A Native Plant Flower Show!

Kay McConnell sold me my very first native plant, a black chokeberry, shortly after I moved to Baltimore a few years ago so I suppose I should not be surprised to learn that she is co-chairing a native plant flower show! Seriously.

“Going Native: Food, Water, Shelter, Life” is a Garden Club of America Flower Show complete with everything that goes into a typical flower show: flower arrangements, horticultural prizes, photographs, judges, rules, and so forth. But, you know, with native plants!

From the rules for Division 1 (Flower Arrangement classes):

“Designers in all classes are required to include at least one native plant in their arrangement(s) and to note the plant(s) on their entry card.”

Cool, huh?

The flower show will be open the public on October 18th and 19th and is sponsored by the Guilford Garden Club, with support from Friends School of Baltimore which is also hosting the event.. Native plant aficionados from the area will know that the garden club has been working with Friends School for several years to design and install absolutely beautiful native plant gardens around the campus.  From the introduction to the Flower Show schedule:

“In partnership since 2005, Friends School of Baltimore and the Guilford Garden Club (GGC) have created a series of Native Plant Teaching Gardens throughout the campus. Conservation and education are at the heart of the project. The gardens employ Chesapeake Bay Watershed native plants that thrive with minimal care to attract pollinators and other wildlife and to absorb surface water on the school’s sloping campus.”

Friends School students enjoying a landscape filled with native grasses, trees, shrubs, and flowers.

Kay will be conducting tours of the gardens, which I STRONGLY recommend, at 2pm on the 18th and at 10am on the 19th. And, weather permitting, the Guilford Garden Club will be conducting a small native plant sale as well.

Click here for a one page PDF with dates, times, and the address.  Click here for the full schedule, with descriptions of the exhibit rules and whatnot.

Native Plants in Your Garden? Meet Gary Smith!

A few months ago I attended the 2012 Native Plants in the Landscape conference, and one of the highlights was meeting Gary Smith. Gary is the award-winning designer of Peirce’s Woods at Longwood Gardens, which is a stunning example of just how beautiful a landscape filled with native plants can look.

From Gary's design at Longwood Gardens: A blend of Allegheny foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) and blue woodland phlox (Phlox stolonifera ‘Sherwood Purple’) flows among the trunks of mature sweet birch (Betula lenta).

Well, on September 13th Gary will be in Baltimore as part of the Horticultural Society of Maryland lecture series! Gary’s presentation is entitled “From Art to Landscape:  Unleashing Creativity in Garden Design, and will cover some highlights from his book of the same name (which I also strongly recommend).  The focus is really on techniques for increasing your creativity, but with plenty of examples using phenomenal native plant combinations (many arising from Gary’s collaborations with Rick Darke, who recently spoke at the Irvine Nature Center).

Free to Society members, $10 otherwise, and held at Cylburn Arboretum Association‘s Vollmer Center! The lecture starts at 7:30pm, and there is a plant sale and seed swap before the presentation!

I can’t recommend Gary enough.  The lecture will be great, and even if you can’t attend I urge you to look for his book.

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