A 90-minute presentation to 50-some garden club members covered six garden scenarios comprising more than 70 perennials, shrubs and bulbs, kicking off the first DCG program of 2021. The Jan. 12 event was hosted by President Barbie Saraceno on Zoom; she reported that 26 people from the Cottage Gardeners Club accepted DGC’s invitation to the event.
The evening’s speaker was landscape designer Laura Bibler, whose firm, In the Garden, LLC, is based in West Newbury, Mass. Her “Plant This with That” lecture covered plant selection, design, and cultural requirements. The talk offered the audience a comprehensive and rich gardening lesson. Although focused on plant pairing, as her title suggested, Laura reminded her listeners of the multiple factors that determine a successful garden.
For example, she pointed out that since plants are typically purchased in bloom, it’s tempting to forget their appearance will change dramatically from the beginning to the end of the season. Knowing the different iterations of a plant helps to ensure pairings work well over several months.
Thanks to a handout distributed to attendees by Program Chair Sarah Bates, this spring gardeners will be able to plan their own full-sun to full-shade gardens and those in between using the suggested combinations. Some examples were goatsbeard and hosta, Russian sage and phlox, and red twig dogwood and boxwood.
The event was a hugely valuable lesson. Gardening fundamentals like sun exposure as the deal breaker and the rule of planting in odd numbers were interspersed with the West Newbury designer’s advice and observations. Use certain tall blue irises for their significant foliage rather than for their transient flowers. Cut back ‘Becky’ daisies three times for repeat blooming. Go to the public website for Van Berkum Nursery, Deerfield, NH, for excellent information. Laura said it has the best perennials but sells only on a wholesale basis.
A recording of the Zoom presentation is available at the DCG website in the ‘Member’ section through January 2021.
P.S. Additional notes from ‘Plant This With That’ Presenter Laura Bibler
The wholesale perennial nursery I spoke of is Van Berkum in Chester, New Hampshire. This link will bring you directly to the plant information page: http://www.vanberkumnursery.com/perennial-photos-catalog/. Another good source for information on trees and shrubs is Millican Nursery, also in New Hampshire. They sell only wholesale, but their website’s plant index is open to the public. This link will bring you to that page: http://www.millicannurseriesinc.com/plant-index.aspx. The bulb catalog website is https://www.johnscheepers.com/. Again, they have a wealth of information on their site. In addition to the two nurseries that I mentioned, Lake Street Nursery (in Salem, NH, nice selection of Roses too) and Russell’s Garden Center (in Wayland, far for you!), Corliss Brothers and Wolf Hill typically have a good selection of perennials.
There was a question about pruning Hydrangea quercifolia. Would you let your club know that the flowers are formed on the previous year’s growth, so it should be pruned after flowering.