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Flowers and More Flowers


Kerry Mendez and me

What a weekend. While I am waiting for the snow to melt I had a glorious weekend thinking about – and looking at flowers!

On Saturday I got to meet Kerry Mendez, the spirited, humorous and knowledgeable keynote speaker at the Master Gardener’s Spring Symposium on Saturday. She engaged the audience in lively conversation and talked about how to have a successful flower garden- choose the right plant for the right site – and gave great design tips.  Fortunately, if you can’t attend any of her talks you can get her excellent and useful book The Ultimate Flower Gardener’s Top Ten Lists.

Do you have dry shade, want unusual perennials, need annuals? Kerry has lists for you that will give you quickly accessible information and suggestions.

That was on Saturday. On Sunday I attended the first workshop given by the three charming and skilled gardeners,  Jeff Farrell, Lisa Newman, and Gloria Pacosa who formed Trillium Workshops just a month ago.

Gloria Pacosa at work

There was information about planting and maintaining a separate cutting garden,  including many annuals that bloom all summer, so  that you don’t ruin the effect of your borders and gardens when you want to bring  flowers into the house.  I also learned a lot about arranging flowers – not my forte – but Gloria Pacosa is a master. I learned that the best time to pick flowers is early in the evening when flowers have gained a day’s worth of sun and energy, that they should be conditioned by standing in clean deep water in clean containers overnight, and that I need to soak my floral foam until it is really saturated. Of course, I learned A Lot  more, and you’ll be hearing more of that over time.

Jeff told me that Horticulture magazine is publishing a follow-up article about Elsa Bakalar’s Heath gardens this spring. I wrote  the original article for Horticulture, published in 1987, in which Elsa expounded on her theories about color in the garden.  The follow up article includes interviews with Jeff who began working with Elsa on her garden over 20 years ago, and has continued maintaining it with the new owner, the artist Scott Prior and his wife. The article will include many photographs of the garden taken last summer. Those who would like to visit the garden again, or for the first time, can join one (or all) of the three Trillum tours of Elsa’s garden scheduled for June 20, July 18, and September 19.  For more information about registration logon to the Trillium blog.

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