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This was great to read Elizabeth. I love what the Diva said about killing plants and the difference between England and the U.S. Thanks.~~Dee

I'm reading The Nonstop Garden right now, and she said right at the start not to be upset when (not if) you kill plants. Great advice, and I love her point about reading books for American gardeners rather than fantasizing about the English garden you can't have.

I love the sound of this lady. I am ordering her boosk TODAY. I definitely agree about the differences between English gardening and US conditions. Where I live we are not even close to Pennsylvania, let alone England. As the traveling salesmen in 'The Music Man' sang so eloquently, 'ya gotta know the territory!' Heal your soil, pick the right plants and be prepared for plant death. Thanks for this post!

At some lecture, losing a Saturday, a speaker said, "Plants don't read books, or tags." Worth losing a Saturday !!!!

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

I so agree with her about turf grass. But it will take a major cultural shift to end the American love affair with the lawn. I like opinionated gardeners and would enjoy an encyclopedia that says which plants are good and which are losers, but such a book would need to be regional, as some plants thrive in one place, and wither in another.

Now that's the kind of speaker I'd give up a Saturday for -- I love this!

Well, I'm certainly with the Diva on not planting thugs, natives or not. Purists might call a locally native plant aggressive, not invasive, but I still don't want it in my garden. But I disagree with the comment about sprays. I've never met a native gardener who sprayed for bugs and mildew, instead, we usually delight in little nibbles and minor problems which attract wildlife.

The Diva rocks!

Terrific advice from Stephanie - as always!
On a side note: I'm th one booking these wonderful garden speakers and events and it is like pulling teeth to get folks to come out for FREE, stellar programs - I've tried changing timing, offering drawing prizes, etc. Cannot figure out WHY more folks are not taking advantage of these priceless garden experts - 1 hour with then could save you months of unneeded chores and grief as the above demonstartes. How can we get more folks out?
Ranters, why do YOU attend or not attend your local garden club meetings/talks/events?

I gave her a lift to her hotel on Friday evening. She said, "You don't know a plant until you've killed it." We had about 150 show up for her talk on Saturday. She's pretty funny.

Kathy J, we don't get speakers of this caliber in Buffalo too often--our yearly garden show usually just features local vendors. The "insiders" who belong to the local chapter of the nursery/landscaping society get some interesting people in now and then, but the public is not invited.
I think if we had regular programs bringing in such people, there would be an audience, if the PR was properly directed.

Kathy J - The local club meetings/talks/events almost all happen in the middle of the day and I have to work to supply my gardening habit. Sure, there are lunch meetings, but just getting to them would eat up all the time I have for lunch, never mind the actual meeting time. And there seems to be no way to discover if there will be a speaker or who that speaker is unless one is already a member (which leads back to the mid-day meeting issue).

Some day - but certainly not today.

I've been hunting for a number of years now to find a fast growing ground cover that can be walked on to replace our back yard lawn. I live in New Hampshire and what our nurseries offer grow slowly (in my mind anyway.) So as yet, the ones I tried haven't made it to the yard. If anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate them!

For the garden books: I stopped buying books because I found they contained so many things that weren't suitable to NH environment. I would love to see periodicals or books written for specific areas. Even a book for all of New England wouldn't work for me. So much of what works in Mass, Connecticut and Rhode Island just won't survive here.

Kathy J--I would love to attend local garden lectures. The best way to get my attention is through Facebook. An email 3 weeks in advance will probably be forgotten. But a reminder via Facebook the day before the event and the day of the event will get my attention. If can't go and you post photos the next day and let me know how much fun I missed, I'll be more likely to go the next time.

Also, you've got to cover topics that are current. Roses and glads are so 1960. Getting rid of lawns, container gardening, small vegetable plots, sustainability, etc, are hot now.

Onc time a long time ago I was a tour leader on an APGA tour bus and Stephanie was on the bus. I love her but trying to get that woman back on the bus stop after stop was a full time job!

I too, couldn't agree more with her comments, particularly about soil. It's like a dirty little secret we don't talk about The functional horizons are often essentially all gone; either they were eroded away or scraped away by the developer. Even local natives won't grow where there is no real soil.

Have them in the winter (the speakers), when I can't be in the garden and am dying for a garden fix.

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