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The VNLA Quarterly Newsletter

Volume 39, Issue 3
Fall Issue, 2013
Ernie Finney &
Oliver Gardner on
The Vermont Mulch
Summer Twilight Meeting at Arcana Gardens & Greenhouses
Green Works Summer Meeting at Shelburne Farms
Inside this
presidents letter
Board of Directors 3
New Green Works
Green Works Summer
Ernie Finney -
Longtime Member
Member Profile - The
Vermont Mulch
Oliver Gardner-
Longtime Member
Noteworthy Fall
New from the U 11
Grand Finale in the
Agency of
Agriculture News -
Fall 2013
Do You Follow
Members Vote
Arcana Gardens &
Greenhouses Twilight
Industry Calendar 26
Nomination Ballot-
Green Works Awards
Fall arrived on the calendar this past
weekend and the weather followed
with a cold front that brought
welcomed showers and a twenty-
degree drop in the temperatures.
Hopefully this stretch of clear and cooler
sunny days has allowed you to make up
for lost time from early in the season. As
yet another season comes to a close,
the work of the VNLA board continues
as we look ahead to our annual winter
meeting and begin exploring possibilities
for educational opportunities that we
can offer our members in the coming
In the past year we were able to secure
excellent keynote speakers for our two
big meetings as well as a number of
diverse twilight meetings that were all well
received and well attended. Serving as
chair of our programming committee I
find that it is a real challenge to find
speakers and educational offerings that
will appeal to our very diverse group of
members. I have been fortunate that a
number of you have come forward to
recommend speakers or have offered to
host a twilight meeting. Your input is
critical to our success. If the VNLA is going
to continue to offer quality educational
programs, we need to know what you
need and would like to see. A simple
email or phone call to us with any
suggestions is all it takes.
Each time we meet as a large group I
look around and am struck by the wealth
of knowledge and experience within our
membership and know that many of you
find that your greatest membership
benefit is networking and sharing ideas
with your colleagues from around the
state. It occurred to me that it may be a
valuable exercise to set aside a
significant block of time at our winter
meeting where we could break into
groups representing the various facets of
our industry and facilitate informal round
table discussions where members could
openly share their ideas for dealing with
the various challenges that we all face in
this industry. Members could bring along
a list of questions that would help to get
the discussion going and someone could
be designated to moderate. I feel that
such a format could prove to be very
valuable and productive and would like
to know what you think.
On another front, the continued success
of the VNLA is dependent upon growing
our membership significantly in the years
ahead. We need your help! Please urge
your colleagues to consider joining the
association and pass their names along
to a board member so we can make a
personal contact. New members bring
new ideas, future leaders, and additional
revenue that will keep Green Works
moving forward in a positive direction.
I hope that your fall season will be
productive and prosperous and look
forward to hearing any feedback in the
coming weeks.
VJ Comai, Green Works/VNLA/President
VJ Comai
South Forty Nursery
184 Tamarack Rd * Charlotte, VT 05445
802.425.6222 *
Ed Burke
Rocky Dale Gardens
806 Rocky Dale Road * Bristol, VT 05443
802-453-2782 *
Claybrook Griffith
Long Leaf Landscaping, LLC
4379 Ethan Allen Hwy.
New Haven, VT 05472
802-999-4558 *

Nate Carr
Church Hill Landscapes, Inc.
287 Church Hill Road * Charlotte, VT 05445
Carrie Chalmers
Quoyburray Farm
239 Lawrence Hill Road * Weston, VT 05161
Hannah Decker
Fairfax Perennial Farm, Inc.
7 Blackberry Hill Road * Fairfax, VT 05454
Sarah Holland
Rivers Bend Garden Design, LLC
7386 VT Route 100 B
Moretown, VT 05660
Ron Paquette
Paquette Full of Posies Nursery
10236 Williston Road * Williston, VT 05495
Brian Vaughan
Vaughan Landscaping
40 Mt. Pritchard Lane
St. George, VT 05495

Kristina MacKulin
Green Works-VNLA
P.O. Box 92 * N. Ferrisburgh, VT 05473
Toll Free: 888.518.6484; 802.425.5117
Fax 802.425.5122
Claybrook Griffith
Long Leaf Landscaping, LLC
Brian Vaughan
Vaughan Landscaping
Ed Burke
Rocky Dale Gardens
Dan Redondo
Vermont Wetland Plant Supply, LLC
Ed Burke
Rocky Dale Gardens
VJ Comai
South Forty Nursery
Brian Vaughan
Vaughan Landscaping
VJ Comai
South Forty Nursery
VJ Comai
South Forty Nursery
Claybrook Griffith
Long Leaf Landscaping, LLC
board of directors

For information on
in The Dirt
Kristina at the
Green Works Ofce
Are you and your

Now is a great time to order VCH
manuals for yourself and/or your employees as the
season gets underway. Prove your level of
professionalism and commitment to excellence to
your clients. Order a VCH manual and take the test
this Summer to become a Vermont Certified
Horticulturist. Contact Kristina MacKulin for ordering
and test information.
Ginkgo Design, LLC
David Burton
22 Pearl Street
Essex Junction, VT 05452
Category: Landscape Designer
Active Member
The Vermont Mulch Company
Martin Haselton
1367 Route 142
Brattleboro, VT 05354
Category: Mulch Producer
Active Member
Thanks for joining and
New Green Works Members
2013 - 2014
Participate in the
Green Works
2013 Industry Awards Program
Scope out your projects and
submit an entry!
Entry deadline is December 2, 2013
for complete details.
ATTENTION Green Works Members!
Renew your membership today -
dont delay!
ATTENTION Green Works Members!
Cast your ballot and nominate a
deserving candidate for a Green
Works Award or the New England
Nursery Association Young
Professional of the Year Award.
See page 27 for a ballot!
On August 20
Green Works held its annual summer
meeting at Shelburne Farms. More than 160 attendees
gathered at the picturesque setting on the shore of
Lake Champlain in Shelburne.
The morning session featured two presentations by
our keynote speaker Bill Cullina. Bill is the executive
director of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in
Boothbay, Maine, and is a well known author and
recognized authority on North American native
plants. His first talk entitled Sugar, Sex, and Poison:
Shocking Plant Secrets Caught On Camera was a
fascinating look at the incredible arsenal of mechanisms
that plants have evolved to ensure their survival. After a
short break to meet with vendors, Bill followed up with a
talk highlighting his favorite native plants for the
Northeast. During
both presentation bill
shared the practices
that he has
employed at The
Coastal Maine
Botanical Gardens
and explained how
our members can
achieve the same
success by applying
these practices to
their work.
Attendees then
enjoyed a tasty
catered lunch that
was followed by a
brief special
meeting where
Green Works members voted overwhelmingly to support
a 2% dues increase for 2014.
Following lunch, everyone gathered in the courtyard for
our annual live auction. Thanks to the generous donation
of plants and products by vendors and Green Works
members the auction raised about $1,210 for our
education and research fund. Many thanks to all who
donated and participated!
Two separate presentations filled out the afternoon. The
first was by Mike Dee of Dee Physical Therapy in
Shelburne and South Burlington. Mike shared his expertise
in educating our members in the importance of staying
physically fit and employing proper body mechanics to
reduce and avoid work related injuries.
Anne Hazelrigg, plant pathologist and coordinator of the
Plant Diagnostic Clinic for UVM Extension finished out the
afternoon with a presentation on pest and disease
problems of concern this season.
Tours of two nearby landscape jobs were offered late in
the afternoon and were led by Charlie Proutt of
Distinctive Landscaping and Sarah Holland of Rivers
Bend Landscape Design for those members who chose
to attend.
Green Works Summer Meeting Held at Shelburne Farms
Now it's official, I'am over the hill and sliding down the
slippery slope to old age. How did this ever happen?

I started with Northern Nurseries I think n the spring of
1980. I left for a few years while
my daughters were very young
and then returned again in
1995. All together I believe I will
have about 27 years of boots
on the ground at Northern. I
have worked with soils and
landscapers my entire working
life, having started at age 16
working for a landscape
company in Westchester
county New York before going
off to college at SUNY Morrisville
and earning a degree in
Agronomy in 1971.

To answer some of your
What are the biggest changes
you have seen in the nursrey
business since you first started
at Northern Nurseries?
The biggest changes in the
industry that I have observed
would have to be related to the
vast amounts of new plants
and product that we didn't see several years ago. The
perennials available today are impossible to keep up
with. Perennials have been and continue to be a fast
growing portion of the industry. It seems that edible
plantings are gaining ground every year. Another big
change is the number of vendors who now send sales
people into Vermont. Never used to see so many.
Hardscapes, wall, and pavers, etc. are about the
fastest growing thing there is. The box stores have
done a number on the smaller garden centers and
many of those people are gone.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have
faced in your business?
Some challenges in the wholesale industry are
apparent with the above-mentioned competition from
outside sale reps from companies that now realize the
potential for business in Vermont.
A big challenge every year is to have the nursery ready
long before spring arrives. When material arrives from
warmer locations and we are still getting snow and
frost it presents a huge challenge to protect all that
material. We work hard at
protection and because of
everyone's efforts we have very
few losses.
Trucking material in every year
from all over can be a
nightmare. All the major
trucking is set up from the
corporate office and they do a
good job of it.
There seems to be less younger
people who want to work at this
level in the industry. The work is
hard and some days endless.
We do get a good crew every
year with some returning from
previous years. Hiring is
delegated to Mike and he
always seems to get the best

What do I like about wholesale?
Mostly that most customers
know and understand what
goes into the production and
movement of plants and materials. I could never do
retail and deal with people on that level. I like working
with vendors and trucking companies and have gotten
to know a lot of interesting people over the years. A lot
of my customers have been coming here for years and
now I am dealing with their sons and daughters who I
have watched grow up as they came in with their
parents. Mostly I enjoy quoting a big job and having
my customer call in the order. Seeing fully loaded
trucks leaving the yard is a good thing.
What is your favorite plant?
Any plant leaving the yard on someone's truck. No
particular personal favorites although I am partial to
summer colors and edible landscapes.

Things I would have done differently.
I don't change with the times too readily and am kind
of slow to embrace new technologies. When I started
Ernie Finney - Longtime Member Retiring
by Ernie Finney
continued on page 10
The Vermont Mulch Company is
a premium bark mulch provider
located in Brattleboro, VT and is
a division of Cersosimo Lumber
Company, Inc.. In a strategic
effort to take advantage of our
natural by-products and
trucking logistics, coupled with
our need to continue to
diversify our product offerings,
we formed The Vermont Mulch
Company in 2012.
The concept was simple. We
would produce high quality, natural mulch products,
from the material that we obtain every time we debark
pulp and logs in our facilities. Species that we don't
produce such as Spruce, Fir, and Cedar would be
purchased through trusted partners and back-hauled
by company trucks. We would then offer these
products to customers looking for top end mulches
coupled with long term partnerships
Cersosimo Lumber Company was founded in 1947.
From a modest beginning with a portable sawmill in
Jamaica, Vermont, Cersosimo has grown to be one of
the largest producers of high quality Northeastern
Hardwood and Eastern White Pine lumber in New
England. With 65+ years of experience, commitment
to quality, consistency, innovation, and fairness, a
pack of lumber bearing the Cersosimo logo is
recognized around the globe as a product that can
be trusted. We hope to continue this tradition with our
new customers in the mulch business.
While The Vermont Mulch Company name may be
new to the market, the experience of the sales and
production team exceeds 75 years of "on the job
wisdom". Donald Patenaude, Martin Haselton, and
David O'Sullivan come to us directly from the industry
and provide strategic direction in production and
marketing. Along with Cersosimo's existing logistical
expertise, a fleet of our own trucks, and partnerships
with select trucking companies, our staff is able to
coordinate transporting materials to our customers
quickly and efficiently.
The goal of The Vermont Mulch Company is to provide
premium mulches, at a competitive price, with infinite
repeatability, and prompt delivery. We look forward to
meeting more members of the industry and building
partnerships that will last.
For a complete product listing and more information
on our brand new facilities please visit
member profile
The Vermont Mulch Company
Longtime Green Works member Oliver Gardner retired in
August. We caught up with Oliver to ask him to share some
of the wisdom he has gained over his career in the green
industry and what his future plans are.
What are the biggest changes you have seen in the garden
center business since you first
started 4-Season's
(Gardener's Supply)?
a. Information technology
and communication is one
of the first that comes to
mind. Most retail garden
centers and landscape
operations had one
bookkeeper working in the
back office. Chances are
good; the bookkeeper
answered the phone and
attended to all other clerical
duties. I bought my first
computer in 1980 and the
number grew exponentially
over the next ten years. By
1990 it seemed like I had more staff staring at computer
screens than I did attending to customers needs. That trend
has continued through to the day of my retirement. Im not
suggesting this is a bad thing.
b. Few homes were professionally landscaped in the early
70s. Those with foundation plantings were often described
as duck blind landscapes, so named after the row of
white cedar that had been collected and planted 2 ft. on
center. In a few short years, the homeowner needed a
chainsaw to get in the front door. Entire neighborhoods
were built with no street trees or foundation plants. This all
improved gradually. Design review boards began to require
a percentage of the overall budget to be spent on plants
and landscaping. Railroad tie retaining walls lost favor and
were replaced with natural stone and manufactured
blocks. Ive been out of landscape construction for many
years, but I enjoy seeing the incredibly impressive work that
now has become the norm.
What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs starting
out in the garden center business?
a. My advice is based on two key assumptions:
!" You enter business to make money.
!!" You enter the gardening business because you
have product knowledge and experience, you like
the product, and the nature of the work.
b. I found the teachings of Steve Covey late in my career,
unfortunately. The readers of The Dirt are likely already in
business, but its never too late to purchase The Seven
Habits of Highly Effective People and read it 2 or 3 times
over a six month period. I cant think of better advice to
offer a person about to start a business. Covey writes
extensively of
beginning with the
end in mind. Im a
strong proponent of
strategic planning
and setting long
term goals. If you
have a clear vision
of the long term
goals, the day to
day decisions are
easier to make and
keep the company
on track. He also
teaches the
importance of
commitment and
productive use of
time. Read and discuss the book. Its impossible to overstate
the benefits it will bring to a business.
c. Entrepreneurs are frequently advised to get a good
lawyer and bookkeeper before starting operations. I would
add mentor to that list. A trusted experienced mentor can
prevent countless mistakes and save a new business a great
amount of lost earnings.
d. We all have to know our numbers. With the IT available
today, there no reason why cash flow projections cant be
developed before the first day of business and updated
monthly. Most every management decision should be
made by the way it impacts earnings. Making money is a
good thing and benefits everyone. An always current, user
friendly cash flow spreadsheet is an entrepreneurs best
e. Dennis Bruckles father came to visit him at Grand Isle
Nursery not long after he started the business. He noticed
Dennis spent most of his time in the fields planting or digging
and commented, if your ass is higher than your head all
day, youll never make any money. My disability never
gave me the option and many times I thought it worked to
my advantage. Im not sure who gets credit for coining the
phrase, the owners footprints are the best fertilizer a
garden center (nursery) can use. Startups have to find the
balance of time in the office and in the field that works best
for them. In my experience, too much time in the office or in
the field can be damaging to a business.
Oliver Gardner - Longtime Member Retires
by Oliver Gardner
continued on page 9
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in
your business?
a. A few come to mind. I bought Four Seasons Garden
Center in March of 1978 and was challenged by lack of
retail experience, limited landscape construction
experience, only basic accounting skills and I was short on
capital. These challenges were offset by low debt, a great
location with excellent exposure and gardening was a
growth industry. Low debt, good exposure and growth
allowed me to survive my mistakes and grow the business.
b. My persistence and ability to convert adversity to
opportunity got me through a few squeezes. A significant
portion of Four Seasons burned on December 18, 1980. In the
four months that followed, I designed the new building,
obtained a building permit and constructed the garden
center. It was an ambitious schedule and I learned some
valuable lessons in time management before we celebrated
the grand opening in late April 1981.
c. Building the garden center on Marshall Avenue took
every business skill Id learned and every ounce of energy I
had in reserve. I committed to building a new garden center
over the summer of 2000. I assembled a good team to
develop the site plan and design the buildings. That part was
fun but required 16 hour days for weeks at a stretch. Local,
state and federal permits delayed construction over two
years and increased the soft costs to a level that threatened
the entire venture. Financing the project was no less a
Over 100 friends and business associates attended the
ground breaking for the new Four Seasons Garden Center at
472 Marshall Ave. on April 15, 2002. I was fortunate to have a
solid team of managers and associates running operations
on Industrial Ave., which gave me the time necessary to
focus on the details of construction. The same staff closed
the old store on December 24 and worked tirelessly setting
up the new store in time for the grand opening on January
27, 2003. Fit up of the garden center continued through the
spring and summer. Just in time became the operative
What are some of the most memorable moments in your
In 2005 I was recognized as VTs Small Business Person of the
Year. It was a memorable event for me, but I know it was
more about Four Seasons Garden Center and the
managers and associates that made the award possible.
The awards ceremony in Washington DC was highlighted
with an introduction to the president and a personal
meeting in Senator Leahys office. I have several plaques
and reminders of the award in my home office. I do take
pride in them.
What is your favorite plant?
Ive never been passionate about plants. My primary
interest was always to figure out a way to sell more plants.
Anyone who has worked with me will agree that Ive never
considered myself the go to person for advice on any
plant. However, forty years in horticulture has given me an
appreciation for many species and specific cultivars.
The two favorites in my home landscape are Scotch Pine
and Dawn Redwood. Of all the conifers Ive planted, the
Scotch Pines have tolerated my heavy clay soils best and
have been disease and insect free. Theyve grown tall
straight trunks with symmetrical branching and I love the
bark. I rarely see them sold today. I enjoy the Dawn
Redwood for its massive trunk, branch structure and
extraordinary growth rate.
How does it feel to be retired?
I had a very enjoyable career while self-employed and
found the last five years with Gardeners Supply Company
to be equally enjoyable and rewarding. I always felt
extremely fortunate to work with good people who had
great work ethics and enjoyed their work as I did. I miss
seeing them each day. Otherwise I expect retirement will
suit me fine.
continued from page 8
Noteworthy Fall Plants
by Charlotte Albers
Our landscapes can take on a new dimension this season
with foliage taking center stage, followed by showy fruits on
woody plants and seed heads that are textural, bold, and
support wildlife. Knowing what plants are noteworthy can
make a big difference in my own gardens there are many
standouts that reliably make a strong visual statement.
My home landscape in Shelburne is certified as a Backyard
Habitat with the National Wildlife Foundation ( and
there are many species which not only support biodiversity
but also look exceptionally good at this time of year. Here
are a few, all U.S. natives or cultivars which are widely
available and worth considering when designing residential
or commercial areas.
Betula nigra Heritage (USDA zones 4-9) is commonly called
River Birch. Heritage is an improved form with more vigor,
larger leaves, and better disease resistance, and its widely
adaptable to a variety of soil types and especially valuable
for poor soils that stay wet as the common name implies its
native habitat.
Named a Plant of Merit by the Missouri Botanical Garden,
single stem Heritage Birch makes a good specimen but I
prefer the clump form which appears more naturalistic and
less formal. The trees offer good fall color, turning bright
yellow in September and October. Once defoliated the
multi-trunked architecture is evident, a good anchor for the
winter garden.
continued on page 15
there were no fax machines, e-mail, computers, etc. I
have learned enough to get by or enough to get in me
trouble but computers will never be high on my list of
favorite things. I wish that I had kept pace with a lot
of the new plant introductions, as I am sure there is a lot
that I don't know.

That being said I am proud of a lot of the things that
working at Northern has allowed me to do. With
support and guidance from the Northern Nursery
corporate office and the support of the Robert Baker
Companies I have had a very good career. The yard in
White River has grown many fold since I started, (with
plenty of good people all around me to make that
happen). Northern Nurseries is all about a team effort
and we have a very good team.

What are my plans?
Part time employment but not exactly set in stone yet.
My wife won't let me stay home for too long. Travelling.
I did 9000 miles last winter with my older brother and
travelled all over the country. I am planning a similar
trip for this winter. There is so much to see in this country,
lots of national parks etc. and lots of items to check off
my bucket list.

I will not go to work in landscaping. I plan to spend
more time with my granddaughter, more time
gardening, and some golf and fishing. I am also
planning a road trip with my wife in 2015. Lastly, I plan
to live long enough to collect all that I've paid in and
then some.
I need to thank my wife of 35 years for putting up with
me all these years and for always knowing that if I'm
not at home I'm at the nursery. I would like to thank my
co-workers for supporting my efforts for years and
making me look good. Lastly, I would like to thank the
Baker family for keeping me employed, and all my
customers who have been loyal to Northern for so long.
I expect to be totally finished just before Christmas this
year. That's when my next next big adventure can

continued from page 6
Fall on campus means students are back, or new ones
have arrived, specifically 1346 in the College of Ag and
Life Sciences. This represents an almost 80% increase in
students in our college over the last 10 years, from 750
majors in 2004, making ours one of the stronger colleges
in this regard. Most are in Animal Science (280)
including many pre-vet majors, or Community
Development and Applied Economics (over 300). Our
PSS department now is up to 67 majors, split with 28 in
Sustainable Landscape Horticulture and 39 in Ecological
Agriculture. With the University emphasis on research in
recent years, graduate programs have increased in
student numbers too. Our PSS department now has 27
grad students, including 16 for PhD and 11 for M.S.
degrees. Teaching all these in PSS are 7 faculty with
tenure-track appointments, plus 4 in Extension, and 4 in
research. PSS teaches over 4000 credit hours during the
This fall courses in PSS include Home and Garden
Horticulture (Starrett, 157 students), Fundamentals of Soil
Science (Gorres, 92 students), Introduction to Ecological
Agriculture (Katlyn Morris, 92 students), Coffee Ecology
(Morris, 47 students), Botanical Art (Neroni , 13 students),
Entomology (Chen, 21 students), Weed Ecology
(Bosworth, 25 students), Plant Pathology (Delaney from
Plant Bio, 32 students), Woody Landscape Plants
(Starrett, 12 students), Landscape Design Fundamentals
(Hurley, 20 students), plus several other courses with
more narrow focus or fewer students (such as
Permaculture, Forages and similar). One of these is a
new special offering this year on Landscape Design for
Pollinators (Jane Sorensen, 15 students). This semester I
am offering a record number of sections of my online
courses through Continuing Education due to popular
demand, with a record number of students (143 total)
for me for fall semester, which is usually lower than
spring semester. These include Home Fruit Growing and
Garden Flowers with 2 sections each, Indoor Plants, and
Flowers and Foliage (just the plants from the Garden
Flowers course).
I hope you got to check out our new annual (and some
perennial) flowers at the Burlington Waterfront All-
America Selections Display garden this summer. You
can find some photos and rating results online (http:// Overall many flowers
were still looking really good at the end of summer. The
top-rated performers included
Angelonia Angelface Pink
and Wedgwood Blue,
Begonia Surefire Red, all
Cleome (Clio, Senorita Blanca
and Rosalita), Coleus
Cranberry Bog, Evolvulus Blue
My Mind, Impatiens
Sunpatiens Mix and in
particular Spreading Carmine
Red, Lobularia Snow Princess and White Knight,
Pelargonium Timeless Lavender and Pink, Pennisetum
Graceful Grasses Vertigo, Supertunia Vista
Bubblegum and Silverberry (good in past years too),
Petunia Whispers Star Rose, and Verbena Superbena
Royale Silverdust. Thanks again to your Association for
supporting these gardens, to Burlington Parks and
Recreation for planting and maintenance, and to
Pleasant View Gardens and D.S.Cole Growers for
supplying many of the plants.
In my coneflower (Echinacea) trials, this past winter was
a great one for hardiness testinghaving prolonged
period of cold and little to no snow cover at my zone 4
(on the map) site. Going into winter with 80 cultivars in
the field, 22 died by spring, 6 more weak plants died
during the June rains, and with some replacements and
new cultivars I now have 99 in the field. Some of the
top-rated in early summer included Baby White Swan,
Double Decker, paradoxa, Purity, and Summer Sky. In
ratings at flowering time, top-rated were Elton Knight,
Mama Mia, Mistral, Purity, and Sombrero Salsa Red.
Probably my top pick for quality of blooms, bloom time,
and plant habit would be Purity (white). Interestingly,
this was the plant that stood out to me for the same a
few years ago when visiting similar trials at Delaware
Valley College in PA. Mistral (pink) and Sombrero (fire
engine red petals white underneath) are top in my trials
among the newer compact cultivars, these being
12-15inches tall.
You can find more complete results online, with this
summer results to be added this fall (
ppp/VTechinacea13.pdf). Thanks to funds from New
England Grows to support these trials, from your
Association, and from the Risk Management Agency
(RMA). Id like to thank the latter for support as well for
speakers for your Association meetings.
news from the U
by Dr. Leonard Perry - UVM Extension Horticulturist
News from the UDr. Leonard Perry
Summer is a great time at universities if you like it quiet
with no meetings, and ability to park even with the much
reduced spaces due to construction! I'm spending much
time outside with perennials, building stock for next year's
freezing studies, working on field trials (currently 190
different plants), and accumulating coralbells (Heuchera)
for both field and freezing studies funded this past year by
the NH Plant Growers Endowment. I"m currently up to
about 60 cultivars of coralbells, including very new
introductions and new villosa hybrids which some growers
question their hardiness (as they are from France), hence
this study. I'll keep you posted here and on my website
( of this and other research your
association has helped fund. Data is collected, I'm just
waiting for some rainy days to get it written up.
We once again planted about 100 varieties of annuals at the
All-America Selections Display Garden at Burlington's
Waterfront Park the first week of June, thanks again to
help and collaboration with Burlington Parks and
Recreation. This is the garden that we won a national AAS
award for this past year. As in previous years, I'll be
posting the plant listing and ratings at the end of the
summer on my website. Here also you can find lists and
results from the past several years. This year my assistant
Sarah Kingsley Richards and I think we have some great
combinations put together, with a focus on about 20
different petunias (near the boathouse), several new coleus
and several new sweet potato vines. One of my favorites
and perhaps most unusual is the new Pretty Much Picasso
petunia, violet purple with a lime green rim. Another
outstanding new and unusual selection is the mealycup
sage Salvia Sallyfun Blue Emotion, tall, blue florets with
white eyes.
This year's AAS garden features about 50% plants from
Pleasant View Gardens (Proven Winners and Selections
and trials), about 40% from DS Cole Growers, and about
10% from seed (All-America Selections and others). I hope
you get to see these gardens if in Burlington (at the foot of
College St. by the ECHO center and boathouse), not only for
the plants, but as the beds are planned to be different next
year. Due to planned construction and road reconfiguration
beginning after Labor Day this year, the main two front
beds will disappear forever, with a new front bed planned
closer to the boathouse in the grassy area.
On campus, the good news is that thanks to federal
stimulus money, the state greatly reduced cuts to UVM and
Extension. Coupled with support from the college, no
on-campus Extension faculty member (to my
knowledge) was cut this coming fiscal year. However once
this money runs out in a couple years, we may be back to
round two of big budget cuts.
So if opportunities arise in your future to support Extension
with your legislators or even UVM administration, it can
surely help. Our new plant science building (Jeffords Hall)
is now enclosed, with connection underway to the UVM
greenhouse. We are still scheduled to move in next
summer. In our department, our fairly recent faculty
member Sarah Lovell will be returning home to take a
similar position in landscape architecture at the University
of Illinois, so her design courses will be taught by yet un-
known person this next year, with a new search hopefully
in our future. Main research at the Hort Farm now
includes two projects of Dr. Lorraine Berkett-- a USDA
funded large project (recently refunded and highly rated) on
organic apple production (the reason many of the crabap-
ples were cut down in order to reduce scab and other
diseases) with full details online
(, and the third year of
trials on hardy grape varieties (
Submitted by Leonard Perry
instrumental in the development of the Learning Landscape
Project at URI. In 2008, he was recognized for his many
contributions to the green industry and received the
prestigious honor of being one of the first to be inducted into
the RINLA Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the
Rhode Island Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Donations in Ken's memory may be made to The Kenneth
Lagerquist - RINLA Horticultural Scholarship, URI
Foundation Acct ED99, 79 Upper College Road, Kingston,
RI, 02881.

Scott Pfister, former VT State Pathologist and Green
Works supporter has left his position in June at the
Vermont Forest Protection Department. Scott has taken a
position with USDA-APHIS in Washington, DC and will be
coordinating the USDAs programs for the Asian longhorned
beetle, emerald ash borer, and firewood pest mitigation. We
will miss him and wish him and his family well.
(Continued from page 9)
continued on page 13
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This winter and cool (for the most part) summer at
my site was a good test for the 16 switchgrass
(Panicum) and 5 little bluestem (Schizachyrium)
cultivars at my trial site, one of 17 sites nationwide
and which you can follow online on a blog (http:// Survival and regrowth seemed to
really lag compared to other sites, and was quite
variable among the 4 replicates for each cultivar.
My full results will be posted on my research page
( this fall.
Thanks to Green Works for sponsoring not one but
two bus tours to the Montreal Botanic Gardens this
summer and early fall, which I was glad to
collaborate on. Both were sold out. I hope you got
to see the spectacular International Mosaiculture
exhibition. If not, there are some photos (http:// and video
( on
my website.
Although a ways off, two meetings to keep in mind
and mark on your 2014 calendar (in addition to your
association meetings) are New England Grows (Feb
5-7, 2014) and our tri-state (ME, NH, VT) Extension
nursery meeting (Friday Mar. 7, Portsmouth, NH). Its
always fun to serve on the education committee of
New England Grows, as I did the past two years, and
Im excited that the committee voted to invite two
of my suggested speakers. Dale Hendricks (http:// and formerly of North
Creek Nurseries, PA) will be speaking on new native
plants. Jane Knight from Cornwall, England will be
speaking on her work with the world renown Eden
Project there as principal landscape architect, and
their outreach efforts worldwide using plants to
improve peoples lives.
Then in our tri-state March meeting, Dale Hendricks
will speak as well, this time on some of his latest
emphases such as with permaculture and biochar in
landscapes. Among the other speakers will be Jane
Sorensen of Riverberry Farm in Fairfax, VT who will be
speaking on pollinators in landscapes. Ill have a link
to these meetings this winter on my growers events
page on my website. I hope to see you at one or
both of these meetings!
News from the U
continued from page 11
We spent late August in the Pacific Northwest where we
enjoyed mild, sunny days, cool nights wonderful, healthy
looking plants and never saw or heard a mosquito. What I
did see were many well designed outdoor spaces that
reflected the prevalence of naturalistic design in this
region. This was especially true at the wonderful Bloedel
Preserve on Bainbridge Island. My own first experience with
a natural woodland garden was walking in the woods at
Sunset Lake in Benson in early November 45 years ago.
While we were out for a walk one lovely fall day, I saw my
first wild Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) in bloom and
the rest is history.

The whole idea of working with plants rather than against
them by acknowledging their natural inclinations is not
instinctive for many designers. After all, were in charge of
that landscape and those plants better do as we say.
Choosing the right plant for the right place intelligent
plant placement will solve many garden problems. I was
lucky to have a Woody Plants instructor at George
Washington University who was a native plant advocate,
which reflected my own bias, and I was encouraged to
explore the native plant palate.
If a site is occasionally or persistently wet or dry, then
choosing plants that want and need those conditions
rather than enforcing your design aesthetic will make
everyone happier. On our woodland on Sunset Lake, the
electric right of way was cleared several years ago. Within
two years, native, moisture-loving red and yellow-twigged
Dogwoods and Witch Hazels began to sprout along the
edges of the stream where there is occasional standing
water in spring and after heavy rain. Opening the canopy
gave these plants perfect conditions to grow and thrive.
Remove either the light or the water and youd have much
less robust growth. If you place them in a dry area, your
homeowner is either watering constantly or has very
unhappy looking shrubs.
Another principle is to recreate the relationships and
layering found in natural plant communities. A natural
woodland has canopy trees which will grow very tall and
provide varying degrees of shade, cooling and shelter for
whatever grows beneath. The under-story layer will consist
of a variety of smaller trees that will thrive in the shade of
their taller friends. Then there is the shrub layer. In damp
areas youll find the shrub Dogwoods and Hazels with other
Naturalistic Gardening
by Mary Sullivan Cliver
continued on page 18
Another anchor tree for seasonal interest is thornless honey
locust, Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis
Shademaster (USDA zones 4-7). This cultivar grows in a
mixed border in full sun and will turn bright yellow. In this
same border I planted green hawthorne, Crataegus viridus
Winter King (USDA zones 4-7) which turns scarlet but is
more noteworthy for its red fruit which persists after the
leaves fall, attracting cedar waxwings, grosbeaks, and
cardinals. With dwarf cedars planted as a background, the
fruit is highlighted and lovely to see during the colder
Perhaps my favorite shrub for outstanding color is Dwarf
Fothergilla, Fothergilla gardenii (USDA zones 5-8). A
member of the witchazel family (Hamamelidaceae) and
commonly called witch alder, the cultivar Mt Airy has
been a top performer in my garden with no disease or pest
issues. Its shade tolerant but I have several planted in full
sun where they blaze orange, yellow, and ruby red while
everything else around them has turned brown.
In a recent article I mentioned the new Native Plant
Garden at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx,
which opened in May of this year. I was able to visit this
garden in September and was happy to see all of these
planted throughout the impressive woodland and edge
areas along with many forms of native grasses at peak
form, particularly prairie dropseed, Sporobolus heterolepsis
(USDA zones 3-9).
Another plant that I found used extensively as a
groundcover in the woodland areas in the Native Plant
Garden was Dwarf Blue Star, Amsonia Short Stack (USDA
zones 3-9), introduced by Plant Delights Nursery in North
Carolina. This cultivar is new to me but at 12 tall it appears
more functional than the species which can flop in shade
and grow to shrub-like proportions in sun. Amsonia Blue
Ice is a bit taller at 15 so also makes a good groundcover.
The species is Amsonia tabernaemontana and reliably
colors up before needing to be cut back for the winter.
Willow Bluestar, Amsonia hubrichtii (USDA zones 5-8) was
named Perennial Plant of the Year in 2011. Another
standout thats notable for its characteristic chartreuse-
yellow fall coloration which contrasts beautifully with Dwarf
Fothergilla, Purple Ninebark, and Bluestem grass.
Charlotte Albers owns Paintbox Garden, a landscape
consulting and design business based in Shelburne and writes
about gardening in the Northeast region for

continued from page 9
Grande Finale in the Garden
by Judith Irven
Autumn, the years last, loveliest smile
William Cullen Bryant (1794 1878)
Does your autumn garden finish with a beautiful glorious
bang, or does it just fade away with a whimper?
Back in mid-September a new client commented, Well, I
imagine your garden has all finished now?
Not at all!! The exuberance of mid-summer may be past
but, in their own way, our Vermont gardens in autumn
are every bit as lovely. Summer
stalwartsShasta daisies,
Echinacea and the likeare
surely past their prime. But now
its perennials like
Chrysanthemums, Hibiscus,
Black-eyed Susans, Sedums,
Anemones and the Asters that
come into their own.
Indeed some bloom so late
that the time remaining for
them to get fertilized and set
seed before the onset of cold
weather seems impossibly short!
But even in early October the
flowers in my garden are abuzz
with late season bees, so
clearly pollination is
As in the wider landscape, the
magical colors of fall ---from
purple and bronze to yellow,
red and gold, play out in our
gardens. My fall gardening
palette, both for myself and for my clients, includes
colorful shrubs and beautiful grasses, plus a collection of
easily grown perennials, which harmonize beautifully to
complete the gardening season with a flourish.
My garden, at 1700 elevation, is definitely in Zone 4
(even with climate change upon us) and so serves as a
useful model for client gardens across the state. Here are
some of the main players in my autumn garden:
Colorful shrubs
Purple-leaved shrubs, with us all summer, are especially
spectacular among the mellow-hued perennials of fall. I
particularly like Smokebush Cotinus 'Grace' and its cousin
C. 'Royal Velvet', Purple -Leaved Sandcherry Prunus
cistensa, the dark-leaved Elderberry Sambucus nigra
Blacklace, as well as smaller cultivars of Ninebark
Physocarpus, such as Summer Wine, all of which I grow
in my garden. And, as a bonus, the well-known Syringa
patula Miss Kim turns an attractive bronze color in the
For an additional autumn splash---and an excellent
substitute for the invasive burning bush--- I have a group
of medium height blueberry bushes in my central bed. In
the summer they give fruit and in October they turn a
beautiful bronze.
We are all familiar with the ubiquitous round-headed
flowers of Pee-Gee Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata),
seen in gardens and cemeteries across the state. While
there are lots of new cultivars, I am especially partial to
the older Hydrangea Tardiva, with conical-shaped
creamy flower heads that gradually turn a dusky pink
after the frost. And, despite its ridiculous name I also like
the newer Pinky Winkie. It puts out large white panicles in
August which, by mid-September, turn a nice strong pink
that look great with Cotinus Royal Velvet.
Grasses for autumn
Starting in late summer the towering ornamental garden
grasses, especially cultivars of Switch Grass (Panicum
virgatum) and Maiden grass, (Miscanthus sinensis) look
splendid when paired with compatibly sized perennials,
such as Rudbeckia nitida Herbstonne.
For vibrant end-of-season colors my two favorites are
Miscanthus Purpurascens, with orange and yellow
striations, and Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah' where a
deep bronze color gradually subsumes its blue leaves.
Finally, for a lighter more airy look, nothing beats Tussock
grass, Deschampsia cepitosa or the taller Purple Moor
The tall Rudbeckia nitida makes an excellent companion for Miscanthus Malepartus in
the autumn garden
continued on page 17
Grass, Molinia arundinacea. Both have gorgeous cloud-
like flowers that catch the light and dance in the slightest
Exclamation points
I like to set off my fall grasses with a few spiky accents---
like punctuation points. Bugbane, Actaea simplex and
the Canadian Burnet,
Sanguisorba canadensis both
flower in September and
October and grow easily in the
damp area near our pond.
However since Sanguisorba has
a tendency to spread, I like to
confine it to a naturalized
The ubiquitous Black-eyed
Susans or Rudbeckia fulgida are
hassle-free and they flourish in
both sun and part-shade. What
more could one ask?
Back in 1994 I started out a
couple of plants, and now, as
testament to their longevity,
they have transformed
themselves into eye-catching
pools of gold all around the
However their strong color is a
bit brash, so I combine them
with plants of contrasting color
and texture, such as the blue-
colored Panicum Dallas Blues,
some frothy lavender asters, or
the creamy flowers of
Hydrangea paniculata Tardiva.
I also love the six foot high
Rudbeckia Herbstronne. This is
one tall plant that makes a bold
statement, but it is well behaved
in the border so, even in the smallest garden, there is
probably a spot for it.
I suggest to my clients that they resist the temptation to
cut back either Rudbeckia during their late fall clean-up.
Leaving them standing until spring and their skeletons will
look lovely in late fall and even in the snow and, as
bonus, the seed-heads provide winter food for
chickadees and goldfinch (who, miraculously, hang
around even in the coldest weather).
Japanese Anemones
Japanese anemones thrive in partial shade and have an
endearing way of weaving themselves among shrubs,
occasionally popping up in unexpected places. Maybe
they are not for the ultra-tidy gardener, but I certainly
enjoy them.
Their small flowers dance on slender three-foot stems. I
grow both Anemone tomentosa Robustissima with soft
pink flowers that contrast perfectly with my purple
Smokebush Grace, as well
as Anemone hybrida
Honorine Jobert, with clear
white flowers that combine
nicely the large leaves of
Rodgersia aesculifolia.
Autumn Sedum
The tried-and-true Sedum
Autumn Joy as well as the
duskier S. Matrona are
delightful plants, and every
garden can surely use both.
Their fleshy leaves contrast
with summer perennials,
and by autumn the rosy-
pink flower heads, which
eventually morph to bronze,
are a real standout. When
winter comes, the flat spent
flower heads are especially
charming when topped
with little snow hats. Sedum
cauticola is a dapper little
edging plant with gray
leaves that, come fall,
surprises my visitors with its
brilliant pink flowers.
While I love the wild native
asters that grow along the
edge of open fields and in
the woods of Vermont,
unfortunately many spread
by underground rhizomes
and also prolifically self-
seed, both traits that make
them unsatisfactory as
garden plants.
And I have found that cultivars of the native New
England Aster, Aster novae-angliae all have decidedly
ugly legs that need camouflaging in the garden bed.
However the drought-tolerant Aster oblongifolius forms
neat mounds that appear to be clump-forming. Starting
in mid-September, the two cultivars October Skies and
Raydons Favorite, create a delicate froth of violet-blue
and lavender-blue respectively, and are the perfect foil
for the brash Black-eyed Susans.
The tall flowers of Actaea simplex 'Black Negligee create
a bit of drama among the fall grasses in our pond bed.
continued on page 22
continued from page 16
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shrubs appearing on higher ground. Under all of them will
be the sub-shrubs here in Vermont that could be a Low-
Bush Blueberry. The ground-covers, perennials, spring
ephemerals, bulbs, etc. all hold their place in the layer
All plants grow happily in this mythical natural woodland as
they have the same requirements for soil type, moisture,
light, temperature, etc. Since few homeowners today
have experienced garden staff, anything we can do to
reduce the burden of hard labor leaves more time to enjoy
the garden space.
Naturalistic gardens are simple and uncluttered, their lines
based on curves rather than complicated geometry.
Proportions of bed to path are generous and related to the
scale of the largest plants. Evergreens are soft and unshorn
and provide backdrops for smaller, deciduous plants.
These gardens may be complex, indeed, but the shape,
texture, size and mass of each plant is at least as important
as the colors chosen. Use native plants and their cultivars
to play with repetition, positive and negative space, and
pacing to evoke a sense of movement and mood and see
what kind of magical spaces you can create.
Mary Cliver is a Green Works member and a landscape
designer, garden writer and speaker.
continued from page 14
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1177_Dirt_April2013.indd 1 4/1/13 12:31 PM
Nursery rule revisions
As you all already know from the last installment of the DIRT,
the Agency of Agriculture has committed to opening up the
nursery rule, in order to split out the portions of the rule
relevant to the wild American ginseng program, and to
update some other areas that have not been revised since
1988. Unfortunately, events this summer have prevented us
from actually getting to open the rule (mosquitoes,
bedbugs, and so forth), but I hope to have the rule revisions
and initial public input completed shortly, and will file the
proposed rule by the end of October. As always, your
comments are appreciated, and a copy of the proposed
rule revisions is available on the Agency website at: http://
nursery_rule. Electronic and conventional mail comments
are welcome.
Verticillium wilt of maples and other hardwoods
Verticillium wilt, a vascular wilt disease, is frequently brought
up in discussions about a tree, usually a sugar maple,
showing signs of rapid onset decline and irregular crown
dieback. This disease is most frequently caused by either of
the soil-borne fungi Verticillium dahliae or V. albo-altrum.
Most frequently encountered in the forest and landscape is
V. dahliae, although the symptoms are similar enough to be
one. Maples are often the first plants thought of as a host to
verticillium, but known hosts also include horsechestnut, ash,
shadbush/serviceberry, privet, English ivy, tuliptree, pear,
spirea, elm, wiegela, viburnum, locust, cherry, and a variety
of other ornamental tree and shrub species.
Verticillium wilt is soil borne, and the fungus resides in
infested soils as sclerotia, or a long-term resting stage of the
fungus. Think of fungal sclerotia as an analog to seeds of
vascular plants, except that sclerotia are usually much more
durable, capable of remaining viable for years in very
inhospitable conditions (extreme cold, dryness, heat, even
radiation) and can create more than a single new
organism. The verticillium sclerotia are capable of
remaining viable in their dormant state in soils for years,
perhaps decades, waiting for an appropriate root tip to get
close enough to stimulate activity of the fungus. The
sclerotia can also germinate more than once, so if
conditions are right for germination, but a suitable host root
is not infected, the sclerotia can germinate again later
when conditions are again favorable for infection.
Verticillium sclerotia are small enough to move in soil
particles in water, on equipment, on animals, and even on
the wind, as well as the more common means of moving
pathogens in live plant tissues and plant products like mulch
and wood chips, so if you know the pathogen is present in
an area, it pays to take steps to avoid moving soils from that
As mentioned above, infection of suitable host plants
occurs through the roots. Wounds make favorable spots for
infection, but the fungal hyphae are also known to infect
through the tips of feeder roots. After infection, hyphae will
grow and expand in the cortical tissues, and will enter the
conductive tissues of the roots (stele) if the host is
susceptible or incapable of walling the infection off. This
initial infection typically only advances a millimeter or so a
day. Things get really bad for the plant when the hyphae in
the stele start to produce spores, which are moved in sap
throughout the plant. Sap assisted movement can be up to
several feet in a day, depending on the season and how
conductive the plant sapwood is. These mobile spores
lodge in the xylem walls and start new infections, and as this
process repeats itself, the numbers and extent of infections
increases until it has run throughout the conductive system
of the host. Infection results in cell death, as well as
expanding centers of fungal hyphae that impede effective
sap movement within the xylem. As the cells die, the result is
a discoloration of the sapwood, which gives rise to the
colored bands frequently observed and used as a
diagnostic tool in verticillium cases. The colors of these
bands are usually host specific, with greenish-brown to
black typical of maples, light tan in ash, dark brown in
locust, and reddish brown in others. Symptoms of acute
infection includes wilting, browning/scorching of leaves,
premature yellowing or reddening of leaves, crown
dieback, especially one-sided dieback in the crown that
occurs as discrete sections of conductive tissue shut down
and collapse, and eventual death of the host. These
acute symptoms are associated with infection of sapwood
lain down during the current growing season. In some
cases, especially in maples, the zone of infection is capable
of spreading throughout the current year annual ring and
then across several previous years, resulting in discoloration
across several annual rings. Sometimes a host is successful
in compartmentalizing an infection; damage is then
confined to those areas infected in a single growing season.
However, if enough xylem tissue if killed in that single year, a
canker or bark split may occur, which provides an
opportunity for secondary pathogens (nectria, eutypella, or
cytospora, for example) or decay fungi to become
established, with their own set of problems for the host. If
the host is successful in a single year in walling off the
infection, the pathogen may infect the host again in
subsequent years, with a brand new assault on the roots
and stem. This cycle can intermittently or continuously
continue for years, going as long as the host can withstand
the repeated attacks.
A chronic-type infection is also known to occur. Symptoms
in this case include slowed or stunted growth, poor leaf
formation, heavy seeding as a stress response, and
generally poor health overall. Obviously, having a chronic
infection does not preclude new acute infections, as noted
above. Again, sapwood staining and discoloration is
Agency of Agriculture News - Fall 2013
by Tim Schmalz
continued on page 24
I also have success with two lower growing asters: a short
version of Aster novae-angliae called Purple Dome,
plus the New York Aster Woods Pink.
Geranium Rozanne
Geranium wallichianum 'Rozanne' is not just any old
geranium: it is one
amazing gardening
We usually think of
geraniums as early
summer flowers,
and very useful
plants they are for
that. But Rozanne
is unique among
geraniums, only
really getting going
in July but, once
started, flowering
non-stop until cut
down by a really
heavy frost. It
keeps spreading
outwards, so by
September a
single plant is
making quite a
statement. If it
looks too straggly,
cut it partway
back in mid-summer to stimulate new growth.
Listed as only hardy to Zone 5, I was skeptical that I could
grow it successfully. But I acquired three plants which
have all come through multiple winters. And despite the
occasional winter low temperature of -25! my plants are
still thriving. So I am delighted to have this violet-
blue flowered geranium gracing my garden each fall.
Chrysanthemums help every garden finish the year in
style. But most so-called hardy mums---the double-
flowered types that show up in garden centers ---will not
winter here.
However a couple of the single daisy types of
chrysanthemums are truly perennial in my garden. The
common Chrysanthemum Clara Curtis, with rosy-pink
flowers and yellow centers, blooms first. It is very easy to
grow although the stems tend to flop. Every fall I tell
myself that, come next spring, I will create an elegant
bamboo frame to support the growing stems. but that
has yet to happen!
I also like Chrysanthemum Mary Stoker, with pretty
buttery-yellow flowers and stems that remain perfectly
upright, even in winter. It looks particularly nice paired up
with Sedum Autumn Joy, and while it is mid-September
before it comes into flower, it is still be gracing the garden
through the mild frosts of October.
A surprisean annual salvia for autumn
Visitors to my autumn garden are invariably drawn to
colorful Clary Sage, Salvia horminium, which starts
blooming July and is only be felled by a really heavy frost.
People tend to think
annual salvias will be
fire-engine red. But
Salvia horminium has
bracts of soft purple,
pink or white with a hint
of gray or green
veining---colors that
harmonize beautifully
with the rest of the
autumn garden.
Since they are fairly
easy to grow from
seed, I usually start
some in early spring
using the Marble Arch
mix. Clary Sage also
self-seeds so, providing
I am not too
energetic with my
spring weeding, some
plants will pop up
directly, thus
behaving almost like
Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time
to sit still and watch the leaves turn:
Elizabeth Lawrence
By mid-October my garden has that late-fall lookthe
blueberry bushes are bronze and the Clethra is yellow,
seed-heads are forming on the sweet autumn clematis,
and the skeletons of the ornamental grasses dance in the
But, even after a couple of light frosts, Black-eyed Susans,
October Skies asters, Salvia horminium, Rozanne
geranium and Mary Stoker chrysanthemum are still
flowering like there is no tomorrow.
Indeed fall is a special yet fleeting time, which is reason
enough to savor each day.
This article was originally published both in Horticulture
Magazine and the Vermont Country Sampler.
Judith Irven is a Green Works member and a landscape
designer, garden writer and speaker, as well as a Vermont
Certified Horticulturist. Her website, is devoted to her garden
continued from page 17
In Judiths garden the tall airy flowers of Purple Moor grass, Molinia
arundinacea, catch the light above some Blue Oat Grass Helictotricon
sempervirens, with a Syringa patula Miss Kim behind.
When it comes time to publish another newsletter I often
find myself surfing the web for information to pass on to
Green Works members. I like to visit the Garden Media
Group website because every year they publish the
upcoming trends that relate to our green industry. Their
2014 Garden Trends Report is available to download for
free. Take these trends with a grain of salt or decide to put
more stock into what you read, but whichever it is their
report makes for interesting reading.
The Garden Media Group specializes in home, garden,
horticulture, outdoor living, lawn and landscape industries,
offering innovative PR campaigns designed to secure top
media placements and partnerships.
For over 20 years, GMG has ignited buzz for clients, earning
the reputation as the best public relations firm for regional,
national and international brands of all sizes. Their Garden
Trends Report is one of the most published garden studies in
trade and consumer news.
Below are some excerpts from the 2014 Garden Trends
Report. You can view/download the entire report at The report is 119 pages in a
power point format.
4 in Ten Women are Sole or Primary
40% of women now the sole or primary earner for
households with children under age 18
24% of wives earn more than their husbands
Single Women Homeowners Now
Account for 20% of Sales
WINKs young women with incomes and no kids
are an increasingly influential demographic in the
new home market
Millennial women are larger buying demographic
than female boomers
Single women - 20% of all home buyers
Represent 1/3 of the growth in all real estate
ownership since 1994
Opportunity Special workshops in the evenings/
weekends for single homeowners
Rise of Mr. Mom Doubles in 10 Years
Men are taking an equal role as the homemaker
in domestic duties and raising the children
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the
numbers of stay-at-home dads has doubled in
the past decade
In the UK, nearly 10% of fathers stay home
Fueled by growing numbers of female
breadwinners, men out of work, and lifestyle/
career choices
In Me, On Me & Around Me
80% of Americans are eager to safeguard the
future of their health and that of the environment
and society around them
More people want to shrink their environmental
Drawn to brands that help them live healthfully
and sustainably
National Marketing Institute expects consumers to
increase behaviors and demand for sustainable
Global Garden Market Up 3% $187 Billion
in 2011
Globally gardening grew 3% yearly from
North Americans spent $58 billion in 2011
! flat for the past four years
48% or $28 billion spent on plants, shrubs and
growing media
NA predicted to grow @1% yearly
! $580 Million
! between 2011 and 2016
L&G is #3 for How We Spend Our Money
Christmas $586.1 billion
Weight Loss Methods $61 billion
Lawn & Garden $58 billion
Pets $53 billion
Weddings $42 billion
Casinos $36.4 billion
Flowers $32.1 billion
Coffee $27.8 billion
Bottled Water $21.7 billion
Smartphone Accessories $20 billion
Super Bowl Parties, Merchandise & Apparel $19.8
Video Games $17.02 billion
Valentine's Day $14.7 billion
Gnomes and Other Garden Accessories $7 billion
Gym Memberships $12 billion on unused
Movies $10.1 billion
Do You Follow Trends?
by Kristina MacKulin
observed with these infections, and will tend to spread
across growth rings and expand throughout the sapwood
the higher into the tree one goes.
All is not lost though. If you have a site where you suspect
verticillium, or if it has been confirmed through analysis, there
are a number of trees and shrubs that are resistant to the
pathogen. All conifers, hawthorns, honeylocust, citrus
species, oaks, linden/basswood, hickory, birches, dogwoods,
walnut/butternut, apples and crabapples, willows,
hackberry, beech, katsura, aspen/poplar, boxwoods and
holly are known to be generally resistant, and are usually not
attacked in landscape settings where verticillium has been a
Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine expands
By now, everyone probably knows that emerald ash borer
has been detected in New Hampshire (Merrimack County),
Western Massachusetts (Berkshire County), and Connecticut
(New Haven County). By the time you read this, the Federal
rule will likely have expanded to include Fairfield County,
Connecticut. While this doesnt really change anything for
us up here in Vermont, unless you obtain ash nursery stock
from a Fairfield Co. nursery, it does represent the slow and
inexorable spread of this pest. So far, I have had no
confirmations of EAB in Vermont, but a lot of inquiries have
come in. We hope to have the results of the summer survey
activities (purple traps) by the end of September, and I am
keeping my fingers crossed.
Sirrococcus Tip Blight of Hemlock
I have had reports, and have seen myself, occasional
occurrences of a tip blight of hemlock, caused by the
pathogen Sirococcus tsugae. This problem has been widely
observed in the Pacific Northwest for years, where it causes
browning and dieback of new growth in western hemlock,
especially along the coast. The symptoms I have seen
include browning and curling of current year growth,
generally during wet spring weather. Dead needles and
curled leaders remain on the plant for some time after
mortality, leaving some branches unsightly. As with other
needle blights, cool wet weather (spring 2013??) favors
disease development. Currently, there are a variety of tried
and true fungicide products labeled and registered in
Vermont for control of sirococcus tip blights on conifers,
including chlorothalonil, bayleton, and propconizole. More
information is available from the USFS at their website:
continued from page 20
Members of OFA - The Association of Horticulture
Professionals and the American Nursery & Landscape
Association (ANLA) have voted in overwhelming support of
the consolidation of the two organizations into a new,
national trade association to serve the entire horticulture
industry. The announcement followed a 30-day open ballot
and today's in-person vote for OFA's members, held in
Columbus, Ohio.
With the consolidation, the new trade association will have
the largest national nursery, greenhouse, and garden retail
membership of any horticulture association in the United
States. Those communities will join together with breeders,
distributors, interior and exterior landscape professionals,
florists, students, educators, researchers, manufacturers, and
all who are part of the supply chain to represent our industry
with one, strong voice and a greater base of volunteer, staff,
and financial resources.
The new trade association, named the American Horticulture
Association, will be known as AmericanHort, and will begin
operations by January 1, 2014. The mission of AmericanHort is
to unite, promote, and advance our industry through
advocacy, collaboration, connectivity, education, market
development, and research.
The association will have its primary office in Columbus, Ohio
and an office in Washington, DC to facilitate government
relations and research activities. Michael V. Geary, CAE will
continue as the chief staff executive.
The inaugural board of directors was appointed by the
legacy organizations. For the first year, the board will have
equal representation from OFA and ANLA. The Board
includes the following leaders:
Chairman of the Board - Mark Foertmeyer, Foertmeyer &
Sons Greenhouse, Delaware, Ohio; Vice Chairman of the
Board - Dale Deppe, Spring Meadow Nursery Inc, Grand
Haven, Michigan; Treasurer - Lisa Graf, Graf Growers, Akron,
Ohio; Past Chairman of the Board - Mike McCabe,
McCabe's Greenhouse & Floral, Lawrenceburg, Indiana; Past
Chairman of the Board - Bob Terry, Fisher Farms, Gaston,
President & CEO - Michael V. Geary, CAE, AmericanHort,
Columbus, Ohio/Washington, DC; Joe Burns, Color Burst,
Grayson, Georgia; Terri Cantwell, Bates Sons & Daughters Inc,
Lake Placid, Florida; Tom Demaline, Willoway Nurseries Inc,
Avon, Ohio; Bob Jones Jr, The Chef's Garden, Huron, Ohio;
Terri McEnaney, Bailey Nurseries Inc, St Paul, Minnesota;
Dan Mulhall, Mulhall's Nursery, Omaha, Nebraska; Morris
Newlin, New Garden Landscaping & Nursery, Greensboro,
North Carolina; Cari Peters, JR Peters Inc, Allentown,
Pennsylvania; Sid Raisch, Horticultural Advantage,
Hillsboro, Ohio
To learn more, visit
ANLA and OFA Members Vote to Form New
National Horticultural Trade Association
W h o l e s a l e H o r t i c u l t u r a l D i s t r i b u t i o n C e n t e r s
Landscape Lighting and Pond Supplies Spyder Delivery Competitive Pricing
Quality Plant Material Complete Selection of Hardgoods Stone Products
A Robert Baker Company
Our display is
Member of VAPH
October 26, 2013
VT Urban & Community Forest Annual Tree Stewards
Randolph, VT
October 30, 2013
Ecological Landscaping Association Free Webinar
Organic Lawns: An Overview of Sustainable Turfgrass
Pre-registration required
November 12, 2013
Ecological Landscaping Association Free Webinar
Soil Amendments
Pre-registration required
December 11, 2013
Ecological Landscaping Association Free Webinar
Sustainablility Makes Cents
Pre-registration required
February 5-7, 2014
New England Grows
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
Boston, MA
February 13, 2014
Green Work Winter Meeting & Trade Show
University of Vermont - Davis Center
Burlington, VT
February 15-17, 2014
NOFA-VT Winter Conference
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT
February 26-27, 2014
Ecological Landscaping Association Conference
& Eco-Marketplace
Springfield, MA
March 7, 2014
Tri-State (ME, NH, VT) Extension Nursery Meeting
Urban Forestry Center
Porstmouth, NH
March TBD
University of Connection Perennial Shortcourse
Storrs, CT
July 30-31, 2014
Penn Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (PANTS 14)
Pennsylvania Convention Center
Philadelphia, PA
July 27-August 1, 2014
Perennial Plant Association Symposium
Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel
Cincinnati, Ohio
Industry Calendar
On August 15
about a dozen
Green Works members gathered at
Arcana Gardens and Greenhouses
in Jericho for a twilight meeting and
tour. Owner Anne Mueller, along
with a few of her staff members led
the group on a fascinating and
inspiring tour of her very diverse
operation. For the past twenty years
Arcana has focused on growing a
wide variety of organic vegetables,
annuals and perennials for the retail
and wholesale market. The list of
plants includes hundreds of
vegetable varieties, medicinal and culinary herbs, and an
extensive offering of perennials with an emphasis on native
In addition to the wide variety of crops grown, Arcana
operates a CSA, has an annual presence at both the
Stowe and Burlington farmers
markets, and offers a variety of
value added products from
dried herb mixes to preserves.
During the tour, Anne and her
staff explained how they have
approached the many
challenges that come with
growing organically and shared
both their successes and
Attendees viewed Arcanas
display gardens including their
recently installed rain garden and were treated to a
sampling of some of the delicious varieties of tomatoes and
cucumbers in their greenhouses.

I encourage you to visit Arcana and be inspired as we were
by the passion and dedication that Anne and her
employees devote to their very unique business.
Arcana Gardens and Greenhouse Twilight Tour
Please use the space below to nominate individuals for
consideration by the Awards Committee for the Associations s
annual achievement awards. We ask that you submit a
paragraph supporting this individuals eligibility for the award.
Past recipients are not eligible to receive the same award a second
time. Please see the column to the left for past recipients of the
awards. Nominations must be received no later than
November 1, 2013. Please include a supporting paragraph
with your nomination and email/mail to VNLA, PO Box 92,
N. Ferrisburgh, VT 05473.
Horticultural Achievement Award
This award is given to individuals connected to the horticultural
industry in Vermont, who are over 40 years of age and whose
accomplishments have advanced our industry educationally, by plant
development or growing, through literature, or through outstanding
personal effort. This award is the most prestigious and distinguished
that can be received from Green Works/Vermont Nursery and
Landscape Association. Nominations cannot be accepted without a
supporting paragraph.
Nominee: ___________________________________________________
Environmental Awareness Award
This award is given in recognition of an individual that has
implemented an environmentally sound practice that contributes to
the protection of our environment. Nominations cannot be accepted
without a supporting paragraph.
Nominee: ___________________________________________________
NENA Young Nursery Professional of the Year Award
This is an annual award established by the New England Nursery
Association. Its purpose is to reward, to honor and to encourage
participation, achievement and growth by an individual who is
involved in a related horticultural industry and has not reached the
age of 40 years, who has shown involvement in his or her state and/or
regional nurserymens association, has contributed to the growth and
success of their company of employment and has portrayed an image to
the public of what our products and services can do for them.
Nominations cannot be accepted without a supporting paragraph.
Retailer of the Year Award
This award will be presented annually to a retail garden center or
greenhouse operation that stands apart for their excellence in any or
all of the following categories: customer service, quality of plant
material, knowledge of staff, creativity and innovations in marketing
and presentation of retail space, and overall customer experience and
satisfaction. Nominations cannot be accepted without a supporting
Nominee: ______________________________________________
Your Name
Your Signature Company/Affiliation
* Any Active, Associate or Student member of Green Works/
VNLA, current in dues, as well as any Honorary member, is
eligible to nominate individuals for the Association awards.
Nomination Ballot: for Green Works/VNLA Awards*
Past Recipients
Horticultural Achievement Award
2012 Don and Lela Avery, Cadys Falls Nursery
2011 Charles Siegchrist, Barber Farm, Inc.
2010 Christopher Conant Claussens Florist & Greenhouse
2009 Amy Rose-White, Rocky Dale Gardens
2008 Paul Sokal and Louise Giovanella
2007 John and Patti Padua, Cobble Creek Nursery
2006 Thomas F. Wright, Homestead Landscaping
2005 Dan G. Nash, Nashs Treescape
2004 Leonard Perry, UVM
2003 Bill Countryman, Countryman Peony Farm
2002 Charlie Proutt, Horsfords Nursery
2001 Holly Weir & Bill Pollard, Rocky Dale Gardens
2000 Greg Williams
1998 Joan Hulbert, Smallwood Nursery
1997 William Horsford
1996 Dennis Bruckel, Grand Isle Nursery
1995 Richard Salter
1994 Elmer Brown, The E.C. Brown Nursery
1993 Norman & Dorothy Pellett
1992 Lewis & Nancy Hill
1991 Richard Stevens, Sr.
Environmental Awareness Award
2012 Chris Conant, Claussens Florist & Greenhouse
2011 Sarah Holland, Rivers Bend Garden Design
2009 Charlie Proutt and Eileen Schilling, Horsford Gardens &
2008 Tom Stearns, High Mowing Organic Seeds
2007 Karl Hammer, Vermont Compost Company
2006 Anne Mueller, Arcana Gardens and Greenhouses
2004 Common Ground Student Run Educational Farm
2002 Paul Sachs, North Country Organics
2001 Paul Sokal, Addison Gardens
2000 Adam Sherman
1997 Will & Judy Stevens
1996 Don Avery, Cadys Falls Nursery
1995 SVCEC Horticulture Program
1994 Jim & Mary Musty, J. M. Landscaping
1993 Nancy Volatile Wood
1991 Andrea Morgante
NENA Young Nursery Professional of the Year Award
2013 Brian Vaughan, Vaughans Landscaping, Inc.
2012 Nathaniel Carr, Church Hill Landscapes, Inc.
2011 Claybrook Griffith Long Leaf Landscaping
2010 Shannon Lee, Cobble Creek Nursery
2009 Rebecca Lindenmeyr, Linden Landscaping & Design, Inc.
2008 R. Andrew Burtt, Old Nash Farm & Landscaping
2006 Chris Thompson, White River Valley Gardens &
2005 Mark Starrett, UVM
2002 Tim Parsons, Greenhaven Gardens & Nursery
2001 Charlie Plonski, Horsfords Gardens & Nursery/New England
Nursery Sales
2000 Peter Norris
1998 Scott Pfister, Vermont Department of Agriculture
1997 Stephen Tworig
1996 Bill Pedi, Northern Nurseries
1995 Thamasin Sullivan
1994 VJ Comai, South Forty
1993 Chris Schlegel
1992 Ralph Fitzgerald
1991 Pat Seibel
Retailer of the Year Award
2012 Julie Rubaud, Red Wagon Plants
PO Box 92
North Ferrisburgh, VT 05473
visit us at
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