Friday, November 30, 2012

East Coast Excursion Part 2: The Man Behind The Books

Brooklyn Botanic Garden was an absolute treat! It was minutes from my cousin and it happened to be a day where there was no admission fee! I finally walked into a landscape I had only ever seen in books, magazines and documentaries on television.

Grasses steps
A simple and modern design using a simple plant palette to soften the clean lines created by the concrete steps and benches.

Herb Garden from Platform
From above a platform, you get this remarkable view of an edible garden that looked absolutely well-kept and attracted many visitors including a group of school kids!

Musa with Pennisetum
One thing I really envy about the east coast is their ability to get lush tropical plantings as lush as they are here on the East Coast. This stunning plant pairing consists of  a hardy banana (Musa sikkimensis) and a annual Pennisetum grass.

Japanese Garden View
The Japanese Garden was lovely and offered this tremendous view from the viewing platform.

Perennial Borders
The Rose Garden was just passed its prime blooming season, but the perennial bedding plants were putting on a show!

Conservatory and Cafe
Most Botanical Institutions become destinations for people. Not only are they looking to see plants and gardens, they also want a place to sit, relax and refresh.  I had a light breakfast at their overpriced cafe, but sadly, I didn't have much time to explore the conservatory because I had to meet someone who's quite well known amongst gardening circles worldwide.

Meeting Ken Druse:

Growing up, the name Ken Druse crossed my path and journey towards horticulture with his phenomenal books and exquisite photographs.

He is the author of many books, most notably, The Natural Shade Garden, The Collector's Garden, Plantropology, and his latest, Natural Companions. was just stunning when I had a chance to look at it before we met up.

Just a sampling from this visually stunning work of art scanned by Helen Hoverkamp

I still find it remarkable that I've meet so many people, who I considered celebrities, over the past few years. I guess anyone who's published a book could be considered famous in my mind, but Ken Druse is almost like a household name. He's appeared on Martha Stewart's shows on several occasion and he has this calm and encouraging demeanor to him that I didn't expect from someone of his caliber.

Ken Photographing Crape Myrtle
Here he is always working and capturing the stunning bark of Lagerstroemia indica.
It was such an honor to spend the day with him looking at plants, gardens, talking about life and career as a garden writer.

He kindly drove and we hit up our next stop, a garden he insisted I MUST visit while in New York...

Stay tuned..


Sunday, November 18, 2012

East Coast Excursion: Part 1

It simply broke my heart to see the news and horrible images unfold as many of the places I visited just a few weeks ago were hit with strong winds, terrible floods, and power outages.

After years of reading books, admiring photographs and hearing stories about these  remarkable gardens and landscapes, I finally had an opportunity to visit the east coast! My initial hook was a Perennial Plant Conference, that coincidentally, my buddy, Matt Berberich was also thinking of attending as his hometown was pretty close to Swarthmore College in Pennsylvannia.

Now, I had about a week to devote to this trip and it got me thinking, "I could possibly hit up New York!" I have a few relatives in NYC that I could possibly visit and there were several gardens that I've been wanting so very badly to see!

Rather than ramble on about my trip, here are some photo highlights!

NYC can easily make one feel very small in such a fast-paced environment.

I was thrilled to visit with my cousin and see the amazing Highline! It's a stunning space, but it has become surprisingly touristy.

I also had a cousin who I stayed with in Brooklyn who lived fairly close to the BBG! I had an opportunity to say hello to Scott Medbury, their executive director.

I'm not really all that special, but I guess I had to be to see Mr. Medbury, but the nicest treat was the garden was free that day and I was joined by someone who is quite well known in horticultural literature.

Any guesses as to who??

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's Election Day!

From The Next Generation Gardener:

I'm not typically a political person, but selecting our USA President and several issues are very near and dear to me and I ask Washington State to please read and understand the facts and support our community by approving Referendum 74 - The right for same-sex couples to marry!

There are so many gay couples and individuals in our gardening community and they have every right to have the same rights and benefits as heterosexual couples.

Agree or Disagree, PLEASE VOTE!!!