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Avant Gardener –

With the 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show now finished, co-hosts Derek and Carolyn reminesce about shows past, particularly the event ten years ago when Carolyn designed an award winning garden for the show. Called Carolyn’s Cottage, it was a scaled down replica of a similar cottage garden at their home, Cedaridge Farm, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Winner of the presistigious Mayor’s Trophy for best flower garden, Carolyn’s design included a number of plants never before seen in the show, including difficul;t-to-force ‘Heavenly Blue’ morning glories and scarce ‘Barnhaven’ hardy primroses. The guest on this occasion is Dick Chamberlain, head of Harris Seeds, a prestigious supplier of vegetable and flower seeds by mail, headquartered in Rochester, New York. Dick explains the history of the company, and how Joseph Harris from England settled in the area and earned a reputation for growing the best quality produce from seed he would save from selected plants. Dick also reviews some of Harris’s milestones in breeding achievement, including ‘Elite’ zucchini squash, ‘Gold Star’ cantaloupe, ,Supersonic’ tomato, and a new series of super-sweet sweet corns called the ‘Mirai’ series. Answering e-mails, Derek explains how to amend a heavily alkaline soil, how to grow a moster watermelon so it can win a contest, and he explains the difference between regular evergreen rhododendrons that predominate in pink and red, and the deciduous kinds the predominate in yellow and orange. For the Fell’s monthly newsletter, visit avantgardener.info; to have an e-mail answered go to

With the 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show now finished, co-hosts Derek and Carolyn reminesce about shows past, particularly the event ten years ago when Carolyn designed an award winning garden for the show. Called Carolyn’s Cottage, it was a scaled down replica of a similar cottage garden at their home, Cedaridge Farm, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Winner of the presistigious Mayor’s Trophy for best flower garden, Carolyn’s design included a number of plants never before seen in the show, including difficul;t-to-force ‘Heavenly Blue’ morning glories and scarce ‘Barnhaven’ hardy primroses. The guest on this occasion is Dick Chamberlain, head of Harris Seeds, a prestigious supplier of vegetable and flower seeds by mail, headquartered in Rochester, New York. Dick explains the history of the company, and how Joseph Harris from England settled in the area and earned a reputation for growing the best quality produce from seed he would save from selected plants. Dick also reviews some of Harris’s milestones in breeding achievement, including ‘Elite’ zucchini squash, ‘Gold Star’ cantaloupe, ,Supersonic’ tomato, and a new series of super-sweet sweet corns called the ‘Mirai’ series. Answering e-mails, Derek explains how to amend a heavily alkaline soil, how to grow a moster watermelon so it can win a contest, and he explains the difference between regular evergreen rhododendrons that predominate in pink and red, and the deciduous kinds the predominate in yellow and orange. For the Fell’s monthly newsletter, visit avantgardener.info; to have an e-mail answered go to derekfell@verizon.net.

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