I had the great fortune of being invited to speak at the All-Iowa Horticulture Expo earlier this month. And what I found compelling about it was not the traditional garden show features. This was truly a horticulture show and as such, the emphasis was on super high-quality presentations and great gardening resources.
In particular, there were two amazing speakers who both entertained and informed. Stephanie Cohen, the Perennial Diva, gave us some outstanding design ideas. But what I especially enjoyed was her irreverence toward traditional "gardening rules." Now, don't get me wrong, Stephanie taught us the basics of flower borders, plant combinations, and color palettes. But in the end, she encourages us all to plant in a way that makes us happy. Quite frankly, it is totally freeing to hear that from someone so experienced!
The second speaker was Portland's own Dan Heim, owner of Terra Nova Nursery. Dan taught us about putting the right plant in the right place. He had suggestions for everything from dry shade to wetlands. And at the end of the presentation, he showed us some of his new introductions. I will admit right now that I gasped out loud when I saw the picture of the bronze-streaked hosta… a color that hasn't existed in hostas until now.
Next week is my final garden show in San Francisco. It promises to be a great show, so I am certain I will have lots to report.