Welcome to The Lily Garden!
I began hybridizing lilies over thirty years ago, and this September we’ll be digging the 23rd crop at Columbia-Platte Lilies, Inc. Our goal is still the same: to provide you with beautiful, reliable, garden lilies! We are delighted to share our catalog with you this year, full of the best garden lilies available anywhere, with lilies selected to please every palate!
Here you will find varieties unavailable anywhere else, our own Columbia-Platte hybrids that span the spectrum of flower size, color, plant height, shape and form. (Note: indicates our own Columbia-Platte Lilies introductions, born and bred on our farm.) All our offerings have been tested and selected specifically with the garden in mind–our lilies are strong, persistent, disease-resistant, and above all, beautiful! And because we grow them all ourselves, here on our own farm, we absolutely guarantee every bulb to grow and bloom. We photograph all our lilies in the field to show you how they really look.
The Asiatics bloom the earliest, beginning in early June with
a vast array of colors; the Trumpets and Aurelians come next, perfuming
the garden in July; “Orienpet” hybrids blossom through July
and into August; and the Orientals provide a grand finale in late July
and August with their large, fragrant blooms.
‘Silk Road’ is our most popular lily, shown here with reluctant “cover model,” Catherine van der Salm. Catherine creates our [print] catalog each year, working to capture the nature of each lily accurately.
Under beautiful, mature stems like these are the bulbs we will harvest and ship in the fall!
I began hybridizing lilies more than 30 years ago, and created this business in 1979. In the beginning, we did everything by hand, even the planting, digging, and watering. As we’ve grown and moved our fields and bulbs over the years, we’ve experienced all sorts of weather and growing conditions, providing real life testing of the endurance, hardiness and garden reliability of the lily hybrids we’ve been developing in all that time.
My academic background in genetics and botany has led to many years of delight in studying lilies along with breeding, growing and propagating them. It’s also a pleasure to share what I’ve learned, and I’ve taught many classes and workshops over the years. I spent most of January 2010 teaching 120 small farmers in Bolivia about growing and propagating lilies to sell as cut flowers in the street market in La Paz, Bolivia. (See photo below.)
Days in the field visiting many small growing plots in the Yungas culminated in workshops in 6 communities; the enthusiastic graduates received diplomas, lily seeds and encouragement. The project has been sponsored by the world-renowned organization ACDI/VOCA (Agricultural Cooperative Development International/Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance).
Read more about it at www.acdivoca.org! (See photo below.)
(Above right) Celebrating graduation class of 2010.