A vibrant red new daylily has been officially named after the late Debbie Froese. The few plants already available are being sold to raise money for Froese’s charity of choice, and names are being put on a waiting list for divisions of the perennial for next year. (Pam Erikson/Special to Langley Advance Times)

A vibrant red new daylily has been officially named after the late Debbie Froese. The few plants already available are being sold to raise money for Froese’s charity of choice, and names are being put on a waiting list for divisions of the perennial for next year. (Pam Erikson/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Flowers pay tribute to Langley mayor’s late wife

The late Debbie Froese will live on with all the bright red daylilies that will brandish her name

Literally minutes after Marilyn Morgan put up a post on Facebook about a tribute to her late mother, Pam Erikson’s phone began ringing off the hook.

Erikson, owner of Erikson’s Daylily Gardens, recently received word that she could officially name one of her newly cultivated daylilies after her long-time friend, Debbie Froese – who passed away of cancer in early January.

“When Debbie passed away, we’d been good friends for a lot of years, and I had said to [her daughter] Marilyn ‘I’ve got a really nice red daylily, I’d like to name it for your mom, if that’s okay?’,” Erikson recounted. The suggestion was welcomed by Froese’s family.

According to Erikson, Froese’s favourite colour was always red. In her hybridizing program, Erikson didn’t have a lot of new red daylilies. But, there were a couple, and it was the most vibrant of those the gardener earmarked to name in her friend’s honour.

RELATED: Langley mayor’s wife loses battle with cancer

“This is a perfect one for her,” said Erikson who first met Froese when their children were going to school together. Then, they became friends when the Froese family opened the initial JD Farm Specialty Turkey Store out of their home.

“I loved her…” Erikson said. “She was probably one of the kindest, gentlest people I’ve ever know – ever. That was just her manner. She was just an amazing lady…”

Since being given the official nod to register the Debbie Froese daylily recently, Erikson divided up the clump and gave plants to each of Froese’s children and her husband, Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese.

Left with only 14 other plantings in this inaugural year, Erikson chose to sell each of them off for $100 each, with all the money going to one of Debbie’s favourite charity – the Langley Christmas Bureau.

Several of Debbie’s closest friends heard news of the plants first, and within minutes, Erikson was down to only four remaining plants to “sell.”

“The post went up this morning, and my phone hasn’t stopped ringing,” Erikson said. “It was a little over the top.”

RELATED: Hundreds attend celebration of life for Debbie Froese in Langley

With any fledgling tuber, she is left with very few clumps that can be grown and divided in the first few years. Such was the case with this tribute daylily.

Realizing instantly the demand was going to be bigger than she could fill, Erikson decided to take people’s names, and do a lottery this Sunday for the last four of this year’s plants. In the meantime, she’s offering to leave the rest of the names on a waiting list for more of the lilies, as they come available in spring 2021 and beyond – same terms apply with a minimum $100 donation to Froese’s charity of choice, she said.

“The first year they’re introduced, you don’t have that many… The thing is, I’ll grow it for years and years, and we’ll just keep a waiting list of people,” Erikson said. “People are already saying, ‘put me on the waiting list.’ And every year when I’ve got some more, I’ll dig it up, we’ll sell it again, and it will just keep a constant flow of little bits of money going back to the charity. Every little bit counts.”

It may, she warns, take two or three years for her to have a enough plants available to fill all the existing and expected orders.

Money will be given to a cause close to Froese’s heart. She was one of the founding wives of the Mayors’ Wives Tea (now called Thanks for Caring, a Christmas Tea fundraiser), which has been an annual sell-out fundraiser supporting the Langley Christmas Bureau, and Froese was involved in raising thousands of dollars for the charity that cares for struggling families in Langley.

Since this year’s tea had to be cancelled due to COVID, Erikson felt this was a way of helping raise some money for a cause so important to her friend.

RELATED: In memory of Debbie Froese, Langley firefighters donate to Volunteer Cancer Drivers

The tribute daylily meant a great deal to Froese’s family.

In her Facebook post, Morgan said “The words ‘thank you’ just don’t seem enough to express how incredibly appreciative my family is to Pam Erikson of Erikson Daylily… What a beautiful tribute. Thank you. I can’t wait to plant it at her house. Mom was an amazing woman that touched so many.”

Anyone still interested in buying a plant (by minimum donation of $100 to the Langley Christmas Bureau) can enter for Sunday’s lottery by emailing pamerikson@uniserve.com by end of day Saturday. Otherwise, those interested in having their name added to the first-come, first-serve waiting list for next year, can also email Erikson at the same address.

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

roxanne.hooper@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Debbie Froese’s daughter, Marilyn, posted this to Facebook today, and Pam Erikson’s phone has been ringing none stop. (Screengrab)

Debbie Froese’s daughter, Marilyn, posted this to Facebook today, and Pam Erikson’s phone has been ringing none stop. (Screengrab)

Just Posted

Langley MP Tako van Popta visited Aldergrove's Return-It Depot to commend owner Sung Kim on the oil collection project. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)
Langley MP commends Aldergrove Return-It Depot’s environmental efforts

Oil collection has been occuring at the facility since December through the help of a grant

Police were called to the scene of 198A Street and 81st Avenue on the evening of Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (Curtis Kreklau/Special to Black Press Media)
VIDEO: Possible shots fired on Langley/Surrey border Thursday evening

Police had one vehicle towed and gathered evidence at the scene

Snow is forecasted to appear in parts of Metro Vancouver this weekend. (Black Press Media files)
WEATHER: Flurries in the forecast for Sunday

Langley could see snow throughout the week starting Jan. 23

(Black Press Media files)
Snowfall expected for Lower Mainland on Saturday night, Sunday morning

2 to 5 cm of snow predicted Metro Vancouver, according to Environment Canada

Agates like these are up for auction on Jan. 27 at Aldergrove’s Able Auctions site. (Able Auctions/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Gems and geodes up for auction in Aldergrove

The auction has everything from diamonds to amber

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Abbotsford Police officers investigate the scene after a pedestrian was struck and killed on Friday morning. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Male pedestrian, 37, killed in Abbotsford after being struck by vehicle

Collision took place in 31800 block of South Fraser Way on Friday morning

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission school district

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways in Mission, B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

Fire on Yale Road north of the overpass Friday morning. (Progress file)
Early morning blaze guts Chilliwack restaurant

The fire erupted north of the overpass closing one lane of Yale Road

Most Read