Lilytopia Reblooms

Lilytopia 2011 at Longwood Gardens [Slideshow]

Deeming the first year a success in 2010, Longwood Gardens mobilized even more Dutch and American floral industry support to host the 10-day spectacular Lilytopia exhibition May 20-30. As Longwood’s grower and Greenhouse Grower contributor Juergen Steininger can attest, assembling a floral exhibition of this magnitude is quite the production.

Five nights before the opening day, 40 skids full of 12,000 cut lilies were flown in from Holland on two flights to JFK International Airport. An additional 1,500 cut calla lilies had already arrived separately. Steininger and his crew pulled an all-nighter, receiving the plants at customs and transporting them back to Longwood, where an even bigger crew was waiting to get to work taking the lilies out of the boxes, trimming them and placing them in water until installation.

Modeled after the famous Lily show at the Keukenhof in The Netherlands, Lilytopia has become an even larger exhibition. Both use the same world-class floral designer Dorien van den Berg, who appeared on “The Martha Stewart Show” this year and last to promote Lilytopia. In addition to hundreds of varieties of Asiatic, Oriental and longiflorum lilies, a secondary exhibit was created to promote interest in callas, which are highly versatile and another floral consumer favorite.

Not Just For Show
Based in Kennett Square, Pa., Longwood Gardens is the living legacy of Pierre S. du Pont, with a mission to inspire people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education and the arts. While most of its activities are directed to the public, Longwood makes a significant investment in research and engaging the green industry. Longwood Director Paul Redman says he was pleased attendance was considerably up for Lilytopia the second year, with 45 percent more people attending the opening weekend than last year.

The Lilytopia Symposium for the trade was the first Monday and had about the same attendance as the first year, about 100 industry professionals in the beautiful East Conservatory.

One new twist was a sustainability focus. Dr. Casey Sclar gave an excellent presentation on all of Longwood’s sustainable initiatives from recycling, using compost, trialing biodegradable pots and comparing chemical and biological controls. The idea is to come up with scientifically proven and economically viable models to raise quality plants that hit the “triple bottom line” of social, economic and environmental sustainability.

Henk Gude of Applied Plant Research in The Netherlands presented how Dutch bulb growers are using sustainable practices in the field and in storage. One of the biggest issues has been capturing and reducing all chemical runoff. Another is reducing energy consumption in storage facilities. And cut lily flower growers are even stacking production three tiers high in the greenhouse and using LED lights and forced air tubes to maximize production.

Long-time supermarket floral buyer Sandra Hering presented both a retail and consumer focus on sustainability and why growers need to be prepared when customers ask them about environmental impacts. Hering, who represents the MPS certification program developed in The Netherlands, shared how U.S. growers can use it as a valuable tool to answer questions about their own operation, demonstrate environmental responsibility, confidentially benchmark themselves against their peers and reduce expenses by being more informed about chemical and energy usage.

The balance of the program was focused on producing lilies. While Gus de Hertogh provided a perspective of research strides that advanced the bulb sector the last 40 years, Allan Armitage shared the results of his students’ potted lily trials. Bill Miller from Cornell University was the closer, presenting an audience-driven discussion on “Real Research for Real Problems.”

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...

March 2, 2015

Avoid Surprises On The Delivery Dock

A call in advance about problems with a plant shipment to a retailer you supply goes a long way toward customer satisfaction.

Read More
Janeen Wright

March 2, 2015

Deliver Plant Quality That Trumps Price [Opinion]

The industry's goal is to have loyal customers who return to the same plants time and time again, not because of price, but owing to a plant brand that shouts top-notch garden performance and is synonymous with excellence, which gives them the secure knowledge that their investment will be worth every hard-earned cent.

Read More
Heuch Pink Fizz_featured

March 2, 2015

Intergeneric Crosses Are A New Perennial Trend

Intergeneric crosses, oddities some botanists say are an impossibility, have made serious inroads in the perennial world.

Read More
Latest Stories
Heuch Pink Fizz_featured

March 2, 2015

Intergeneric Crosses Are A New Perennial Trend

Intergeneric crosses, oddities some botanists say are an impossibility, have made serious inroads in the perennial world.

Read More
Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Arizona Apricot'

February 25, 2015

National Garden Bureau Designates 2015 As Year Of The G…

Gaillardia, also known as the blanket flower, is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) and a long-blooming pollinator plant. It is fitting that the National Garden Bureau has specified 2015 as The Year of the Gaillardia.

Read More

February 18, 2015

California Spring Trials Sneak Peek: New Annuals For 20…

If you're like us and you can't wait until the 2015 California Spring Trials to see some of the new genetics that will be hitting the market in 2016, never fear. We contacted the breeders who will be displaying their new varieties in California in April, and they gave us a sneak peek. Check out our slideshow to see some of the new annuals making their debut to the trade this spring.

Read More
Athena Brazil Salvia 'Brazilian Purple'

February 18, 2015

ForemostCo And Athena Brazil Unite To Supply Unrooted P…

ForemostCo, Inc. and Athena Brazil have forged a working relationship to support each other in the unrooted perennial cuttings market for North America. The partnership, geared toward accommodating increasing demand for unrooted perennial cuttings in North America, adds diversity to a recently consolidated market.

Read More

February 17, 2015

Poinsettias Had Their Best Year In Many In 2014

Poinsettia growers report a strong year in 2014, thanks to a few conditions. Growers were encouraged by high plant quality, enthusiastic shoppers and a stronger, less saturated market for poinsettias throughout the selling season. Seasonal cold at just the right time put consumers in a festive mood to buy early and often, and with no big snowstorms to hold up shipments and a reduction of supply available in the market, the season was strong from start to finish.

Read More
Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo'

February 17, 2015

Geranium Hybrid ‘Biokovo’ Dubbed 2015 Peren…

Geranium xcantabrigiense ‘Biokovo,' a naturally occurring hybrid of G. dalmaticum and G. macrorrhizum, is the Perennial Plant Association's top pick for 2015 Perennial of the Year. Learn why this tough, landscape geranium took home the prize.

Read More
Costa Farms' Season Premier 2015

February 4, 2015

Costa Farms’ 2015 Season Premier Reveals Newest V…

The annual Season Premier at Costa Farms in Miami, Fla., is the industry's very first peek at new varieties for debut the following year, even before the California Spring Trials, heralded widely as the jumping off point for new varieties. This year's event revealed breeders' best and brightest new varieties for 2016, shown in field trials, landscape trials and containers at Costa Farms tropical trial gardens. Plant breeders presented their new varieties to buyers and members of Lowe’s grower panel. Growers, brokers and other allied industry members, including Home Depot growers and buyers, were also able to peruse the grounds to see how the new varieties fared in the winter trials. Later this season, the hot and humid conditions at Costa’s summer trials will help identify the true performers.

Read More

January 28, 2015

All-America Selections Introduces Additional 2015 Winne…

All-America Selections has announced more 2015 AAS Winners, bringing the grand total of introductions for the 2015 gardening year to 25. The seven winners join the 12 announced last November and six announced last July. This year, AAS has had the most winners in one year since 1939.

Read More

January 28, 2015

Holiday Plant Trends And New Varieties

Growers had mixed feelings about the 2014 poinsettia season according to Greenhouse Grower's 2014 Poinsettia Survey. Read about their plans for 2015 and stay up to date on 14 of the newest cyclamen and poinsettia varieties on the market.

Read More

January 21, 2015

Pantone Marsala Plants To Grow In 2015 [Slideshow]

Marsala, an earthy wine-red color, is the Pantone Color of the Year for 2015, and it presents a great marketing opportunity to showcase Marsala-colored plants for outdoor and indoor decorating. Enjoy this round-up of plants with Marsala hues.

Read More

January 14, 2015

Liven Up Indoor And Outdoor Living With 24 New Tropical…

Uniquely colored foliage and vivid blooms are just two of the great features new tropicals and foliage plants add to energize indoor and outdoor spaces.

Read More

January 13, 2015

Take Purdue University’s Survey On Vegetatively P…

Do you have problems callusing or rooting vegetatively propagated perennials? The Purdue University Floriculture Lab would like to help you with these problems, but first the research team there needs your help.

Read More
Poinsettia 'Charon Red'

January 6, 2015

Dan Schantz Farm 2014 Poinsettia Trial Recap And 2015 D…

The 2014 Dan Schantz Poinsettia trials featured more than 170 poinsettia varieties. Here's a summary of the event, as well as a 2015 date for your calendar.

Read More

December 31, 2014

Engage Busy Consumers With Modern-Day Tropical And Foli…

Contemporary tropical and foliage plants fit right in with the hustle and bustle of the twenty-first century. Their versatility lends itself to countless uses both inside the house and out on the patio.

Read More

December 30, 2014

2015 California Spring Trials Are Just Around The Corn…

Are the California Spring Trials on your schedule for 2015? Before the busy growing season sidelines your plans, use this handy resource to get a jumpstart on registering for your trip.

Read More

December 29, 2014

Top 5 Slideshows Of 2014

These popular slideshows from 2014 highlight everything from new perennials, to new veggies, to California Spring Trials.

Read More

December 29, 2014

Suntory Makes Spirits Bright With Princettia Displays

Suntory Flowers started to introduce its varieties to sister company Beam Suntory by collaborating on a holiday interiorscape featuring Princettia at Beam Suntory's offices in Deerfield, Ill., near Chicago.

Read More

December 17, 2014

Small-Size Plant Varieties For Small-Scale Gardens [Sli…

Miniature and dwarf-sized varieties are perfect for containers, small-scale outdoor gardens and miniature gardening. See what breeders and growers have to offer in new varieties and past favorites.

Read More