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Posts Tagged ‘Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping’

I have another speaking engagement to announce—one that I meant to post about a couple of weeks ago. I hope some of you can join me on Saturday, September 23 at Chesapeake College. I am one of the speakers at a seminar titled Sustainable Landscaping on the Eastern Shore. The program was organized by the University of Maryland Extension Master Gardener program.

The seminar will be held at the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center, Chesapeake College Wye Mills Campus, 1000 College Circle Drive, Wye Mills, MD 21679.  The program starts at 9:00 a.m. with registration and light refreshments. I am speaking at 9:30 a.m., and my topic is Building Diversity in the Garden.

Sylvan Kaufrman is speaking at 11:00 a.m. on Plant More than just a Pretty Face: Native Alternatives to Invasive Ornamental Plants. Christina Pax speaks at 1:00 p.m. on Designing with Native Plants.

There is time during the day for book sales and signings. Lunch is on your own. After Chrisina Pax  speaks, there is an optional field walk at a nearby private garden (limited to 30 people).

Cost for the seminar is $25.00. You can register at Sustainable Landscaping on the Eastern Shore. See that link for a full description of the program. You can also register on Saturday morning until 10:00 a.m.: Bring a credit card, a $25.00 check written to University of Maryland, or $25.00 in cash on the day of the event.

I hope to see some of you there! It promises to be a great day.

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I have a quick Speaking Engagement notice to post before I go outside to get a few things planted in the garden!

I will be speaking at the Oxford Community Center, 200 Oxford Road, Oxford, Maryland, this Thursday, September 7 at 2:00 p.m.  The topic is a favorite of mine, “Embracing Diversity with Native and Non Native Plants.” I will have books to sell and am happy to sign them.

The talk is open to the public and is sponsored by the Dorchester County Garden Club and the Oxford Garden Club. Hope to see you there!Spigelia-marilandica,-Mom's

Spigelia marilandica, Indian Pink

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I made my annual trip to Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, Delaware, recently. Happily, it was on one of those glorious days we have had this summer when the humidity was low and the temperatures were summery, but not too hot. If you haven’t been to Mt. Cuba before, or if you haven’t made the trek in a few years, I hope this post will serve as some inspiration.

Mt.-Cuba-Ponds

No visit is complete without a trek down to see what is in bloom around the ponds. Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) was in full flower during my visit the second week of August. At the other end of the pond, native lilies, pitcher plants, and golden club (Orontium aquaticum) crowded along the edge of the water.

Mt.-Cuba-Carex-plantaginea

As I am strolling through the garden, I always use my camera to record ideas for new ways to use favorite plants as well as new combinations. Mt. Cuba is one of the only places you will be able to see  native plants used in conventional plantings, such as beds and borders. This ground cover planting features seersucker sedge (Carex pantaginea).

Mt.-Cuba-Coreopsis-tripteris-'Gold-Standard',-Passiflora-lutea,-Echniacea-'Pica-Bella'

A camera is also invaluable for recording plant combinations such as the one above: tall coreopsis (Coreopsis tripteris ‘Gold Standard’) with yellow passionflower (Passiflora lutea), and purple coneflower (Echniacea ‘Pica Bella’).

 

Mt.-Cuba-Passiflora-lutea-3

Yellow passionflower has tiny flowers that are about 1 inch across. Despite their small size, they are really pretty set against the handsome foliage and are produced in abundance.

Mt.-Cuba,-Chrysoogonum--virginianum-var.-virginianum-'Allen-Bush',-right,-C

Hands down, my favorite part of Mt. Cuba is the trial garden. Whether I am looking for new ideas of plants to try or new sites to try old favorites, being able to compare performance is invaluable.  A visit to a public garden is especially useful when your own garden is looking tired or lacking in color, because you will find lots of ideas for flowers or great foliage that can perk up your own plantings. This is  especially true of Mt. Cuba, because you can compare the performance of cultivated forms of various native plants, plus evaluate native plants in cultivation that you may not have seen before.

The shot above shows two cultivars of green-and-gold, also called golden star (Chrysogonum virginianum). The cultivar ‘Allen Bush’, is on the right, and ‘Norman Singer’s Form’ is on the left. During my visit in August, ‘Allen Bush’, the better known form, was still blooming, but ‘Norman Singer’s Form’, also has a lot to offer because of its richer green leaves and thicker foliage.

Mt-Cuba,-Phlox-paniculata-'Shortwood'

This is the last year of Mt. Cuba’s phlox trial, and quite a few of the cultivars in the trial have given up the ghost. ‘Shortwood’ garden phlox (Phlox paniculata ‘Shortwood’) still looked wonderful and appears to be one of the winners. (Mt. Cuba will publish the results of the trial once it has been completed.) ‘Jeana’ was another standout. In years to come, the trial winners inevitably find their way into borders and other plantings throughout the garden.

Mt.-Cuba-Helenium-'Flammendes-Katchen'

This is the first year of the garden’s three-year Helenium trial. Heleniums have unfortunately been saddled with the common name sneezeweed, a name  derived from the fact that the disk florets were once dried and used as snuff. Whether you think of them as heleniums or sneezeweeds, they are beautiful fall-blooming natives. After just one walk through the rows, I had already noted down a couple of plants I want to try in my own garden.  Helenium ‘Flammendes Katchen’ is one of them.

Heleniums need full sun and average to moist soil. Too much fertilizer, or soil that is too rich, leads to stems that flop if they are not staked. Cut plants back in mid June to encourage branching, more flowers, and shorter, more upright stems.

 

Mt.-Ciuba-Helenum-'Salsa'

Some dwarf hybrids are also included in the trial. So far, ‘Salsa’ is my favorite!

As always, so many plants, so little time!

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I will be speaking to the Cape St Claire Garden Club, Tuesday, June 6th at 7:00 p.m., at Cape St Claire Clubhouse, 1223 River Bay Road, Annapolis, MD, 21409. The public is invited, and I hope some  Eastern Shore Gardener readers can join us!

My topic for the evening is Greener Gardens: One Step at a Time. I’ll be discussing options for creating landscapes that are more sustainable. Ideas range from simple steps to ambitious projects any gardener or homeowner can undertake. The goal is beautiful gardens and landscapes that are attractive and healthy for humans, wildlife, pets, and the environment as a whole. My focus is on  the Chesapeake Bay and all its tributaries.

Admission is free. I will have copies of my books, Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping and How to Prune Trees & Shrubs for sale, which I will happily sign after the talk.

I am looking forward to it, and I hope to see some of you there!

Hosta-Hydrangea-2017

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I will be speaking to a small group in Snow Hill, Maryland,  on Saturday, April 8 at 10:00 a.m. I hope some Eastern Shore Gardener readers can join us! The talk is hosted by the Lower Shore Land Trust, 100 River Street, Snow Hill. There are still seats available. I will be speaking about Building Diversity in the Garden.

Cost is $15 (money raised supports the land trust!). You can also pay $40 for registration plus a copy of my book, Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping, which I will happily sign after the talk. Reservations are required, and you can Register online today or RSVP at 443-234-5587. Limited seating!

I am looking forward to it, and I hope to see some of you there!

Aesculus-pavia-blog1

Scarlet buckeye (Aesculus pavia)

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A couple of days ago I was returning from running errands, and spotted a family of turkeys in our yard. They were strolling through a group of trees along the driveway that I hope one day will resemble a woods. As they slipped into the tangle of vegetation, it reminded me how much progress I’ve made over the years replacing lwangrass with more wildlife-friendly plantings. This woodsy area is still far from beautiful, but it does now host a variety of native trees and shrubs that I have planted over the years. In the interest of full disclosure, it is also the site of one of my major wineberry battles earlier this summer.

I keep a list of birds I have spotted on the property, and this isn’t the first time I have seen turkeys here. (In addition to being a gardener, I am a birder, so I am usually always looking.) Still, it has been fun to follow this family all summer and plan what else I can add to the landscape that will make it friendlier to an even wider variety of creatures.

Yellow-billed-Cukoo

Above: Yellow-Billed Cuckoo, one of the many species spotted at Hackberry Point.

Come September, I will certainly add more natives for birds and other wildlife, and I hope many other Eastern Shore Gardeners will do the same. To help get you planning and planting, I wanted to share a link to 10 Tips for Attracting Birds to Your Landscape, a blog post I wrote for the University of North Carolina Press in support of Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping earlier this year. I hope you enjoy it!

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I was honored to be asked to do a video interview about Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping, for The Chestertown Spy. Here it is for readers who don’t get the Spy. Below, I’ve added a photo that illustrates one my other overwhelming interests!

Barbara-and-Dogs

Above: Front row: Bienn and Bonnie. Back row: Bing, Casey, Me, and puppy Charlie.

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