Well-designed drainage channel beside house for storm water runoff is excellent example of green infrastructure

Great attention has been paid to the striations in the stones and to their placement as a fountain.

The last two weeks have been jam-packed. The middle of September found me in Toronto for the annual conference of APLD (Association of Professional Landscape Designers). We heard great talks about using the patterns of nature to create ecological art/design, the challenge of creating green infrastructure, using the spirit of stone in our designs, creating dramatic container combinations, designing ecologically, and important trends in digital marketing. Naturally, garden tours were also part of the program and many of the gardens reflected what we heard in the presentations. 

It’s always a pleasure to renew friendships, some long lost, and to make new ones. And, of course, being in Toronto, finding to time to eat at some of our favorite restaurants, especially Le Select, a great French bistro.

Strobilanthes, Canna bronze, Coleus ‘Henna’, Ipomoea bronze, Setcreasea ‘Variegata’;

Perhaps not to everyone’s taste but very colorful; Canna, Begonia pink, Coleus

On the way home, Niki and I stopped in Niagara-on-the-Lake for lunch and then spent an hour perusing the municipal street plantings that were extremely bright and colorful.

Lichen covered rock formation

Fallen trunks act as natural terracing to prevent erosion by storm water

On Wednesday,Yom Kippur, instead of going to a structured temple, Niki and I went to the Happy Days section of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and hiked the trail called Ledges. To me, this is the epitome of  a natural temple where all you see is beauty and all you hear is birds twittering and insects and animals wittering.

Aralia ‘Sun King’ in bloom in partial shade; foliage texture contrasts strongly with that of Japanese maple beside and behind it.

Once home, I spent most of the rest of the week preparing for three groups coming to tour my garden. Having been away so much, the weeds, particularly the bindweed, had managed to disguise many plants that would shine on their own if only they could be seen.

Ornamental peppers for fall containers

Wide range of colors of Phaelonopsis orchids

On Friday of that week, I joined several Region 3 Garden Writers on the West side of Cleveland. We started in the Willoway Nursery (wholesale only) display garden, had lunch, and took a tour of the Avon facility. Then we traveled to the Avon store of Petitti’s which had a great display of ornamental peppers as well as the usual fall mums and asters. Finally, an enlightening visit to one of the Green Circle Growers facility where only orchids are grown. I was amazed by how robotic the process is and by the range of colors.

Saturday morning, the garden writers came to visit my garden and then on Sunday, I hosted the members of the Northern Ohio Perennial Society. Tuesday evening, I spoke to the Northern Ohio Perennial Society about my book Garden Renovation. Wednesday morning, several members of the Hilltop Garden Club braved the cool, misty weather to visit the garden.

By Saturday, I was ready for a day of relaxation – breakfast with friends and then the afternoon and evening devoted to college football. Go Bucks!