in 2019 the Perennial Plant Association’s annual symposium is held in Chicago, a city I have longed to explore for its incredible horticulture. This post is part of a series where I share the highlights of the trip and is part 1 of 4 on our first day of tours.
Our pre-conference tour started with a visit to Intrinisic Perennial Gardens. Brent Horvath, the face and energy of Intrinsic, gave us a great tour of the nursery. He is an incredible plant breeder with an eye for selecting and breeding colorful forms of common plants. I mean, who thought we would ever have red and purple giant bluestems?!
Brent told us that his nursery serves both to sell plants for retail at farmer’s markets and other events and to be a breeding ground for new plants.
Here’s a few photos with some nuggets of knowledge and inspiration along the way.
THE SUCCULENT THEATRE
Right off the bus, this incredible display of succulents caught my eye. They had been cleverly layered by running planks across stacked bulb crates. I loved seeing this arrangement becaue I’ve been looking for inspiration for how to display our potted collection at home and school. Also, theatres seem to be an “in” thing.
The Display Gardens
Brent has 10 gardens at Intrinsic Perennial Gardens where he is able to trial and display the results of his breeding projects and the plants he grows at his nursery.