Monday, August 10, 2009

The Houtby Farm

The Lilycrest Garden field where my brother, Dr. Brian Bergman grows and hybridizes thousands of lilies is owned by the Houtby family.  They've been market gardeners in St. Catharines for a long time.  There are rows of zucchinis, lettuce, beans, tomatoes, sweet peas, currants, raspberries, spinach, swiss chard, and so on.  

In terms of flower production, they start early with pussy willows, and have a lot of peonies, which they store throughout the summer in the big cooler room. Their biggest flower production is gladiolas - there are as many rows of glads as there are of Brian's lilies. Each week, they are cut for the surrounding markets. The glads come into their own as the lilies move on, so I've had a lot of opportunity this summer to photograph them while Brian hybridizes in the field. 

The red tractor (1953) is still used regularly, and Mark Houtby says it's never needed any major work.  I caught him on it a few weeks ago.

Here are a few scenes from the farm, then 2 lily hybridizing vignettes, and finally the gladiola field and a Gladiola abstract flower image.

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