|Who wouldn’t want to be standing on that bridge overlooking this amazing garden?|
Now that we spent last week dreaming about gardening (you were dreaming, right?) you can continue the dream by going to a flower show or gardening seminar, which have a tendency to pop up all over the place starting next month or so. If you can’t garden at least you can listen to someone talk about it, right?
Last year I went to the Proven Winners Outdoor Living Extravaganza in Chicago. It was a great day that allowed a glimpse at some of the new plants and a chance to listen to some great speakers. So I was thrilled to find out the PWOLE is coming to Milwaukee (my back yard) this year. And of course I’m going (and I’m trying to drag a few friends along this year too).
I’ve actually heard all but one of the speakers who are scheduled for the Milwaukee stop before. Kerry Meyer is Proven Winners’ program director who spoke at the Chicago event last year. Her talk was really interesting and hit upon some of the new plants that we’ll see coming out in the years to come as well as how PW makes the plants we’re all buying in stores. Hopefully she’ll offer a glimpse into the newest introductions this year as well.
|Superbells Blackberry Punch: one of the new introductions I’m most looking forward to this year.|
Melinda Myers is another speaker for the Milwaukee event. She’s the local gardening guru (although she had a show on PBS for awhile that I think was broadcast at least regionally if not nationally). Although I’ve heard her before she always has an interesting take on gardening and she’s certainly an expert on the challenges of gardening next to a giant lake.
Tim Wood was one of my favorite speakers at last year’s PWOLE. He is Spring Meadow Nursery‘s product development manager so it’s his job to find the coolest shrubs around. Last he spent a lot of time talking about hydrangeas (and you know I love hydrangeas) and was really patient with all the audience questions. (Most of which involved questions about how we can grow beautiful deep blue hydrangeas like you see in Seattle and New Zealand here in zone 5. The short answer is that you can’t. Not yet at least.) I think shrubs might be the area of plant creation that is most interesting right now. It’s not so much creating new plants as it is creating better shrubs that look better, live longer and are easier to care for (which I think is the hallmark of a good shrub; if I wanted to worry about nitpicking a plant, I’d buy a rose). I can’t wait to hear what new shrubs Tim’s going to talk about.
|Chaenomeles speciosa Double Take ‘Orange Storm‘ is a new shrub I hope to hear more about.|
Those are three great speakers, but I’m positively thrilled to hear P. Diddy.
No, not THAT P. Diddy (the guy who is now called Puff Daddy and could barely speak at the Grammy Awards because he had so many gold teeth in his mouth).
This P. Diddy:
|P. Diddy (aka P. Allen Smith)|
P. Diddy is my little pet name for the king of all things gardening: P. Allen Smith. I loved watching him create his “Garden Home Retreat” on the banks of the Arkansas River. I especially like the virtual makeovers he does on his show, but I think it would be great if the people who receive one would send in photos of the “afters.” And then what I really want to know is how many people he employs to help him manage that massive property.
The PWOLE is making four stops this year with different speakers featured at each event: Atlanta (March 4), Seattle (March 18), Milwaukee (April 8) and Toronto (April 15). Last year there were a ton of product giveaways, great containers filled with new Proven Winners introductions, lunch, shopping and best of all, a day filled with a little bit of garden dreaming.
If a seminar-type program isn’t your thing, consider hitting up a flower or garden show.
Here are a few upcoming events:
February 23-27 Northwest Flower & Garden Show
February 24-27 Connecticut Flower & Garden Show
March 5-13 Chicago Flower & Garden Show
March 23-27 San Francisco Flower & Garden Show
March 6-13 Philadelphia International Flower Show
Almost every region in the country hosts a garden event this time of year. It’s a great way to get new ideas for your garden before you’re too busy to want to leave your garden. You know as well as I do that come May you’ll be to engrossed in gardening to leave for anything more than a quick run to pick up another bag of compost and some beer.
So what do you think? Any plans to attend a gardening show or seminar this spring?