Monday, 28 March 2016


I do like crocus, but I'll be the first to admit my knoweldge and experience growing them is pretty shallow. However, after seeing the diversity and beauty here in the garden, species and cultivars that I haven't seen before, I'm inspired to grow more in my garden. There are so many good ones available for purchase if you're willing to look a bit, and then the more specialized or collector ones...well, you just have to appreciate them when you see them in someone else's garden! 

Crocus sieberi in the greenhouse

Peter's favorite, Crocus baytopiorum, is a lovely light blue

Crocus vernus ssp vernus bask in the sun

The classic Crocus tommasinianus 'Barr's Purple' 

Thursday, 24 March 2016

The best experiences are often unplanned

When I finally heard Peter Korn speak for the first time at a lecture to a NARGS group at the New York Botanic Garden last fall, I thought I must add this garden to my ever-growing list of must-see gardens. But upon talking to Peter after his lecture, I actually thought this really is a garden worth working at for a little while. You don't need to listen to Peter very long before realizing that he is of a special breed, the sort of gardener that doesn't come around too often. I've been fortunate enough to work with and learn from some very talented gardeners, and I've learned when the opportunities present themselves, to, when possible, take full advantage of them. This was one such instance. 

Going to Sweden in March to garden isn't really ideal, but you do what you have to when you get to. So as can easily be expected, I arrived to snow and cold. 

View back to house from across the garden

The winter garden is not something to dismiss. To the contrary, it is an opportunity and a privilege to see the garden this time of year. Not only is the garden closed to the public now, but it's also a great time to see the winter bones and skeleton of the garden- really an opportunity to see the who's who of winter survivors and which plants might be worth growing for their durability and fortitude (surviving a Swedish winter and still standing strong is a nice accomplishment afterall). Some examples that stood out to me when walking the garden are: 

Miscanthus sinensis 'Nishidake' 

Molinia caerulea 'Edith Dudszus' 

Thalictrum 'Elin'

Calamagrostis epigejos

Eryngium giganteum 'Miss Willmott's Ghost'

Just to note a few...

Monday, 14 March 2016

Another season, another adventure...

Some things don't change, such as the long intervals between my blog posts. Since my last post I have finished my time at Chanticleer- I can't thank them enough for all the opportunities they provided for me. It was such a monumental time in my training, from the scholarship at Great Dixter, to the 11+ months of working with the very talented lot at Chanticleer, to the many garden visits and lectures they allowed me to be part of-- experiences I'll always remember and draw upon for the rest of my life. 

Moving on is sometimes hard but also exciting. When you push yourself towards new goals and further pursuits, it not only sustains momentum, but it honors your past accomplishments and those who helped make them possible. 

Well, currently, pushing myself further, I am taking 2 months to work with Peter Korn in his garden outside of Gothenburg, Sweden. Over the next several weeks I hope to write about my experiences here and some of the quite interesting and rather unique approaches Peter takes to gardening and growing some of the more special and rare plants you may ever see all in one spot!