Gardening Talk

Five hundred and twenty miles, two nights motel stay, an afternoon snowstorm, and I got to spend Saturday with 545 other Master Gardeners and gardening enthusiasts.

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.

Kate Copsey, author ofย  “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:ย  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? ๐Ÿ˜Ž

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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38 Responses to Gardening Talk

  1. Thanks for your review! I’m so sorry I couldn’t find you…we will have to do better next year. Please email me at so we can connect.


  2. Dan Antion says:

    Sounds like it was worth the drive and the snow. It is a bit ironic that you journeyed so far south to find snow this winter ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds fantastic! Worth driving in the snow for, even if you did travel south to avoid the white stuff. ๐Ÿ˜‰ As soon as I finish with this comment, I will be looking up Tallamy’s “Nature’s Best Hope” to see if it is available through interlibrary loan. When you think of all the yards in the U.S., a lot could be done to encourage conservation and nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Murphy's Law says:

    The Symposium was well worth the trip. I think the snow was meant to make you feel right at home!! And you didn’t have to shovel it either! Congratulations on winning one of the door prizes and kudos for giving it to a fellow MG.

    You got a lot of ‘take-aways’ which I know you will make good use of. I’m sure you will be coming home with lots of fun ideas for your gardens.
    ๐ŸพGinger ๐Ÿพ

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joyce says:

    Wow! This event was heaven-on-earth for you! I find it interesting that there is so much evolving information in the field. So many ways to increase yield and quality of product. We’re in need of smart people like that – and ones like you who take home and put into practice what is newly learned.
    We had some serious snow last night and icy roads. I watched tv and thought of you when the screen was full of reporters describing bitter cold in NH and politicians knocking on doors all over the state. Good time for you to escape and sink back, learning and planning for the growing season ahead! And that 38 days is dwindling as we speak!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There was something you would have smiled about too. A local artist made the art work (cone flowers) which happened to be a good-sized appliqued piece. They used is for all their promotional materials and raffled off the original piece as a fund raiser. They had a lot of art displayed by vendors for the garden and home that you would have liked.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ally Bean says:

    I need to investigate Kate Copsey’s idea. I’ve all but given up on veggie gardening, but maybe I’m thinking about all wrong. ๐Ÿค”

    Liked by 1 person

    • She showed one house that had very wide and deep steps in full sun so they had colorful pots on each step with veggies in them. There was also a house with only a lattice work foundation area, and the owner had hanging baskets lining the lattice work. It really is a case of thinking outside the usual raised bed and looking for veggies and fruits that they are now selling that grow well in pots. Good luck – I know you can come up with something.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oddment says:

    I’m with Joyce: Wow! This is all not just spring for the garden but also spring for the brain — thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a fun day! Iโ€™ve been making plans for my garden already.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Master Gardener Conference are so much fun and educational! I love all of seminar options. Glad you had a good time!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It sounds like you had a great time, and made a friend happy with the gift!
    All those cute birdhouses would tempt me to open my wallet.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Eliza Waters says:

    Sounds like a great line up of speakers. I would have loved to hear Doug Tallamy (I’ve seen videos of him) and will have to check out his latest book. He’s my native plant hero!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The snow is the best sort of irony and the conference sounds wonderful. When we move to Arizona, since we’re going to be renting for the time being, pots will be my go-to. With rentals, landscaping varies wildly from non-existent (just rocks) to very nice (cacti and dry-climate flowers.) Things that need sun should be a doodle, provided they don’t need masses of water as well. We shall see. It will be a whole new ball game.


    Liked by 2 people

  13. germac4 says:

    A long way to go .. but the speakers sound interesting and inspiring. I like the sound of Natureโ€™s Best Hope … I think we can make a difference individually. Iโ€™m going to stick with that idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Denzil says:

    Sounds great fun! Despite the snow!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. nutsfortreasure says:

    Weather has been nuts so glad you had a wonderful trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: Gardening Talk โ€” NewEnglandGardenAndThread – Epping Garden Club

  17. Nancy says:

    Well werenโ€™t you lucky! Snow all dressed up pretty for your Gardening Trip! Sounds like you had fun. And just so you know… AZ is cold tooooooooo!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Sounds fascinating. I’ve been meaning to read Tallamy’s new book.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. pbmgarden says:

    Would love to get there sometime. February weather is always unpredictable. Sunny and 70 one day and ice storms the next. We had just heavy rain and wind, no snow. Iโ€™ve been once to NC Arboretum and itโ€™s wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. joey says:

    Oh the irony! When we lived in southeast Georgia, we returned home to visit Indiana in June, and were QUITE distraught to find ourselves in the midst of a heat wave. One of the days was 105. Torture. Gah.
    So glad you enjoyed your gardening talk ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Ogee says:

    Snow is nature’s way of saying “you can’t escape me!” Sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday. As for spring…it is already here! Can you send some of that precipitation in the form of rain, please?

    Liked by 1 person

  22. krc says:

    love that bag of soil!

    Liked by 1 person

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