Saturday, February 23, 2008

"Tree Lilies", the Ultimate in Botanical Hyperbole

Each year I come across people who are totally intrigued by Breck's sales's pitch for "Tree Lilies".
We have had quite a number of discussions on the Canadian Gardening Forum about this. I guess I have very little patience for botanical hyperbole!
These lilies are from the group called OrienPet lilies, a cross between the Trumpet lilies, and Orientals. Here in our garden they bloom just before the main Orientals. We have Boogie Woogie, and they have improved each year (didn't get them from Breck's)
The height has "improved "each year, but they are still quite stocky (which is not a bad thing) We also have other Oriental lilies that get to the same dimensions as their "trees"! This one called Simplon was 7Ft....(shown with our 6Ft2" yardstick) I have no idea whether the bulbs have increased to the degree they predict, and I have no intention of digging them up to investigate! Brecks is quite pricey. I expect one can find many of their items at an alternate place. There are several relatively convenient, and good sources for the OrienPet lilies of which Boogie Woogie is one. I didn't closely examine to see if there was a significant difference in bulb size from one supplier to another. We got our Boogie Woogie at Veseys. They list it this year. http://www.veseys.com/ca/en/store/springbulbs/lilies/specialtylilies/boogie-woogie
(Their price is 3/$15.95)
I also see that Lindenberg Seed from Brandon, Manitoba has several varieties listed for only $4.49 each. That is half price compared to Breck's. They may have a mix of true Trumpets and Orienpets, but Boogie Woogie is there. I am not familiar with Touch, Triumphator, Purple Prince or Scheherazade. One could look them up on the web to check. Those in colder areas would need to check the hardiness issue. If you want to phone Lindenberg for a catalogue the # is 204-727-0575 They don't have a very functional website (last I looked!) Garden Import has several (6) listed as well, but Boogie Woogie isn't among them. Their prices range from $4.95- $6.95 each(not bad!) http://www.gardenimport.com/spblvl2.php?lvl=Lilies
Breck's "Tale of Lily Trees" must have precipitated some comments to them, as they have included some explanation of the expectations one might have . http://www.brecksbulbs.ca/gard_disp.asp?pn=73848
I think everyone needs to be prepared for a fairly "wimpy" first year growth, with improvements in succeeding years(if all goes well!).
See a little slide show at the bottom of posts.

5 comments:

Leeann Redman said...

Hi:
I enjoyed reading your comments. I see you are like me in that you have been comparing the garden catalogues.
Nice meeting you on facebook.
Happy gardening.
Leeann Redman

Chris said...

Brecks is expensive at face value, but if you shop online and visit a coupon site like coupon-code.com you can get a $25 off $50 order for every order, making it all half price.

I imagine they raise their prices in the magazine to counteract that. But ya, buying it without the discount is pricey, especially with the size bulb you get.

Sharon Bryson / Bill Wilgenhof said...

Chris: The better option for lily bulbs of this type might be getting them from Lindenberg Seeds in Manitoba. They have very good prices and I recieved some of the best looking(and performing) lily bulbs ever from them.

Sheri in MN said...

Several years back I had recieved 2 OrienPet lilies from Brecks. They have grown and done well here in my zone 3/4 garden. Height has been irregular at best, different each year. THey were recieved as being the same variety but one is pure white and MAYBE 24" tall this year, the other reached a good 5 feet and is a pretty golden yellow. Not what I expected but I'm not tossing them either.
Managed to acquire Boogie Woogie from the local Marjory McNeely Conservatory, as "recycled bulbs" from their display. We'll see how they do. $5 for 3 bulbs I found to be a steal.

Anonymous said...

I have grown Scheherazade and Northern Carillon OT lilies in Edmtonton and they have done quite well- enought for me to be trying more OTs.

I have dealt with Lindenberg Seeds for years and they sell high quality items at a very good price. They have a newsprint catalogue, so don't expect any sales hype.