Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dutch Lilies Coming To America

The International Flower Bulb Centre (IFBC), Anthos (the Royal Dutch Trade Association for Flower bulbs and Nursery Stock) and Longwood Gardens invited Greenhouse Grower account representative Ann Reiss and I to a special OFA Short Course reception announcing a new event called Lilytopia that will showcase the latest lily varieties Dutch hybridizers developed.

I haven't been to Longwood Gardens, located near Philadelphia, Pa., but Director Paul B. Redman tells me the gardens are quite impressive. The gardens span more than 1,000 acres and feature 20 indoor gardens and 20 outdoor gardens. Yet now, those gardens and others will wow even more visitors.

Lilytopia, an event that will showcase more than 10,000 cut lily stems in a rainbow of colors and sizes, will take place at Longwood Gardens from May 21-31, 2010. The event was inspired by the famous Keukenhof Lily Show that features the latest lily cultivars from lilium breeders of the Netherlands. Lily lovers in the United States haven't been as fortunate as others who've taken in many of the innovative and fragrant designs Europeans inspired. Therefore, Longwood Gardens and its two partners are affording lily lovers a unique opportunity come Spring 2010.

"Longwood has a very long history with the Dutch bulb industry," Redman says. "Last year, we had almost 300,000 spring bulbs on display in the conservatory and across more than 250 acres of formal gardens. We have a full-time horticulturist, Juergen Steininger, who focuses on bulbs. Because of Juergen and our history, we had been having conversations with Anthos and [the IFBC]."

Redman believes if visitors (i.e. consumers) become aware of the Dutch lilies, there's a potential market in the U.S. Frits Thissen, a counselor for agriculture, nature and food quality at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, agrees.

"This event offers opportunity to show the people beautiful varieties of lilies," Thissen says.

For more information on the event, click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the link for more information is not working