Sunday, October 4, 2009

End of the season

Well we are nearing the end of another season. This year has been full of ups and downs. The weather this year was less then perfect. Late frosts, hail, next to no rain for months at a time. The lilies stood through it all but took a beating and are showing the signs of stress. Many asiatic lilies did not size up but instead multiplied to try and save themselves. Next year will hopefully be a better year.

Our plans of doing a bunch of breeding in the lilies never got a chance. There were a total of 8 martagon lily stems that had flowers. Most of those were distorted and did not have all the parts to do some pollen dabbing. Out of the asiatic lily patch we did try a few crosses and got a total of 1 seed pod. This seed pod is now in doors drying off for the last bit in hopes of a few good seeds.

Over the next few months we will be working on a new catalogue for next year. Also planning will be done on a possible new shade house for a seedling and propagation area. There are also a few other ideas in the works for the next year. Possibly a seed and propagation booklet that has been in the works for a while, as well as a Cd of martagon lily photos of our collection.

I hope you all have had a good growing year this year and that the winter is no too long for you. I look forward to finding afew new lilies and playing around with a few new seeds.

Here is to next spring may the weather be just the right mix of warm rains at the end a hot sunny day in the garden.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fall Bulbs

Hello To all,
Things here at Estate Perennials have been very busy over the last few months. Getting to the computer to write up a new blog post has been a long time coming. We are now just starting to get the fall dig under way to start filling fall orders of lilies and peonies and other perennials. Over the next few weeks we will be shipping our lily bulbs across Canada, into the Unite States and a few over seas.

I would like to thank all who have ordered bulbs this season. The weather this season have been very strange around here but everything is looking good for shipping. A few Martagon lilies were dug the other day to see how they are doing. The bulbs were very large and solid.

If you are still hoping to fit one or two lilies into the garden now is the time to get you order in. AS we will soon stop taking orders for the year.

Hope everyone has had a reasonable growing season and enjoyed there gardens.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

T-shirts and Things

We have added a few more shirts and things with a new design. A great line drawing of a martagon lily. These Items are a great value and you have many different size options.

There are 2 styles of ladies t shirts and 2 styles of men's shirts to choose from as well we change the look of the Tote bag. We added this image to the bag for a cleaner look.

We even added a pillow to the mix just for fun.

If there are any items you would like with this logo or a lily added to it just let me know and I will added it soon to the selection.

You can follow the link by clicking on the Title of this post or by copy and pasting this to your browser.

Friday, May 22, 2009

First day of the Market

So last Friday was the kick off to the new season at the Farmers market. There were a bunch of good prizes given out and a really big cake to share. Lots of old vendors returned from last year and a lot of new vendors joined in. One of the fun things that happened was a guest appearance of Bailey The Buffalo Jr. . People got to see, pet and take a few photos of the year old Bison.

The fun part was his grand entrance. Riding on in through the big doors of the hall. He was right up front enjoying his ride in the open top car. This was great fun for all who attended to see.

This weekend should be a good weekend. The sun is out and we should be done with frost and snow until the fall.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Heritage Market

So today the Stony Plain Heritage Farmers Market kicks off for the season.
It runs today from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm and tomorrow from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

All are welcome to wander through and take a look at all the stuff. The market was renamed and opened up to 2 days. With the opening Jim Hole of Hole's Greenhouses will be there. A special appearance of Bailey the Buffalo Jr. will also be had. Come get your photo taken with a bison.

It is at the fair grounds in Stony Plain right by the Pioneer Museum. It should be a good time.
I will be there to sell lots of potted lilies, I have just over 2500 lilies potted up to sell this year.

Hope you can make it out.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Out In the Garden

I was working away today in the garden and thought A photo of how the martagon lilies are doing would be good.

This is a smaller patch of martagon Burnt Orange coming up. The tallest is about six inches high. The garden is starting to look really good so far. The weeds are not coming on to fast and the clean up from last year is close to being done.

Lots of old stems and peony tops to be cleaned up yet but we are over half done. The asiatic lilies are just starting to show life in the odd spot in the garden. Now a bit of steady rain and some warm weather should really get things growing.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

T-shirts and Things

We have just opened a on line store with

You can get t-shirts and tote bags with a Estate Perennials logo that has a lily in the back ground.
We will be working on adding a few more designs in the near future. As well as other items.

If there is any items you would like to have with an Estate perennials design or logo on it please let me know and I'll see what we can come up with.
You can take a look at these items by following the link up top. On the pages with the items you can also get bigger pictures and details on prices and materials.

Hope you enjoy. More items ot be added soon.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Lily Scales - Update

Well it has been a bit of time and the scales are growing very well. New little bulbs have started putting out leaves. This is a first time for me seeing them leaf out so soon and so quickly.

The little bulbs are of good size and are ready to get moved in to some potting soil.

As you can see from the photograph lots of leaves starting to reach out for sun light.

These scales were started on March 13, 2009 and keep on growing. They seem not to want a cold period and will hopefully continue to grow and size up. By this fall they should be a rather good size if they do not go dormant for the season.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Deer In the Lilies

So this evening I had a visit from some unwanted friends. Yes I am talking about deer. They look nice and are quiet, but the damage they do and can do is not a very good trade off. There were 5 white tail deer tonight wandering around and nibbling at the very young fresh shoots starting to push out of the soil. For the most part they do not seem to like the taste of martagon lilies. What they do is bite off the growing tip (this is where most of the leaves and flower buds are hiding) and spit them out.

I am now on a hunt for effective deer repellent. I am not looking to hurt the deer, but chase them away.

In the last few fall seasons they have badly damaged and killed off many young trees. I lost a very nice 8 foot lodge pole pine that had finally taken hold and started to put on some good growth. They also seemed to like a Siberian Larch, mountain ash, a very small Burr Oak and one fruit tree a Evan's Cherry.

One jokes with what they have eaten here in my garden, how would they taste.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Martagon Slide Show

I was tinkering with building a photo slide show of the martagon lilies available this fall.
You can get more on the lilies on our web site .

I hope you enjoy.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Lilies By Scales

So here is an up date on the scales I started this spring. There are a few that are growing very well and even starting to put out a few leaves. Only about half of the scales started are showing growth so far but the ones that are growing well have 2 to 4 little bulbs forming on each.

There does not seem to be and of the scales showing signs of deterioration. The scales have coloured from the crisp white to a bit of a reddish colour. They are all still nice and firm.

You can see how I started these with the first post about lily propagation by scales. And the first up date on the lily scales on this page lilies from scales week 2.
In the next week I will be removing the scales, that were started last fall, from cold storage and starting to pot them up so that they can grow on and get a head start to the season. There are also about 20 or so bags of martagon lily seeds that were started that are soon to be moved out of the cold as well.
I will add an update on these soon.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lilies From Seed Updates

I posted on March 22 on starting a few lilies from seed. The lilies I was talking about were seeds of lilium pumilum - the coral lily. The seeds were planted on March 16 2009 and are starting to realy grow. They have been given just water and a little bit of fundicide to prevent dampening off. So far it looks like most of them are going to take with out too many problems.

So you can sort of see there are a few up and growing. This photo was taken about 3 days ago and since there are a lot more up and starting to unfurl. I will be back to this subject in about 2 weeks to show you how much more they have grown. I have also started up a bigger bunch of these seeds for next year.

The goal with the second will to be to get them as big as I can in one year for the Alberta Regional Lily Society. Next year the lily group turns 25 and I am hoping to have about 100 reasonably sized bulbs to give away at the lily show in celebration of 25 years. This will be a nice little donation to the group.

You can check out the first post on Lilies From Seeds to see how I started the seed.

New Garden Tool

Over the winter I started tinkering with a hand tool that I have been using for many years. This little Hand Hoe is great for clipping off little weeds just under the soil surface. I had a really crude version of this made with a steel strap and an old stake. I got a small bench lathe not too long ago and wanted to give it a try and this idea came to mind. The handle is about 11 inches long with a steel loop that you can easily shape for getting into the tight spots around the base of your plants. The handle is also western red cedar with one coat of clear sealant.

I have looked on line for something like this and in some of the different garden shops around my area and have not found one like it. The closest thing I could find was a circle hand hoe at Lee Valley Tools and that sells for about $18.50 each. I now have these on our main web site right on the front page. They are listed for $9.00 each and can be shipped at any time.

To get your own just pop on over to Estate Perennials .

Monday, March 30, 2009

Lily Propagation by Scales-Week 2

It has now been 2 weeks since the scales were first taken, washed and placed into a container. So far not a lot of growth is showing. The scales are still nice and plump and white. The spots where they were taken from the bulbs are browning a little but I think this is just a callous forming and some healing of the scale to a degree. On 2 of the scales that were cut shorter in height there are the smallest of bumps forming at the top edge. For some reason I thought the first bit of growth would be closer to the base of the scale. The bumps are very small and white. This is the first growth soon to form little bulbs. So there is not really a lot to continue to say at this stage.

If you would like to see how I started this project you can read the first blog post on Lily Scale Propagation.

I will be back to this with a bit more information in about 2 weeks from now. Hopefully there is enough growth showing to get a good photograph to share.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lily Leaf Cuttings

The idea of starting lilies from leaf cuttings is an odd one but not impossible. I gave this a first try last summer after reading an article on how the Easter lily (lilium longiflorum) could be propagated by leaf cuttings. To me it made some sense when you look at some of the species lilies. There are a few species lilies that produce bulblets along the stem in the leaf axles. There in that spot as the stem is growing there is a lot of cells multiplying rapidly. So why not give it a try and use what naturally happens in the plant to try and make more lilies. A little bit of help and timing maybe the trick to making it work.

What you need to try this is:

- resealable bags
- damp per lite or peat moss
- rooting hormone

When to do this seems to be the key trick to it all. The best time to try it is when the stems are actively growing and getting close to showing the first signs of the flower buds. This is when the cells of the plant are multiplying the fastest and can be easier to coax into forming new lily bulbs.

Make sure you remove the leaf close to the stem. Clean it from and dust or soil that may be on it. Dip about 1/4 of an inch of the base of the leaf, the closest part to the stem, into the rooting hormone. Next place the cuttings into the bag sticking the end with the rooting hormone into the damp per lite or peat moss. Then move it to a warm and well lit spot. Check it on regular basis so that the leaf and medium never fully dry out. in about 6 to 10 weeks you should start to see small bumps or small bulbs starting to form. Once the bulb has gotten to a good size you will see a root or two start to form and grow. Any time after the roots start to show you can then move it into a potting soil and grow on before moving it into the garden.

So far I have only had luck with the L.A. hybrid lilies. Last season the Asiatic and Martagon lilies were to far along in the season for this to work. It would be interesting to know what other lily varieties and species this will work for and how quickly it will produce bulbs.

This year I will be trying this on Martagon lilies and Asiatic lilies as well as a few other species that I have collected.

I would also like to know if any one else has tried this and what kind of luck they have had?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lilies From Seed

Growing lilies from seed can be enjoyable and easy. The seed of lilies are easy to handle and fall into two different groups. Epigeal and hypogeal germination are the two basic groups that lily seeds fall into. Epigeal germination is quicker to start taking any where between two and ten weeks to start showing the first leaf. Hypogeal germination is slower and often a delayed starter. Hypogeal seeds usually start slow with only a root and a small bulb forming before needing a cold period. Once they go through a cold period of rest the will begin to grow and push the first leaf up out of the soil. With over 80 species of lilies from all over the world the hardest part is what lily to start with and the next one to try.

I am going to go through the very basics of starting the epigeal seed first.

What you will need to start lilies from seed is:

- Pots or trays that 4 to 6 inches deep

- Moistened potting soil

- Tags and a water proof marker

- plastic wrap or other clear plastic to cover

-A warm window and some water
The first thing you start with is add some moist soil to your pots or tray to with in 1 inch of the top and lightly firm evening out the surface. spread the seeds out evenly over the soil then cover with about 1/4 inch of soil. lightly firm up the covering soil and give a light watering. Next mark on the tag the name of the lily and the date, and place it into the pot or tray. Cover with your plastic wrap, this will help keep the soil and seeds from drying out to fast. Then it is off to a warm window.
You will see some growth in 3 to 6 weeks depending on the variety of lily you are starting, some can take up to 10 weeks to start showing any life.

The photos you see here are lily seeds I have just started. The species lily is the coral lily - lilium pumilum. A very easy lily to start and they usually show growth very quickly.

I will have a few updated pictures as these lilies start growing and progressing.

I am always interested in trying out other methods to see if I can find a better and quicker way to get more lilies started. So what kind of tricks do you use to get lilies started from seed?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lily Scale Propagation

I started out the day by checking on a bunch of martagon lily scales that were started between September and October 2008. Right now they are hiding away in a spare fridge for a three month cold period. Near the end of April I will be removing them and planting them up into pots and trays to get them to wake up and grow. Once they have greened up and started getting some size to them I will then move them out into the garden for the summer.
This photo is a martagon lily started on peat moss.
How I have done this in the past is very simple. I start out with a hand full of scales from a lily I would like to have more of, some damp per lite, plastic bags, a sharp knife, a marker, and some rooting hormone. I use STIM-Root #1, this is in a powdered form and is good for soft tissue cuttings or green cutting's. This spring I am trying out the newer gel form of the Stim-Root rooting hormone, it has a fungicide mixed in and looks to give a better coating. I am curious to see if it works better and faster at producing the little bulbs at the end of the lily scales.

How I do this is :

1. Wash the scales in water with a few drops of bleach.

2. Dampen the per lite and place it in the bags or other seal able containers.

3. Trim the scales of any damaged spots.

4. If the scale is nice and wide I will put one to two notches on the bottom edge.

5. Dip scales in to rooting hormone, covering only about 1/4 inch of the base.

6. Place into the damp per lite about 1/2 of the length of the scale, and space evenly.

7. Seal the bag or container once all the scales are in.

8. Write the name of the lily, the date and the year.

9. Place in a warm dark spot for about three months, checking every week or two for moisture or and rot.

10. After about three months you will see some roots and small bulbs that need a cold little nap for another 3 months.

This is how easy it can be to get more of your favorite lilies started. This is a tried and true method of propagating lilies that was shown to me close to 10 years ago. The only thing that was added was the use of rooting hormones like Stim-Root from what I was originally shown and it has never failed, for me, to produce little lily bulbs.

One of the things I am now trying for the first time is doing this in the spring with new lily bulbs. I am also going to try cutting the scales in half, through the middle to shorten the scales and give me double the amount to work with. Taking less material for the bulbs as they are getting ready to start new spring growth. This idea came from reading an article in the North American Lily Societies Quarterly news letter. The article that got me thinking was written by Charles Robinson for the Ontario Regional Lily Society. The article first appeared in the Ontario Regional Lily Societies news letter on September 17, 1979. It has been recently re-published by The North American Lily Society in two parts in their December 2008 and March 2009 Quarterly Bulletin news letter.

I will be posting updates of the spring scale trial over the next 6 to 10 weeks every two weeks. So that I can keep track of the progress and share how it is working out. Once the scales from last fall are ready to be potted up I will have some progress on how they are doing as well.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Weather

Well what can I say about the weather. The last 7 days has seen a real change in the weather going from just above freezing to the - 30 Celsius range. Last Thursday we had high winds and snow that created a lot of large drifts. This slowed a lot of things down. Then again Saturday night we had another dump of snow and lots of wind. So back to the shovel to clear paths to the greenhouses and to the car. We are now slowly starting to warm up again with promises of above freezing temperatures by the weekend. All our new bulbs are now in and just waiting for the time to start shipping for the spring mail orders, potting up for the greenhouse sales and new homes in the garden. We have about 2000 new bulbs to pass around and plant up in total. We are going to try spring scaling a few lily bulbs to build up our stock for the future. I will try and post pictures and progress updates as the season rolls on. In about a month from now I should be taking a batch of martagon lily scales out of the cold treatment part of their cycle and planting them up into pots or trays. once they have had some time to grow and the final frosts of the year have past they will head out to the garden.
So if March has come in like a lion here is hoping it goes out like a lamb.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Spring is near

Well the last week or so we have been starting to get ready for spring. Cleaning up the greenhouse, checking on seedlings, getting seeds ready and into place to plant soon. The first shipment of new lily bulbs arrived on Friday February 27Th, and they look very clean and ready to start growing. They will have to sit about 2 more weeks though, the greenhouse will need to warm up and potting soil needs to thaw a bit. Once I have my main computer back from being repaired I will be trying to put together a slide show of the martagon lilies that are in the catalogue for this season, as well as a slide show of the asiatic lilies.
I will also be working on a short wright up of one of the trials I am working on with lilies from leaf cuttings. I did a first time try last season a bit late in the year to get good results and will be trying this again earlier in the season, with hopefully more success. I will also start a online photo gallery of how it is proceeding as well as a following a bunch of martagon lily scales that are now in the cold rest period.

Hope all are having a good winter.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hello and Welcome

I would like to say hello and welcome.
We are just starting out with this new world of blogging. I will be keeping you up to date on the happenings at Estate Perennials. From new lilies we are growing, to new seedlings flowering for the first time, experiments in propigation, the latest on new lilies coming from around the world and lots of pictures of lilies and peonies.
Some of the things we are working on right now are starting up new lily seed crosses from last season. many are just starting to push up their leaves from the cold stretch in a cooler. many new martagons that we got from last year were scaled to get a start on more for the future.
Our main web site has been updates with this years offerings of lilies and peonies. There are also lots of colour photograghs of these selections up and we now have pay pal working.

There are many lily shows coming up this summer both close to home and away that we will be attending. I will try and keep those up todate with when and where they are and how our lilies faired for ribbons in the judged area.

I hope I will be able to entertain you and help you out with any gardening questions you may have. Hope to see you soon.