Do you love to see blooming flowers? A few weeks ago I hit saturation on how much diy renovation I could stand. Do you know that place? Nothing is going on the schedule I had in mind. Nothing is easy and everything’s price is going up?
The local Atwood’s, a new store in a nearby town, had opened and their plant section was going to clearance out almost as soon as it arrived. God is so good. Day one of finding the store (insert happy dance as before the nearest one was 1.5 hours away) there was over 120 feet of fifty percent off annuals, perennials and roses. Wheeeeeeeee! I’m a novice gardener, and having a boost of “cheater” color invigorates me to learn to grow them from seed.
On the way home, I found my local family owned nursery, Pigeon Farms nurseries and I couldn’t resist the welcoming ladies, the beautiful hoop houses and the colors that just drew me in. It reminded me of the container garden books by Pamela Crawford that had first lured me into the belief that I too, could garden with its easy garden color directives. Pamela has long inspired me with her container garden books, her easy to grow vegetables in beautiful pairings and now I hear she has a container gardens for butterflies coming out this year. (Swoon) Her easy to follow books are organized with such clarity that even I can succeed with her plant by plant recipes!
Sam’s Club had hydrangeas for $17 so I brought home two! I love hydrangeas though I am still not doing well with those brought home. The white ones just make my heart sing.
This week I’ve been in Chicago on a road trip to do some client work at the North American Lily Society’s international show. These delightful folks know lilies and are dedicated to preserving, protecting and promoting the species, propogating the rare bulbs and enjoying tremendous beauty along the way. What learning to attend the sessions on lost bulb varieties rediscovered and supported by Madeline Tinson, a Scottish gardener and to understand more about the lily beetle whose red armour is quite a stand out.
Many of the members of the society have had over 50 years of loving and growing lilies. Just breathtaking. I met hall of fame growers and hybridizes such as Dr Arthur Evans, Warren Summers, Forrest Pieper, and so many others. The joy of learned gardeners who truly care about the species, genealogy and hybridization of lilies was delightful.
Lilies are a popular flower in the mainstream, and commercialization is of course, necessary for the public to love and have them, but there is so much depth in those who grow to protect and to continually work to preserve old and rare breeds. Education, expansion and engagement of why it matters not to cut them all, how to propagate to preserve species, how to hand impregnate delicate and rare breeds to keep them in growing cultures is so important to the longevity of the lilies. Below are just a few of the lilies shown for judging.
The Chicago Botanic Garden was the perfect setting for the North American Lily Society’s annual international show.
My personal favorite was the story of Madeleine Tinson’s journey to rediscover Dr David North’s work with his North lilies in Scotland. She is lovely, articulate and passionate. We were simply putty in her well capable hands as we took the visual journey with her through Dr North’s work.. She was poignant, and delivered a delightful story of how she became involved with Dr North and continues to appreciate his work in proliferating his beautiful lilies. Another favorite was meeting Judith Freeman who taught Dr Evans how to do more intricate work propogating lilies. Heroes to me for working so diligently to create a deep and well done understanding of how to protect these amazing plants.
What is growing in your garden? A week away from the Redbird Cottage garden has me itching to get home and to see what’s blooming! I hear tell that there is a new kitten, the courtyard cottage fence is up, and there is okra and beans to pick
See you soon!