It requires some fast feet to keep up with New Hartford’s Robert Herman, chairman of the horticulture program at Naugatuck Valley Community College. He organizes an international symposium of European speakers for the Northwest Horticultural Society in Seattle on March 23 and also serves as a symposium translator for at least one German landscape architect. Pacific Horticulture magazine publishes an online article in March of Robert in a beautifully landscaped park in downtown Frankfurt, Germany. In January, his local newspaper, the New Hartford Independent, featured him in a front-page article, “A Plantsman in Our Midst – Robert Herman, Educator,” which highlights his experience as a horticulturist and educator.
* CHS members share their expertise at the 2013 Connecticut Flower and Garden Show in Hartford February 21-24. Among those scheduled to speak are: Karen Bussolini of South Kent ("naturescaping" your garden); Rich Cowles of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (invasive pests); Sydney Eddison of Newtown (the passage of time in the garden); Ellen Hoverkamp of West Haven (floral scanner photography); Dawn Pettinelli of University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension ("compostology"); Colleen Plimpton of Bethel (gardening with the birds). Full schedule >
* Several CHS members met at the Mark Twain House with P. Allen Smith in advance of the November 17 symposium, and the conversation has made its way on to Smith’s radio show, which airs in his home state of Arkansas. Highlights of the Dec. 22 show include Chrissie D’Esopo of Avon requesting alternatives to impatiens; Barry Avery of North Granby touting the qualities of Bowman’s root (Gillenia trifoliata); Sharon Mann of Bloomfield wondering how to improve the aesthetics of vegetable gardens in borders; Leslie Shields of Plainville and Steve Silk of Farmington discussing roses in winter; Karla Dalley of Farmington offering tips for keeping Sambucas nigra ‘Black Lace’ healthy; Kevin Wilcox of Bloomfield asking about stalwart, older-plant varieties.
On the Dec. 8 show, Steve introduces CHS and talks about the keen interest among younger gardeners in growing food, Leslie touts the spring and fall plant auctions and Colleen Plimpton of Bethel asks about heritage poultry breeds. Listen to the podcasts to pick up great gardening information and to hear Smith call CHS members “some of (his) favorite plant-geek friends."
* Karen Bussolini of South Kent speaks to the Prosser Public Library in Bloomfield on Nov. 13 about her book, The Naturescaping Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide for Bringing Nature to Your Backyard.”
* Hartford landscape designer Lelaneia Dubay was featured in an Oct. 28 article in The Hartford Courant’s Home & Real Estate section for the work she did for a neighbor, Denise Merrill, Connecticut’s secretary of the state. Merrill asked Lelaneia, of Dubay Design, to help solve the problem of a wet basement. Lelaneia created a rain garden whose elements included a rock- and gravel- lined ditch that channels water away from the house, native plants that can absorb a lot of water in a short period and two small granite bridges. She also adjusted the composition and level of the soil.
* If you’re traveling to or through Lexington, Ky., you may want to stop at The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky to view the outdoor installation of 20 sculptures by David Hayes of Coventry, an abstract artist of international renown. “The Hayes exhibition at UK is part of an ongoing plan to develop the museum’s outdoor sculpture garden and make art more accessible on campus,” according to a UK press release. “Funding for ‘David Hayes Sculpture’ has been provided by the Herman Lee and Nell Stuart Donovan Memorial Endowment.” The exhibit is on display through June 2013.
* John O'Brien of O'Brien Nurserymen in Granby and Kevin Wilcox of Silver Spring Nursery in Bloomfield have been teaching garden master classes through the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System. Kevin's remaining topics are “Spirea, Calycanthus, Abelia” (Oct. 16), “Morphology” (Nov. 6) and “Lespedeza, Deutzia, Physocarpus (Dec. 11), while past classes were "Willows" (Kevin, Sept. 25) and "Propagating Hostas" (John, Sept. 11). Click for class descriptions or to register.
* Lea Anne Moran of Simsbury is the garden master at Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, which means she keeps the historic Beatrix Ferrand-designed Sunken Garden looking its best. It's a big job and she welcomes help from volunteers through Oct. 19 and 20, when the garden is put to bed. E-mail Lea Anne or call her, 860-408-9560, to find out when the gang is working next. Bring gloves and hand pruners.
* On Saturday, Sept. 1, Steve Silk of Farmington joins Len Giddix and Lisa Napolitano in the radio studio of "Garden Talk." Tune in to WTIC, 1080-AM, from noon to 2 p.m. And check out the WTIC website to hear Kevin Wilcox of Silver Spring Nursery in Bloomfield dispense horticultural wisdom. Kevin co-hosted the Aug. 25 "Garden Talk" show, substituting for Len. Listen to the podcasts.
* On Tuesday, Sept. 4, 12:30-1 p.m., Deborah Kent of South Glastonbury and Colleen Fitzpatrick of Simsbury appear on the radio live with Suzanne Thompson, host of "CT Outdoors," WMRD, 1150-AM, Middletown, and WLIS, 1420-AM in Old Saybrook. Deborah, of Deborah Kent Designs, talks about autumn gardening -- how fall is a great time to plant and some recommendations for planting. Colleen talks about the coming events for fall at the Connecticut Horticultural Society. The taped program airs again that evening, 6:30-7 p.m., and on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 1 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 9, at 7 a.m., and can be heard on the WMRD/WLIS website during those times, as well.
* Check out the work of Ellen Hoverkamp of West Haven, whose botanical scanner photography is paired with text in a new book by Ken Druse, “Natural Companions: The Garden Lover's Guide to Plant Combinations” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2012). A review of book appears in the September issue of CHS Newsletter.
* The New England Wild Flower Society holds a class July 15 in the Bloomfield garden of Laurrie Sostman. The garden illustrates how Laurrie, working on a ½-acre property within a subdivision controlled by a homeowner’s association, has created a beautiful, ecologically friendly habitat that supports migrating songbirds and rare butterflies. The class is taught by Ellen Sousa.
* July 15 is the date of a home and garden tour at Chrissie and John D’Esopo’s home at 289 West Avon Rd., Avon. The breathtaking landscaping includes a 10-foot-long dragon of sculpted moss, double-tiered pond with water lilies and fish and, of course, the brilliant plantings of perennials and annuals. The Greek revival home has been restored and fairly bursts with art and period antiques. Proceeds went to My Sister’s Place and Interval House.