April 13, 2010
A Visit To Colonial Williamsburg
Posted by MSLO Blogger
This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend the 64th Annual Colonial Williamsburg Garden Symposium. This year's theme was Timeless Lessons From Historic Gardens. It was packed with a roster of high-powered garden and nursery experts and all gave wonderful talks. Among the group was garden designer, author and historian Gordon Hayward; the one and only Ken Druse; from Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, NH, John Forti; Antique Rose Emporium 'rose rustler in charge' Mike Shoup, up from Brenham, TX, and antique and heirloom bulb collector and dealer Scott Kunst from Old House Gardens. In addition, there were on site workshops in afternoons on the grounds and behind the scenes of Colonial Williamsburg. I got in a couple of days early, and, thanks to my new BFF, Director of Garden Programs' Laura Viancour, had an advanced look at some of the things that take place, horticulturally, at CW (code for Colonial Williamsburg). Below is the first photo album from the trip, a visit to the production nursery. Have a look...
1 Hunter Curry is the foreman for CW nursery and greenhouses and oversees all the production, maintenance, and distribution for all the plants that are used on the grounds. (She's also really nice...)
2 A peak into the fridge were the gardeners store their seeds for the coming season. (Yes, those are all seeds in there.)
3 And nicely organized, too.
4 Just some of the herbs that have already been started. They will often do succession sowings of annual herbs like basil through the season to keep displays looking their best.
5 Marigolds, lots and lots of marigolds. Hunter says they add a color splash and are easy to care for, so why not?
6 And they also like tomatoes. Lots and lots of tomatoes, almost all heirloom types.
7 Hunter and a fiercely competitive and dedicated corp of volunteers do all the wreaths for Christmas as well...wonder where they get their inspirations...hmmm?
8 Some of the cool season crops that have been moved out of the greenhouse to be hardened off. Many have already been bedded out with more going out this week.
9 The nursery is off site, surrounded by woods that are home to lots of raccoons and other hungry critters. The crew keeps them out of the open hoop houses with a screen of netting and chicken wire.
10 They fasten it either 1/3 the way up or all the way over the openings and it seems to be very effective.
11 A propagation area with shade cloth to keep rooting woody plants cool and hold off on the watering.
12 A few Dodecatheon, or shooting stars. A real prized native wild flower that is used in some of the historic garden displays on the grounds.
13 Cuttings of figs taking root, that were started in winter from hard wood cuttings in a fast draining mix that has lots of perlite to hold moisture and wick water away, preventing rot. The pots are on heat mats to promote faster rooting and the success is evident.
14 On the same bench are cuttings of pomegranate, which is hardy int he Z7 gardens of south east Virginia.
15 One of the vegetable display gardens where the efforts of the gardeners are setting off for their spring and summer show. Next, a tour of garden highlights from Colonial Williamsburg...stay tuned.
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