Source: Sherman Publications

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Loving those Lilies

by David Fleet

August 03, 2011

Ric Adams looks over the new blooms known as Panic in Detroit in his daylily bed. Photo by Patrick McAbee.
Goodrich-Ric Adams recalls the Tiger Lilies that bloom along the roadways.

"I call em Ditch Lilies or some call em Outhouse Lilies," said Adams. "I thought those would be great to hide my LP tank, so I transplanted a few to my house. That was 25 years ago."

Since then, plenty have been growing for Adams.

Adams, owner of Laid Back Gardens in Goodrich, now raises about 2,500 2,500 different types of lilies and has even created new types of lilies through cross pollination.

"It's like if you have the same wife with 50 kids—they would all look a little different. Same parents, but some would have red hair, some taller, some blue eyes, some brown. I've studied genetics with day lilies—go back generations some lilies are tall, some small, some big."

To date, Adams has registered six different lilies, including Lily Kate Webb (named after his granddaughter), Fool For Your Stockings ( named after ZZ Top Song), Motor City's Burning (named after MC5 song), Panic in Detroit (named after a David Bowie song), Rarin' Aaron (named after friend's son) and Just One Victory (named after a Todd Rundgren song).

Not surprisingly, Adams, who teaches physical education at Oaktree Elementary School in Goodrich, spends plenty of time in the school's greenhouse teaching students the finer points of growing.

Adams recently hosted a lily tour with more than 300 growers from across the Midwest.

"Still, no matter what, it still depends on the weather—too hot, too cold, too wet can change everything."

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