Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Gathering of Gardeners

We got up very early yesterday to attend A Gathering of Gardeners symposium in Rochester. We went with five other members of our club, Gardening Friends, in two cars. Country Girl left her house at 5:45 and picked me up last, about 6:30, and we headed down the Thruway so we could hit the plant sale before all of the good stuff was gone. So what did we talk about on the long ride? Mulch! And Ron had put his GPS mapping thingy in Country Girl's car so we had fun with that too.

Her, a magazine of the RD & C has a good description of the symposium. I was a bit disappointed by size of the plant sale but the vendors that were there were very friendly and knowledgeable, willing to answer my many questions. A couple of vendors actually had prices that I could afford (not that any of the prices were unreasonable, they just didn't fit my budget.) Others in our group also shopped so the trunk was packed full with plants destined for 4 gardens with plans to divide and share them in a couple of years. One plant that we all kept going back to, but none of us bought was Callicarpa dichotoma "Early Amethyst" - Beauty berry shrub. My picture doesn't do it justice, the berries were very pretty. After looking it up when I got home I found that it is a zone 5 shrub making it an iffy plant for everyone else in our group who all garden in zone 4. I found other varieties online that I liked too so I will consider adding one next spring.

But we did go for more than the plant sale! There were two speakers and each gave two different presentations. We learned about adding structure to our gardens and all 4 lectures were filled with slides introducing us to new plants, combinations that work, combinations that don't and how to design something that will work in our gardens. Several of their suggestions just didn't appeal to me but there were many more that did. I'm sure I'll be playing with my graph paper over the winter. One plant that Steven Silk really liked and I will probably never plant we first saw on GW. Though interesting I don't see myself planting something with leaf thorns!It would be great if there were more gardening events like this closer to home. We even talked about trying to host our own as a fund raiser in the future. For now though we will continue to plan more road trips.

Here are a couple of links that I found for the two speakers.
Thrillers, Fillers and Spillers, by Steven Silk at Fine Gardening Magazine. (I can't link directly to the article so you'll have to go to Containers and then look for it.)

Robert Herman has his own website, Uncommon Plants.


  1. You had a beautiful day for a gardening symosium and we had wonderful weather for a gathering of friends and family. My son left yesterday for Minnesota. :(

  2. Have you seen Pam's Beauty Berry ("Digging")? Of course, she's in Texas where it grows well.There's something called Beauty Bush, with a pretty pink flower (in spring) that grows in our climate. I saw it in Ithaca and would love to plant it.
    Glad you had a nice day with your garden friends. What did you buy?

  3. Oh, I've never seen any leaves with thorns sticking out of them like that!