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Last Day at the Garden Writers Conference

August 11, 2014
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We awoke to gloomy skies wich did turn into rain as the day progressed. We started the morning off with the director of Longwood Gardens Paul Redman on the future of horticulture and public gardens. He did an outstanding job. One of his comments really resonated with me. He said we have too much “plant Blindness”! Most Americans can recognize 1000 brand logos but can identify less than 10 local plants! We have to change that, and I think Master Gardeners are one of the solutions. Be thinking about this.

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We then broke into concurrent sessions, both of which I attended were good. The first was on the value of public gardens and I came away with many good ideas. Then I learned about hash tags,something that has confused me in the past, but which I now think I understand.
Then it. Then it was time tograb another (our third) box lunch with turkey, but this time it was a wrap at least. We ate as we drove to our first stop–a LEED ( leadership in energy and environmental design) home and sustainable landscape. The landscape in front has no lawn, but gravel beds filled with native plants. You walk through a row of hornbeam trees to get tothe front door. They collect all rainwater in an underground cistern which they use to water the raised bed vegetable gardens.

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It was raining pretty good by mid garden, so many made a more abbreviated tour. Then it was on to 2 gardens side by side. Onw was quite formal and the other more laid back, but both had good plant collections. Luckily the rain abated for the rest of the tours.

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One had a great selection of perennials.

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Then it was on to our largest garden of the tour. Several outdoor areas extend the living spaces of this garden, with outdoor seating areas, dining rooms and kitchens, all incorporated beautifully into the landscape.

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Their outdoor storage building looked like guest quarters.

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The last garden was smaller and used groudcovers and stepping stones to help move you throughout the garden. Formally pruned hedges and bushes flanked the yard, and the star was a lovely water feature in the back yard.

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Walking back to the bus, I saw what must be the neighborhood dog walker. She was managing over 11 dods of all sizes, where 2 of us at home struggle walking 3 dogs!
The sun was shining as we made it back to the hotel. Tonight is the clsing banquet and Julie and I leave for home early tomorrow.

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