By: Ed Garvin
My co worker Cynthia and I recently returned from Lancaster, Pennsylvania where we attended the Perennial Plant Association National Symposium. What a great event. The speakers and education were fantastic, and the garden tours were generously inspiring. Thank you, Michler’s, for this wonderful experience.
Aesthetics is a carrot I’ve been nibbling on recently, and it’s my opinion that there is no better complementary aesthetic than plants. They’re not just pretty objects; they cause us to stop and examine, to wonder as we wander, and to appreciate.
I was awed by the use of plants to create space and texture in the landscape at Chanticleer gardens in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Before the visit, one of their horticulturalists gave a presentation on how planters can be used to modify space and the feel of that space, showing us how they could affect the mood in different areas as they changed their displays throughout the seasons. Many of these were not formal planters, but bold expressions of art using plants as the medium. It was a nice reminder that planters are experiments that we get to try again and again, year after year, and you can write your own rules.
Chanticleer is a great example of what is possible through gardening when we don’t limit our imagination. While perusing the beds and patios, I found no restraint on variety. You could find planters and garden beds mixing annuals, perennials, tropical plants, herbs, and bulbs combined for unique botanical expressions. The best part being that each gardener gets to design in their own way, with a particular area in mind, which is what I would encourage any person interested in greening their thumbs to do. Let your imagination guide you while selecting plants to garnish your surroundings.