National Public Garden Day may be new to you – it's only in its second year – but it's bringing some much- deserved and -needed attention to the places most gardenblog readers already know and love. And GardenRant's quite happy to help spread the love because we're fans.
Shall we pause and conjure up captions for the uncomfortable-looking Paul here? I nominate "If I grit my teeth will this stalker go away?"
But back to business. Here's what Paul thinks about public gardens: They've always wow'ed us and turned us on to plants and design, but these days they're also about sustainability and food-growing and cooking. He pointed admiringly to the less than perfect lawn there at the USBG as a just one example of teaching and leading by example. And he bemoans the undervisitation of public gardens and that's so true – even here in D.C. where they're free.
Now for some photos. First, the Rose Garden looking the best I'd ever seen it (with the American Indian Museum in the distance) and it's nothing like the typical rose garden. First, these babies get no spraying at all, something that's been achieved by the judicious ditching of any rose that suffers from disease here in the Mid-Atlantic Humidity Belt. And it's not one of those boring rose-only displays but a real garden with perennials and groundcovers, too.
Next stop, the Ladew Gardens of Monkton, MD just north of Baltimore. It's famous for its topiary but that's just the opening act in this 15-garden show.
Here's more photos from my recent visit to Ladew and what I learned from the head gardener about their lawn care, composting and other smart practices employed by public gardens today.
Your Favorite Public Gardens, and How to Promote Then
I've shared two of my local favorites but there are lots more and I visit not just in season but throughout the year, even on Christmas Day. But tell us about your favorites and why you support them.
And how about some ideas for making their programs and their utter gorgeousness better known? I think they should do a little courting of their most adoring fans – gardenbloggers – and we'll happily spread the word. Give us press passes to a function, or have a little event just for us. We come cheap, so just coffee, donuts, and the chance to interview the staff would buy all sorts of promotion. More ideas?