Blair and Tom Smoulder, a father and son team, are "creators of lilies." Their laboratories are the gardens around their homes. The Warren Garden Club enjoyed hearing about their experiments at its July meeting held at the Pleasant Community Church.
The Smoulders hybridize day lilies. By taking the pollen from the stamen of one healthy lily and placing it on the pistil of another variety of lily, they create a totally new flower. This is a three-year process. The first year the seeds are produced and placed in the refrigerator all winter. The seed is planted in the spring of the second year and does not grow to maturity and flower until the third year. The opening of the new flower arrives with great anticipation.
The Smoulders described their hobby as easy, but it depends on extensive record keeping and room for many garden plots. They label each plant with parent names and date using cut sections from mini blinds. The only other supplies needed for this hobby are regular gardening tools, scissors and a camera.
Tom Smoulder with a few of the lilies
A lovely slide show of lily creations was shown along with the talk. After the program, club members walked over to Kamp Street to observe first hand the lily garden laboratories where the Smoulders work.
This year's Warren Garden Club scholarship winner is Sam Lucas who will attend Penn State University. His major will be petroleum and natural gas engineering. His concern is environmental awareness related to the petroleum industry.
Garden Club members will proctor at the Warren County Fair on Friday and Saturday, Aug.10 -11 in the Albright Farm and Garden Center.
Plans for the "Triple Bloom" event to be held at the Holiday Inn on Nov. 3 are coming together. On Thai, a well known flower designer from Schnectedy, N.Y., will be the main speaker.