Visiting Seed Savers Exchange

Visiting Seed Savers Exchange

On a perfect summer day last week, Mike and I made the trip to Decorah, Iowa to visit the Seed Savers Exchange. I’ve heard about Seed Savers Exchange for many years, but since our trips to Iowa were often very short, we just didn’t have time to include this in our itinerary. Not so now!   Seed Savers Exchange Mission: We conserve and promote America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.       The very charming Lillian Goldman Visitors Center was our first stop. I probably should have taken a photo of the inside of this building, with walls filled with their seed offerings and various gardening books and tools, it was a little bit of heaven!… Read Full Post
Orchids at Franklin Park Conservatory

Orchids at Franklin Park Conservatory

A trip to Ohio in January?  Why not? A couple of weeks ago now I flew to Columbus to speak at the Midwest Green Industry Xperience, MGIX, and had just enough time to sneak away from the convention center to see Orchids at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden. The modern facade on the front is strategically combined with the very formal Palm House, build in 1895. The design of this grand Victorian-style glass greenhouse was influenced by the success of Chicago’s World Fair and Colombian Exposition in 1893. The high roofline of the Palm House let the tall palms grow, and even houses this glowing Chihuly glass sculpture. I arrived late in the afternoon and had just enough time to hustle my way through each of the greenhouses.… Read Full Post
Visiting Duke Gardens in Fall

Visiting Duke Gardens in Fall

  Each year we make our annual pilgrimage north for the holidays. While I love to visit public gardens anywhere we visit, late fall doesn’t always tend to be the best time. Unless you are visiting Duke Gardens in fall. Sarah P. Duke Gardens is situated in the heart of the Duke campus. The stunning topography, stone work, plant combinations and quality of horticulture make this a must visit any time of year. But fall?  Oh yes, visiting Duke Gardens in fall is a very special treat.   Our visit in late November was one of the last opportunities to take your dog through the gardens. As of January 1 the policy allowing dogs has been changed, but none the less it was great for us to get out and stretch our legs after a long car ride.… Read Full Post
Visiting Classic Caladiums

Visiting Classic Caladiums

Have you seen photos of Dutch bulb fields and been amazed at their beauty?  Florida’s very own version of that spectacular scene can be found in the caladium fields at Classic Caladiums. Most of the world’s caladiums are produced in Florida among a handful of growers. Unique to Classic Caladiums is the breeding program that produces new and exciting varieties of caladiums.  The photo below shows a test field at Classic Caladiums, featuring thousands of crosses with varying colors, habits, and vigor. Among the thousands of beautiful plants seen here, only a handful will pass the rigorous testing to make it to the market. Probably the most exciting part of the this visit is seeing these test plots and knowing the future of caladiums is going to feature such beautiful plants.… Read Full Post
Private Garden of Arthur Blank, Home Depot co-Founder

Private Garden of Arthur Blank, Home Depot co-Founder

When you visit the private garden of Arthur Blank, Home Depot co-Founder, high expectations are set. Upon visiting there were the expected flower beds and fountain, but the restraint and design were impressive. A quick scramble around the property left me oohing and ahhing. The three things that stood out to memory included the beautiful trees, the greenhouse and the ponds. The Greenhouse Oh this greenhouse. I want it. Is there any other way of stating this?  The greenhouse was designed and manufactured by Hartley Botanic Ltd.   The quality is unmistakably well done. I truly think I could live in here!  The  stone base gives the structure a very permanent feel from the outside, and inside it creates a workable surface that also feels quite homey.… Read Full Post
Chihuly at Atlanta Botanical Garden

Chihuly at Atlanta Botanical Garden

I’ve been to see this garden several times, but seeing Chihuly at Atlanta Botanical Garden will remain an awe inspiring experience for a long time. I couldn’t speak. I think I probably would have cried if I had given myself time. I eagerly ran/walk from piece to piece and each time I turned around the light would hit the glass another way and I would be struck by the beauty. Again and again. The hardest part about this post is trying to put into words a feeling that words cannot express. I cannot say this enough: You must make it a priority to go see Chihuly at Atlanta Botanical Garden. I had the privilege of visiting during the Garden Writer’s annual meeting and the early morning light was spectacular.… Read Full Post
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