Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The "Dream Team" Delivers!

Hello, everyone!  For those of you who were not able to attend "The Dream Team Presents” at Memphis Botanic Gardens on Saturday, February 28, 2015, I want to share my brief notes on the presentations provided by Suzy Askew, Gardens Education and Volunteer Coordinator at Dixon Gallery & Gardens; Ginny Fletcher, Vice President of Memphis Area Master Gardeners and Past President of Memphis Horticultural Society; and Greg Touliatos, founder, Greg Touliatos & Associates and Urban Earth.
Suzy spoke first providing historical and current use of “rills” in landscapes—“Aesthetic Water Features with a Purpose.”  She described a rill as simply a channel that moves water.  Three prominent examples given were (1) naturally occurring erosion [see photo below]; 

(2) commercial use, including the Panama Canal [see photo below], 

Garden Rill
and (3) landscape design.
Italian Palazzo Rill


Suzy's presentation was artfully delivered and certainly generated some serious thought on my part on how to incorporate this feature into my landscape.  

Next up, Ginny spoke about vertical gardening, with both slide images and an actual "how-to-build" demonstration.  Some advantages of this technique are aesthetics, increased yield, privacy screening, reduced disease/insect infestation, and easier harvesting.  I heard enough chatter to know that she certainly created interest in this technique!

Floral or Vegetable Gardens

Following a brief break to sample the tasty treats provided by members, Greg Touliatos introduced us to his new garden store in mid-town Memphis.

Urban Earth
He continued with a discussion of his approach to landscape design and favorite plant selections.  One of Greg’s main points was that the etiology of gardening has changed so that the transfer of plant materials is no longer passed locally, person-to-person.  The major suppliers are huge, bi-coastal growers; therefore, it is essential for the gardener to not rely on plant tags or on the internet for information specific to a plant and how it relates to growing in the Mid-South.
Many thanks to Memphis Area Master Gardeners and to Memphis Botanic Garden for this for this highly successful program!

Until next time...

JJ James, TEMG ‘13


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