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Archives for February 23, 2014

Cottage & Lakefront Living, Outdoorama shows hit Novi

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The Beach, a giant sandbox complete with carving tools, will be ready for creative building of sand sculptures by children and adults. Sand Pirate Janet Schrader of Fairy Godmother Services in Lakeside, MI. will share the secrets of sand as she builds a giant medieval sandcastle, teaching how to make towers, doors, windows and stairs and hosting a sandcastle contest. Children will have the opportunity to fish at the Trout Pond fully stocked by Michigan B.A.S.S. Federation Clubs and play in the kid’s activity center at the Cran-Hill Family Zone. Michigan Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society, dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of historic boats, will have boats on display.

Cottage Living Center will provide the opportunity to relax and work on a community puzzle, put a pin in an oversized Michigan map to show where cottages are located, listen to the 2014 Cottage Favorite Play List music and read a 2014 Essential Cottage Reading List book. Patrons owning cottages are able to post them on the Cottage for Sale or Rent Board.

The Water Woods Photo Contest Display will allow voting for the best photo that captures the cottage and lakefront lifestyles.

Landscaping ideas to increase your outdoor living space are incorporated in landscape displays that include wooden cabins, fireplaces, cooking options, patios, decks and garden products. Other exhibits with information and educational materials for those looking to buy, build, rent or maintain cottage and lakefront property include log, timber frame and cedar homes, cottage rental, cottage furnishings, lakefront homebuilders and realtors, lakeshore maintenance, boats and docks, outdoor recreational equipment, non-profit environmental organizations, government agencies, financing and other products and services. Experts throughout the show will provide tips, advice and knowledge on purchasing, renting, planning and maintaining spring, summer and year-round cottage and lakefront living homes.

Conservation, family fun highlight Outdoorama

For more than 40 years, Michigan’s sportsmen and sportswomen have helped make Outdoorama the state’s most popular outdoors event. With over four acres of boats, hunting and fishing equipment, outfitters, conservation organizations and other features this year’s show promises to keep the tradition alive when it comes to Novi.

Article source: http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20140223/NEWS13/302230003/Cottage-Lakefront-Living-Outdoorama-shows-hit-Novi

Landscaping with a function equals permaculture

Choosing beautiful plants that double as a food source. Selecting ground cover that produces fruit. Saving rainwater for irrigation during dry months. Planting herbs in the front yard.

These all are part of permaculture, a design system based on ecological principles or based on nature.

But those are only a few of the ideas that can turn your property into an ecological haven – whether it be a city lot with a front and back yard or several acres in the country.

Vince Kirchner of Great Lakes Permaculture said landscaping can be beautiful as well as functional.

The Tiffin-based company specializes in providing permaculture solutions for homeowners.

“It’s working with the homeowner to give them what they want,” he said. “Not everybody wants a front-yard garden, but everybody wants to eat.”

Fact Box

Learn more

Vince Kirchner of Great Lakes Permaculture, Tiffin, is planning to teach a permaculture class beginning the first weekend in April at the Franciscan Earth Literacy Center.

The class continues for five weekends, excluding Easter weekend, and finishes in May.

For more information or to register, call Kirchner at (419) 937-5978 or email him at vince@greatlakespermaculture.com.

Visit the business website at www.greatlakespermaculture.com.

One example of beauty and functionality is planting a row of rugosa roses, which can be used in teas and soups. Next to those might be lavender, which has scent, medicinal and edible uses, along with creeping thyme as a groundcover, which doubles as a cooking herb.

“We’re trying to find the most efficient solution for the property,” Kirchner said. “We don’t overdesign or underdesign.”

Locally, Kirchner has been donating his time to work with the Sisters of St. Francis to create permaculture landscaping around Little Portion Green, the strawbale house.

“When we start working with an owner on a project, we sit down and try to understand what they want to accomplish with the property,” he said.

He researches and discusses such considerations as the amounts of wind and rain the land receives, how much water is available, wildlife and plant interaction and the individual wishes of the owners.

For example, at the strawbale house he is taking into consideration the needs of the Franciscan Earth Literacy Center, the St. Francis campus and Sister Jane Omlor, who lives in the house.

Then, he puts together a plan he recommends.

“We started about two years ago, and the plan is still evolving,” he said.

The sisters had a few flooding problems to resolve, and they wanted to create some sustainable food for the property, long term, that didn’t require a lot of work for an aging population.

“We looked at different cash crops with low maintenance – truffles, mushrooms, nut crops,” he said. “Things that, once planted, are perennial types of crops that don’t require a lot of input.”

Around a house, Kirchner said he divides a property into zones.

“The things she (Omlor) uses every day, we would put closest to the house,” he said.

For example, an herb garden and berry bushes might be located in the front or back yard while trees grown for wood or trees grown to harvest nuts once a year would be placed farther from the house.

“We can work with any type of curriculum,” he said. “A front-yard garden, backyard garden, a completely edible landscape.”

Kirchner said acres of land are not needed. Much can be accomplished with a small yard.

“For most people, that’s around the house that they have now,” he said

Instead of ornamental bushes, a plan might include bushes that provide an edible berry. Instead of low-growing ornamental groundcover, he said homeowners could choose low-growing varieties of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or figs.

“That way, they’re able to harvest something and eat it,” he said.

Some homes are good candidates for rooftop gardens, he said, and some are conducive to aquaculture.

“The fish that live in the water create nitrogen, which is then fed to the plants, which, in turn, purify the water,” he said.

People can choose to harvest food produced by the plants or eat the fish.

Aquaculture systems can range from large-scale commercial systems or apartment systems in 10-gallon tanks.

Overall, permaculture also takes into consideration methods of storing energy, he said.

“Food is a form of energy,” he said. “We take a look at how to preserve that.”

Water conservation is another topic. It often includes storing rainwater in containers – rain barrels, cisterns, ponds or even swimming pools. Stored water then can be used inside the house for daily living or for plant irrigation outside.

“There are methods out there for drip irrigation,” he said. “You could set it up and, once a week, it would automatically water your plants.

“If you could eliminate some of those mundane tasks, how could you use that extra time?” he asked.

Kirchner said the idea of permaculture is not new. Bill Mollison and David Holmgren were the originators of the concept when they wrote the book, “Permaculture One,” which was published in 1978.

He said Holmgren’s definition of permaculture is “a design system based on ecological principles.”

“It started as ‘permanent agriculture,'” he said. “It’s gaining a lot of momentum the last five or six years. There are probably millions of permaculturists around the world.”

Permaculture concepts encompass everything from backyard gardening to the design of public lands by city, state and federal governments.

“It’s a way of creating permanent culture and it’s involved in city planning, food security, climate control, soil remediation and water purification, to name a few,” Kirchner said.

Kirchner, 57, said he became interested in permaculture about three years ago when he began to look at his life differently.

Although he enjoys his longtime job designing glass for the automotive industry at Guardian Industries, Upper Sandusky, he said he began to look at other aspects of life.

“As you get older, you start to think about the things you’re accomplishing in your life and try to find things that give you greater enjoyment,” he said.

He remembered spending time on his grandfather’s farm in Erie, Pa.

“I enjoyed the time I spent with him on the farm,” he said. “And my great-grandfather took me on nature walks.”

He started investigating

methods of growing food at his house on Schonhardt Street, five doors down from Calvert High School.

“Because of my engineering background, I wanted to know why to use something and when,” he said. “I looked into all the different techniques. … All these are great techniques, but when do you use one over another?

“I came across permaculture just through a Web search. What intrigued me the most is that it had ethics to it.”

He said the practice encourages care of the earth, care of people and reinvestment of surplus.

“It impressed me that it had some values associated with it,” he said. “And there are natural techniques associated with it.”

He read books and decided to take a 72-hour class to become certified.

“Then, I took another class to be able to teach, and I became a Master Gardener (through Ohio State University Extension) at the same time,” he said.

During this time, he started to experiment in his yard and discussed the concepts with his wife, Cindy.

“We don’t always agree on the same techniques,” he said. “But we agree on the same principles. We started with a square-foot garden. That was the year I went to the permaculture class.”

His idea was to make the yard – front and back – a permaculture showplace.

“She wasn’t really keen on all that,” he said. “So, we sat down and decided what we want. The front yard has roses and a grape arbor and all that, and it’s going to become a nice sitting area. The back yard is our food area.”

About three years later, the backyard contains fruit trees, hazel nuts, figs, josta berries, raspberries and other berries, currants, grapes, juju and goji berries, among other food sources. And it’s an ongoing project.

“You’re never where you want to be,” he said.

One of the principles he teaches is planning for the long-term, and reacting to the short-term.

“Say you get a pest infestation one year or you get hot weather,” he said. “You take care of the problem without changing the plan.”

Changes might be needed because there might be too much of something or a lack of something else.

“One permaculture homeowner tried to eradicate black ants, and he created a void in the ecosystem, and the fire ants came in,” he said. “He created a void he had to fix. … It’s like a yin and a yang. I have too much of one thing or not enough of something else.”

Usually, he said permaculture doesn’t eliminate weeds.

“We don’t advocate weed-killing and things like that,” he said. “I don’t know of anybody who uses chemicals. A weed is a misplaced plant. The weeds are there for a reason and we use those as indicators of what’s going on in the soil.”

Shortly after he became certified in permaculture design, his mother in Texas and son, Joel, now in Tennessee, also became certified.

“Once you understand the concepts, they can be used in Ohio, Texas or Tennessee,” Kirchner said.

A plan takes into account the climate and location no matter where the site is.

He said Joel has chosen a site in Tennessee to build an American copy of a house made of natural materials designed in the United Kingdom.

“That’s another part of permaculture,” he said. “It’s called a cruck house. It’s a British style of architecture. All the energy is stored in the house.

“It’s interesting to see the kids are looking into an energy-efficient house. The amount of money they’re going to save over their lifetime is phenomenal.”

Article source: http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/page/content.detail/id/562409/Landscaping-with-a-function-equals-permaculture.html?nav=5060

Flower Show’s tightrope: Keeping the old guard, attracting new patrons

Talk to 10 people who’ve been to Philadelphia Flower Shows past and you’ll get 10 different opinions.

You like those edgy videos? Other folks hate ’em. Chasing blue ribbons for your pampered succulents? Plant competitions bore the next guy silly.

Sometimes, it seems, the Flower Show – the nation’s oldest, founded in 1829 – has an impossible mission. Like other legacy institutions, it must find a way to retain its core audience – mostly white, middle-aged, and suburban – while also attracting a younger, more diverse population to carry it into the future.

“This is a living, breathing show that needs to perpetuate change. It’s like a movie. You can’t have the same plot. No one would go see it,” says Drew Becher, president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which launches the 2014 Flower Show on March 1 through 9 at the Convention Center.

For the first time since 2006, the theme has nothing to do with places like New Orleans or Ireland. The 2014 show promises to be more cerebral: “ARTiculture, where art meets horticulture.”

In an unusual arrangement, the show’s landscape and floral designers have been paired with Philadelphia-area museums, along with the Getty in Los Angeles, the Guggenheim in New York City, and the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Using plants, trees, sculptures, and other elements, exhibitors are interpreting a particular painting, a body of work, an entire artistic movement. Even, in one case, a museum’s outdoor garden.

Designer Michael Petrie of Swarthmore, for example, draws on the Barnes’ post-impressionist paintings, especially those by Henri Matisse. Stoney Bank Nurseries of Glen Mills, working with the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, channels three generations of Wyeths. And Wyndmoor’s Burke Bros. interprets not a work of art per se, but the cacti garden, lavender pergola, water features, and travertine building materials in the Getty Museum’s landscape.

“It’s almost like a cubist painting, everything rectilinear, plants arranged in blocks of vibrant colors,” Kevin Burke says of his creation.

PHS’ largest fund-raiser, the Flower Show costs up to $10 million to produce and typically generates about $1 million for the nonprofit’s public landscape, urban farming, tree-planting, and horticulture programs.

And while every show generates excitement, there’s a sense that PHS needs to mount a robust counterpoint to the 2013 show, which failed to match the popularity of “Hawaii: Islands of Aloha” in 2012 (270,000) and “Springtime in Paris” in 2011 (265,000 visitors).

The 2013 production (“Brilliant!” about Britain) attracted only 225,000, the lowest in a decade, even though PHS added an extra day to the show. Becher blamed TV forecasters, contending that their no-show snowstorm scared visitors away and caused a shortfall of about $2 million.

Those in the “snow-happens-in-March” camp scoffed.

They found the theme ho-hum. They blamed pricey tickets ($32 at the door) and parking ($25/day). They couldn’t find a place to sit or landscaping ideas to take home.

“You try some things, and some things work and some things don’t. We can do better,” Becher says. “That’s a show.”

The 2014 production will bring more change, which has become the watchword of Becher’s four-year tenure. At the same time, in a nod to the old guard, a popular feature that was eliminated in 1996, when the show moved from the old Civic Center in West Philadelphia to Center City, will be restored.

Yes, the much-missed, fragrant hyacinths that greeted winter-weary visitors at the entrance to the old show are back. About 700 will grace the base of the show’s entrance garden, Becher’s new name for the erstwhile central feature.

PHS’ Flower Show survey indicated that visitors didn’t like the pale colors and minimalist style of the 2013 central feature – oops, entrance garden. So PHS designers this year are emphasizing bold hues: They created three oversize picture frames and a garden inspired by Alexander Calder’s mobiles, paintings, and sculptures. They’ll be filled with brightly colored flowers, grasses, stones, and glass.

Becher wants the entrance garden to be more interactive, inviting visitors to walk through and around it, rather than just passing by.

“The days of people just walking in and looking at exhibits and ‘Isn’t that a nice pond, aren’t those nice flowers?’ are gone,” he says. “People want the experience now. They want to walk through and lose themselves.”

That idea informs this year’s showbiz element, delivered by Bandaloop of Oakland, Calif., an aerial dance troupe that has performed on vertical surfaces from Seattle’s Space Needle to the Italian Dolomites.

Dancers won’t exactly be walking through the entrance garden. They’ll be doing their thing while suspended from the Convention Center ceiling.

For traditionalists, the show will have its signature plant competitions in the $1 million Horticort, funded by philanthropist Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton, a fierce competitor, who is calling it quits after decades of ribbon sweeps.

The Horticort will honor Hamilton with an exhibit of Flower Show history and her place in it. Some of her best-known plants – clivias, orchids, lilies, hanging baskets, shoo-ins all – will be on display.

Becher has other changes in store:

The show’s lectures, traditionally consigned to rooms along a Convention Center hallway, will be moved inside the show. And no more PowerPoint presentations. Becher wants more audience participation.

Culinary programs, too, are moving inside the show to highlight the “hot local chefs” whom PHS is bringing (Rich Landau, Tia McDonald) and the not-so-local stars, like Rachael Ray, Edward Lee, and “The Fabulous Beekman Boys.” (Aramark, provider of the Convention Center’s food, also consulted Philadelphia’s Jose Garces on the show’s cafe menu.)

Although ticket prices are a frequent complaint, PHS nixed the idea of a cheaper option this year – say, a $20 ticket for weeknights after 5 o’clock. Instead, it went with a new $125 VIP package with perks.

But PHS appears to have listened on another front: 600 new seats will be added throughout the show, bringing the total to 1,100.

Finally, weather. After such a winter, a snowy forecast – correct or not – likely won’t keep anyone away from the 2014 Flower Show. Might even boost attendance.

 


vsmith@phillynews.com

215-854-5720

facebook.com/InqGardening

@inkygardener

www.inquirer.com/

KisstheEarth

 


Article source: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140223_Flower_Show_s_tightrope__Keeping_the_old_guard__attracting_new_patrons.html

Home show opens with landscapers’ ideal outdoor patios and plantings

While central Ohioans were still shoveling out from winter last week, 11 landscaping companies
were rushing to make the season a memory, at least temporarily.  The landscapers were building
patios and planting gardens at the Columbus Dispatch Home Garden Show, which runs through
next Sunday at the Ohio Expo Center.

Sponsored by Ohio Mulch, the show features outdoor rooms nicer than many home interiors, with
flat-screen televisions, see-through fireplaces, full kitchens, sculptures, waterfalls, elaborate
lighting and plush furniture, all accented by willows, maples, azaleas, magnolias, hydrangeas,
rhododendrons and the colorful blooms of bedding plants.

“Colors are very important in gardens,” said Ellen Gallucci Purcell, chairwoman of the Columbus
Landscape Association’s home and garden show committee.

“We used a lot of coral bells in our garden,” said Purcell, vice president of Riepenhoff

Landscape. “The blooms aren’t spectacular; it’s the leaves that provide the color. Everybody
tries to find plants that are different for the show.”

In addition to stressing color, many landscapers are focusing on lighting and paving
features.

Cedarbrook Landscaping and Garden Center, for example, includes trees covered in small LED
lights to create a fairy-tale setting.

Visitors will also notice jumbo planters in many of the gardens.

“Container gardening has really taken off; it’s getting to be an art,” said John Reiner,
president of Oakland Nursery, whose display features several containers. “People like all the color
and variety without the care.”

As dozens of workers scrambled on Friday setting pavers, watering plants, laying mulch, building
trellises and arranging furniture, Purcell remained confident in the result.

“Everybody’s worked very hard to create new gardens that will look spectacular,” she said.

jweiker@dispatch.com

Article source: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/home_and_garden/2014/02/23/spring-in-the-air.html

Handy tips on vegetable gardening in containers

Do you want to grow vegetables in your garden but, you find that space is insufficient?

Container gardening may be an option for you. Growing vegetables in containers in a window sill, patio, or a balcony may provide enough space for a productive mini-garden. Container gardening is also a good way to introduce children to vegetable gardening.

Crop selection is an important consideration for any garden both traditional or container. Most any vegetable can be grown in containers. Vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, green onions, beans, lettuce, squash, radishes and parsley are examples of suitable vegetables for container gardening. Variety selection is important.

When planting vegetables weather can be a factor in the success of the variety you choose. Planting guides are available to aid in getting the variety planted at the appropriate time to achieve good yields. Freezing weather can cause damage to several vegetable varieties. One advantage with container gardens is if freezing weather is predicted, one can move the containers indoors during these conditions.

Selection of the growing media is another important decision in growing container vegetables. The growing media must drain well yet hold water for the plant to take it up. The media must also have nutrients and be able to physically support the desired plant species. There are soil mixes available or you may mix your own.

Proper watering is essential for a successful container garden. If we water too much the plant may begin to show disease symptoms or even die. If we water too little the plants will be weakened and shrivel. Check the soil regularly and water as needed. If we are receiving adequate rainfall, this may be all the water needed for a period of time.

Almost any type of container can be used for growing vegetables. Some use bushel baskets, drums, gallon cans, tubs, or wooden boxes. The size of the container will vary according to the crop selected and available space. Small pots 6 inches to 10 inches are suitable in size for green onions, parsley or herbs. For vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, 5 gallon containers work well. Select containers that fit your situation. Containers must also drain adequately for successful yields. Some even add about 1 inch of course gravel to the bottom of the container to aid in drainage.

Fertilization of the vegetable crop is important. Plants need adequate nutrients to produce well. Some incorporate the fertilizer material into the soil media as it is mixed together. Others use slow release fertilizers. Water soluble fertilizers are also available. Some prepare a nutrient solution pouring the solution over the soil mix.

Nearly all vegetable plants need full sunlight to grow and produce adequate yields. Leafy vegetables can tolerate more shady areas. Fruit- bearing vegetables need the most sun of all. One advantage of container gardening is the container can be moved or placed in the most appropriate place to obtain adequate lighting.

Monitor the plants for disease and insects. With time and care, we can enjoy the fruits of our labors. Harvest these vegetables at the peak of maturity. For taller plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, or beans, caging the plant allows for support as the plant grows upright and puts on fruit.

At the end of the growing season, discard the plant and the soil from the pot. The container can be reused but it may be necessary to sterilize the container to keep plant diseases at a minimum. It is recommended to replace the soil each year in a container garden as well. Properly composted planting media can be reused.

Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.

 

 

 

 

 

Article source: http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-Business/195209/handy-tips-on-vegetable-gardening-in-containers

Simply the pest: Alan Titchmarsh on protecting your garden from slugs, snails …

Natural powders and sprays

Products based on rapeseed oil (eg Bug Clear) suffocate smaller insect pests by blocking their breathing holes, but leave larger beneficial bugs unharmed. Fatty acids (aka liquid insecticidal soap, eg Organic Bug Free) are modern versions of old remedies for use on flowers, fruit and veg with small insect pests, including hard-to-tackle whitefly and red spider mite. Sulphur powder controls powdery mildew on flowers, veg and some fruit, and pyrethrum powders or sprays (made from chrysanthemum flowers) treat aphids, caterpillars, ants, weevils and flea beetles. 

Varieties with built-in resistance

Many modern varieties of veg have been bred with built-in resistance to certain pests or diseases – these are identified in seed catalogues or on seed packets. You can find partially carrot-fly-resistant carrots, club root-resistant brassicas and courgettes that shrug off mildew or virus. Some modern potato varieties deter eelworm, potato blight and/or other common problems. Many roses are also bred with varying degrees of resistance to disease – consult rose catalogues, reference books or growers’ websites. Young plants of some tomatoes and peppers are available grafted on to rootstocks that resist the kind of root diseases often present in greenhouse soil.

Biological control

A large range of predatory and parasitic bugs is available to tackle particular pest problems, including slugs, vine weevils, greenflies, chafer grubs or leatherjackets in lawns, and red spider mites, whiteflies or mealybugs in greenhouses. There’s also a mixed pack that treats several vegetable garden soil pests as well as ants. Introduce biological control early, as soon as conditions permit, for maximum benefit – a second dose later is often recommended. It’s pricey but effective if used very precisely.

Mother nature’s pest controllersGrow old-fashioned hardy annuals and herbs to encourage a healthy population of wild beneficial insects such as hover flies and ladybirds. Also supply food and water for birds because they eat huge numbers of caterpillars and aphids in the spring. Hedgehogs, thrushes, foxes and shrews will eat snails. 

Article source: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/garden/461059/Alan-Titchmarsh-tips-for-protecting-your-garden-against-pests-and-diseases

17th Annual Home and Garden Show Provides Gardening Tips and Tricks

Thousands of people will pass through the MPEC this weekend at the 17th annual home and garden show.

The show is presented as a fundraiser for the Kemp Center for the Arts as well as the non- profit organizations that meet at their building.

This year’s show features more than 200 vendors, showing off products ranging from lawn mowers to yard decorations.

The event also features a variety of speakers giving gardening tips, tricks, and demonstrations.

Organizers say the event has continued to evolve over the years and is a great opportunity for local businesses to interact with customers one- on- one.

“Basically a welcome and open house for our local vendors and so fourth to have an opportunity to have a weekend of 10 thousand people to go through their doors that they may not have at their sight,” says Director Carol Sales.

The home and garden show continues Sunday, click here for more information. 

Article source: http://www.texomashomepage.com/story/d/story/17th-annual-home-and-garden-show-provides-gardenin/36542/4gwaO9Up2kqM7ss9N7ZCVg

Van Ryzin: A community garden designed as public art – Austin American

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Article source: http://www.statesman.com/news/entertainment/arts-theater/van-ryzin-a-community-garden-designed-as-public-ar/ndWhS/

Maine Gardener: Garden design topic of New England Grows talk

1:00 AM

‘Making a mess is part of the creative process,’ speaker David Culp advises

By Tom Atwell

When I showed up at David Culp’s lecture on Layered Gardens at New England Grows in Boston earlier this month, I figured he would discuss the depth of his garden beds – with the taller plants at the back, and progressively shorter plants toward the front.

Culp did discuss that principle of design. He even expands on it by sloping his beds so that the backs are foot or two higher than the fronts, and the plants at the back are therefore more visible.

However, there are other layers in a garden, including the layer of time, with a plant and a garden changing as the year progresses, and as the years succeed each other.

“The garden has a changing look over all four seasons,” he said. “I love the spring garden, especially after a hard winter. But I also love the look of the fallen rose at the end of the season. It is all good, just different.”

Culp is director of sales and marketing for Sunny Border Nurseries, based in Connecticut, but gardens at his two-acre home in Downingtown, Pa.

The gardens at Brandywine Cottage, the name Culp gave his home, are designed to look natural, but he did start out with a plan – a plan that he believes goes with a house built in the 1790s.

“The gardens are geometric, which is more formal,” he said. “Being a plant collector, I think the lines bring order to the garden. Circuitous borders are more Victorian.”

He put his vegetable garden in the center of the garden and because he wanted it to be visible and not up against the boundary line with his neighbors, which he screened by giving the neighbor some pine trees.

He follows the practice of many gardeners by having the gardens near the house formal, but letting the design get looser farther away. At one side of the garden is a hillside, which contains a lot of full-size trees and where he puts in understory plants – and that creates layers of height. If a tree dies in that area, he leaves it up unless it uproots itself, in part because it looks natural and in part because it provides habitat for wildlife.

Culp does something I have never considered in a plant design. He groups plants that bloom at the same time. So in spring, there is a profusion of blooms close to the house. In mid-season, the preponderance of blooms are in a different area.

“I have different peaks of bloom time, but the transitions are soft,” he said. “The layered garden is about the relationships of the borders and space. It often has three plants interacting with each other.”

Culp has a lot of tall plants in his garden, partly because he wants to create that feeling of awe he had as a child in his grandmother’s garden of being surrounded by plants that were so much larger than he is.

Plant shapes are important in his garden.

“When it comes to color, it is not color first. It is texture first,” he said. “Color is mood, texture is emotion.”

You check out texture by doing a black-and-white photo, and if you can’t find the focal point in that photo, it is time to put in a statue, he said.

In one section of the garden he has a lot of verticals, beginning with trees. Then he adds a lot of vertical plants, including salvia, German iris, foxgloves and others, with a tall trellis and a bit of picket fence.

He puts the small, beautiful plants close to his house, including the hellebores, which he loves. He has created an entire line of hellebore hybrids called the Brandywine series.

(Continued on page 2)

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Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/life/homeandgarden/Maine_Gardener__Garden_design_topic_of_New_England_Grows_talk_.html