Pearl Whipple was a busy farm wife and mother who had a hobby of hybridizing gloxinia. While she enjoyed her indoor plants, she wanted to garden outside and was looking for a perennial she might enjoy. Then she met Louise Koehler. Louise introduced her to lilies and Pearl was hooked. When the time came to launch the North Star Lily Society, Pearl joined soon after and was an enthusiastic member. Over the years, she expanded her lily bed and took pride in showing her seedlings and other lilies at NSLS shows. She also enjoyed entering the artistic section of NSLS shows and won first place ribbons with both her stems and her arrangements.
When the time came to register her best seedlings, Julius Wadekamper helped her and introduced her lilies through Borbeletta Gardens. L. 'My Joe Ann' is a lovely, pink Asiatic Whipple introduction and one of Pearl's favorites. It was named for her daughter-in-law.
Well into her 80's now, Pearl says her garden isn't what it once was, but she still enjoys planting a few lily bulbs and watching them grow. She has pink martagon lilies that have naturalized in her yard. She says that they are open-pollinated, but they are pretty. She generously shared some packets of those martagon seeds with the NSLS membership a couple of years ago. It will be fun to see if Pearl's pink martagons will find their way into more lily beds. Perhaps there will be one more Whipple lily registered in the future!