who we are
Stow Greenhouses was and still is a family run business. Stow Greenhouses was started by Fred and Nancy Green. They started the business fresh out of Cornell University's floriculture program in 1978, growing cut pompon chrysanthemums for the Boston wholesale flower market. During the early years they grew nearly every cut flower imaginable before discovering what has become a passion and a specialty here at the greenhouse - hybrid lilies.
What was originally a set of wooden greenhouses has since been replaced with a 36,000 square foot modern, state-of-the-art, highly automated glass covered facility, designed to efficiently produce the highest quality cut flowers for our customers.
Today, along with five full-time employees, we grow over 100 different varieties and produce over 600,000 stems of cut lilies each year.
what we do
Quality is what sets us apart. We select only the newest and best varieties of Dutch lily bulbs, always striving for the biggest flowers in the most exciting and vibrant colors, shapes and forms.
Our greenhouse here in Stow, MA features a large paned glass roof for maximum light transmission, which is essential for strong vigorous plants and the highest bud count per stem.
There are five basic types of Hybrid Lilies used for cut flowers - Asiatics, L/A Hybrids (Longiflorum crossed with Asiatic), Orientals, Longiflorums (Easter Lily group) and OT Hybrids (Oriental and trumpet combination). At Stow Greenhouses we grow all types except Longiflorums. While perfectly lovely as cut flowers, we have not found a good market for them among our current customer base. All types are perfectly hardy in your garden.
how we do it
At Stow Greenhouses our success is based on mimicking mother nature, but we do it in a very controlled manner. Every January, after a long voyage across the Atlantic on a container ship, a tractor trailer loaded with a year’s worth of lily bulbs arrives at our door in Stow. We store the bulbs at 28 degrees Fahrenheit until we are ready to plant them, which we think of as their winter - frozen just as they would be in your garden. We thaw them, plant them on a weekly schedule in coconut fiber (coir), then move them into our rooting cooler, which is their spring. After rooting at 50 degrees F. for approximately 2 weeks, they head in the greenhouse for their "summer" and eventual flowering. In 8 to 12 weeks, depending on the variety and the time of year, we are rewarded for our labor with gorgeous lilies, budded up and ready for harvest. Because lily flowers are delicate when open, we harvest the flowers while still in bud. At this stage they are beautifully colored, plump and ready to open in a few days. Being close to our market, we have the advantage of being able to leave the flowers in the greenhouse until they are just about to open, unlike imported lilies which must be picked "green" to survive their long journey to the United States.
We are pleased to say our facility is totally pesticide-free. Our planting media is 100% renewable coir and we have reduced our dependency on petroleum by heating solely with wood-fired boilers.
Thanks for checking out our site, we hope you get a chance to enjoy our flowers.
Barb & Dave