About Ellen Park
Ellen Park has been gardening ever since she discovered playing in the dirt was more fun than digging in the sandbox. In her blog, Road Trips for Gardeners, she covers the world looking for plant-centric events, flower shows, great gardens and places to see the best things growing.
Latest Posts by Ellen Park
The Midwest Invasive Plant Network (MIPN) and the Ohio Invasive Plants Council (OIPC) are co-hosting a two-day symposium on invasive plants during the North Central Weed Science Society conference, set for December 9 through 12, 2013, in the Hyatt Regency, 350 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio.
The symposium, December 11 and 12, 2013, will focus on invasive plants in natural areas and will include concurrent sessions on assessing invasiveness of non-native plant species, using online reporting tools for early detection, and management of some of the most problematic invasive plants, including an in-depth session on Asian bush honeysuckle impacts and management.
NCWSS includes 15 U.S. states and one Canadian province: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Ontario, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
(Photo of thistle courtesy of NCWSS)
Discovery and surprise awaits who are headed to Phoenix between November 10, 2013, and May 18, 2014.
That’s when “Chihuly in the Garden” will be on display at the Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, Arizona.
Dale Chihuly’s colorful art glass will be installed in the garden, accenting the living plant life. Chihuly is credited with revolutionizing the Studio Glass movement and elevating the perception of the glass medium from the realm of craft to fine art. He is renowned for his ambitious architectural installations around the world in historic cities, museums and gardens.
Because of the expected popularity of this event, advance reservations are highly recommended to help ensure availability of your desired date, time period and parking spot. Limited walk-up tickets may be available. If a time period is sold out and you do not have a reservation or ticket you may not be able to enter the Garden.
(Photo of a detail of Chihuly’s Summer Sun courtesy of Desert Botanical Garden)
An Edible Garden Fest is set for 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. October 26 and 27, 2013, at the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, Florida.
There’ll be food, cooking demonstrations from South Florida chefs, gardening demonstrations, edible garden workshops, lectures and tours, hands-on educational activities and more. Admission is $25 for adults.
View a video of a recent festival below.
(Photo and video courtesy of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden)
The Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, combines horticulture and artistry, preserving an ancient Asian art form while showcasing innovative plant-growing techniques.
From October 26, 2013, through November 24, 2013, you can see more than 20,000 blooming chrysanthemums that have been trained (some for more than a year) to resemble clouds, torches, spirals, fans, 13-foot arches and more.
On October 26, the largest Thousand Bloom Mum in North America (which showcases more than 1,100 perfect yellow blooms) will make its debut appearance.
(Photo and video courtesy of Longwood Gardens)
Gruesomely gorgeous? If you think flowers are always beautiful, contemplate this: a float made of blooms at the annual Flower Parade in Zundert, Netherlands.
Zundert’s flower parade is an annual explosion of dahlias is always held in September.
The village districts and surrounding church villages are engaged in a competition every year to build the finest float to be judged by a professional and independent jury. The entire village joins in, young as well as old, man and woman, worker and manager. The tradition of the parade joins generations, sexes and social classes.
The floats are built in huge tents. These appear from early May and June, then the actual building of the floats starts. All summer long the building continues. By the end of August the floats are ready except for one important detail: the flowers. Of course, the dahlias can only be fixed on the floats at the very last moments, since they would wither if applied earlier. This is a challenging job that has to be performed within just a few days and for which hundreds of volunteers are drummed up in every village quarter. On the Saturday preceding the parade a lot of the locals work through the night to get the float finished.
Zundert’s flower parade came into being in 1936 as a celebration of Queen Wilhelimina’s birthday that year. The first parades were modest as far as size is concerned and mostly consisted of decorated bicycles and a single farmer’s cart. Yet the idea of a flower parade touched a string in the inhabitants.
The parade has always had a quite strong artistic aspect. Since the fifties good contacts have existed with the Art Academy in neighbouring Breda. Professional artists are part of the jury of the floats and advise the designers. Just like the builders of the floats, these designers are all volunteers from Zundert.
Inhabitants of Zundert educated at the Art Academy, often become designers of floats, inspired by this artistic aspect. Or the other way round: Young float designers are following an education at the Art Academy, because their artistic interest was inspired by the parade.
Since the sixties the grow of dahlias has become a major job. In the old days dahlias were picked on farmers’ yards in the wider surroundings of Zundert, but later on the village districts started creating their own dahlia fields. Today, all the dahlia fields put together take up an area of 33 hectares (81 acres) with 600,000 dahlia bulbs of fifty different species. All dahlias are grown especially for the flower parade: there is no commercial growing of dahlias in Zundert.
The parade never has a theme. Designers are completely free. Only twice a theme parade took place, in 1990 and in 2003, when the parade honored Vincent van Gogh who was born in Zundert (for its most famous inhabitant the flower parade was prepared to make an exception).
In the old days floats were mostly built using wood. In the late sixties styrofoam was discovered as a building material, mostly suitable to make subtle detailed forms. And in the seventies the use of iron began. Strings of concrete iron welded together are more suitable to make floating spacious forms. These days wood is hardly used any more, it is merely iron and styrofoam.
The iron frame is glued with lots of layers of papier maché (old newspapers with wallpaper adhesive) so it may serve as a surface to put the dahlias on. This happens during the last few days before the flower parade. Each and every dahlia is supplied with a small nail, and one by one they are fixed on the float — about 400,000 dahlias on each.
Top photo credit: ajklijs.wordpress. com
We all knows that some plants are more useful than others.
Amy Stewart knows about plants that create the world’s great drinks. She’s the author of “The Drunken Botanist” and she’s going to talk about her research (and sign copies of her book) at a lecture followed by a reception beginning at 6 p.m. October 16, 2013, in the Volmer Center of Clyburn Arboretum at the H.P. Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, 3100 Swann Drive, Baltimore, Maryland.
Who knew that horticulture was such an intoxicating subject? In her fourth New York Times bestseller, Stewart explores the odd, unusual and surprisingly common plants that have produced the world’s greatest spirits. “The Drunken Botanist” uncovers the enlightening botanical history and the fascinating science and chemistry of over 150 herbs, flowers, trees, fruits — and even a few fungi.
Tickets are $40. All proceeds directly benefit the Rawlings Conservatory.
The Fall Chrysanthemum Show runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily October 5 through November 24, 2013, at the Lauritzen Gardens – Omaha’s Botanical Center, 100 Bancroft Street, Omaha, Nebraska.
Mums in all colors will fill the visitor and education center’s indoor floral display hall.
(Photo courtesy of Lauritzen Gardens)
If you’ll be in Helsinki, Finland, this summer, be sure to stop by the Rose Garden — it’s in bloom from July until late autumn. (Do note that we’re talking about the flower garden, not the Helsinki nightclub of the same name).
A beautiful view opens up from the Winter Garden veranda over the Rose Garden towards the Töölönlahti Bay. The City Gardener Svante Olsson designed and built the Rose Garden in 1924 in a geometric gardening style.
The Rose Garden, overlooking Töölönlahti Bay, has both old and new shrub rose varieties. The range has changed over the years, with the selection criteria being the hardiness of the varieties and the color of the flower.
Traditionally, the stone foundations of the veranda have been lined with a yellow rose, the outermost beds have had white roses growing in them, the pink ones being next to the white ones and then finally dark reds in the center.
Shrub roses are low, highly cultivated and generally blooming for a long time. The current shrub rose varieties are the product of a hundred years of cultivation work. They have mainly been cultivated in Western and Central Europe as well as the United States, and the winter hardiness of varieties has not been an issue. In Finland, the poor winter hardiness of most shrub rose varieties poses a problem.
Pictured is “President Kekkonen”, a floribunda rose from the 1970s that’s an upright grower, 40-60 cm high. Young leaves are dark green and shiny and the semi-double, dark red blooms have a tinge of orange and a slight scent.
Other varieties to look for: Goldmarie (Cultivator: Kordes 1984), Lapponia (Cultivator: Tantau 1978), Schneewittchen (Iceberg) (Cultivator: Kordes 1958), Bella Rosa (Cultivator: Kordes 1981), Tellervo (Grüss an Bayern) (Cultivator: Kordes 1971), Sommerwind (Cultivator: Kordes 1985), Pink Robusta (Cultivator: Kordes 1986), Robusta (Cultivator: Kordes 1979), hybrid tea roses, polyantha roses and floribunda roses, created by crossing polyantha hybrids with hybrid tea roses.
(Photo courtesy of the Public Works Department of the City of Helsinki)