Avant Gardener – 081913

Hosts Derek and Carolyn Fell comment on the continuing saga of the Victorian gazebo they attempted to erect on their property, only to be thwarted by a local ordinance that would not allow an ornamental structure in the spot they chose to put it, but would allow a utilitarian animal shelter or a tool shed. Derek reports on a trip he made to Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, where the displays of annuals are now at their peak, and his intention in the next broadcast to report on a visit to the Penn State University flower trials, at Landisville, PA. The Fells continue to review some of the news in their monthly newsletter, the Avant Gardener (avantgardener.info) including a visit to a profitable organic farm in Florida run by the Worden family which has the whole process of organic farming automated, using horticultural fabric to deter weeds and drip irrigation to provide water when needed. An article on mazes shows the design for the Chartres Cathedral labyrinth, a circular layout, and reports on replicas of the famous Hampton Court maze which is rectangular. The Fells express amazement over a new canna that can be grown from seed, ‘South Pacific Scarlet’ which they saw in the All-America Selections seed trials; and also a new coneflower mixture that can be grown from seed as an annual, ‘Cheyenne Spirit.’ On the subject of perennials that can be grown as annuals, the Fells mention a new series from the German plant breeder, Ernst Benary, including an annual lady’s mantle, a perennial sunflower ‘Summer Sun’, a cardinal flower mixture, ‘Queen Victoria’ and a gaillardia, the ‘Arizona’ series which has yellow, red and a bi-color in its color range. In the email section the Fells explain how to microwave sweet corn, how to apply wood ashes to soil so that it does not turn the soil alkaline, and where to obtain the hardy perennial vegetable, ‘Egyptian Walking’ onions, ‘