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Avant Gardener – 110413

Hosts Derek and Carolyn discuss several topics in the news, including the resurrection of Garden Design magazine as a quarterly, after it was folded as a monthly magazine, under new ownership. Derek says he is planning an interview with the new publisher for a future broadcast as he is keen to know what changes might be made. Carolyn discusses a new garden she has been tweaking at a restaurant in Pennsylvania, featuring ornamental grasses and items of cast iron furniture to make it a pleasant place to sit. The expert this session is Lynn Lawson, co-owner with her husband Andrew of Barnhaven Primroses. An English couple living in Brittany, France, they are responsible for perpetuating the famous Barnhaven brand of hardy primroses, and recently branched out into breeding hellebores. Lynn explains the history of Barnhavens, which began when an American housewife in Oregon began breeding them. Easily grown from seed, Lynn explains how to obtain good germination and describes some of her favorite varieties including the Grand Canyon mixture and the Marine Blues. Answering emails, Derek tells a listener how to attract more songbirds and hummingbirds to her garden. He advises another listener on what annuals to plant so they will re-seed in subsequent years. Another listener wants to know when praying mantis egg cases will hatch if he takes them indoors for his children to observe.