A Lily Lover's Anticipation
July 10, 2011

One of the best parts of gardening is the anticipation. Whether it's a flower, a new plant or a foliage combination, the daily inspection of progress and the thrill of the event is a joy. For this Lily lover the anticipation is now intense with the first flowers of my Lilium candidum about to open.

The Madonna Lily (Lilium candidum) is one of the oldest lilies in cultivation. It's native to the mountains throughout the mediterranean and on into Persia and Asia minor. There are historical references to it in the Bible and it was considered a symbol of purity. Some believe that it was brought to northern Europe and England by the returning crusaders. An amusing contrast of battle scarred knights in armour returning home with flowers and lily bulbs makes me think of a Monty Python sketch.

They are ancient members of the lily family with evergreen foliage topped by superbly fragrant brilliant white flowers in early summer. They can only be planted in the fall, just covered with a few inches of soil after which they will leaf out before the ground freezes. A source of consternation for gardeners not familiar with it, resulting in many emails and phone calls from customers. Our Summer/Fall 2011 selection is now online. Reserve your bulbs today.

Dugald Cameron

President & resident Lily lover


These hybrids were produced by crossing the Martagon lily, a well-known and long-cultivated lily native from Spain to Siberia, with a number of lilies from Asia in hope of combining the profuse flowering of the Martagon with the colours of the likes of lily Hansonii. The earliest progeny were introduced in the 1920s and the work of the lily breeders continues to this day. All the hybrids share the nodding, Turk's Cap flower form, tolerance of shade, longevity, hardiness and abundant early flower of their parents but with better garden manners and amazing range of colours. Once established they can have up to dozens of flowers per stalk and over time form a nice clump.


This remains one of the best and easiest species Lilies to grow. It's one of the few lilies that thrive in shade. Martagon doesn't make a huge bulb, but the crop this year is very nice.


The rare, seldom offered white flowered form that lights up your shade garden.


Here's a martagon hybrid lily with real pizzaz in a striking copper-red colour. Martagon lilies have been loved by gardeners for hundreds of years. Their lovely candelabras of reflexed flowers in early summer would thrill any flower lover but it is their tolerance of shade and their long life that gardeners really appreciate. Few lilies like shade and even fewer are as forgiving as martagons.

MANITOBA MORNING - New 2011 Introduction

Perfectly-formed, deep rose-pink, nicely-speckled Turk's cap flowers. A seldom-offered and gorgeous martagon from the hand of a martagon expert, the late Eugene Fox at Fox Lily Ranch in Alberta.


An exotic array of red-speckled orange flowers in pendant perfection. We're not sure how it got the name but if you've never grown Martagons this one is sure to get you hooked.


If you've already placed an order for BULBS with us, just give us a call to 1-800- 339-8314 or send us an email to with your additions and we'll gladly add them to your order.

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