Posts Tagged ‘Eastern Shore Gardener’

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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Primarily prized for their handsome foliage, heucheras or alumroots (Heuchera spp.) occupy a well-earned spot on my list of native perennials for shade. About 55 species belong to the genus, most from the western United states. Two are native to the Chesapeake Bay region: American alumroot (H. americana) and hairy alumroot (H. villosa). These two species, together with West Coast native crevice alumroot (H. micrantha), have been hybridized extensively to bring us a range of handsome plants suitable for shade gardens.

The Mount Cuba Center in Hockessin, Delaware, recently published the results of their three-year evaluation of heuchera hybrids.  Since I only have one of their top-ten hybrids in my garden, I have some planting to do!  Luckily, I visited the trial over the past few years and took photos of a couple of the top-ten plants. For a complete report on the trial, including a list of all ten top-scoring heucheras, see Mt. Cuba Center heuchera.


Above: Heuchera ‘Southern Comfort’ was among the top-rated heucheras and one of my favorites among the trial plants. In addition to the foliage color, I especially loved the size: Plants are about 14 inches tall and spread to about 3 feet.


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Greetings Eastern Shore Gardeners! Just a quick note to let everyone know I’ve added a few more dates to the Calendar of Events. The first Farm Dinner on the Shore is scheduled for Priapi Gardens on April 14. In case you’re worried about April showers, you will be dining in the greenhouse!


Above: Hellebores (Helleborus x hybridus) at Hackberry Point


Also added are the 2012 Maryland House and Garden tour dates. Scroll down the calendar to look for them, or search for Baltimore City, St. Mary’s County, Talbot County, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County. From the looks of the descriptions on the website, organizers in Talbot County and Anne Arundel County have put together great tours for gardeners. Other tours seem more architecturally oriented.

There is so much going on this spring! Have a great time getting inspired!

As always, please let me know of any errors you spot or links that don’t work!

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I recently spent three days visiting gardens in Richmond, Virginia, while on a tour with the Annapolis Horticulture Society. I adore spending time wandering through gardens I haven’t seen before, and this trip proved to be perfect. The weather was gorgeous, the tour was impeccably well-planned, and the gardens were beautiful and varied. Plus the bus was filled with fun and interesting fellow plant nuts. Needless to say, we all had a great time.


Above: All the gardens featured mature clumps of perennials. Large clumps or drifts are especially eye-catching and help anchor beds and borders. For this use, great cultivars are especially worth the investment. This is hosta ‘Risky Business’.

For me, visiting mature, well-cared for gardens has a down side, though. I quickly become overwhelmed at the thought of my garden-in-progress waiting for me at home. Yes I have some sections that look great, but none of these Richmond gardens have the great swaths of weeds that I’m still planning to tackle or the undeveloped edges that still need my attention. I found myself thinking, “There’s no way my garden will ever be as…” You fill in the blank—gorgeous, lush, colorful, compelling, well-designed, well-maintained. I could go on.


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Although we haven’t had a hard frost yet, there’s finally enough of a nip in the air to signal the end of the growing season. And, while my coleus aren’t dead yet, they’ve certainly ceased being ornamental. I have to say, I’m looking forward to having a bit of time to reflect on last year’s garden and plan the next. What better time to start a blog?


ABOVE: A single pink camellia (Camellia sasanqua) is one of the last plants to finish blooming here at Hackberry Point. I usually still have flowers right through Thanksgiving.


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