I can't help but get kind of teary-eyed that I'm not anticipating a flight to the UK and taking in the Chelsea Flower Show in person this year. I think by not going, it's really hitting me that I really did it; I fulfilled a dream and experienced an aspect of my career that truly helped define it. Part of me wants to relive it very badly, but reality is setting in and, in a way, I've got to earn that next trip.
With social media in full swing at these types of events, I get updates on the progress of the show gardens and relevant links on the RHS Facebook Page.
One of those links was this awesome video they posted about how valuable and fulfilling a career in horticulture is! Yes, there are cultural differences and a long tradition of gardening in the UK, but they address some of the same issues we deal with here in the United States. Horticulture is deemed as a career for those who failed to excel in school or the image of a gardener as "a grumpy old man coughing in a potting shed".
You might remember the garden designer I profiled last year, Sarah Price. She is designing a grand garden for Chelsea (for the Telegraph) and also took part in designing landscape elements for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Here's a video of her as crunch time nears for the great flower show and the plants are kinda temperamental:
A few weeks ago during my excursion to Jello Mold Farm with some friends, we carpooled and met up at a home with a most cozy and inviting garden that yielded some of the best rhubarb I've ever witness in person. I say "best" simply based on appearance as I rarely eat the thing, but the bright red stems were absolutely GORGEOUS!
The gigantically lush, deep green foliage, which you DO NOT EAT!, were held up by their luscious ruby red stalks that were generously harvested for all of us to enjoy. The foliage contains oxalic acid which can cause kidney of bladder stones and while it takes like 10 pounds of leaves eaten in one sitting to cause death, it's still recommended that the foliage be removed prior to processing.
I've always grown Ornamental rhubarb for my perennial borders for their massive size, but the edible "pie-plant" appears just as striking, but with the added benefit that the stems are wonderful in pies, crumbles/crisps, and savory sauces. So I had to find a recipe for the bundle I was given that lovely afternoon.
Rhubarb and strawberry are a classic pair so I decided to make a pie with a oatmeal crumble topping:
Here's a recipe from All-Recipes.com that I modified a but, but it's simple and, yes, I cheated and bought a pre-made crust to make it a pie and not just a crumble.
Mix 1 teaspoon oil, coriander, 1/2 teaspoon salt and
pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture into pork. Heat 1 teaspoon oil
in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and
cook, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes.
Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the pork until an instant-read
thermometer registers 145°F, 15 to 17 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large
nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and the remaining 1/2
teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 7 to 8
minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water; continue cooking, stirring often,
until the onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes more, adding water a tablespoon
at a time if necessary to prevent burning. Stir in rhubarb, vinegar and
brown sugar and cook, stirring often, until the rhubarb has broken down,
about 5 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the sliced pork and sprinkle with
I'm always hoping for horticulture to make it in the mainstream media, but for some reason, when it does get mentioned or covered, it's always BAD NEWS like what happened to us at the UW Botanic Gardens's Washington Park Arboretum.
This was absolutely devastating. I got a call from David early last week and informed us of what had happened and immediately, we had a guess as to who may be responsible as right about the same time last year, we endured some vandalism and theft over at the Center for Urban Horticulture where I work part time.
A fellow "next generation gardener" in North Carolina shared this video that I just have to share with you all.
I met Brienne Gluvna at the Garden Writer's Association symposium a few years ago that took place in Raleigh. I was thrilled to meet someone that was fairly close to my age work intensely and know so much! It was refreshing and, obviously, we clicked!
She's given me tips on propagating and I've also ordered some fantastic plants from Camellia Forest Nursery. Absolutely wonderful stuff and worth having a look! Their plants are really excellent and well grown!