New England

March, 2011
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Northern Gardening Symposium: The Life-Long Garden
In a spring symposium presented by the Vermont-New Hampshire chapter of the New England Wildflower Society, three expert gardeners will share their wisdom to help you plan, plant and maintain beautiful native plant gardens over time. Well-known author Sydney Eddison will present Change: The Passage of Time in the Garden, discussing how this "fourth dimension" in the garden and our responses to it give each garden its special character. Landscape designer Charlotte Albers will talk about Designing with Native Plants, presenting new combinations of plants that demonstrate great examples of naturalistic design. In Rock Gardens for All, horticulturist Liz Krieg will cover the cultural needs, selection, and use of native rock plants and the creation and care of rock gardens.

The symposium will be held Saturday, April 9, from 9 am to 2 pm, at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center, VT. Cost is $47 for New England Wildflower Society members and those of co-sponsoring organizations (The Friends of the Horticulture Farm; Hardy Plant Club; The Fells; Master Gardeners); $53 for non-members. The fee includes lunch, parking and the symposium packet. For registration information, visit http://www.newenglandwild.org/learn or call 508-877-7630, ext. 3303.

Books

Buyer Beware!
I often receive review copies of gardening books, which is always exciting -- like Christmas come early! But as I looked through the latest batch to cross my desk, I was reminded of the importance of being a savvy consumer when it comes to adding new volumes to our horticultural libraries. There are a great many garden books published in this country that were originally published in Britain. Some have been reworked to some degree by an American editor; some are straight reprints. All are invariably beautifully put together and illustrated. But New England gardening conditions are very different from those of the British Isles, and not all the advice on timing, hardiness, variety selection, or growing techniques translates well to our climate. The same can be true for books written by gardeners from other climatic regions in North America. Books on rose growing by a Californian may give short shrift to our northeastern winter hardiness and Japanese beetle woes. Certainly these books contain much good information, but it requires judgment on the part of the reader as to what works here and what doesn't. That's why I check out the information on the author's background. For my own library, my first choices are most often written by those with eastern North American gardening experience. Of course I read, enjoy, and benefit from books by authors with many different gardening backgrounds, but I keep that background in mind as I decide how to put their advice into practice in my own northern New England garden.

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