Plant Lust (Part 1)

Professional Conferences and Trade Shows = Plants, People and Gardens

By Debra Knapke
One of the joys of my profession is being surrounded by plants. Discovery of “new” plants is a main occupation at the professional meetings and tradeshows that I attend throughout the year. These meetings are filled with anticipation, excitement, revelation, and, for lack of a better word: plant lust.
Two recent conferences re-affirmed my third choice of career in horticulture. In July, Columbus, Ohio hosts Cultivate. This four-day event, organized by AmericanHort, is the largest Horticulture-Greenhouse-Landscape Trade Show and Educational Short Course in the United States. It offers an international assemblage of companies and an amazing array of plants and products. I take lots of pictures and notes to remind myself of what I want to use in my courses and design work, and what must be tried this year or next.
Below is a very small sample (out of 89 images) of the variety of what I saw in June.
Strange Plants for Special Situations;
 Imagine rows and rows of tables holding new plants for 2016. There is something for everyone! Many were snapping pictures of the above spiny specimen. Dyckias (Dyckia brevifolia) look like they are either from outer space or from the deep ocean. They require lean and dry soils and will “melt” during an extended wet spell.  Last year and this year my plants had to return to the greenhouse during our rainy spells.
Celosia Dracula Cultivate 7-11-16 crop
All I could think was –The bold puckered leaves and deep maroon inflorescences of Dracula celosia are just begging to be combined with a fine to medium silver foliaged plant. Not usually an admirer of celosia, I realized that I was feeling a bit of plant lust for this audacious annual. Dracula will be in one of my containers next year; possibly with dusty miller or one of the silvery helichrysums (Helichysum petiolare).
A Beautiful Blender
Begoniz Mistral Yellow Cultivate 7-11-16
Soft yellow flowers combined with dark green to maroon foliage placed in part to medium shade is like a breath of cool air similar to the winter wind that this plant was named for: Mistral Yellow begonia. I am currently growing the orange selection in my garden; next year I will grow yellow.
Plants in Combination

Helianthus Vincent's Choice Cultivate 7-11-16 cropSunflowers (Helianthus Vincent Choice) in combination with lisianthus (Eustoma grandifloruim ‘Black Pearl’ and ‘Rosanne’) make a luscious combination in a vase. Plant lust hit again…


Talented designers compete in several categories. One category is: here is your plant, create an arrangement around it for a center piece, a mantlepiece or a bridal bouquet. The plant this year was one of the tender hen and chicks (Echeveria hybrid). This is not your grandmother’s bridal bouquet.
succulents framed Cultivate 7-11-16Carrying on our current love affair with succulents in the home and garden, many framed displays of succulents were scattered around the trade show. This “picture” was one of three set up along one of the primary cross-paths in the show. I was trying to think where a four by four foot display would fit in my living room.
succulents 3 frames Cultivate 7-11-16The other two easels were mixes of succulents, grasses and ferns. Note the potted plants close to the center of the picture. These turmeric plants (Curcuma hybrid) were selected for their gorgeous flowers. I grew turmeric years ago thinking that I would harvest and dry the rhizome for use in the kitchen. The flowers were beautiful, but not as free-flowering as the new hybrids. Note to self: another plant that will be grown next season.

Proven Winners sets up booths that showed how their plants could be used on decks and porches. While you might not want as many plants in the above two “idea rooms”, it definitely makes you think of fall display possibilities; and then, there is next year…

perfect garden Hieft Seed Cultivate 7-11-16
Lastly, here is the perfect garden: buy everything in bloom, arrange, plant, add water, and sit back and enjoy with a glass of wine in hand.
Stay tuned for Part 2.

Cincinnati Blooms!

A million blossoms transform Cincinnati into a floral capital this weekend

By Michael Leach

The Cincinnati Flower Show’s orchids, bird of paradise, jasmine, gardenia, zinnias and hundreds of other types of flowers delight  visitors through Sunday (April 17) in park along the Ohio River downtown. IMG_9069

Not far from there, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden amazes visitors with the splendor of 107,000 tulips in full bloom. Under the brilliant sun, the satiny blossoms glow like stained-glass flowers.IMG_9173

Blogmate Teresa Woodard,  Diana Lockwood, The Columbus Dispatch garden writer and a Garden Writers Association newbie, and I were fortunate to attend a tour of both venues Wednesday with other GWA members. Part of the fun at the show was having Kevin O’Dell, of Kendrick & O’Dell Landscaping, as tour director. He’s one of the show’s organizers and long-time driving force.

At the zoo, Scott Beuerlein and Stephen Foltz pointed out highlights.

Our only regret? Lack of time. We never got to two other gardener must-sees, Spring Grove Cemetery and Krohn Conservatory. Maybe next year.

Knapke at CENTS

KnapkeHeartland Gardening blogger Debra Knapke will be speaking next week at the CENTS (Central Environmental Nursery and Tradeshow),Logo_Cents

 

the Midwest’s largest green industry convention hosted by the Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Jan. 11-13.  She will present “The Garden Aesthetic” on Tuesday and “Edible Native Plants” on Wednesday.  She also will present “Garden Design Informed by Ecology & Place” at the pre-conference event — the P.L.A.N.T. Seminar hosted by the Perennial Plant Association and the Ohio State Master Gardener Volunteers. PLANT seminar

 

As a member of ONLA’s education committee, Debra says this year’s speaker line-up is exceptional thanks to the work of Lisa Larson, ONLA’s education director.  Speakers include book author Kerry Mendez, economist Charlie Hall, master plantsman Kelly Norris, Jeni Britton Bauer — founder of Jeni’s Ice Cream, Bill Hendricks of Klyn Nursery, Susan Weber of Integrity Sustainable Planning & Design, and a series of presentations from horticulturists from the country’s top public gardens.

CENTS (Central Environmental Nursery and Tradeshow) is an annual convention hosted by the  (ONLA). ONLA is a high-energy association where landscape, nursery, greenhouse, arbor, garden center, turf and pest management professionals can meet, learn, network, buy and sell the goods and services vital to their success.

Public Garden Plant Sales

Bring on the Bonanza of Plant Sale Treasures

By Teresa Woodard

The plant-buying frenzy is about to begin, and there’s no better place for one-of-a-kind plants and great gardening advice than a public garden’s plant sale.  Besides, the sales generate significant income for botanic gardens, arboreta and plant societies.

There’s a month-long series of sales throughout the Midwest.  Many feature auctions, pre-sale party nights, workshops and book signings.  To get first dibs on plants, check out the pre-sale events typically offered to members. No doubt, the membership privilege is well worth the $25-$50 annual dues.

Also, come with questions.  Many of the volunteers have first-hand experience growing the plants for sale.  So, don’t be afraid to ask for their favorite tomato plant, native shade tree or miniature varieties.  The only danger is you may end up with a trunk full of wonderful plants.

Here are a few favorites:

Garden Happenings: Plant Sales

By Teresa Woodard

The plant-buying frenzy is about to begin, and there’s no better place for one-of-a-kind plants and great gardening advice than a public garden’s plant sale.  Besides, the sales generate significant income for botanic gardens, arboreta and plant societies.

There’s a month-long series of sales throughout the Midwest.  Many feature auctions, pre-sale party nights, workshops and book signings.  To get first dibs on plants, check out the pre-sale events typically offered to members. No doubt, the membership privilege is well worth the $25-$50 annual dues.

Also, come with questions.  Many of the volunteers have first-hand experience growing the plants for sale.  So, don’t be afraid to ask for their favorite tomato plant, native shade tree or miniature varieties.  The only danger is you may end up with a trunk full of wonderful plants.

Aullwood CGWhile there are many places to shop, this year, we’re highlighting the Native Plant Sale at Aullwood Audobon Center in Dayton, Ohio. I loved revisiting the late conservationist Marie Aull’s woodland gardens, while doing a story for the recent issue of Country Gardens magazine.

At Aullwood’s natives sale, you’ll find 100 different species — from woodland wildflowers like celandine poppies to prairie favorites like compass plant and milkweeds to wetland stars like cardinal flower.  They’ll also have ornamental grasses like little bluestem and native trees and shrubs such as flowering dogwood, sumac and spicebush. To save time, submit a pre-order form by April 7, and orders will be ready for pick up on April 11 or 12. If you pick up on April 11, you also have shopping privileges at the plant rescue sale featuring trilliums, bloodroots, Virginia bluebells and more. After shopping, be sure to see the spring ephemerals starting to bloom at Aullwood Gardens.

Other places to shop include:

 

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Garden Happenings: Farm Science Review (Sept. 17-19)

 

By Teresa Woodard

Gardeners have long enjoyed a close relationship with the farming community, so it’s no surprise to find many gardeners at the upcoming Farm Science Review in Madison County, Ohio, September 17-19.
One of the largest farm shows in the country, the 51st Farm Science Review expects to draw more than 140,000 attendees to its 80-acre exhibition area featuring 600 commercial exhibitors, including farming-favorites like John Deere, and educational programs from ag school powerhouses like The Ohio State University and Purdue University.
Check out these highlights:

  • Gwynne Conservation Area – This 67-acre demonstration and education area features a natural stream, wetland, ponds, windbreak plantings, crop tree plantings, wildlife food plots, soil pit, riparian forests, dry hydrant and much more. Step inside the cabin for one of the workshops on growing giant pumpkins, controlling invasives, creating bluebird habitats or landscaping for wildlife.
  • Utzinger Garden – This display garden is maintained by the Master Gardeners of Clark County’s extension office – home to the first country’s first 4-H club. Stop by the gazebo for talks on microgreens, beekeeping, vegetable gardening and more.
  • Farm fare – Come hungry to enjoy the food vendors along Friday Avenue. Favorites include bean soup from the local Kiwanis club, milkshakes from Buckeye Dairy Club, ribeyes from Ohio Cattlewomen’s Association, plus pulled pork, sausage breakfast sandwiches and thick-cut pork chops.

Garden Happenings: Plant Sales

By Teresa Woodard

The plant-buying frenzy is about to begin, and there’s no better place for one-of-a-kind plants and great gardening advice than a public garden’s plant sale.  Besides, the sales generate significant income for botanic gardens, arboreta and plant societies.  At Ohio State University’s Chadwick Arboretum, for instance, a three-day event staffed by 180 volunteers pulls in more than $40,000.

Like Chadwick’s sale, many sales also feature auctions, pre-sale party nights, workshops and book signings.  To get first dibs on plants, check out the pre-sale events typically offered to members. No doubt, the membership privilege is well worth the $25-$50 annual dues.

Also, come with questions.  Many of the volunteers have first-hand experience growing the plants for sale.  So, don’t be afraid to ask for their favorite tomato plant, native shade tree or miniature varieties.  The only danger is you may end up with a trunk full of wonderful plants.

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Garden Happenings: Home and Garden Shows

Need an early dose of spring?

st. garden showBy Teresa Wooodard

Are you out looking for signs of spring?  Perhaps spring bulbs poking through the earth, fuzzy catkins on pussywillow branches or spidery-like blooms on witch hazel shrubs?  Well, step inside a Midwestern expo center’s home and garden show where you’ll find blooming gardens filled with a bounty of ideas for the upcoming growing season. The St. Louis Builders Home & Garden show kicks off the season with its 35th annual show and its returning water-animated “Living Fountain” that transforms into a female statue. The Central Ohio Home & Garden show will spotlight outdoor living with 10 themed gardens.  And, the three of us will be discuss “Midwest Gardening Trends” at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 3.  At the Chicagoland Flower and Garden Show, look for Pop Art-styled floral designs, artful landscapes and a horticulture photo display set among graffiti murals at this year’s “Art of Gardening” event.  Check out these links for more info:

Garden Happenings: Sustainability Workshops

Gardening Happenings:  Sustainability Workshops

Gardeners are hungry for more information on sustainability.  According to the Garden Writers of America Summer Trends 2012 survey, 79 percent of respondents say they need more information on the topic.  Well, lucky for Midwestern gardeners, here are two upcoming workshops.

  • Ohio Sustainable Landscape Symposium (Sept. 15): Putting principles of eco-friendly, sustainable gardening into practice is the thrust of the Ohio Sustainable Landscape Symposium that includes a sale of books and native plants Sept. 15 at Dawes Arboretum near Newark. Hosted by Dawes and Licking County Master Gardeners, the symposium offers nationally known speakers, such as Prof. Allan Armitage of the University of Georgia, and other experts covering a range of topics from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is $50 through Sept. 1, $60 after Sept. 1. The fee includes lunch and garden tour. Armitage is to speak on Native Plants for North American Garden. Other speakers and topics include: David Brandenburg — Wild Collecting in the 21st Century;  Sandy Frey and Susan Weber — Ten Great Strategies for a Beautiful, Sustainable Back Yard; Don Humphrey — Gardening with Nature; Pablo Jourdan — Genes in the Bank: Investment Opportunities with Our Native Herbaceous Plants; Richard Larson — The Splendid Selectivity of Nature.
  • St. Louis Green Homes Great Health Festival (Sept. 29) — The 11th annual Green Homes and Great Health Festival returns to the grounds of the Missouri Botanical Garden on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The all-ages festival showcases options for sustainable living combined with positive ways to maintain the health of people and the planet. The event is included with regular Garden admission. Bring your home improvement ideas and talk with over 100 green product and service exhibitors. Enjoy local foods and live music, and shopping for handmade crafts in the Green Marketplace. Get a free flu shot and talk with experts about your health questions. Kids will enjoy solar car races, puppet shows, and more! Help paint a Metro bus and explore the alternative vehicles on display. Learn from expert presentations and demos about the many ways that plants, air, water, soil and energy sustain our homes, our health and our living Earth.

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Garden Happenings: Garden Tours

German Village Haus and Garten Tour

Here’s a quick way to steal gardening ideas

By Teresa Woodard

This summer, garden gates across the Midwest will open to welcome guests for tours.  In search of inspiration, I attend several tours and walk away with a list of ideas and renewed motivation to spruce up my own garden.  Here are several don’t-miss tours.

What’s your favorite garden tour?

Garden Topics

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