Aug
26

Create a Year – Round Outdoor Blooming Garden

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Something that every gardener wishes for is an outdoor flowering plant that blooms all summer and stays green all winter even in norther climes. Well your day has come.

A horticulturist created a hybrid lily lookalike that expresses a lavender-lilac color, strong and upright stems, and winter hardiness. In gardens it blooms until the first hard freeze in the fall in the northern United States. In greenhouses it never goes dormant.

Fall is here — and that means the beautiful colors of summer will soon start to fade away. One man is trying to extend summer — or at least one part of it — by creating a flower that blooms all summer long.

Flower shop owner Melissa Stepina has made a life surrounded by beautiful flowers.

“They’re just very beautiful,” says Stepina. “I mean, you can’t get anything better than the colors they come in, the shapes.”

But what would make these plants perfect? “Probably one that would bloom all year round,” Stepina says.

Mark Bridgen has made that possible. A horticulturalist at the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center in Riverhead, N.Y., Bridgen has created and patented a new Inca lily called Mauve Majesty — and it does what no other flower can do!

“If you have this in a greenhouse, it will flower all year round under the proper conditions,” says Dr. Bridgen.

This new hybrid was created by pollinating two flowers — then the hard part began.

“We cut open the ovary, take out the seeds or the embryos –and then we would take these embryos and put it into the tissue culture,” Dr. Bridgen says. “Once they root, we take them to the greenhouse.”

Outside of a greenhouse, Mauve Majesty will bloom all summer long. The plant can survive outside in the winter even in states covered with snow, like Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and much of the Midwest.

You can find the flower in nurseries and mail-order catalogs, but Mark won’t get rich off his creation. For him, it was a labor of love.

“I love flowers, and I love growing flowers,” Dr. Bridgen says. “It’s my hobby as well as my profession.”

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