We often look back on a person’s career and think we see the pivotal career-moment: “Ah, this is where it happened”. But Nick McCullough is not new to the world of landscape and garden design, and the Philadelphia Garden Show is his next – giant – step.
Nick has been building his skills for close to 20 years.
First as a student of art history and horticulture and, then with training in
design in England, Nick positioned himself to blend art, plants and a creative
eye to create contemporary gardens.
Teresa and I had a sneak preview of Nick’s talent when he
submitted a design for the Perennial Plant Association Landscape Design Award
program. The shade garden design was a
subtle interplay of green, gold, silver and white perennials and shrubs. It was
His design for the Philadelphia Flower Show is the polar opposite of a calm, enfolding shade garden. Think sun, mirrors, colors exploding, and immersion in nature. For a more detailed description of his design, visit his Thinking Outside the Boxwood blogwhere Nick explains his inspirations and the execution of his design.
We wish Nick success as he presents his garden to the public,
and we look forward to his future ventures.
Choosing a favorite flower to share for Valentine’s Day is a difficult task. Dozens could be given with a list of reasons for each. But we’re trying to keep this simple. Perhaps it’s best to say we’re offering our first among equals as a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, a holiday of love and flowers. Perhaps you have a favorite. Please tell us what it is and why.
Michael’s Pick: White Lily Tulip
The white lily flower tulip lacks fragrance, repeat bloom, multiplication, long flowering and longevity. However, this tulip with its simply elegant flower, excels at symbolizing my favorite time of year — spring. It blooms about the time crabapples and the pink dogwood are making spectacles of themselves. The spice bush is adding wispy charm and tantalizing fragrance, and common lilac perfumes the air. Foliage on sugar maples and other woody plants is emerging into a chartreuse haze, making the scene so lovely it almost hurts to gaze upon it. This type of tulip graces gardens far and near. While walking the grounds of the Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul many years ago, I noticed a lily flower tulip bas relief on the metal plate of a small fountain. That’s one way to add elegance year round.
Debra’s Pick: Organic Purple Roses
In the language of flowers the rose is recognized as the
classic expression of love: white for pure love or sympathy, pale pink for
innocent or young love, yellow for friendship or jealous love, and red for desire
and deep, sensual love.
The fragrance of roses takes me back to my childhood. My Nana was a rose grower and many of my earliest garden memories are of running around her garden being surrounded by the heady scent of roses. I remember Peace and Mister Lincoln and grew them in my early gardening life. I eventually let these two roses go as I was not willing to spray and fertilize these finicky hybrid teas, like my Nana did, to keep them looking “perfect”.
Several years ago I found organic roses for sale on the internet and I bought lavender roses for Valentine’s Day. Their fragrance took me back to the beginning of my passion for plants and gardens. And this is appropriate: lavender roses symbolize enchantment and love at first sight.
Teresa’s Pick: Daffodils
In the depth of winter’s cold and snow, I dream of daffodils. While I may not go as far as dancing with daffodils like poet William Wordsworth, I do get a little scissor-happy cutting lots of bouquets to bring indoors or share with friends. It’s no wonder the American Cancer Society adopted these cheery yellow blooms as the “flowers of hope” for the annual Daffodil Cancer Awareness Days. I first planted daffodils 20 years ago when we moved to the country. Since then I’ve planted dozens more especially after learning they were undesirable to hungry deer and immune to Ohio’s late spring snows and frosts.
Writing assignments about daffodil collectors – including Michael Leach — gave me further inspiration to plant more. I’m grateful these collectors shared valuable growing tips and pass along a few here: 1) plant them in the fall in clusters of six to eight, 2) avoid planting them in wet or irrigated places, 3) salvage flopping double daffodils by cutting short bundles and placing them in canning jars for support, 4) camouflage daffodils’ fading foliage by planting them near hostas or daylilies and 5) underplant taller daffodils with muscari.
Pick up a pot or bundle of daffodils at your favorite florist or even grocery store and share some hope with your Valentine for spring days ahead.