Yes, you read that right – it snowed all Saturday afternoon and evening in Greenville, SC. The folks I talked to that day found it quite humorous that the woman from NH attending their garden symposium had traveled south to avoid the snow. But, despite the weather outside, I got to spend seven hours in some great gardening conversations.
Peggy Cornett, Curator of plants at Monticello, was first up to talk about Thomas Jefferson’s favorite plants. Take away: If you haven’t visited Monticello, put it on your bucket list, and check out some of Jefferson’s favorites like hyacinth bean, cork screw vine, cardinal flower, and dwarf flag iris. The hyacinth bean was actually found at both Monticello and Mount Vernon. I’ve grown it before and actually have some seeds at home.
Doug Tallamy was up next with bringing nature home, and discussing his new book, “Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard.” If Doug Tallamy is ever speaking within driving distance, let me assure you, the drive is worth it. Take away: Pick up a copy of his book because together we can make a difference, and he has the statistics to prove it. Also, if you are wanting to add native plants to your gardens, check out the National Wildlife Federation website and put in your zip code for a list of natives for your area. http://www.nwf.org/nativeplantfinder
Kate Copsey, author of “The Downsized Veggie Garden,” how to garden small, wherever you live, whatever your space. If you want to grow veggies, get creative because they’ll grow in a variety of places besides raised beds – small or large pots, hangers, railings, steps, or wherever you have a small spot. Take away: Don’t give up growing veggies without looking around and using your imagination to find space you already have.
Richard Hartledge, the landscape architect and owner of Land Morphology based in Seattle certainly piqued our landscaping interests. He showed us an amazing array of gardens that his company had completed such as Seattle Waterfront, Leach Botanical Gardens, Herb and Vegetable Garden at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, Chihuly Gardens and Glass, the Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens, the Century 21 Master Plan for the Seattle Center, and the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden. He has also done many smaller gardens across the country and shared slides of his own gardens with us. Take away: If you have a vision for your own garden, put it to paper, research plants, add a fire pit, and implement.
Seed to Seed: How to Grow a Self-Sufficient Garden, the last class I signed up for, was cancelled because the speaker, Julie Thompson-Adolf, was unable to attend. I don’t want to miss what she might have said so I just ordered her book, “Starting & Saving Seeds: Grow the Perfect Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs, and Flowers for Your Garden.“
All in all, it was a fun day of not only hearing great speakers, but talking with fellow Master Gardeners and a wide array of interesting vendors selling plants, books, compost, big yellow bags of soil delivered to your yard which I loved, bird houses, garden art, seeds and everything else you can think of that is gardening related.
To top it off, I won one of the 100 door prizes. It was a guest pass to the NC Arboretum which I gave to a fellow MG because it is over 600 miles from where I am staying. I think I made her day.
Bottom line this Monday – use your gardening down time to get ready to roll when spring arrives in 38 days. Are you making plans for the 2020 gardening season yet? 😎