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National Public Gardens Day and Random Thoughts

Wow, this blog is practically writing itself. Friday, May 8 is National Public Gardens Day.  Here’s the info we provided the local media. It pretty much covers everything.


National Public Gardens Day at the IMA
Friday, May 8
1–5 p.m.
Throughout the IMA Gardens and Grounds

National Public Gardens Day is a national day of celebration to raise awareness of America’s public gardens and their important role in promoting environmental stewardship and awareness, plant and water conservation, and education in communities nationwide. Visitors may stop by the IMA gardens for a full afternoon of events, including a demonstration on creating high-impact container displays and shopping discounts at the Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse and guided tours of springtime blooms in the IMA gardens. Visitors may stop by the orchard on the grounds of Oldfields, which is currently being renovated to include heirloom fruits and vegetables popular in gardens of the early 20th century. The Museum’s knowledgeable horticulture staff will be available throughout the day to offer gardening tips and answer questions.

Well, that kind of covers everything but here are a few more details…

  • Horticulturist Jim Kincannon will be giving the container gardening lecture in the lower level of Garden Terrace at 1pm.
  • Horticulturists will be at the Greenhouse from 2 – 4 pm to answer questions and help you select plants.
  • Gardens Supervisor Chad Franer will be giving demos on cleaning and sharpening tools at the Greenhouse parking lot from 2 – 4 pm.
  • Garden tours will be given at 1 and 3 pm.
  • Horticulturist Geoff VonBurg will be in the Orchard from 1 – 4 pm to explain some of the happenings in this renovated fruit and vegetable patch across the road from the Greenhouse. It’s not quite finished so enjoy seeing it in progress.  See spring veggies now and come back later to see the summer crop.


There, I feel better fleshing the day’s events out a bit. For more info on the national day you can visit the website of the American Public Garden Association  (APGA), or visit their fan and event pages on Facebook.

Now for several random thoughts.

It continues to be a very lovely Spring here in the gardens. Please come visit. Things look just great. Here are three flowering events you have missed – tulips, early peonies, redbuds. Don’t worry, there’s something new everyday.

Tulipa Daydream

Tulipa ‘Daydream’

Paeonia offinalis ‘Mollis’

Paeonia offinalis ‘Mollis’

Cercis canadensis ‘Appalachian Red’

Cercis canadensis ‘Appalachian Red’

Despite the hot weather over the week-end the tulips held out for the celebration/dedication of Nonie’s Garden on April 26.

On April 27 we had an excellent turn-out for Niloo’s and my tour for Fashion in Bloom.
The Orchard is now an official orchard since it has mature trees planted in it. Here’s what they looked like on the trucks.


I think the somewhat gnarly stubbed branching gives them a look of having been here for decades instead of days.


If you read a recent issue of Midwest Living that said we had a cutting garden you could cut from for your own bouquets, that is not true. We are a public garden not a public cutting garden.

On the home front I have been thoroughly enjoying my Dicentra spectabilis ‘Gold Heart’.


This yellow leafed cultivar of bleeding heart is one of my favorite plants. My oldest plant is now over 5 feet wide and over 3 feet tall. If it had blue flowers I would just swoon every time I looked at it. Truly, I would need to keep smelling salts in my pocket. The Iris x robusta ‘Gerald Darby’ has kept the purple in its leaves longer than any other year and the color has extended further up the leaves.


To think a couple years back I almost ripped it out of the garden. This is now considered a hybrid between the natives I. versicolor and I. virginica. Imagine that, a native in my garden. But it is a hybrid.

As I said earlier, things are looking great this Spring in the gardens at the IMA.


It is a perfect time for a visit. But don’t cut any flowers. I’ll get you. Oh yes, I will get you.

Filed under: Current Events, Horticulture

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