Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

P.Allen Smith speaks...

Nationally renowned Arkansan gardener, P. Allen Smith spoke Saturday at the Jacksonville Art & Antique Show. While a student at the University of Manchester, Mr. Smith was inspired by retracing steps of the journey made by Thomas Jefferson and John Adams several decades ago throughout gardens in England. A gifted and entertaining story-teller, Mr. Smith offered a number of gardening words of advice as well as comical tales of roosters, horse manure, and lords and ladies in England. He suggested using inexpensive, faux roping purchased at Walmart as a foundation combined with fresh boughs and branches of greenery at holiday time. He encouraged the use of decorative LED lighting rather than traditional incandescent bulbs as a way to conserve energy in seasonal displays. PAS endorsed the use of herbs and plants in biodegradable peat pots from Bonnie plants as an alternative to the countless plastic pots characteristically used by nurseries and are rapidly filling up our landfills. Attendees were delighted to take along with them a sample of these pots, each filled with an herb. I took home flat leafed parsley!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Renny Reynolds speaks...

The Jacksonville Art &Antiques Show features a number of lectures in concurrence with fund raising efforts this past week. I attended a lecture given by Renny Reynolds, previously an event planner in New York; he now devotes his efforts exclusively to landscaping garden spaces. A skillful orator who employs humor and his knowledge as a trained landscaper while speaking, Mr. Reynolds presented commentary accompanied by a delightful slide show of pictures from a previous commission in Litchfield County, Connecticut as well as his farm in Pennsylvania. Hortulus Farm, owned by RR and his partner is situated in Bucks County and a constant work in progress for them. Partial to creatures and indigenous wildlife including water fowl, RR describes a comical tale about two exotic black swans that truly “flew the coop”. According to RR, when he and his partner pass to eternity, the Hortulus Farm will become public gardens and take on non-profit status. Read more at the Hortulus Farm blog.
An interesting note: RR uses mushroom mulch as a soil addition when planting large trees and shrubbery.

It was well worth my journey into the city to listen to Mr. Reynolds and I hope to visit the farm myself some day, for sure. Tomorrow, I will attend a lecture by P.Allen Smith.