Tuesday I went to a workshop entitled 'Gardening with Perennials' sponsored
by the Perennial Plant Assoc. and Cornell Cooperative Extension. The
featured speaker was Adrian Bloom of Blooms of Bressingham fame. What a
great down to earth guy! Of course the photos of his gardens' evolution were
breathtaking! He also talked about his "give-away " garden program where he
and garden volunteers plant a garden for a selected individual home owner,
school, community center, etc. What an adventure it must be when a complete
stranger knocks on your door to offer to remake your front yard! Of course,
the TV cameras run the whole time! We even had PEOPLE PLACES PLANTS cameras
at the workshop. I talked to Adrian about 'Limerick Ruby' which he says dies
every year for him as well. We also discussed the policy of nurseries
"re-naming" existing named cultivars. He sounds like he is far removed from
that process which he does not approve of.
Another terrific speaker was Stephanie Cohen from Temple University's
Arboretum in PA. She talked about new and upcoming perennials. I was
familiar with a good many of them, in fact I grow some that she mentioned,
but it was great hearing her take on what's coming in the next year or so.
She does a lot of plant testing. What a great opportunity! She did the
article on Coreopsis in this month's FINE GARDENING. We talked about my new
favorite C. 'Crhme Brulee' which I lost this winter, but have since
She mentioned some plants that I thought some of you may have already
trialed and I'd like your opinion on: Veronica 'Darwin's Blue' (a better
'Sunny Border Blue' type), Salvia x s. 'Caradonna' (doesn't flop, keeps
blooming if deadheaded), Echinacea 'Fragrant Angel', E.'Orange Meadowbrite',
E. 'Sunrise Sunset', Heucherella x 'Party Time' (just keeps blooming) and
Anthemis tinctoria 'Susanna Mitchell' ( white flower, keeps blooming if
deadheaded). Any thoughts on these? Also, does Leucanthemum 'Snowcap' bloom
for the whole summer for you?
One of our local growers, Connie Cross, from Environmentals Nursery gave a
talk on designing a 4-season garden. Connie also mentioned all her
gardening mistakes while showing her slides. Her "mistakes" look better
then my garden! We toured her garden after the symposium. She graciously
allowed us to wander through her house which has been featured in more
magazines then I could mention! Her house is gorgeous. Very Victorian and
overflowing with collections of antiques such as of hand painted china,
primitive paintings, vintage fabrics... I wish I had photos to show you!
Everywhere in her garden she paints a beautiful picture! My friend and I
stayed until almost dark!
What a great day! Even though I hate to type, I had to share this with you
Long Island, NY
PS- I had a tip published in that same FINE GARDENING issue.
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