I’VE BEEN EDGING as fast as I can. And mulching, raking, weeding, transplanting; you know the drill. Spring frenzy–both in to-do’s, and in the madness of what’s blooming in time for Saturday’s May 6 Open Day. The plants are cooperating, so how about you? Rain or shine–we’re here with garden visiting, Broken Arrow Nursery plant sale, and your choice of two talks by Joseph Tychonievich (or both!), one on rock-garden ideas and another on pollinator plants.

Lilacs, the ancient old apples, fothergilla, and more woody plants are in bloom, and the crabapples opening wider even as I type. I think the deciduous azaleas may pop today, too. On the ground layer, every manner of native spring wildflower jumbled with unusual Asian woodlanders are doing their things. Even the masses of hellebores are still at it, and more than half of the Narcissus. Sort of an old-fashioned spring so far–so please come say hello, won’t you? All the details and lecture-ticket info:

  • Garden open 10-4 (directions are on the Conservancy site)
  • Plant sale 10-4 by Broken Arrow Nursery
  • no advance ticket required for garden access or plant sale, but tickets are recommended for the special events with Joseph (walk-ins welcome, assuming space is available).
  • Note: There is a special discounted combination ticket for both talks, and time to come visit the garden between. Make a day of it!

  • 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.)
  • 1:30-2:30 Lecture: Plants, Pollinators, and How to Support Them: It’s every gardener’s most urgent question: how to be a better steward to the pollinators we rely on. Joseph explains the interesting ways plants have evolved to attract their preferred pollinators. Along with a tour of nature’s most creative (and admittedly sometimes disgusting!) methods of connecting pollinators and plants, Joseph discusses ways to foster biodiversity in your own garden and to create a haven for the many pollinators that our world depends on. Plus: he shows examples of managing garden pests by letting other insects do the dirty work. (The 1:30 PM lecture will be held at Church of St. John in the Wilderness, 261 Route 44, Copake Falls, NY.)

About Joseph: A life-long gardener and lover of plants, Joseph has worked for prominent nurseries in the U.S. and Japan, has been a repeated guest on public radio’s food show “The Splendid Table,” and was named by “Organic Gardening Magazine” as one of “…six young horticulturists who are helping to shape how America gardens.” He is author of “Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener,” “The Complete Guide to Gardeners,” and “Rock Gardening: Reimagining a Classic Style,” and editor of the “North American Rock Garden Society Quarterly.”

I LOVE TO EAT at CrossRoads Food Shop about 5 minutes up the road in Hillsdale, New York, and they’re open tomorrow from 8:30 to 2:30 for farm-to-table breakfast-all-day or lunch and baked goods galore. Tell them Margaret sent you. Address: 2642 Route 23, Hillsdale, NY 12529. Fun shopping in the same little plaza at Hillsdale General Store (where they sell my favorite lightweight hoses) and across the street at their sister store HGS Home Chef, a cooking store with great cookbooks, too.

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