Friday, February 28, 2014

Kansas City Garden Symposium
Color Outside the Lines

One of our MARLS members, Pam Hardy, had the opportunity to attend the 2014 Kansas City Garden Symposium the weekend of February 21st and 22nd. Photos in this blog entry by Jennifer Yount Asher.

History of the KC Garden Symposium
The first Garden Symposium was held in 1998 as a joint program of Gardeners Connect and the Friends of Powell Gardens. In 2013 Gardeners Connect assumed sole responsibility of Garden Symposium ending a 15 year collaboration with the Friends of Powell Gardens.

They have been creating this educational series, bringing in notable gardeners from all over the world to Kansas City, every other year and 2014 will be their 9th Garden Symposium. Every symposium has a theme which ties the speakers together and gives focus to the needs of gardeners.

Their list of past symposium speakers reads like a who's who of the gardening world. Not all of them were famous when we brought them to the stage in Kansas City but went on to be well known to gardeners everywhere.

Before Friday’s workshop

Trip to Bird's Botanicals in Kansas City

"Bird's Botanicals is a hybridizer of orchids. The cave that houses these orchids used to be a quarry. He's got unbelievable hybrids. Some of them are called Pansies because of the colors and patterns. They have 10,000 orchids.

Pam hadn't seen Lady Slipper Orchids as big as his. He sells LOTS of orchids at in Kansas City. Address is Interstate Underground Warehouse. 8201 E. 23rd St. 64129 1-816-252-4478. Chuck and Brian took us there. A special side trip. 

Friday’s Garden Symposium Workshop

Our workshop was conducted by Joseph Tychonievich. This year Organic Gardening listed him as one of six young horticulturalists who are helping shape how America gardens. He is a plant breeder, focusing on what he deems "new heirlooms." Plants that are defined by their qualities, important to gardeners like taste, fragrance and durability not their age.

He has studied plant breeding and genetics at Ohio State and Michigan State universities and is currently nursery manager for Arrowhead Alpines in Fowlerville, Michigan.

He is the author of a book, Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener: How to Create Unique Vegetables and Flowers published by Timber Press.

Friday's Garden Symposium Workshop
We pollinated and grafted African violets and Geraniums.

Garden Symposium Dinner

Ended the day with a great Speak-ess, dinner and drinks — with Brian Chadwick-Robinson, Pam Hardy, Orchids for sale from Dave Bird, Tablemate, Amanda Thomsen, Gayle Yelenik of the Mo-Kan Daylily Society, Barbara Williams, and Chuck Robinson.

Garden Symposium Dinner

Amanda Thomsen was our dinner speaker and her topic was "Landscaping Questions You Forgot to Ask: Stuff You Really Need to Know to Grow."

Amanda calls herself  “big, loud and fun.” She is a professional landscaper by day and blogger at night. She has been writing her blog, Kiss My Aster, for more than seven years.

She has also blogged for Proven Winners and for Fine Gardening and Horticulture magazines.

In late 2012, Storey Publishing published her choose-your-own-adventure style book, Kiss My Aster: A Graphic Guide to Creating a Fantastic Yard Totally Tailored to You. It is a graphic novel for gardeners that dispenses advice for beginning gardeners in format that is not at all boring. Veteran gardeners are amused at how Amanda depicts situations and nod in agreement.

In one section, Amanda encourages gardeners to shop online, which she recommends. “Bring a cocktail, and pants are optional.”

Saturday Presentation from Julie Moir Messervy

Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love.
In this inspiring lecture, award-winning landscape designer and author Julie Moir Messervy demystifies the art and practice of landscape design for homeowners and professionals alike. Using beautiful images, together with helpful tips, case studies, before and afters, diagrams, and plans, she walks you through the process of turning any property into the “home outside” you have always dreamed of. Julie highlights many of the ideas introduced in her book, Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love, illustrating that good landscape design does not have to be overwhelming or expensive.
Julie is a garden designer and author of seven books. Her imprint on American landscape and garden design is indelible.

Julie designed Toronto Music Garden, a reflection in landscape of Bach's Suite No. 1 in G Major for unaccompanied cello. She designed it in 1997 collaborating with renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. it was featured in the first of Ma's a six-part series titled "Inspired by Bach."

Julie's design work earned her the American Horticultural Society 2005 Great American Gardeners Award landscape design honor.

Saturday presentation With Joseph Tychonievich

Hummingbirds Don't Actually Like Red Flowers

You think you know how flowers work, perhaps. Some attract bees, some hummingbirds, to carry pollen and make seeds. That is true, as far as it goes, but it gets a lot crazier than that too... Some flower colors are actually camouflage, others are the equivalent of scantily clad women in beer advertisements, taking advantage of frustrated males to get their business done. See plants, and the insects, birds, and other animals -- including us -- they interact with in a whole new way.

Saturday presentation With Amanda Thomsen

You Can Grow Your Own Way

Saturday presentation With Kerry Ann Mendez

High-Impact, Low-Maintenance Perennial Gardens.
Discover great perennials for spring, summer and fall color as well as design tips and organic practices for healthy, gorgeous gardens. Sustainable practices will be emphasized. Topics covered include perennials, shrubs, annuals, fertilizers, natural repellants, and much more.

Outrageous Foliage Carries the Show!

Foliage plays a dramatic role in creating sensational gardens spring through fall. And the bonus, if not the main attraction, is that these beauties require little maintenance and are less nutritionally-demanding than their flower-jammed sidekicks, even though these lovely ‘leafies’ also produce flowers. PowerPoint features showy perennials, shrubs and annuals.
Kerry Ann Mendez is a self-taught gardener from east-central New York, where her garden is in Zone 5, Kerry Ann has authored two books and one ebook.

Kerry has written for Fine Gardening and other publications and has been featured in Horticulture, Garden Gate, Fine Gardening and Better Homes and Gardens' Garden Ideas & Outdoor Living. She has been featured on HGTV and has hosted television gardening segments.

Her gardens also were in garden author Keith Davitt's 2006 book Hardscaping: How to Use Structures, Pathways, Patios and Ornaments in Your Garden.

She also was a presenter for Horticulture magazine’s 2010 and 2011 webinar series.
Pam had a wonderful time at the 2014 Kansas City Garden Symposium and is looking forward to their next Symposium during 2016.

-by Pam Hardy & Lynn Slackman