MAY AND JUNE are the busiest months in the garden, when I welcome visitors for a big Garden Conservancy Open Day, and also for more intensive half-day guided tours and workshops. All my garden events include plants sales by rare-plant specialists Broken Arrow Nursery (except as noted). Browse the May 6 and June 3, 2017 offerings and reserve tickets for the classes and workshops that typically sell out:

saturday may 6: open day, rock garden talks, plant sale, bird walk

AS PART OF spring Garden Conservancy Open Day at my garden in Copake Falls, NY, author and North American Rock Garden Society magazine editor Joseph Tychonievich will give a morning lecture and an afternoon workshop. The garden is open 10 AM to 4 PM with a plant sale all day by Broken Arrow Nursery; no advance ticket required for garden access or plant sale, but tickets are required for the special events with Joseph:

  • 11 AM Lecture: Rock Gardening, Reimagining a Classic Style: Inspired by the tiny plants and dramatic, rocky landscapes found on mountain tops, rock gardening uses a range of unusual, small plants in combination with beautiful stones to create miniaturized landscapes. This approach to gardening is water-wise, perfect for containers, small gardens, and for gardeners interested in exploring a whole new group of beautiful plants. Joseph will share beautiful images of rock garden to get you inspired, the basic principles of creating rock gardens, and an introduction to some of the most appealing and easy-to-grow rock-garden plants to get you started. (The 11 AM lecture will be held at Church of St. John in the Wilderness, 261 Route 44, Copake Falls, NY, a 2-minute drive from Margaret’s garden.)
  • 1:30-3:30 PM Workshop, Planting a Trough Garden (hands-on): Trough gardens are a perfect way to dip into the fascinating world of rock gardening. In this hands-on workshop, Joseph Tychonievich goes over the basic techniques of creating a beautiful and thriving trough garden. Participants plant one to take home, with a selection of five perennial plants per person supplied (with more for sale as add-ons, such as dwarf conifers, if desired). Attendees bring an approximately 10-inch trough or other low pot of their own; details to be emailed ahead of time. (The workshop will be held in Copake Falls, next door to Margaret’s garden; address will also be emailed to registrants. Refreshments will be served.)

I WISH I could walk every visitor around personally at Garden Conservancy Open Days–and answer every question. But that’s impossible when hundreds of guests stream through for the self-guided walkabouts I’ve been hosting for 20-plus years (and will this year again on May 6 and August 19).

Many visitors have asked me to take it to the next level, pretty please. Now Adam Wheeler and Andy Brand of Broken Arrow Nursery–they always do plant sales at my big Open Days–and I are offering a sort of “Open Day-Plus” on June 3 and September 16, 2017: smaller, ticketed, workshop-style events and sales lasting a half-day each, with lots of individual attention. Adam will co-teach the June event with me; Andy and I will do September.

Space is very limited, at each of two sessions per day.

Ticket includes $25 Broken Arrow shopping credit.

The June program (from 9:30-noon, and repeated from 1:30-4 PM):

  • Muffins (or Cookies) and Coffee: Fuel up, get acquainted, and tell us what you want to know more about, so we can fine-tune the program and cover it all.
  • Tour/Meet My Garden: Tour with me, Margaret, focusing on how I made a garden for the birds (65-plus species visit yearly); my maybe-too-crazy obsession with gold foliage; choice spring ephemerals and other underplanting essentials; and most of all, my intimate relationship with the place that goes way beyond aesthetics.
  • Workshop/The Best Plants You Never Heard Of: Broken Arrow Plant Development Manager and master propagator Adam Wheeler will “teach” the story of the unique plants in prime display at event time, and will also bring an irresistible show-and-tell of what he calls, “a blend of drool-worthy herbaceous and woody material with a focus on the unjustly rare.” Learn their features, use, and tips for successful culture. Why aren’t more people growing these incredible plants?, Adam asks…and watch out: Soon you will be!
  • Plant-Talk Hangout: We’ll spend the last chunk of our time together just talking, guided by your questions.
  • Shopping: Shop for plants from 11:45-1 and 3:30-4:45. Tip: Browse the Broken Arrow website (or call 203-288-1026 for advice on landscape-size plants in stock at the in-person retail nursery) to have larger specimens or multiples of something or just specific plants delivered on event day to take home.

$90 ticket price includes tour, workshop, Q&A session, plus refreshments…and a $25 credit at Broken Arrow plant sale.

NOTE: All registrants will be emailed directions to the starting location, next door to Margaret’s garden in Copake Falls NY.

Prefer a regular Open Day? See you May 6 or August 19. Broken Arrow sales then, too.

SOMETIMES the weather is rainy, sometimes it’s dry. The way to get the best production from your vegetable or fruit plants (or pots, or ornamentals…) is with timely watering, and the best way to water is with drip irrigation. Learn from Lee Reich to design and install a drip-irrigation system, in a hands-on workshop at the garden of Margaret Roach in Copake Falls, NY.

  • Learn the benefits (saves water, bigger yields, healthier plants-and save time since it’s easily automated!)
  • Learn to design and install a system
  • Participate in a hands-on installation

Longtime nationally known gardener and garden writer Lee Reich demonstrates hands-on installation with your assistance-so learn by doing, following a short classroom session on design principles and best materials.

Drip also saves water, makes for healthier plants and fewer weeds, and is easily automated. Learn why drip irrigation works so well, the ins and outs of designing a system, and participate in a hands-on drip-irrigation installation. Limited space, so pre-registration is necessary.

We begin with refreshments and a classroom-style session in Copake Falls, New York, then move outside into the garden for the learn-by-doing portion of the workshop. NOTE: Registrants will be sent location and directions for the classroom part of the event, in Copake Falls, NY. (NOTE: No plant sale is held on this date.)

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