Saturday, March 06, 2010

Midwest Gardening Symposium

A whole day of just talking Gardening and Gardens what could be better?  I attended the Midwest Gardening Symposium on Friday at the Morton Arboretum.  It was a great day filled with wonderful garden books, authors as speakers and so much up-to-date gardening information:

  • Slow down on the garden curves, no amoeba shaped lawns
  • Go upstairs, if you can, and look out at your lawn shape
  • Use more straight paths with multiple centers in the garden
  • If you have a curving path keep it soft just enough to create mystery
  • Your multiple centers should have a destination focus, i.e., fountain, statuary, pergola, arbor, obelisk, etc.
  • Make sure there is something distinct to look at as you gaze through a window, i.e., statuary, structure, container, etc.
  • Release the inside into your outside, garden should be an extension of your inside home, color, style, etc.
  • Use art in your garden palette, i.e., Vincent Van Gogh colors for your patio containers, check out an art print book and use the colors of a favorite artist for your theme
  • Think of telling a story with your garden, antiques with a newer home, collectibles, painted vintage chairs, some eclectic modern surprises with a vintage home
  • Make vignettes such as sword (grasses), frilly (ferns) broad (hosta) all together
  • Plan or redesign your garden in the winter thinking  pathways, structures, raised beds, evergreens, trees for shape and deciduous shrubs and grasses
  • Use flower plantings in your vegetable garden and vegetables in your flower borders (many of us have been doing this for years)
  • Use light plants against dark
  • Borrow a pleasing view from a neighbor's yard, arrange your plantings so that their yard shows through
  • The new outside decorating color for furniture and pottery is aqua or turquoise
Our speakers were wonderful, Gordon Hayward author of Art and the Gardener, and several other books, Pam Duthie author of Continuous Bloom and Continuous Color.  Pam Duthie is part of a new group called Perennials in Focus who are in the process of evaluating plants over a three year period in real gardens.  They have a new website  We had other expert speakers talking about using vegetables in containers and garden plantings and garden maintenance. 

I spent too much on books!!!!