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Lily show in Michigan
and a pilgrimage to visit
Dr. Bob Griesbach
I began working as geneticist at Oregon Bulb Farms in September 1971 and created this business in 1979. Breeding the best in garden lilies continues to delight me; I continue to hybridize and grow my own crop, to ensure that our customers enjoy bulbs that are true to name, the right size, and harvested and stored to give good garden results.
Just as deeply delightful as breeding and growing lilies is the life-long friendships with wonderful people, all over the world, who share their love of lilies. In the spring, Warren Summers asked me to help him find photos of the early American lily hybridizers. This led me through boxes of photos, letters, books, and memorabilia, covering my 45 years with lilies, and a deepened awareness of how many wonderful people have shared in creating today’s lilies!
In July I attended an incredible lily show at the home of Alicia Boyd, president of the Michigan Regional Lily Society. You can see a corner of her beautiful garden on our printed catalog back cover (and in the banner at the top of this page). What amazing hospitality, camaraderie, superlatively grown lilies–and locally bred wonderful new hybrids, too! I was especially thrilled to see the wide-ranging hybrids from the “black heart” and “frilly papillae” lines by Charlie Kroell, Rimmer de Vries, Jim Ault, and Peter Schiemann.
After this show, I joined a cohort of hybridizers on a pilgrimage to visit Dr. Bob Griesbach, learning from a master and savoring his unique lilies in their last season of bloom in Wisconsin. As he moves with his family to Florida later this year, we know that his breeding work will continue to ripple throughout the lily world for many years to come!
As always, I bring back petals, pollen, and buds as I continue 45 years of studying fertility, chromosomes, and pigments in lilies, the underpinnings of understanding their genetics. Below is just a sample of a bit of the gene pool I’m currently studying from this summer’s trip!