Avant Gardener – 091613

Hosts Derek and Carolyn Fell discuss their amazement at Singapore’s ‘Supertrees’, a vertical gardening project that they believe is the largest horticultural endeavor in the world. The Supertrees are 100 ft. towers that mushroom out at the top to support a veritable jungle of tropical plants, especially orchids, bromeliads and other epiphytic plants that have been shipped from a grower in the United States, Tropiflora, of Sarasota, Florida. The Supertrees are part of an immense botanical garden also featuring a conservatory filled with tropical plants and another filled with temperate plants. Derek interviews Dennis Catheart, president of Tropiflora who explains that thousands of plants were shipped by air from his nursery, and the process of supplying plants is on-going. Dennis explains a history of the company, and how his passion for bromeliads in particularly has resulted in a plant breeding program. During a discussion of emails, one listener plans on creating a rose garden and wants recommendations for the most fragrant roses. Derek names varieties recently judged ‘the most fragrant’ from the American Rose Society, notably David Austin roses, such as ‘Abraham Darby’ (an orange) and ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ (a pink) that are specially bred for fragrance. Although the listener says he does not like hybrid tea roses, Derek explains that varieties like ‘Fragrant Cloud’, ‘Mister Lincoln’ and ‘Chrysler Imperial’ consistently win awards for best fragrance at the American Rose Society competitions. In answer to a lady wanting to grow herbs indoors, the Fells recommend parsley, chives, basil, stevia (also called sweet leaf because a single leaf will sweeten a cup of coffee) and scented-leaf geraniums (especially the rose-scented because of its beautiful flowering display.) The fells remind listeners they can subscribe to their monthly on-line full-color newsletter, by visiting Avantgardener.info, and submit email questions to: mailto:derekfell@verizon.net