Tendrils from Speaking of Gardening 2017

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In August I presented with several other outstanding horticulturists at the Speaking of Gardening Symposium in Asheville, NC.  It was a terrific educational event to attend in the mountains, jam-packed with great ideas and awesome plants.  Below I offer three "tendrils", paraphrased nuggets of knowledge or interesting thoughts that you can really wrap your mind around from each speaker.  

 

THOMAS RAINER | PLANTING IN A POST WILD WORLD

  1. Planting design in the public sector has to be legible at 45 miles an hour.
  2. With native plants there is so much focus on where they are from but not enough on how to cultivate them.  When people plant things and then see them fail, they get depressed. They blame native plants.
  3. Use tools like plants shape and plant sociability to determine how to combine plants together.  For example, everything about Asclepias tuberosa is an adaptation to where it grows and what it grows with. Deep roots grow through grass roots, and the leaves are able to emerge through shady areas in a prairie.  

ROY DIBLIK | BEYOND THE USUAL: PLANTING THE LURIE GARDEN WITH PIET OUDOLF

  1. When planting the Lurie Garden, I wasn’t accurate.  I stepped it off.  It took a day and a half to do the site. It's not a building; you don’t have to be super accurate.
  2. Teachers come in to help maintain the plantings with students.
  3. They selectively prune the Salvia river at the Lurie Garden.  If you cut Salvia 'May Night' back, it may never bloom again that year.  'Wesuwe' is the fastest rebloomer. If you cut it back, it reblooms in three weeks.

DAN LONG | GROW UP! USING VINES AND CLIMBERS

  1. Clematis need something slender to hang onto.  For other climbers don’t put anchors right up against the wall because the wrappers can't get through that narrow space. Also, being that close to the wall results in low air circulation.
  2. Campsis likes to bloom on horizontal stems or those that droop.
  3. Tropical Aristolochia species can kill pipe vine swallowtail larvae.

PATRICK MCMILLAN | BLURRING THE LINES BETWEEN NATURE AND CULTURE AT THE SOUTH CAROLINA BOTANICAL GARDEN

  1. Every decision we make at the South Carolina Botanic Garden we ask is this good for life.
  2. BOTANICA CAROLINIANA features letters from early explorers like Mark Catesby that have first hand accounts of South Carolina that were written to Britain.  These perspectives help us understand what South Carolina looked like back many years ago and in some cases helps us find where plants were and still are today.
  3. We filmed Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and captured the fastest video footage of them ever. These birds lift themselves because they flap their wings in a figure-eight motion, which generates lift on both the forward and reverse flap.  And, as you can see at the 1:50 mark, they can fly backwards and upside down!

THOMAS RAINER | THE GARDEN OF THE FUTURE: REIMAGINING THE AMERICAN YARD

  1. Turn wall-to-wall carpeting of grass into turf rugs.  The lawn can make the planting look better. It can be a frame to the wilder areas.  Use lawns like a clearing in a meadow.  
  2. Landscape plugs are best for designed plant communities. Most plugs are grown as liners and sold to pot up; thus, liners can dry out fast in the ground.  Deep landscape plugs are longer and deeper.  Make sure that the plugs have good roots.  They can be soaked in buckets or trays before planting. 
  3. Many perennials maintain green rosettes or basal foliage during winter so that winter weeds like chickweed can't grow.

LARRY MELLICHAMP | THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF FERNS

  1. Sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis) gets it's name because it is sensitive to freeezing and can burn from cold temperatures.
  2. Ferns can be divided when actively growing.  SUPER IMPORTANT (His emphasis).  Do not disturb the roots and cut off leaves at same time.  You can do either/or but not both.  Broken fronds can still function well.
  3. Lycopodium spores are pyrotechnic!  Light them, and they explode!  The spores were used to make fireworks. 

ROY DIBLIK | THE KNOW MAINTENANCE PERENNIAL GARDEN

  1. First year, install the matrix, and then you keep plugging things in to enhance it over time.
  2. You can wait and plant aggressive plants like Solidago after five years to reduce their competitiveness.
  3. I spray the grass with glyphosate, and then I use a two cycle engine and auger to install the plants into the ground.