04 August 2010

We Interrupt This Broadcast To Bring You A Special Bulletin

As I've been s-l-o-w-l-y blogging about our Spanish adventures, life at Longwood continues apace and a whole two months of work and gardening has gone by with no mention. Time to fix that! So here's an update on the Student Exhibition Garden: it grew!!!

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Things really took a leap while we were away in June, and the scorching heat of July didn't really make a dent in our garden, except for the potted Pennisetum, which we toyed with keeping as an homage to the neglect often found in city gardens. In the end we decided to take it out and replace it with something a little less thirsty!

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Our Schizachyrium has filled in nicely and as we were doing maintenance the other day, we wondered how it would look if it were trimmed in a spiral? I haven't been daring enough to try it yet!

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Maintenance has been surprisingly simple and not as time consuming as I imagined. We spend about an hour a week grooming the containers, trimming vines, and deadheading. Weeds haven't been much of an issue, except for the persistence of the Wisteria that keeps coming up (a Wisteria covered arbor once occupied a portion of our garden and the suckers are a constant reminder of what once was). During the heat wave we had to water the containers and some of the in-ground plants daily. One day when I went out to water I found a visitor napping in the Carex pennsylvanica. I'm such a sucker for the cats here that I didn't want to spoil her nap! Needless to say, the watering didn't happen that day and the plants were just fine!

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Every time I go to the Exhibition Gardens I have to remind myself to stop and look around, to try and see it with a visitor's eye. When I do that, I'm constantly amazed and quite proud of my fellow classmates and our accomplishment! All of the gardens look amazing!

This is our neighbor, Fragrance From the Four Corners of the World, featuring fragrant plants native to the four main continents of the globe:

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And across the way is Fragrance Flows with their awesome railroad tie 'water wheels' of fragrant plants:

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Spheres of Fragrance never ceases to amaze me. Our classmates just didn't know how they were going to pull this one off but they did! The vibrant colors and textures of this garden make it my favorite. And the awesome burgundy foliage? Rice!! Which they grew from seed!

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One of the most gratifying aspects of this project has been the positive feedback and compliments - not from Longwood staff, though they have been profuse in their praise - from Longwood guests visiting the gardens! Through new interactive technology, guests can dial a number on their cell phone and hear us talk about the garden. They can also leave a comment, which many have done.

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To hear our message, dial 610-717-5599 then press 125#. The gardens are at their peak, so if you're nearby now is the time to see them. The next PG class is already designing the gardens they'll build in these spaces next year, so be sure to come back next year as well and see what new and exciting designs the students are bringing to Longwood!

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming...

1 comment:

BrooksideMark said...

WOW! The gardens look amazing. I can't get over how good the Spheres of Fragrance garden turned out - I wasn't so sure when I saw it way back in May. You guys truly outdid yourselves...I'm so impressed. The gardens look so much better than I ever could have imagined. Fantastic job!