Season 2 • Episode 13 - July 14, 2023

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The heat of summer is tough on all of us, but it is a welcome sign to the lily. Lilies are celebrated every summer in Forest Grove, Oregon during the annual Lily Flower Festival at David Hill Farm. We stopped by to see the lilies and to visit with David Hill Farm owners Lisie and Erik Aartsen. If you have watched the Garden Time show you know that we have visited the farm in the past, but Lisie and Erik are the new owners of the farm and they are making lots of great changes to the farm including adding more varieties of lilies and other late summer blooming plants.

We started by talking about the 2023 Lily Flower Festival happening weekends between now and the end of July. This festival is all about the lily! The festival usually happens between mid-July and early August. It is all dependent on the weather and the lilies. The farms grows all kinds of different lilies including Oriental, Asiatic, Orienpets, trumpet, tiger and even toad and pineapple lilies. They are all arranged under huge shade nets in wonderful display beds. You can show up and wander through the beds and check out a large assortment of blooms. They have about 75 different varieties to choose from. The blooms are spectacular. They come in all kinds of colors and bloom styles. Most of the colors are bright yellows, oranges, pinks, whites and reds. A lot of these blooms are fragrant, too.

The festival also includes a couple of vendors featuring local products, including ice cream treats, wine tastings from David Hill Vineyards and Winery, and a variety of charcuterie from ‘Smorgasbord’. You can also pick up selected varieties of potted lilies and other summer blooming plants, and they are even offering bunches of bouquets while they last. Check out their website for more details including hours and directions.

After a break we talked about the care of those lilies once they get into your garden. As soon as you get your bulbs you can get them into the ground. If you bought them in a pot, you can enjoy the bloom and then move them into your garden. Bulbs are planted about 8 inches into the soil. They love a very sunny location. The soil should be amended and be well-draining. Bulbs will rot if left in standing water or are moist for an extended period of time. You can fertilize them in the early spring when the leaves first appear, and then again as they begin to bloom. Once the blooms are done you can clip them off about 3-4 inches below the dead blooms and leave most of the stalk and leaves to continue to grow and feed the bulb under the ground. The more energy that gets stored into the bulb, the better your future blooms will be. Before the first frost you will want to cover the area of the bulbs with a nice layer of mulch to protect it and help feed the bulb during the winter months.

Once your bulb starts to grow, you will find that they may flop over due to the height of the stem and the weight of the bloom. In that case you may need to stake them to prevent that from happening. In a packed perennial garden other plants can help to hold them up, but not in all cases. There are even some varieties that have a huge stem and can stand on its own, but keep an eye on them and stake them as needed. If you are looking to use them as a cut flower in your home, cut them as the first bloom is just starting to pop. By getting the bloom early, it will survive in your arrangement longer. You will also want to remove the stamens from the center of the bloom. The puffy anthers at the end of these stamens has the pollen on them and it can stain your hands, clothes and even the bloom itself. The only other warning that we have about lilies is that they can be poisonous for people and pets, so keep them away from your pets and small children.

We really recommend that you stop by David Hill Farm for their wonderful festival and take some home for your garden. The blooms will knock your socks off and they will become a treasured bloom in your summer garden!

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