It’s Tip Time Again


by Susan
This just in from Peter Hoh – a local TV station does a great job showing off Wally’s Amazing Garden.  Click right here:

I love the video because it includes footage from various times of the year and – essential in showcasing this 26-acre world-class garden – aerial views!  The human story is interesting, too.  In only 7 years a retired businessman created the garden (obviously with help), discovering the type of garden he wanted through trips to England and researching books and catalogues.  Wally’s garden is featured in the book 1001 Gardens You Must See
Before You Die
.  Most of the gardens listed there are public but this one’s not, so we have local TV to thank for being able seeing it.

From Pamela Fields in Maryland I learned that people in my town are collecting native hardwood seeds (acorns, walnuts, etc.) and delivering them to the
town library. She writes: "Growing, a program
of the Potomac Conservancy, then donates the seeds to state-run nurseries, which
grow them into seedlings and plant them along the rivers and streams that make
up the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds. The trees filter pollution,
making the water cleaner, keeping the stream and river banks from eroding, and
helping the environment in many other ways."

I’m just surprised those state-run nurseries don’t have enough of their own acorns but hey, if mine can be put to good use, I’m cool with that.

A question arose on my local listserv:  Anybody have any experience ordering from Springhill Nursery?  Turns out that yes, several people do and the results weren’t happy.  Then listserv member Alex Bardsley tipped us off to what the Davesters among you already know: the Watchdog 30.  From Dave’s Garden:

These 30 companies are currently the most highly rated
within our entire database. Each of them is listed here because of feedback
from their customers.

Rose Emporium, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co., Bluestone Perennials,
Brushwood Nursery, Buried Treasures, Chamblee’s Rose Nursery, Classy
Groundcovers, Direct Source Hostas, ECOLAGE, Forestfarm, Garden
Crossings LLC, Garden Store-N-More, Gardener’s Supply Company, Hallson
Gardens, High Country Gardens, Katz Kuntry Kuttins, Lazy S’S Farm &
Nursery, Lee Valley Tools, Ltd., Logee’s Greenhouses, Ltd., Made in the
Shade Gardens, Oakes Daylilies, Old House Gardens – Heirloom Bulbs,
Onalee’s Home-Grown Seeds & Plants, Paradise Garden, Plant Delights
Nursery, Select Seeds Antique Flowers, Sooner Plant Farm (home of
Imagine Backyard Trees®), Territorial Seed Company, The Tasteful
Garden, Touch of Nature, Inc.

While we’re talking about the gardening biz, here‘s a revealing look at how the advertising world is glomming onto environmentalism.   I must admit, when I read that there are "vertical platforms
supporting green ad networks" I’m lost.  And are they calling us a "green sub-segment"?  Is this all just greenwashing or can something good come from this, like sponsors and money actually going to some entertaining and enlightening writers on the Web?

Let me know if you sent me this story; otherwise I’m claiming credit for running across it.


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Susan Harris

Susan’s a garden writer, teacher and activist in the Washington, D.C. area. Co-founder of GardenRant, she also wrote for national gardening magazines and independent garden centers before retiring in 2014. Now she has time for these projects:

  • Founding and now managing the pro-science educational nonprofit GOOD GARDENING VIDEOS that finds and promotes the best videos on YouTube for teaching people to garden.
  • Creating and managing DC GARDENS, the nonprofit campaign to promote the public gardens of the Washington, D.C. area, and gardening by locals.
  • Creating and editing the community website GREENBELT ONLINE to serve her adopted hometown of Greenbelt, Maryland (a “New Deal Utopia” founded in 1937).
  • Also in Greenbelt, MD, writing the e-newsletter and serving on the Board of Directors for the cooperatively-owned music and arts venue and restaurant called the NEW DEAL CAFE.

Contact Susan via email or by leaving a comment here.

Photo by Stephen Brown.


  1. LOHAs are their target audience. “Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability”. I am GEPID: “Gardens as Excuse to Play In Dirt.”

  2. I have some issues with Wally. I think it’s a shame that he doesn’t ever open the garden to visitors. It’s his choice and his property, of course, but he would not have been able to learn from all the examples he toured in England and France if everyone was like him.

    I wonder if he’s using organic methods–they don’t say. That would be interesting to know, with all those roses.

  3. I’m with you, Elizabeth. I thought Wally sounded terribly arrogant also. Maybe only twelve people have seen the garden for a good reason.

  4. Yes, Marte, and here’s another thing I don’t like about Wally–the fig leaf on the David reproduction.

    I have no problem with reproductions–we have a David in Buffalo–but do not insult the artist with tacky additions.

  5. A great number of gardens currently open to the public started out as private gardens. And while a garden may start out as an individual’s passion, the key to sustaining a garden into the future lies in opening it up to the public. This is something that the DuPonts recognized, and has led to a number of wonderful public gardens in Delaware and Southeast Pennsylvania such as Winterthur and Longwood Gardens.

  6. I dropped offmy nuts (oak acorns) a few weks ago at the Takoma Park Library pick-up spot. If anyone needs seedlings of Southern Red Oaks – just give me a shout! – I’m keep a pot of them growing – I add to them as I weed them out of my beds.

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