A Lovely Day for Lilies
by Arnetta Guion

In mid-June, Sun Valley Floral Farms opens its doors to the flower loving community to view the bounty of Asiatic and Oriental Lilies, Iris, Tulips, Daffodils, Freesias and Hydrangeas. This is an annual event and an opportunity for folks to learn about the way in which cut flowers are prepared for over 500 wholesalers nationwide. Display tables are graced with arrangements prepared by local and some out of area florists as far away as Red Bluff, Whitethorn and Crescent City.

In the latest program, three prominent nursery professionals from Oregon and California carried out the duty of judging  the arrangements and winners were chosen. The Judges were Frassie Ludwick, AIFD and Institute of Floral Design from Marysville, CA, Shawn F. McKenney, on the Board of NW Region of AIFD, from Portland, OR, and Greg Williams, Past President of AIFD, from Ashland, Oregon. There were four categories in the competition, and here are the winners.

1st Place, Kristin Chorbi of Eureka Florist.
2nd Place, Gwendolyn Price of the Rosery, Eureka.
3rd Place, Cheri Toroni of Arcata Florist.
Honorable Mention, Erika Zwerdling of Heuer's Florist, Eureka.

1st Place, Cathy Smith of Flowers, Etc., Eureka.
2nd Place, Lavada Glavich of Eureka Florist, Eureka.
3rd Place, Shawn McCornack, Arcata Florist.
Honorable Mention, Cheryl Delaney, McKinleyville Florist, McKinleyville.

Tara Johnson, Best of Show

Best of Show

1st Place and Best of Show, the top honor went to Tara Johnson of Simply Flowers, Fortuna.
2nd Place, Faye Zierer of River Rose Flowers, Arcata.
3rd Place, Diane Walker of Penelope's English Garden, Arcata.
Honorable Mention, Shawn Corippo of the Rosery, Eureka.

1st Place, Suzy Herrod of Night Flight Designs, Arcata.
2nd Place, Chloe Pert of The Garden Gate, Arcata.
3rd Place, Leah Olson of Arcata Florist.
Honorable Mention, Marrieta Christinan of Mel's Meadows, Loleta.


A favorite stop on the tour of the Sun Valley farms proved to be the bulb sale room. In waiting my own turn in line after picking out the lovely Casa Blanca Lily, I marveled at other flower lovers carrying out great bagfuls of their favorites and new choice bulbs, their eyes dancing with excitement at the thought of the new blooms that would appear in their own garden next year. The cashier confessed that she had bought one of each variety herself.

Planting instructions included with all varieties: Asiatic & Oriental Lilies, and Iris advised to plant now. Plant roots down, sprouts up. In the case of Lilies, cover with 3 inches of soil. With Iris, plant same as the Lilies but with only 1 inch of soil cover. Asiatics may flower in October and will flower abundantly in June of next year. Orientals will flower in July or August of next year. With Iris, they are treated for instant planting and should flower in October. Daffodils are to be planted in October, roots down, sprouts up. Cover with 3 inches of soil. They will flower in January and February.

There is really a lot that goes on the local world of gardening. It is not possible to be everywhere at once, but it is fun to try. Certainly a lot of flower lovers went home happy.