take a look at how it’s done! I got these bulbs from my Friend Benno- he assured me- I could grow the same beautiful lilies in my garden- with a little special attention. My soil is not quite the same sandy-loam that Benno- showed me on the California Coast… but Benno was right- these lilies did a great job- once planted they soon sprouted and produced beautiful blooms- that I promptly cut and arranged – not only for my own enjoyment but to give away to friends and family- (You’re familiar with my concept of “ARRANGE-PLANT” for the garden!
Benno sent me two different varieties- and you’ll be able to distinguish them- in this segment of Life in Bloom- as I share the steps for planting lilies for success in your garden- for either Garden enjoyment or cutting for arranging!
Pink Oriental – Sonbonne variety – bulbs are pink
Pink La Hybrid – Arbatax – bulbs are white
You’re probably familiar with Day lilies – popular today in landscaping with many varieties. While the Day Lily is not actually a “Lily” persay- it has a long history in both our gardens and the road side- all across the USA!
- In the United States and Canada, it all started with the original “wild” orange day lily. In fact, many North Americans think the tough old orange one they see in old gardens and along roadsides is a native wildflower, but it really isn’t. No day lily is native to North America; most hail from Asia.
- In Holland, where new daylily hybrids are created every year, they derisively call the old orange one “ditch lily” for obvious reasons—it grows in ditches! Compared to most other daylilies, the plants are larger,the stems longer (taller), and once the clumps grow for a few years, they are hard work to divide. A big old clump in some grandmother’s (or grandfather’s) garden can be split into dozens of blooming-size plants, if you want to do the work. (Plan to use lots of muscle with a strong shovel, and then have an ax handy.)
- Daylilies are not really “lilies.” In fact, they are quite different. As you know, true lilies grow on tall stems with flowers at the top. Daylily flower stems (called “scapes”) are generally much shorter, and grow from a fountain of grass-like foliage at ground level.
- Few people realize the flowers fade so quickly, because as one fades, the next one on the stalk (or “scape”) opens, keeping a planting of daylilies in bloom for weeks, sometimes for months. But since each bloom is only open for one day – they are not practical as a cut flower.
- Daylilies don’t grow from bulbs like true lilies and other famous bulb flowers like daffodils and tulips. Rather than one onion-like bulb, Daylilies form a mass of thickened, fleshy roots. These unique root systems hold so much moisture and nutrients, the plants can survive out of the ground for weeks, as our wagon train ancestors learned.
- Everybody loves Daylilies because there’s really no other perennial that adds more color with less work. They stay low, they grow almost anywhere with sun or some shade, they always bloom, and their fountain of foliage shades out any weeds close by.
- As they are not a true lily, the blooms are edible – as we will see in another segment. I harvest them from my yard – where I know how they’ve been cared for – no pesticides for instance, so I know they are safe to consume.
Featured Flower: Lily
– Lilium is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants growing from bulbs, all with large prominent flowers commonly known as Lilies
– Many other plants have “lily” in their common name but are not related to true lilies
– The flowers are large, often fragrant, and come in a wide range of colors including whites, yellows, oranges, pinks, reds and purples.
– Some lily species are poisonous to cats, so make sure they do not have access to lilies.
– The true lilies are perennial plants with leafy stems, scaly bulbs, usually narrow leaves, and solitary or clustered flowers.
– Lilies are among the oldest cultivated plants.
– In Asia Minor, during the 2nd millennium BC, the bulb of the Madonna lily was cultivated for use in a medicinal ointment
https://www.britannica.com/plant/lily for more information!
Lily Topiary with Rose Lilies
Here’s a fun flower project- that combines two of my favorite flowers (and would certainly please my Grandpa Carnation Joe and his Lily) Red Carnations and Rose Lilies. This project reclaims the stems of both the Carnations and the Rose Lilies- to form the “Stem” of this Topiary- I used a caged piece of flower foam at the top- and VIOLA- we have a fun flower craft Topiary that is suitable for just about any occasion!
Watch this entire flower craft- in this episode #305- Lilies in Bloom!
Recipe in Bloom: Stuffed Day Lilies (Recipe here!)
Day Lilies from your yard can be transformed in a floral appetizer! Stuffed Day Lilies are easy to make…let me share a fun recipe with you- and you can watch along in this segment- as I create this fun appetizer- made with Organic Day Lily blooms! This process stuffs the Day Lily with goat cheese- and then quickly fries them – for a delightful and delicious taste treat!
Lily Pollen Trick
Here’s a fun trick- to gets rid of pesky Lily Pollen! You might know that lily pollen can stain a tablecloth, napkin or other fabric (Including your Clothes)- unless you know this Secret! Lily Pollen is photo-sensitive – meaning that when it is exposed to direct sunlight- over the period of about 3-4 hours it will simply disappear.
It’s Important to place the affected fabric- in the DIRECT SUNLIGHT- before laundering- or the stain will be set for good- so before WASHING- place the affect fabric in the sun- and wait- the sun with do the rest- and the lily pollen will actually evaporate… stain gone and no worries! It’s a great trick- and you’ll seem like a LAUNDRY MIRACLE WORKER- and the sun does all the work! heheh!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode devoted to the Lily. They’ve always been a favorite of mine with their big, beautiful, trumpet blooms; their wide selection of color; and of course watching them open from bud to full bloom. For Life In Bloom, I’m J Schwanke.