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 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.

Garden Happenings: Art in Bloom

By Teresa Woodard

Celebrate the artistry of flowers as three Midwestern art museums host “Art in Bloom” exhibitions, this spring.  Top floral designers from each city will create stunning arrangements as they interpret select pieces in the museums’ collections.

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is known to have sprouted the idea in 1976, and museums around the United States and other countries have since adopted their own versions.  Many host a weekend full of luncheons, floral design workshops, garden tours, evening galas and gardening lectures.  One likely sellout will be the Minneapolis Institute of Arts’ lecture by Nancy Clark, former chief floral designer at the White House as she shares insights into the distinctive styles of six First Ladies and several behind-the-scenes anecdotes.

Check out the “Art in Bloom” nearest you:

  • Milwaukee Art Museum (March 29-April 1) – The four-day “Tribute to Art and Flowers” will feature guest appearances by celebrity floral designers and gardeners Zannah Crowe, Mark Dwyer, Melinda Myers, and René van Rems, and presentations on European High Style design, shade perennial selections, colorful gardens and easy methods for growing orchids.
  • Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio (April 19-22) – Staged around a Venice theme, highlights of the Italianesque weekend include a wine tasting, “Evening in Venice” gala, jazz brunch, garden day trip and several workshops.
  • Minneapolis Institute of Arts (April 28-May 1) – Join the Institute as it hosts its 28th “Sensing Spring” Art in Bloom with works of 150 floral designers, several lectures, a floral design demonstration, luncheons, family activities and an after-hours party.

Posted in Happenings


Garden Happenings: Spring Symposiums

By Teresa Woodard

It’s time to feed your gardening mind, and there are plenty of upcoming opportunities to learn.  Check out these public gardens’ spring symposiums for a preview of the season’s newest plants, vegetable gardening tips, design ideas and new strategies for pest control.  Also, call your local extension agency to ask about workshops hosted by local master gardeners or post your favorites here.

Posted in Happenings


Garden Happenings: Home & Garden Shows

Garden Showcase at Cleveland's Great Big Home & Garden Show

         By Teresa Woodard

Hold your breath. Make a wish. Count to three, and enter a world of pure imagination at an upcoming home and garden show.  Over the next eight weeks, Midwestern expo centers will be transformed into blooming gardens filled with a bounty of ideas for the upcoming growing season. Cleveland hosts the region’s first show featuring gardens designed around classic TV shows like “Cheers”, “Green Acres” and “Fantasty Island”. The Central Ohio Home & Garden show will celebrate Columbus’s bicentennial by showcasing the city’s landmarks in the exhibitors’ landscape designs.  At the Chicagoland Flower and Garden Show, plants will take center stage with a Hort Couture theme tying colors and textures of the fashion and plant worlds. The beloved Cincinnati Flower Show won’t resume in 2012; instead, the Cincinnati Horticultural Society is planning several smaller garden-inspired activities.  Check the speaker line-up for each show at the links below.

Garden Happenings: 2 Big Trade Shows


By Teresa Woodard

Gain a sneak peak at 2012’s newest plants and gardening trends at two of the horticulture industry’s upcoming trade shows – the Mid-Am Horticultural Trade Show at Chicago’s Navy Pier (Jan. 18-20) and the CENTS Show (Jan. 22-25) at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in central Ohio.  General admission one-day trade show passes are a steal at $35  for the Mid-Am and $15 for CENTS.

In addition, there are a number of extra courses offered with appeal to avid gardeners as well as horticulture pros.  In advance of the CENTS show, the Perennial Plant Association and Ohio State University Extension Master Gardeners will present the 16th Annual PLANT Seminar on Jan. 22.  For $75, attendees gain a full day of workshops on new perennials, ornamental grasses, landscape design and container gardening.

Garden Happenings: Orchid Show in St. Louis

By Teresa Woodard

Escape to a rainforest filled with hundreds of orchids –right here in the Midwest, not Panama or Colombia. The Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis will open its annual Orchid Show on January 28.

Step into a renowned collection of some 800 blooming orchids, including Cattleya, Laelia, Epidendrum, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum and other varieties. This year, the 5,000-square-foot Orthwein Hall will be transformed into an architecturally-inspired Chinese strolling garden with the 30 oversized, tasseled silk lanterns suspended overhead. Don’t miss the tour’s podcast in which you’ll learn tidbits like the orchid collection was once housed outside the city because of pollution and the conservatory once made $50,000 a year selling cut orchids to the floral trade.

Other Events:
Jan. 1-8 Pineapples & Pincushions – The Art & Science of Patterns in Nature at Matthaei Botanical Gardens, University of Michigan
Jan. 14 Treeswhispers Exhibition opens at Chicago Botanical Garden.
Jan. 14 Garden Dreams: A Saturday with the Portage County Master Gardener Volunteers
Amherst, WI
Jan. 18-20 Mid-Am Horticultural Trade Show, Chicago, Il
Jan. 22-25 OSU Nursery Short Course and P.L.A.N.T. Seminar, Columbus, OH
Feb. 4  Sustainability Symposium: Eat Your Yard, Cleveland Botanical Garden

Garden Topics

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