Friday, August 15, 2014

Sad News for MARLS Charter Member

'Yelloween' Lilium

Our MARLS founding member Fred Winterowd, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 12th.  Fred was our mentor, teacher, friend, and an outstanding person.  We will miss him greatly.  Please remember his wife Jean, and their family, in your prayers as they struggle with this tragic event. 

A memorial service will be held, in Fred's honor, at 2:00pm on August 30, 2014 at New Horizons Presbyterian Church located at the following address;

    9424 Everman Dr., Overland MO 63114

Please send thoughts and tributes of Fred to Jean Winterowd at the following address;

   10099 Midland Blvd., St Louis, MO 63114

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Our first morning at the 2014 NALS Convention

This year we attended the North American Lily Society Convention in Bloomington, MN.  Being my second NALS convention, I was really looking forward to the exciting events and garden tours.  We arrived late on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, but made sure to get-up early for the NALS convention check-in on Thursday morning.

NALS Convention Check-in Counter
NALS Convention Registration Counter

The very friendly and helpful Jeanne Bauer was at the registration counter in the Hilton MSP Airport, Bloomington, MN and gave us our name badges, convention material and pointed us towards the Lily staging room.

In the Lily staging room, we once again found our Mid America Regional Lily Society member, Kim Peterson, working hard to prepare her flowers for display in the Horticulture Division at the Lily Show.  As Kim's flowers soaked-up water from the long ride to Minnesota we looked around the Lily Show staging room.

Lancifolium Lilium
L. lancifolium that Kim was preparing for Horticulture Exhibition

As we looked around the room, we found an amazing assortment of Lilium soaking-up water and in various stages of preparation for the Horticulture Division at the NALS Lily Show.

Horticulture Entries for 2014 NALS Show

Horticulture Entries for 2014 NALS Show

Horticulture Entries for 2014 NALS Show

This beautiful display of gorgeous Lilium in a bucket were used to create the First Place entry for Class 4: Kansas City Royals in the Design Division.

Class 4: Kansas City Royals entry
Class 4: Kansas City Royals entry

The Design Exhibitors were working hard to create extraordinary Designs for the NALS Show.

Design exhibitors preparing for NALS Show
Design exhibitors preparing for NALS Show

We spent an amazing few hours that morning among the Lilium in the NALS staging room.

--By Lynn Slackman

Monday, May 12, 2014

2014 Volunteer Dedication Award

Lynn Slackman with awards vase
Every year the Missouri Botanical Garden honors it's volunteers with a nice reception and awards event.  This year the Dedication Award was given to Lynn Slackman, past President of the Greater St Louis Daffodil Society, current Marketing/PR Chairperson for the American Daffodil Society, and active member of the Mid America Regional Lily Society.

The Dedication Award is bestowed to a volunteer who comes in on a regular basis each week and is conscientious about the tasks performed, accepting assignments that are not major undertakings but are essential to the program.

The following write-up was read by Lynn's horticulture supervisors, Sophia Warsh and Sara Murphy, at the awards ceremony;
Lynn volunteers in the North Gardens and is also a Garden Docent.  She has been a Garden volunteer for 18 years.  In the Bulb Gardens, Lynn has worked specifically on the annual labeling of the Lilium collection.  Because of her in-depth knowledge of lilies, she is one of the only volunteers who can assist in this capacity.  She has also helped with transplanting lilies and has introduced new techniques for staking lilies and other bulbs.  Lynn is thoughtful and inquisitive and has been especially supportive of some of the new collections development projects that demand a lot of prep work before the results are apparent.  She is the official Chair for the 2016 World Daffodil Convention that will take place in St. Louis.  Lynn's wide-ranging activities make her a great Garden ambassador.

Lynn was surprised and honored to receive this prestigious award, and looks forward to continuing her volunteer efforts at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Best Lilies for St. Louis

It’s important to purchase lilies known to thrive in your area. St. Louis has hot, humid summers that are sometimes brutal. Not all lilies tolerate this heat. Fortunately, there are many kinds that will grow well in St. Louis’ climate! These varieties are strong growers in St. Louis:
Lilium 'Royal Sunset'

Royal Sunset – a Longiflorum-Asiatic hybrid that begins blooming in mid June. It has many worthy qualities;
o  Thrives in full sun and good soil, increasing each year
o  Beautiful, complex colors of orange tipped peach flowers
o  10+ flowers per stem on handsome dark green foliage

Golden Splendor – Trumpet lily. Blooms in late June. Characteristics are;
o  Tall, striking accent planet, easy to grow
o  Bell shaped flowers of deep yellow

Scheherazade – Oriental-Trumpet lily, blooms in early July;
o  Red flowers with cream edges
o  Very tall, 6’ – 7’ when mature
o  Multiplies rapidly

Black Beauty – Oriental-Trumpet lily;
o  Small, deep red flowers with white edges, flowers face downward
o  Tall growth habit, 6’+ in good growing conditions
o  Late July bloomer

Lilium 'Black Beauty'

Most sources of lily bulbs carry these wonderful varieties among hundreds of lily choices. If you are looking for a reliable lily to grace your garden each year, you can’t go wrong with these.

--by Kim Peterson 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Better Than Stargazer

Everyone loves Stargazer lilies with their showy red and white flowers that stand out on deep green stalks. And their fragrance is sublime! One Stargazer lily will perfume an entire house.

But Stargazer and other Oriental lilies do not thrive in hot St. Louis gardens. Their favored climate is their native Chinese mountains where bright sunshine and cool weather dominates. In our hot, humid summer climate, they die out quickly.

Lilium 'Anastasia'
Lily breeders have chosen genes from Stargazer and other Oriental lilies to use in their breeding programs, capturing some of our favorite characteristics. Their hybrid lilies, Oriental-Trumpets, have the best of both lily divisions. Trumpet lilies tolerate and even thrive in St. Louis summers, returning to bloom year after year. This growth characteristic, combined with the color and fragrance of Oriental lilies, results in plants that are better than Stargazers for St. Louis gardens.

Varieties of Oriental-Trumpets (called Orienpets or OT’s in the lily trade) that have the wonderful red & white colors as well as noticeable fragrance are:

Anastasia –always at the top of the Popularity Poll of the North American Lily Society, this OT lily has big open flowers made up of white petals with red stripes. Reliable in St. Louis, it grows to 5’ tall, blooming in July.

Lilium 'Flashpoint'
Flashpoint – a recent introduction to the OT group, this strong lily has been called “Stargazer on steroids!” Red and white flowers with strong scent bloom in July. Compact growth habit, sturdy stalks grow to 3’ to 4’ tall. A must have in any St. Louis garden.

Silk Road - Hall of Fame lily that grows reliably year after year. Up to 6’ tall in excellent growing conditions. White flowers with red throats demonstrate its Oriental heritage.  

While Stargazer lilies are great flowers, leave their growing to greenhouse experts or enjoy them as annuals with no expectation that they will thrive in upcoming years. Instead, St. Louis gardeners should look to wonderful OT lilies for perennial bloom.

--by Kim Peterson 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Exotic Dark Lilies

Dark plants have become popular in gardens. They are exotic and striking, providing great visual interest. Dark plants can be nearly black, but usually they are a form of very dark purple or deep red. When they are paired with companion plants in complimentary colors they make a showy grouping.

Lily breeders have produced dark cultivars of lilium as part of this trend. Look for these wonderful black cultivars and consider planting them in the pairings suggested below. All of these lilies require at least 6 hours of sun.

Dimension – Asiatic lily with wide, very dark purple petals, nearly black. While not as reliable as some Asiatic lilies, this handsome lily is the darkest lily on the market and is worth cultivating for that color! Match it up with golden garden plants such as golden spirea or Hakonochloa 'All Gold'

Night Flyer Lilium
Lilium 'Night Flyer'

Night Flyer– a recent introduction to the lily trade, delicate looking flowers have a delicate, flyaway look but are quite sturdy. Imagine this lily growing out of a clump of Ophiopogon planiscapus nigrescens (black monkey grass) The spidery blackness of the grass perfectly complements this witchy looking lily.

Lilium 'Landini'

Landini – Asiatic near-black lily with slender petals. When paired with pink or red petunias, this black lily pops!

Olina – this striking lily is not all dark, it is red with a dark black center on star shaped flowers. This would look stunning in a container where Black Magic coleus provides mid-height interest and trailing chartreuse sweet potato vine sets off the black color of both.

Black plants joined with plants of contrasting color will give zing to your garden! Enjoy the new black lilies in your plantings.

 --by Kim Peterson 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

MBG Bulb Gardens,
Collection Development Projects: 2012-14

The 2014 Mid America Regional Lily Society educational meeting was held on Saturday, February 22nd, from 9:30 AM to NOON, in the Beaumont Room at the Missouri Botanical Garden.(MBG)
Sophia Warsh presentation at MOBOT
Sophia Warsh at 2014 MARLS Educational Meeting

Members and guests were thrilled to welcome Sophia Warsh, horticulturalist and bulb expert at the Missouri Botanical Garden.  She reviewed the recent collections development projects in the Heckman and Samuels Bulb Gardens during her presentation.

Spring Bulbs 

The daffodil collection at the Missouri Botanical Garden contains 700 varieties that represent 12 of the 13 daffodil divisions.  Daffodils are animal resistant and provide interest from early to late spring.

The tulip collection contains selected hybrid tulips, but MBG wants to develop their species collection and wild tulips from seed.  For best perennial results, Tulips prefer well-drained soil and a harsh summer baking.  The best perennial divisions include Darwin Hybrids, Fosteriana, Single Late, Kaufmanniana, Greigii, and most species.  Many of the species tulips are originally from the Caucasus and Central Asia, such as ‘Tulipa altaica’, ‘Tulipa kaufmanniana’, and ‘Tulipa greigii’.

Sophia also talked about other spring bulbs, such as, Snowdrops, Crocus, Winter Aconite, Narrowleaf Onion, Camassia and Virginia Bluebells.

Summer Bulbs

The Lilium collection at the Missouri Botanical Garden is extensive.  From Lilium Martagon, to Asiatic Lilium like ‘Tiger Babies’, ‘Orange Electric’, and ‘Royal Lace’, to Oriental –Trumpets like ‘Ortega’ and ‘Scheherazade’. 

Sophia talking with Don Kelley, MARLS President
The Lilium collection also contains some species Lilium.  ‘Lilium hansonii’, is native to Korea, Eastern Siberia, and Japan, it typically grows 3-5 feet tall, has strongly fragrant flowers, and prefers dappled shade.

Lilium henryi’, is native to China, it typically grows 4-8 feet tall, and has nodding flowers with maroon spots. It will grow in part shade to full sun, and is one of the largest of the traditional garden lilies.

Lilium pardalinum’ (Leopard Lily), is native to the Pacific coasts of the USA.  They are a woodland species that are typically found in damp places within coniferous forests.  They grow about 3-5 feet tall and are very hardy and easy to grow.

Lilium martagon’, is native to Eurasia and grows on limestone hills, woods, and thickets.  Once established, they are long lived.  Their flowers form a Turks cap, they have thick petals, and their bulb scales are yellow.

Lilium regale’, are native to the Min River Valley in China, where they have hot summers and cold winters.  They bloom during mid-summer, prefer to grow in sun, and they are strongly fragrant.

MBG plans to add more species Lilium to the collection by adding such species as ‘Lilium candidum’, ‘Lilium lancifolium’, ‘Lilium pumilum’, and ‘Lilium columvianum’.

Tender bulbs

The garden also has an extensive collection of Alocasia, Colocasia, Xanthesoma, and Caladium.  They are tubers and are animal resistant.  They provide additional foliage interest during the summer, and require ample moisture to reach substantial size.  They are not hardy during the winter, so they must be dug and cared for in the greenhouses during the winter months.

South African Bulb Collection

Some of the South African bulbs include ‘Agapanthus sp.’, ‘Crinum sp.’, ‘Ornithogalum sp.’, ‘Clivia miniata’, and ‘Eucomis pole-evansii’.  South Africa has the highest diversity of Amaryllids in the world.  Many of these bulbs grow in grasslands and support a high diversity.  Many endemic and geophytes can be found in this area of the world.

Fall Bulbs

Lycoris are in the Amaryllis family and are native to Eastern Asia.  Many people refer to them as magic lilies, surprise lilies, or naked ladies.  They are animal resistant, bloom during late summer to mid-autumn, tolerate many soil and environmental conditions, and are sweetly fragrant.

Colchicum (Autumn Crocus), are corms that are found in Europe, North Africa, and Western to Central Asia.  They flower during the autumn, but their leaves appear during the spring.

Other fall blooming bulbs include the Prairie Onion which is native to North America, Autumn Daffodil (‘Sternbergia lutea’) which is found in the Mediterranean and Middle East, and Scilla autumnalis, which is native to Europe and the Mediterranean.

Future Plans

Future plans include integrating the cultivated and species bulbs together, highlighting regional diversity, and including more Habitat gardens.
Lilium michiganense
photo by Edgar Denison

These plans would involve the inclusion of more bulbs from Eastern and North America, such as ‘Camassia scilloides’, ‘Claytonia virginica’, and ‘Erythronium albidum’.  For the Lilium collection; MBG also wants to include more Lilium from Eastern North America that grow in wetlands, meadows, and near streams.  Some of these species could include ‘L. michiganense’, ‘L. philadelphicum’, ‘L. superbum’, and ‘L. canadense’.

MBG wants to expand the bulb collection into the current Dwarf Conifer Garden.  These plans would include more forest Monocots and spring Ephemerals.

Sophia’s knowledge and direction for the MBG bulb collection was extensive.  We really appreciate her time to keep us informed about the world class bulb collection at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Lily Potting Laboratory

 Lily Potting results

As part of the MARLS Educational meeting, we hosted a Lily Potting Laboratory and demonstrated potting lily bulbs with proper soil and care.

Under the oversight of MARLS members, over 50 lily bulbs were taken home, by the public, to grow in pots at the Educational Meeting.

One of the potted bulbs was taken home and placed in a suitable warm spot right away. This photo depicts the resultant lily as of April 14, 2014. It's almost 30 inches tall and going strong!

--by Lynn Slackman

Speaker BIO for Sophia Warsh;
Sophia Warsh is a gardener from New York City. She has a BA in fine arts from Bennington College and a certificate in Landscape Design from the New York Botanical Garden School of Continuing Education.

After working for two design/build firms, she became devoted to plants while working for The Queens Botanical Garden and The Central Park Conservancy.

As a horticulturist at the Missouri Botanical Garden, Sophia is responsible for the Bulb and Rock Garden collections. Recently she has participated in two plant collecting expeditions as part of the exchange program between MBG, The Moscow Botanical Garden and The Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Kansas City Garden Symposium
Color Outside the Lines

One of our MARLS members, Pam Hardy, had the opportunity to attend the 2014 Kansas City Garden Symposium the weekend of February 21st and 22nd. Photos in this blog entry by Jennifer Yount Asher.

History of the KC Garden Symposium
The first Garden Symposium was held in 1998 as a joint program of Gardeners Connect and the Friends of Powell Gardens. In 2013 Gardeners Connect assumed sole responsibility of Garden Symposium ending a 15 year collaboration with the Friends of Powell Gardens.

They have been creating this educational series, bringing in notable gardeners from all over the world to Kansas City, every other year and 2014 will be their 9th Garden Symposium. Every symposium has a theme which ties the speakers together and gives focus to the needs of gardeners.

Their list of past symposium speakers reads like a who's who of the gardening world. Not all of them were famous when we brought them to the stage in Kansas City but went on to be well known to gardeners everywhere.

Before Friday’s workshop

Trip to Bird's Botanicals in Kansas City

"Bird's Botanicals is a hybridizer of orchids. The cave that houses these orchids used to be a quarry. He's got unbelievable hybrids. Some of them are called Pansies because of the colors and patterns. They have 10,000 orchids.

Pam hadn't seen Lady Slipper Orchids as big as his. He sells LOTS of orchids at in Kansas City. Address is Interstate Underground Warehouse. 8201 E. 23rd St. 64129 1-816-252-4478. Chuck and Brian took us there. A special side trip. 

Friday’s Garden Symposium Workshop

Our workshop was conducted by Joseph Tychonievich. This year Organic Gardening listed him as one of six young horticulturalists who are helping shape how America gardens. He is a plant breeder, focusing on what he deems "new heirlooms." Plants that are defined by their qualities, important to gardeners like taste, fragrance and durability not their age.

He has studied plant breeding and genetics at Ohio State and Michigan State universities and is currently nursery manager for Arrowhead Alpines in Fowlerville, Michigan.

He is the author of a book, Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener: How to Create Unique Vegetables and Flowers published by Timber Press.

Friday's Garden Symposium Workshop
We pollinated and grafted African violets and Geraniums.

Garden Symposium Dinner

Ended the day with a great Speak-ess, dinner and drinks — with Brian Chadwick-Robinson, Pam Hardy, Orchids for sale from Dave Bird, Tablemate, Amanda Thomsen, Gayle Yelenik of the Mo-Kan Daylily Society, Barbara Williams, and Chuck Robinson.

Garden Symposium Dinner

Amanda Thomsen was our dinner speaker and her topic was "Landscaping Questions You Forgot to Ask: Stuff You Really Need to Know to Grow."

Amanda calls herself  “big, loud and fun.” She is a professional landscaper by day and blogger at night. She has been writing her blog, Kiss My Aster, for more than seven years.

She has also blogged for Proven Winners and for Fine Gardening and Horticulture magazines.

In late 2012, Storey Publishing published her choose-your-own-adventure style book, Kiss My Aster: A Graphic Guide to Creating a Fantastic Yard Totally Tailored to You. It is a graphic novel for gardeners that dispenses advice for beginning gardeners in format that is not at all boring. Veteran gardeners are amused at how Amanda depicts situations and nod in agreement.

In one section, Amanda encourages gardeners to shop online, which she recommends. “Bring a cocktail, and pants are optional.”

Saturday Presentation from Julie Moir Messervy

Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love.
In this inspiring lecture, award-winning landscape designer and author Julie Moir Messervy demystifies the art and practice of landscape design for homeowners and professionals alike. Using beautiful images, together with helpful tips, case studies, before and afters, diagrams, and plans, she walks you through the process of turning any property into the “home outside” you have always dreamed of. Julie highlights many of the ideas introduced in her book, Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love, illustrating that good landscape design does not have to be overwhelming or expensive.
Julie is a garden designer and author of seven books. Her imprint on American landscape and garden design is indelible.

Julie designed Toronto Music Garden, a reflection in landscape of Bach's Suite No. 1 in G Major for unaccompanied cello. She designed it in 1997 collaborating with renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. it was featured in the first of Ma's a six-part series titled "Inspired by Bach."

Julie's design work earned her the American Horticultural Society 2005 Great American Gardeners Award landscape design honor.

Saturday presentation With Joseph Tychonievich

Hummingbirds Don't Actually Like Red Flowers

You think you know how flowers work, perhaps. Some attract bees, some hummingbirds, to carry pollen and make seeds. That is true, as far as it goes, but it gets a lot crazier than that too... Some flower colors are actually camouflage, others are the equivalent of scantily clad women in beer advertisements, taking advantage of frustrated males to get their business done. See plants, and the insects, birds, and other animals -- including us -- they interact with in a whole new way.

Saturday presentation With Amanda Thomsen

You Can Grow Your Own Way

Saturday presentation With Kerry Ann Mendez

High-Impact, Low-Maintenance Perennial Gardens.
Discover great perennials for spring, summer and fall color as well as design tips and organic practices for healthy, gorgeous gardens. Sustainable practices will be emphasized. Topics covered include perennials, shrubs, annuals, fertilizers, natural repellants, and much more.

Outrageous Foliage Carries the Show!

Foliage plays a dramatic role in creating sensational gardens spring through fall. And the bonus, if not the main attraction, is that these beauties require little maintenance and are less nutritionally-demanding than their flower-jammed sidekicks, even though these lovely ‘leafies’ also produce flowers. PowerPoint features showy perennials, shrubs and annuals.
Kerry Ann Mendez is a self-taught gardener from east-central New York, where her garden is in Zone 5, Kerry Ann has authored two books and one ebook.

Kerry has written for Fine Gardening and other publications and has been featured in Horticulture, Garden Gate, Fine Gardening and Better Homes and Gardens' Garden Ideas & Outdoor Living. She has been featured on HGTV and has hosted television gardening segments.

Her gardens also were in garden author Keith Davitt's 2006 book Hardscaping: How to Use Structures, Pathways, Patios and Ornaments in Your Garden.

She also was a presenter for Horticulture magazine’s 2010 and 2011 webinar series.
Pam had a wonderful time at the 2014 Kansas City Garden Symposium and is looking forward to their next Symposium during 2016.

-by Pam Hardy & Lynn Slackman