For years I’ve heard the Perennial Plant Association called one of the best organizations in the plant world, and its yearly symposium the BEST. This year it’s being held in Baltimore, close to home for me, and I wouldn’t miss it for anything.
Local organizer Janet Draper wrote to remind me that there’s a special one-day seminar for home gardeners, master gardeners, professional gardeners, green industry professionals, and landscape enthusiasts. (Details on page 7 of the agenda.) The speakers and topics covered are:
- The Right-Size Flower Garden – Exceptional Plants and Design Solutions for Aging and Time-Pressed Gardeners. Kerry Mendez, Perennially Yours, Kennebunk, Maine
- Making Waves (about ornamental grasses) Stephen Gable, Merrifield Garden Center Merrifield, Virginia
- Beyond The Border – Exotic and Unusual Garden Plants Troy Marden, Garden Travelers
- If You Are Going To Spend Your Money, You Might as Well Buy The Good Stuff Dr. Allan Armitage, Professor Emeritus University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
- Mixing It Up – Designing Extraordinary Mixed Bed Plantings Scott Scarfone, Oasis Design Group
- Get To “Know” Maintenance Laura Deeter, Ohio State University ATI
The Baltimore area is particularly important to the world of perennial plants, as the PPA tells us:
Baltimore is home of some of the most influential horticulturists and designers of our time. The epicenter for the use of perennials en masse, redefining the term ‘ground cover’ to include plants greater than 12” tall, and the embracing of ornamental grasses to create an entire gardening movement. But before those gardens could be created, there had to be nurseries large enough to supply demand and the Baltimore region was ready and able to supply. And that flow of plant material has never ceased. The Baltimore region has a wealth of amazing growers that help set the course for American horticulture. It was horticulturists living in Baltimore who started looking not to England for ideas and inspiration but to Germany, and they transplanted that ethos of ecology and sense of place to Baltimore.
I’m attending the Design/Landscape tour and dinner on Wednesday July 29, on page 14 of the agenda, and GardenRanter Allen Bush will be speaking on “The Icons who Changed our Perennial World” and in attendance throughout the week for Jelitto Seeds.
Here’s the local organizing group for the Baltimore Symposium – a notoriously fun group of plant geeks.