Saturday, March 22, 2014
UMKC Student Union
With hundreds of new perennials being introduced every year, most of us have had high expectations dashed by disappointing results.
Richard Hawke, who will present a free Gardeners Connect program at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 22, has given a thumbs up or the fish eye to thousands of plants as plant evaluation manager for Chicago Botanic Garden. He plans to share some of what his research has found during his program, “Proven Perennials.”
Hawke plans to talk about the evaluation program he has worked with since 1988 and managed since 2000. He plans to give special emphasis to four genera: echinacea, geranium, phlox and thalictrum.
The program will be held in the UMKC Student Union on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus.
Hawke is responsible for the evaluation of about 1,200 taxa of perennials, shrubs, vines and small trees. Herbaceous perennials are his strongest focus.
“So many plants have a premium price, and if they don’t perform as expected, people get disenchanted,” Hawke said. “You’ll find what’s hot and new in catalogs and magazines, but I’m all about the tried-and-true. We’re here to tell the average gardener and the green industry how plants performed in our evaluations.”
The herbaceous plants under evaluation are grown outdoors in side-by-side trials for at least four years. Vines and shrubs are evaluated for at least six years. Plants are monitored regularly to assess their ornamental traits; cultural adaptability to the soil and environmental conditions of the test site; disease and pest problems; and winter injury.
The four genera — echinacea, geranium, phlox and thalictrum — were selected so Hawke could give a little stronger emphasis to them and discuss them in more detail based on the comparative trials.
Hawke is principle evaluator of test plants for the Chicagoland Grows plant introduction program, including all perennials from the Chicago Botanic Garden’s breeding program, trees and shrubs from The Morton Arboretum, and other plants in the program. He has been a collaborator with 10 plant introduction programs and plant breeders for the evaluation of new ornamental plants.
Hawke also has participated in Chicago Botanic Garden’s plant exploration trips to South Korea and Siberia.
Those of us who read Fine Gardening magazine may have seen Hawke’s byline. He also has written for The American Gardener, Nursery Management, Horticulture and other publications.
Thursday, March 6, 6-8 p.m.
Thursday, March 13, 6-8 p.m.
Thursday, March 20, 6-8 p.m.
Thursday, March 27, 6-8 p.m.
Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, Missouri 64112
Learn how to create floral designs for your home and friends using flowers from your own garden.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
9 a.m. program with sale to follow
8:30 a.m. doors open, come frolic with the plants during the preview.
Loose Park Garden Center
Loose Park 51st and Wornall
Kansas City, Missouri 64112
Click Here for Map
Tickets are $5 and for Gardeners Connect Members Only. You can buy your new membership with a Plantaholic Frolic ticket in the drop down option below.
Our Plantaholic Frolic speaker’s conifer-collecting obsession began while he was reading a book in the Amazon jungle.
Rich Eyre owns Rich’s Foxwillow Pines Nursery in Woodstock, Ill., near Chicago. His nursery specializes in dwarf and rare plant material specially suited for modern smaller gardens. He plans to talk about “Inspirational Gardens and Plants” as part of this year’s April 26 Plantaholic Frolic.
In 1968, the Rich was serving in the Peace Corps in Bolivia when he found a Brooklyn Botanic Garden book on bonsai and dwarf conifers in a book locker.
When he returned from his Peace Corps tour, he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology and began feeding his conifer obsession.
Gardeners Connect's Plantholic Frolic takes place at the Garden Center in Loose Park. Eyre will present his program and attendees will get a chance to shop from plants he plans to supply to the sale and also a selection of other plants picked to appeal to Kansas City hort geeks and garden connoisseurs.
Seating is limited for this event. Tickets cost $5. Doors open at 8:30 a.m., and the program starts at 9 a.m., followed by the sale and goes until noon.
You also may mail a check made out to Gardeners Connect to this address:
c/o Brian Chadwick-Robinson
6911 NW Blair Road
Parkville, MO 64152
or call 913-302-4234.