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Summer Issue 2018, Volume 44, Issue 2

VNLA Volunteer Outreach Project page 4

All Gardening1is Landscape Painting page 19

Ed Burke Marlys Eddy
Vermont Technical College BUDGET AND FINANCE
Rocky Dale Gardens COMMITTEE CHAIR
806 Rocky Dale Road PO Box 500
Randolph Center, VT 05061 Nate Carr - Church Hill Landscapes, Inc.
Bristol, VT 05443 802.425.5222
802.453.2782 802.728.1207
Ralph Fitz-Gerald Executive Board Members
Horsford Gardens & Nursery
Ashley Robinson Ashley Robinson Landscape Designer
Landscape Designer Charlotte, VT 05445
802.425.2811 802.922.1924
PO Box 28
Charlotte, VT 05445
802.922.1924 Gabriel Bushey - Crafted Landscapes, LLC Marie Limoge
Landscape Designer 802.233.8551
21 Densmore Drive #21
802.272.8744 COMMITTEE CHAIR
Nate Carr Ed Burke - Rocky Dale Gardens
Church Hill Landscapes, Inc. 802.453.2782
287 Church Hill Road Sarah Salatino
Charlotte, VT 05445 Full Circle Gardens MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE CHAIR
802.425.5222 68 Brigham Hill Road Hannah Decker - Fairfax Perennial Farm Essex, VT 05452 802.849.2775
Sarah Salatino - Full Circle Gardens
Gabriel Bushey EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 802.879.1919
Crafted Landscapes, LLC
176 South Maple Street Kristina MacKulin RESEARCH & AWARDS
Vergennes, VT 05491 VNLA/Green Works COMMITTEE CHAIR
802.233.8551 P.O. Box 92 Marlys Eddy - Vermont Technical College N. Ferrisburgh, VT 05473 802.728.1207
Toll Free: 888.518.6484
Hannah Decker P: 802.425.5117; F: 802.425.5122 VERMONT CERTIFIED HORTICULTURIST
Fairfax Perennial Farm, Inc. COMMITTEE CHAIR
7 Blackberry Hill Road Nate Carr - Church Hill Landscapes, Inc.
Fairfax, VT 05454 802.425.5222

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PRESIDENT’S LETTER Ed Burke, Rocky Dale Gardens

Dear VNLA Members,
Happy Summer! I hope this finds everyone surviving the hot this issue
temperatures and getting plenty of water both in your body as well
as your gardens and landscapes! Board of Directors 2

The President’s Letter 3
As I write this, we are about to embark on our first major volunteer
project with Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity. Several
The Buzz 4
members have been working diligently to get a plan in place,
supplies donated and the installation arranged with the Green Mountain Habitat
homeowners, all to culminate the weekend of July 14th. Thanks go for Humanity / 4 Families
out to the Volunteer Project/Outreach Committee, chaired by Ashley VNLA Upcoming Events
Robinson, VNLA Vice-President and to Executive Director Kristina MacKulin. Many, many
The 2019 Vermont Flower
thanks to all the members who came together to donate all the materials, time, and labor to
make this project a reality. Please see the article on page 4 to read about the project and to
recognize all that were instrumental, from start to finish, to make this new landscape a reality for Calendar of Events
four families. A member summed it up best when she said it’s like “building the Vermont Flower
Leonard’s Clippings 10
Show only it’s permanent”!
The Lab 12
The Summer Meeting will take place at Shelburne Farms on August 22, 2018. We’re looking
forward to keynote speaker, Dan Jaffe from Garden in the Woods in Framingham, MA where he Observations from
works as propagator and stock bed grower. Dan began his career at New England Wild Flower UVM Diagnostic Lab
Society as an intern and prior to joining the New England Wildflower Society, he worked for four
Snake Worms - Not Your
years in the nursery business after graduating from the University of Maine with a Botany
Parents’ Worms
degree. He has just co-authored Native Plants for New England Gardens with Mark Richardson,
a guide to incorporating native plants into our gardens and landscapes. I’m sure we will all share The Idea Factory 18
Dan’s passion for plants coupled with his experience in our industry. See more about the summer
Tips, Trends, Food for
meeting on page 7.
Thought . . .

The Montreal Botanical Garden bus tour with Dr. Leonard Perry is in its 9th season! The ever All Gardening is
popular tour takes participants to the Montreal Botanic Gardens with an entertaining program Landscape Painting /
along the way. Two buses are booked this year! The first bus is full but there is still space on the Designer’s Notebook
second bus so get on board soon! The Montreal Botanical Gardens has extensive woody and
herbaceous plant collections as well as gorgeous annual garden displays. Due to the warming Strictly Business 23
effect of the St. Lawrence Seaway, they can grow many plants that aren’t hardy for us and it’s Millennials in Your Midst?
stunning to see what is growing north of Vermont! If you can’t make the tour, take a trip up
sometime- Montreal is a great city with exceptional food, music, and summer life. And if you just The Plant Lounge 25
make it to the gardens, well, the cafe there is pretty good too! Aesculus parviflora -
Bottlebrush Buckeye
These are just some highlights of what the VNLA is up to this summer. We also are in full
planning mode for the 2019 Vermont Flower Show! We welcome all to join in as there are many
ways to participate in the upcoming show!
Cover Photo: Showy Lady
Stay tuned, stay connected and join your friends and colleagues in celebrating summer and the
Slipper (Cypripedium reginae)
great outdoors that we all love. I look forward to seeing you at the summer meeting!
growing in Judith Irven’s
garden, Goshen, VT. Her
plants have been growing for
a number of years and the
original plant came from
Cady’s Falls Nursery.
Photo by Dick Conrad.

the low down on what’s up!

THE VNLA/Green Works Volunteer/Outreach Project:
Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity/Four Families
On Saturday, July 14, 2018 some initial queries to our members
about doing a project like this we
approximately 25 VNLA members and
received overwhelming support and
homeowners gathered to participate in
the committee was formed.
the landscape installation volunteer
project at 55 Park Street, Essex
First, the VNLA contacted Green
Junction, VT for four families who
Mountain Habitat for Humanity to see
purchased and moved into their Green
if there would be an opportunity for
Mountain Habitat for Humanity
the VNLA to undertake a landscape
(GMHH) built homes back in April.
design/installation project. They
Some of the family members also joined
were just completing a new triplex
in on planting day.
where an older farmhouse had
Back in March
burned down
the Volunteer
and renovation
on a “carriage
house” that
Committee was
were all
formed and
situated on one
began meeting
piece of
over the course
property in
of the next few
months to
Junction, VT.
design this
The four
project. The
families were
idea of this
to move into
their new
project was
homes in April.
born out of the board of
They were
directors brainstorming
thrilled about
something new the
our offer as
VNLA and its members
they have
could undertake in the
never had
off flower show years.
someone come
We wanted to continue
forward to landscape one of their projects. There is
to accomplish “public
never any funds left over on their project to do much
outreach” in a more
more than spread grass seed.
permanent way. In past
years, we have talked
Once we got the go head the committee got to work.
about how our
Committee members include: Ashley Robinson,
Association could pull a
Landscape Designer, chair, Gabe Bushey, Crafted
project like this off.
Landscapes, LLC, Marie Limoge, Landscape Designer,
The time had come, the
Josh Cohen and Pat Toporowski, The Grass Gauchos,
stars aligned and with
LLC, and Dr. Mark Starrett, UVM. Committee members

met with Dick Shasteen, GMHH project manager, toured the Landon Roberts, The Grass Gauchos, LLC
site, and met with some of the homeowners. After the Lisa Hoare, University of Vermont Medical Center
landscape design/plan was in place, the committee got to work Marie Limoge, Landscape Designer
on securing the donations needed to complete the project. Marlys Eddy, Vermont Technical College
Nolan Comiskey, The Grass Gauchos, LLC
VNLA members and associates stepped up and by the end of Pat Toporowski, The Grass Gauchos, LLC
June we were able to set the installation date for Saturday, July Tim & Elsa Lindenmeyr
14, 2018. The VNLA is so very grateful to the donors who made Todd Romanchek, The Grass Gauchos, LLC
this project a reality. A HUGE THANK YOU to the donors Two Gardener’s Supply Company staff
below: VJ Comai, Burlington City Arborist

Belgard Pavers – patio pavers
Champlain Landworks--trucking
Crafted Landscape Design, LLC – stone steps/site work, stones
for retaining wall, equipment
Dr. Mark Starrett, University of Vermont – vegetable
Fairfax Perennial Farm, Inc. - perennials
Full Circle Gardens – perennials
Gardener’s Supply Company - topsoil
Green Mountain Compost - topsoil
Horsford Gardens & Nursery – shrubs
Limbwalker Tree Service – wood chips
Pinnacle Properties – bark mulch
Red Wagon Plants – annuals
The Grass Gauchos, LLC – landscape design, site work,
crushed stone, equipment
Trowel Trades Supply – patio pavers
Weston Excavating – trucking

Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity Donors

Dick Shasteen – lumber, tools
Greg Rabideau – building architect

When the installation day arrived, the heat had broken a bit
and there was a light drizzle. In the previous week hardscape
materials and plants had arrived, along with the bark
mulch and top soil. The Grass Gauchos crew had
worked on the site preparation for the patio which made
laying the pavers a one day project. As VNLA volunteers
began to arrive, beginning at 7:30 am, work began in
earnest. By 3pm that afternoon we were finished!
ANOTHER HUGE THANK YOU to the volunteers below:

Anne Guarino, The Grass Gauchos, LLC
Ashley Robinson, Landscape Designer
Brinkley Benson and sons, homeowners
Dr. Mark Starret, University of Vermont
Debbie & Jeff Limoge
Gabe Bushey, Crafted Landscapes, LLC
Hannah Decker, Fairfax Perennial Farm
Jake Ringer, Crafted Landscapes, LLC
This landscape project included stripping all the sod for the
Josh Cohen, The Grass Gauchos, LLC
planting beds, which were located in the front of the triplex, on
Karla Clithero, The Grass Gauchos, LLC
the side of the triplex and in the back. A stone retaining wall
Kristina MacKulin, VNLA Executive Director

was also built behind the triplex. The plantings beds were backyard a 400 square foot patio was built. GMHH donated the
planted with a mix of annuals, perennials, and shrubs. On the lumber for the four raised vegetable beds and homeowner
densely shaded side of the triplex wood chips were spread. Brinkley Benson and his sons constructed the frames. By the
Stone steps/landings were built in two locations on the side of afternoon all four beds had been filled with topsoil and planted
the triplex. with herbs and full size vegetables, complete with almost full
size tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. The vegetables were
A small bed of hostas was planted alongside a shed and some all grown by Dr. Mark Starrett at UVM.
vines were planted around the carriage house porch. In the
In under eight hours the landscape project was complete. It
was great to see what two organizations and groups of
volunteers can accomplish, both in building affordable new
homes and providing functional, ornamental and edible
landscapes together building community.

We were lucky to have Eva Sollberger of Seven Days Newspaper
join us for the part of the day as she filmed a “Stuck in
Vermont” feature which can be viewed at this link or on our
for-humanity-house/Content?oid=18237622. We want to thank
Eva and her crew for capturing the true spirit of the day and
this project as we watch the video with a big smile and a warm

For our very first volunteer landscape design/installation
project it was a resounding success and again, we are so very
grateful to our donors, members and associates who made this
project happen. Homeowner Brinkley Benson shared: “This is
beyond what I thought I would ever be able to afford”. David
Mullin, Executive Director of Green Mountain Habitat for
Humanity said, “Donors and volunteers make it possible for
low-income working families to leave substandard rental
housing and to purchase their own homes at the cost to build
them. We build simple,
energy efficient homes
but there isn’t money to
do landscaping other than
a lawn. The extremely
generous offer by the
Vermont Nursery and
Landscape Association is
greatly appreciated and
will improve the lives of
the four families living in

The VNLA/Green Works Upcoming Events

Summer Meeting & Trade Show Tuesday Twilight Gathering
August 22, 2018 Vermont Wetland Plant Supply
Join us at Shelburne Farms Coach Barn 29 Old Foundry Road
1611 Harbor Road Orwell, VT 05760
Shelburne, VT 05482 August 28, 2018
6:30-8:30 pm
Highlights of the Day!
Join VNLA member and owner of Vermont Wetland Plant
Keynote speaker Dan Jaffe from New England Wildflower Supply for a tour of Vermont’s only nursery dedicated to
Society - “For Us and Them” and “Plants are Better than the propagation of native wetland plants.  Come learn
Mulch” about the nursery production of sub-aquatics, emergent
“Lyme Disease, the Black-legged Tick and its Key Ecological herbaceous, ferns, shrubs, and trees grown for the
Factors” w/Bill Landesman, Green Mountain College wetland restoration and stormwater management
microbiologist projects throughout the northeastern United States. 
“Mean Green Products Demonstrations on the Lawn” w/ AJ You’ll see plants for sunny wetlands and ponds, shaded
Bavaro of Church Hill Landscapes and Steven Wisbaum of woodland wetlands, rain gardens, pollinator landscapes,
Eco-Equipment Supply,LLC and river restoration projects.   Unique spring woodland
“A Round Up of Pests and Diseases” w/Judy Rosovsky, VT plants like gaywings and partridgeberry are being grown
State Entomologist for a site in the Adirondack State Park.  You will also
explore the greenhouses, the shade structures, and the
Shelburne Farms Inn garden tour w/Birgit Deeds, head
trench ponds that hold plants for seed production, bare
rooting, and overwintering.  Come look, feel, touch, and
Our annual Summer Meeting Auction - bring a plant, tool,
immerse yourself in a one-of-a kind nursery located in
book, pie to donate and bring along your wallet!
Orwell at the southern end of Lake Champlain.
Register on-line at or
download the form and mail it to the office There is no fee for this twilight meeting.  Please RSVP at:

Montreal Botanic Garden Tour - September 17, 2018
A second bus has been added and space is still available! The bus meets at 8am at the UVM Hort Farm and returns at
7pm. To register visit this link to download the registration form:
botanic-garden-tour/. You won’t want to miss the Chinese Lantern display!

Participate in the
2018 Industry Awards Program.
Take your photos now!

Get Certified in 2018!
Don’t delay and order
your study manual today!
The 2019 Vermont Flower Show
Planning is well underway for the 2018 Vermont Flower Show • discounted booth space w/face-to-face contact with
thousands of attendees
on March 1 - 3, 2019 at Champlain Valley Expo. Our theme for
• member rate advertising in the Program and Garden
this next show is “Wonder - A Garden Adventure for All Ages”!
Guide (8,000 printed)
The Garden Display Committee held several meetings before
• speaker opportunities
the season hit and will be regrouping to continue their work on
• sponsorship opportunities
planning out the display. New committee members
are always welcome! The Garden Display The Flower Show is our signature event and HUGE
Committee will also begin the process of securing public outreach project. We rely on the many
woody plant donations for forcing. If you are generous donations of time, materials and labor
interested in donating plant material for the show from our members and beyond. We could not do it
please contact Melita Bass, the chair of the without our volunteers and donors.
committee at
There are so many ways to get involved and be a
We are exited to share the Vermont Flower Show part of the show - from being a sponsor, an
was chosen as a 2019 Top Ten Winter Event to attend by the exhibitor, a speaker or simply volunteering for a few
Vermont Chamber of Commerce! hours. Feel free to contact Kristina in the office ANYTIME to
find out how you can participate! It is a wonderful feeling to
Why hold a flower show you ask? The Flower Show offers watch people walk through the display, smell the flowers and
various marketing opportunities to our members: see what the rest of the show has to offer.

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August 22, 2018 September 17, 2018 November 7 - 8, 2018 February 7, 2019
VNLA/Green Works Summer VNLA/Green Mountain Northeast Greenhouse VNLA/Green Works Winter
Meeting & Trade Show Horticulture Tours Conference and Expo Meeting & Trade Show
Shelburne Farms Coach Barn Montreal Botanic Garden Boxborough Regency Hotel UVM Davis Center
Shelburne, VT Bus Tour Boxborugh, MA Burlington, VT 05401 Second bus has been added
8am - 7pm March 1-3, 2019
August 28, 2018 December 7, 2018 Vermont Flower Show
VNLA/Green Works Ecological Plant Conference Champlain Valley Expo
Tuesday Twilight Gathering October 1, 2018 Brooklyn Botanic Garden Essex Junction, VT
Vermont Wetland Plant Making it Happen Local Brooklyn, NY
Supply Leadership for the Future of
Orwell, VT VT Communities event/2018-ecological-plant- 9am - 6pm conference/
Castleton, VT 05735
August 28-29, 2018 January 9-11, 2019
Griffin Greenhouse Grower
& Retailer Expo October 4, 2018 MANTS
DCU Center, Worcester, MA Invasive Plant Symposium Baltimore Convention Center UCONN Student Union Baltimore, MD
Storrs, CT

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Small College. Big Outcomes. LLC
(603) 463-7663 Fax 7326 •

by Dr. Leonard Perry, UVM Horticulture Professor Emeritus

In case you don’t get the Ball Publishing Green Talks e- a long period (mid-May through June for me). This was
discovered by Paul Gooderham at Bressingham, UK, in a patch of
newsletter, or missed this article, …
its parent ‘Jenny.’ This is a patented (applied for) introduction of
Must Have Perennials (formerly Blooms of Bressingham North
The idea of plants improving the workplace is beginning to
America), and its retail counterpart Rozanne and Friends
catch on. In fact, Executive Style just published, “Biophilia is
company, whom I’ve trialed plants for during my official tenure
the latest tool to create a happier, healthier work
at UVM. (
environment…Our brains crave a connection to nature, and
corporations are beginning to favor plants and green spaces
Speaking of overwintering, I continue to monitor winter
over sterile cubicle environments. According to the article,
temperatures in the air and various soil sites at my trial site
Amazon put 40,000 plants in its new Seattle headquarters.
(great to think about during the hotter days of this summer).
And Samsung put a garden on every other floor in its San
Overwintered pots dropped below 28F four times in midwinter,
Jose, California, office.”
only reaching 26F though, and generally varied between 28 and
32F. Pots (still covered) raised above 32F the first time Apr. 3,
Also from this newsletter, another fact related to biophilia
and stayed (uncovered) above 40F from Apr. 30 on.
that we can use for the “unconvinced” on the benefit of
plants. “A new peer-reviewed study done in Spain suggests
Even though shown as zone 4b, my trial site air temperature was
that children raised in greener neighborhoods may
mainly zone 5, reaching -22F on Jan. 2 and -26F on Jan. 7—the
experience beneficial effects on brain development and
only two times with zone 4 temperatures. I was surprised there
cognitive function.” (read more at,
was not more winter injury this spring, especially with spring
Mar. 2 posting).
bloomers, with air temperatures of 2, 0, and 8F the third week of
March. Yet this summer cool has continued, with an air
temperature of 32, 31, and 36F the second week of June, and
dropping to 35F the first day of summer and then 4 days later.

As you read this, fall semester as UVM will be soon underway. As
in the past, here is a summary of courses being offered, instructor
and preregistration numbers to give you a snapshot of the PSS
department in teaching and student interest: Home and Garden
Horticulture (Starrett, 124), Introduction to Ecological
Agriculture (Izzo, 134), Entomology (Chen, 27), Weed Ecology
(Bosworth, 27), Woody Landscape Plants (Starrett, 17), Landscape
Design Fundamentals (Hurley, 20), Turfgrass Management
(Bosworth, 6), Permaculture (Izzo, 17), Fundamentals of Soil
Science (Gorres, 90), Landscape Design for Pollinators (Sorensen,
12), Advanced Agroecology (Mendez, 24), Sustainable Orchard
Management (Bradshaw, 15), Soil Morphology (Waterman, 11),
Although on a reduced scale, my perennial plant trials Quantitative Genetics (Bishop-Von Wettberg, 10), plus several
continue at my USDA zone 4b site. One plant that was other specialized courses. In addition are my online courses in
incredible this year and provided a long, and a top eye- Indoor Plants (14), Garden Flowers (29), Home Fruit Growing
catching show in an overwintered pot (2 layers fleece and (54), and Flowers and Foliage (20).
white poly), was Petite Jenny ragged robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi
Petite Jenny cv. Lychjenpet which some taxonomists now list In other UVM News from the U:
in Silene). Listed as hardy to USDA 5, it will be going into the
field to see how it fares in my colder zone (on average). • The UVM Beekeepers Club (advisor Dr Mark Starrett) won
Listed on average as about 15 inches tall and a bit wider, the the outstanding organization club award at UVM in 2018.
bright double lavender pink flowers are sterile so bloom over

They helped UVM become one of 18 certified Bee and, for the first time, have had such interest that I’ve added a
Campuses in the country and the only one in New second bus which is over half full so far. Last year we had an
England. overnight tour, staying in Ottawa and seeing the mosaicultures
for Canada’s 150th. This year they’re back for a new show, with
• Students Hanna Kaminski and Kaly Gonski, both 50 percent more flowers and exhibits (some same and others
graduating seniors, from the Sustainable Landscape new), and a display garden where all the plants used are
Horticulture program were recipients of the 2018 labeled. While we won’t have a tour there this summer, it runs
Burlington Garden Club Award. (Kaly you may recall also until Oct. 15, so if you need an overnight vacation with a some
won the VNLA Student Merit Award in February.) great horticulture, check this out (

• PSS now has a new interim department, Ernesto Mendez,
who served as chair for a year in the past during Deb
Neher’s sabbatical leave. Deb will remain in the
department with more time to devote to teaching and her

• Deb Neher coauthored a study with colleagues in the
Gund Institute at UVM revealing a link between food
waste and diet quality. Americans, on average, waste
about a pound of food per person each day.

“Researchers estimate that food waste corresponded with the
use of 30 million acres of land annually (7 percent of total US
cropland) and 4.2 trillion gallons of irrigation water each year…
consumer food waste corresponded to harvests produced with
the use of 780 million pounds of pesticide and 1.8 billion
pounds of nitrogen fertilizer, annually. Both represent
significant costs to the environment and the farmers who
dedicate land and resources to producing food that’s meant to
be eaten…Of 22 food groups studied, fruits, vegetables and
mixed fruit and vegetable dishes (39 percent of total) were
wasted most—followed by dairy (17 percent), and meat and
mixed meat dishes (14 percent)…. The study also found that
healthier diets used less cropland than lower quality diets, but
led to greater waste in irrigation water and pesticides, which
are used at higher rates on average for growing fruits and
vegetables.. While low quality diets may produce less food
waste, they come with a range of negative impacts, researchers
say. This includes low nutritional value and higher rates of
cropland wasted.” (

If you’re interested in greenhouse crops or need some pesticide
credits relevant to our industry (ie. floriculture and this topic),
check out the biennial Northeast Greenhouse Conference in
Boxborough, Mass. Nov. 7 and 8. The full program is online, as
well as registration. Your board member Sarah Salatino
continues as representing Vermont in the planning of this, and
Dr. Ann Hazelrigg from UVM (Plant Diagnostic Clinic) now
represents UVM, as I did during my time with Extension prior
to retirement.

Each spring I wonder if there would be sufficient interest in
offering a day trip in September to the Montreal gardens, in
collaboration with your Association, and each spring I start
getting interest in such. So once again this year I offered this

putting it under the lens . . .

Observations from the UVM Plant Diagnostic Lab
by Ann Hazelrigg, Ph.D.
I really like sawflies. They always surprise me when I come attack of these little green sawflies with tan heads. The pests
blend in well with the expanding foliage of the host plant and
upon them en masse on various trees and shrubs. These pests
are difficult to see. They are about three-fourths inch long
are gregarious feeders and can quickly defoliate a plant in a
when full grown. Once fully grown, they drop to the soil to
matter of a few days, as I just saw in my own landscape on two
pupate. There is one generation per year. Watch for these early
and control organically with Spinosad. I suspect after the
Sawflies get their name from a saw-like ovipositor the females defoliation it might not hurt to give the shrubs a little extra
of some species use to cut into plant tissues to lay their eggs. boost with an acid-loving fertilizer.
Sawfly larvae can look like caterpillars of Lepidopteran moths
or butterflies, but they are in the entirely different order of
“membraned winged” insects called Hymenoptera. This order
also includes bees, wasps and ants. To tell the difference
between the caterpillar and sawfly plant feeders, you need to
look closely at their legs. Sawflies (bottom of photo below)
have more than five sets of prolegs (false legs located on their
abdomen) and caterpillars have 2 - 5 pairs of prolegs (top of the
photo). Both have 3 sets of true legs on their thorax just behind
their heads.

It is important to recognize the difference between the two
larvae since the organic Bacillus thuringiensis (Dipel) products Azalea sawfly. University of Illinois Extension. http://
that are effective against caterpillars would be useless against

Another sawfly common in Vermont in late spring is the dusky
birch sawfly. The larvae line up along the edges of leaves and
feed along the edges until the entire leaf is consumed. When
disturbed these sawflies raise their abdomens as in the photo
below. It is easier for sawflies to do this since they do not have
“crochets” or hooks on their prolegs like caterpillars do, and

Caterpillar larvae top of photo, Sawfly larvae bottom of photo.
Kansas State University Entomology Department

Earlier this spring the azalea sawfly defoliated both of my
deciduous azaleas. Only the leaf midribs were left after the Dusky Birch Sawfly. Lacy L. Hyche, Auburn University.
therefore do not cling as tightly to leaves as caterpillars. In stressed. There are one or two generations/year. In small
most cases, a healthy tree can withstand some feeding and no infestations, handpicking would work but larger infestations
control is usually warranted. could be controlled organically with spinosad.

Mountain ash sawfly also have spots but these feed only on
mountain ash. These pests feed on the margins of leaves
completely devouring them, except for the central veins. The
young larvae start out very gregarious, but as they grow they
disperse throughout the tree crown. The damage starts in the
top of the tree but later the sawflies spread to the lower
branches damage is more severe. There are two generations/
year and controls would be the same as with other sawflies.

Rose slug and skeletonizing damage. Missouri Botanical Garden.

Another sawfly we see every year is the rose slug. This sawfly
feeds on rose but a similar one called pear slug feeds on
pear, plum, cherry, hawthorn, serviceberry, quince and
cotoneaster. The larvae feed on the upper leaf surface of the
plant causing skeletonizing damage leaving the veins intact.
There are two generations/year. Usually you see the damage
after the pest has disappeared, and in most cases control is not
warranted although with repeated attacks, roses may weaken Mountain ash sawfly. Dawn Dailey O'Brien, Cornell University,
over time.

There are several other species of sawflies that feed on
Vermont trees and shrubs that I have not mentioned. If you see
a lot of larvae feeding together in a group or if your tree looks
fine one day and then defoliated a few days later, consider one
of the sawflies. Typically you could just search images for
sawfly (count those prolegs!) and the plant affected and you
could probably narrow down the culprit involved.

As always, you are welcome to email
me photos (
of what you are seeing or samples to
Red headed pine sawfly feeding in terminals. Steven Katovich, the Plant Diagnostic Clinic, Jeffords
USDA Forest Service, Hall, 63 Carrigan Drive, Burlington,
VT 05405.
Red-headed pine sawflies are gregarious feeders that usually
feed in terminals but can quickly defoliate small pines. The full
grown larvae are 1 inch long, have reddish heads and
yellowish-white bodies with six rows of irregular black spots. I
typically see these on mugo pines but they can occasionally
attack white pines and other conifers, especially when

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Snake Worms - Not Your Parents’ Worms
by Josef Görres, Ph.D.
are of concern: Amynthas agrestis, Amynthas tokioensis and
Snake Worms! As though there weren’t many other things to Metaphire hilgendorfi. A. tokioensis is the smallest of the three
worry about as the gardening season draws near. Yet another
species and varies between 2 and 8 cm length. M. hilgendorfi is
invasive species with severe effects on hardwood forests. If you
the largest of them and varies between 12 and 25 cm and is sure
haven’t seen one yet, look at the picture below. As adults they
to raise your eyebrows when you see one.
have this ring around the collar, known as a clitellum, which
goes all the way round the body of the worm. The clitellum is Now it is pretty common to see these earthworms in the wild
clearly offset by color from the rest of the body. They move like and obviously further north than the DC area. There is a
snakes and thrash about when picked up. On occasion they lose suspicion that they can survive in the wild now because the
their tails to upset the gardener or get a predator off their growing season has lengthened by about 10 days over the last
backs. The tail keeps thrashing while the worm quietly sneaks 20 years. And, projections are that another 30 days are going to
away. be added to the growing season by midcentury. This is
important because these worms require 90 to 100 days from
hatching to maturity. If they don’t have that time, they won’t
be able to produce cocoons (egg casings and nothing like an
insect cocoon). Currently they are unlikely to persist at higher
elevations, but are becoming more common in the Champlain

Cold temperatures don’t really disrupt Snake Worm
populations. These worms are annuals. They hatch from their
cocoons in April, become adults in July or August (earlier in a
nursery where soils warm up faster than in the forest), and start
dying in the first frosts. They fully disappear by the end of
November. In June, you can find something like 200 Snake
Worms per m2 in the woodlands. There usually is a dip in the
population size when the first adults appear and adult densities
Snake Worm at a tree nursery. Note the band around the
become more like 100 m2. The adults produce spherical
neck of the earthworm.
cocoons and by November you probably find something like
Snake Worms are a group of Asian earthworms (pheretimoids) 1500 cocoons m2. These cocoons are winter hardy and survive
that share many characteristics and are invasive in North frosts by dehydration. See the image below for a comparison of
America. There are 16 species on the continent. They were first hydrated and dehydrated cocoons.
reported in the scientific literature from California as far back
as 1862. As far as I know they were first reported in the
Northeast from Massachusetts in 1934. Other early reports in
the 1940ties and 50ties were from greenhouses and even the
Bronx Zoo where some species were grown as feed for
platypuses. They were brought in with plant materials which in
those days still included soil. One of the invasion anecdotes is
that some species may have come in with the Cherry trees (yes,

of Cherry Blossom fame) presented to Washington DC by the Fully hydrated cocoons (left), and dehydrated cocoons right.
mayor of Tokyo in 1912. Image by M. Nouri-Alin.

First reports from Vermont were published in 2012, but old The states of Wisconsin and New York have these species on
timers in the green industry point out that the worms have their restricted and prohibited list. Minnesota is preparing to
been around for much longer, maybe as early as the 90ties. add them to their list of terrestrial invasives, California has
Some producers think they saw them in their nurseries as far issued pest advisories, and Canadian forest scientists are
back as 30 years ago. Here in Vermont, three species from Japan already worried about their entering into Quebec. What this

means for the green industry is new best management practices get the worms out, you have to deal with the cocoons and that
that would reduce the risk of the worms leaving nurseries and is a much greater challenge.
greenhouses. However, there is little in the arsenal that
This summer, my lab is going to trial some fungi and biochar in
scientists and extension personnel can put in the path of these
gardens to see whether these are worth pursuing. And we are
continuing our quest for more funding. Currently, we are
One of the reasons for this is that granting agencies don’t yet funded through the Eppley Foundation of Research and the
see Snake Worms as a problem and thus no need to fund Hardy Plant Club. More funding is
research on their control. Many nursery owners may not want needed and the collaboration of the
to come forward and report on plant damage simply because green industry in quantifying any
invasive species are such a sensitive issue. Who wants to own damage done by these earthworms is
up and maybe lose support for their products? And yet, funding requested. We love to know where you
for the development of IPM/biocontrol measures depends on see them.
justifying that research through quantifiable damage. One of
About the Author: Josef Görres is an
the favorite lines from grant reviewers at the USDA is: “where
associate professor in the Plant and Soil Science Department at
is the evidence that these earthworms do any damage to
the University of Vermont. You can contact Josef at
nursery production.” So this invasion and these pests remain You can also follow Josef on his blog:
cryptic behind a wall of silence. My lab is currently looking for where you will find the below
people willing to share their information on these worms.
Records would be anonymous using a code like nursery A, B, C,
rather than a precise location and nursery name. “We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than
about the soil underfoot.” – Leonardo Da Vinci, circa 1500’s
Not that there weren’t any stories of damage. The New York
Times reported in 2007 on a garden that curates Hostas
and the Duluth Tribune (

news/2396776-qa-dark-side-wiggly-worms). The articles also
shed a light on how these worms move around: Mulch and leaf
mulch is one way that you could get them. Even compost may
not always be safe. Wisconsin DNR’s Department of Forestry is
working with composters on good practices for that reason to
limit the movement of these species to gardens and nurseries -./+)0"+)'()$)**#"+'1$/2)$0'
that use these products. They suggest that a compost pile that
gets hotter than 120 F should kill worms and cocoons.
However, worms move and may be able to avoid the hot zones
at the center of a windrow easily. I find them close to the
outside of windrows in community gardens. Commercial
composters may do a better job of keeping their compost hot. If '
the compost goes through any curing phase, earthworms may
reinvade the pile as it cools down.

So what is the answer? Are there any ways of controlling them?
You may be able to clear these worms out of pots using a
drench that contains an earthworm irritant. Mustard solution '
has been used by ecologists to drive earthworms to the surface.
1 oz of mustard to a gallon of water will drive them out of the
soil. You may get away with a less dilute solution. A fertilizer 3'4+"567)$$8'9#++':/";'<'!"#$%"&='>?'@ABAB'
formulated for golf courses (1-0-0) especially to discourage
earthworms. The fertilizer contains substances used in Asia to C@DECBFED33A'
control slugs that also act as an irritant to the pheretimoids.
The liquid solution seems to work better than the granulated
formula and can be diluted to at least 20:1. However, once you
Please call for
a copy of our
2018 catalog.

Landscape Distribution Center
472 Marshall Avenue, Williston, Vermont

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Weekdays 7:00am–6:00pm, Sat. 8:00am–5:00pm, Sun. 9:00am–4:00pm
Phone: 802-658-2433 • Fax: 802-860-2936

tips & trends, food for thought…

Are you a plant geek? American Horticultural Society
Announces Winners of the
Sign up for the Botany Photo of the Day 2018 Great American
delivered daily to your inbox by the University of Garden Awards
British Columbia. The photos are amazing and it
The American Horticultural Society
is always great to learn about new plants, even (AHS) has named 12 individuals to
if they don’t grow in Vermont! receive its 2018 Great American
You can sign up here: Gardeners Awards, in recognition of
their impactful contributions in the
fields of plant research and teaching, landscape design, youth gardening,
floral design, urban beautification,
and more. Winners are from all over
the country.
“Making It Happen!”
Local Leadership for the Future of The winners were honored at a June
21, 2018 gathering at AHS’s River Farm
Vermont Communities in Alexandria, VA. You can view the
winners here:
October 1, 2018
9am - 6pm
86 Seminary Street american-gardener-awards
Castleton, VT 05735
Join local leaders working to improve life in their
communities at the Vermont Council on Rural The Million Pollinator
Development’s VT Community Leadership Summit!
Garden Challenge
• Skills Workshops for Community Initiatives
• Community Success Story Panels The National Pollinator
• Leadership Resource Fair Garden Network (NPGN),
• Group Dialogues on the “Future of Community founded by nine
Leadership in Vermont” organizations in 2015, has launched
this campaign to register a million
In democracy, ALL citizens are called upon to lead –
public and private gardens and
where leaders step up, towns achieve great things.
Local Citizens Make It Happen! Registration will open in landscapes to support pollinators.
August. For more information contact the VT Council on To learn more about NPGN and how
Rural Development at or 802 223-6091. to participate in this challenge visit:

All Gardening is Landscape Painting
by Judith Irven

Designer’s Notebook . . . They also consider the background—the negative space—that
will surround and frame the subject. Differentiated from the
As members of The Vermont Nursery and Landscape subject in both color and texture, the negative space further
Association, collectively we possess a huge reservoir of dramatizes the final composition.
knowledge and experience, with the potential for all of us to And finally, they take note of the edges—the lines formed on
learn from one another. the canvas where the positive and negative spaces abut one
So, in the spirit of sharing ideas, I wanted to initiate a new another—which are also add to the picture’s impact.
column in The Dirt called Designers Notebook. Going forward Pictures on the ground.
I hope many of you will contribute articles and share your
And, as with a lovely painting, the foundation for every
personal perspectives on landscape design.
beautiful garden is a compelling spatial composition that
delineates the different garden spaces and the way they
‘All Gardening is Landscape Painting’ interrelate. It is like making ‘a picture on the ground’.

Three hundred years have passed since the
English architect William Kent wrote this
beautifully perceptive saying and it still
resonates with me today. And, even though I
am no painter, I do see my own efforts in the
field of landscape design as akin to creating
beautiful and yet practical pictures.
I am sure we have all been in the situation of
new clients with a long ‘wish list’ of features
they want for their new garden but with ‘no
idea where to start’. Or alternatively, that of a
client with an overgrown and neglected
garden that is just begging for a makeover.
At the outset, think like an artist.
Whether confronted with a ‘blank slate’ or the
‘overgrown jungle’ first I strive to step back
from the details and consider the big picture.
Creating a lovely garden is an inherently
visual process, not unlike making a beautiful Gentle curves delineate the beds in Judith’s personal garden.
painting. We all love to ponder which plants
will bloom together and all the different ways
Furthermore, since the spatial design shows the size and shape
we might combine them to produce a kaleidoscope of beautiful
of the individual beds, it becomes your basis for choosing the
images— ever-changing throughout the season. Indeed I often
plants—trees, shrubs and perennials—that will populate those
have visions of 'plein-air' artists like Claude Monet, working
outdoors in diffuse natural light, carefully mixing their paints
to recreate their mesmerizing gardens on canvas. As I look out across my own garden I am continually struck by
the interplay of the shapes of all the different spaces— the
But I am also mindful that, before putting a dab of color on the
flowerbed, lawn, paths and sitting areas. And, off in the
canvas, many artists spend considerable time conceiving the
distance, this whole picture is framed by an outer border—in
spatial composition for their painting—be it a still-life, a
my case a meadow and the forest.
pastoral scene, or even an abstract mosaic. They contemplate
the space the subject will occupy—often called the positive Closer to the house, of necessity, most of the edges are
space— how it should be positioned, how much room it will functional and straight. However, as I look beyond the vicinity
need and how the different elements of the subject will relate of the house, the edges—such as the lines that separate the
to one another. flower beds and the lawn—are gently curved.

Furthermore, since my garden is on a hillside, where there is a straight lines, giving the area around the house a certain
change in elevation, a retaining wall delineates the line formality.
between two spaces, such as lawn and flowerbed. Thus the
But, as one moves away from these more functional areas, it is
retaining wall also forms the edge between the two spaces.
the flowerbeds, sitting spaces and paths that become the main
Like many of us, I seem to spend considerably more time focus, and thus form the ‘positive spaces’ in your picture. Here
looking out across my smooth flowing shapes,
garden from my kitchen such as one might see on a
window than actually out contour map, will impart a
there strolling around. And relaxed informal ambience
when seen from afar, it is to the finished design.
the ‘big picture’ that I see. I
Typically these positive
delight in the contrasting
spaces will be surrounded
shapes of the various
and framed by the lawn, a
spaces, further enhanced by
space which invites us out
the vertical nature of the
into the garden and allows
plantings, and the ever-
us to visit our plants up
changing colors of the
close. Thus the lawn is akin
larger flower groupings.
to the ‘negative space’ in a
And this underlying
painting, taking its shape
composition, accentuated
from the beds and further
by plenty of woody plants,
dramatizing them.
also becomes the essence of
the winter garden. However, as you proceed to
Above: Judith based the underlying design of her own garden on an refine the shapes of the
Of course, when I actually
invisible axis from the gazebo to the arbor that runs at 45° to the house. positive spaces, it helps to
walk around my garden,
Below: The view from an upstairs window. check and recheck to make
then it’s the details, like the
sure the shape of the lawn
delicate pink veining
will be attractive in its own
outlining the pouch of a
right. Remember too that
Lady’s Slipper flower (as on
lawns must be easy to
the cover of this issue of
mow, without any sharp
the Dirt), or the tapestry of
points or tight corners.
leaves reflecting in a
ground-level copper dish, Practicalities.
that become the star If you want to create a
attractions. spatial design for a client’s
So the pleasure I get from property here, very briefly,
my garden involves both are the main steps:
types of encounters. •Draw a base plan showing
Combining spaces for a to scale what currently
harmonious whole. exists, including the outline
of the house, paths,
Even if your main business
hardscape and beds. I find
is something other than design, what asked about overall
1/8 th inch = 1 foot to be a good scale for most landscape
design issues, I suggest you start by developing your big picture
design purposes. You can use squared paper as a guide for
ideas on paper, drawing the individual shapes of the various
drawing the base plan.
components—hardscape, paths, lawn and planted areas—and
then experimenting with different ways to combine them into a • Cover the base plan with a large piece of trace paper and
harmonious whole. experiment with shapes and sizes for the new planted areas
and sitting areas you would like to develop.
For functional reasons some garden spaces around the house—
especially the driveway and utility area, deck or patio, • Gradually refine the shapes of all the various spaces, from
vegetable garden, as well as all paths—will be delineated by both an aesthetic and a functional perspective. Aim for nice
smooth shapes—no squiggly lines or awkward corners.

• Make fewer but larger flower beds (which results in less edge
to trim and thus lower maintenance) that are deep enough to
hold between two and five layers of plants—so a minimum of
five feet, but possibly up to twelve feet deep.
• Ensure that the hardscape, especially a patio or a deck where
people will sit and relax, is both attractively shaped AND fully
functional, with enough space for both table and chairs and
for people to move around. The oldest and largest nursery
• Make the paths easy to navigate by using either gentle curves in the Northeast Kingdom!
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Once you are happy with how it all looks, place a clean piece of
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With your spatial plan as your guide, now you can delve into
choosing beautiful plants for the new garden beds. (This article
in my blog:
provides a starting point for choosing plants)

Together Judith Irven
and her husband, Dick
Conrad, nurture a
large garden in
Goshen, Vermont. She
is a landscape
designer and Vermont
Horticulturist; she also *
teaches Sustainable
Home Landscaping for
the UVM Extension Master Gardener program. She writes
about her Vermont gardening life at
You can reach her at


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no kidding …

Millennials in Your Midst?
by Jacki Hart

Faster Than A is bringing with them
Speeding Bullet …. lots of creativity and
different skills to your
Look! It’s a Bird, It’s a workplace, its’
processes, and the
Plane…. No, it’s today’s
resulting outcomes of
entrepreneur running
the team efforts. You
madly in all directions
need to figure out how
trying to figure out how
to leverage it. While it’s
to engage their team! If
human nature to resist
that opening phrase tugs
change, I think Charles
you down memory lane
Darwin said it best: “It is
to a guy in a red cape,
not the strongest
my guess is there’s room
species that survive, nor
in your HR strategy for
the most intelligent, but
improvement. More now
the ones most
than ever, business
responsive to change.”
owners and managers are finding it increasingly difficult to
Businesses are no different. What’s changed in our younger
engage and retain their younger workforce. So, you’re not
workforce over the past 10 years, is the culture of what’s
considered fulfilling in a job or career. Gone are the days where
working the longest hours at the hardest manual labour meant
Here’s Why
you kept your job and likely got a promotion. Gone too are the
young, dynamic eager-beavers who come into your company
Whether you choose to call them Millennials or not, your
looking for a life-long career. Gonzo. Bye-Bye. Nada.
employees who are 35 and younger have different filters than
their employers and managers who are over 35. These are the
Hello Context, I’d like you to meet History
first career-seekers who were referred to as ‘latch-key’ / ‘tech-
savvy’ kids. Their world revolves around being accepted,
Each generation to move up into the workforce of the
making a difference, and contributing to the greater good – and
industrialized world has been frowned upon by their ‘elders’,
all at relatively break-neck-speed when compared to the pace
labelled as ‘lazy’, having weak ‘character’ and not
at which information and change could happen 20 years ago.
understanding the true meaning of ‘an honest days’ work’.
That’s why they’re impatient – which, in my opinion, is
Sound familiar? I remember my parents and their friends
actually a good thing…. They’re curious, ambitious and want to
snubbing the ‘work ethic’ of my generation. Thinking they were
do their best for you. Once you figure out how to leverage their
doomed, and the last generation to understand the meaning of
desire to change your processes from doing things ‘the old
hard work. And, until recently, I caught myself many times as
way’, you’re off to the races. The challenge my clients come to
an employer of 20 landscape technicians often thinking the
me with, is figuring it out.
same way. ‘Why don’t they get it?’ I’d lament to whomever
would listen. It’s not until the past few years, wading through
dozens of books, articles and blogs on the topic of Millennials,
that I feel I’ve figured out how we can engage and embrace the
Having just read that heading, do you realize that many under
differences they bring to business.
the age of 25 and most under 20 don’t know what that means?
You don’t ‘CTRL>ALT>DEL an iPad. If your team makes you feel
a bit out of date, you likely are. This young, vibrant generation

Now What? Start Here… 4. They need to feel included and appreciated. Feedback,
feedback feedback. And Now. And tomorrow. And the next
Here’s a glimpse into part of our CBH Millennial-Ready day. A company with a ‘no news is good news’ approach to
Checklist feedback is dead in the water. (Hint: If you don’t know what
1. Impatience: This younger workforce grew up with instant Onboarding is, let alone have it established in your company
gratification and information at their fingertips. From culture, you really need to get up to speed.)
Amazon purchases arriving tomorrow, to dinner from Uber
Eats, to downloading Netflix whenever they feel like it, to About the Author: Jacki Hart is president of Consulting by Hart
finding a hot date without leaving the house – it’s all in the in Ontario, Canada. She is an entrepreneur, advisor, business
palm of their hand. Your business has to adapt in some way consultant, and workshop facilitator with a career in the Green
to the speed of light. (Hint: If you’ve never experienced Industry spanning 35 years. Jacki is one of Canada’s first women
Amazon, UberEats or Netflix, you’re probably going to need to hold the North American Green Industry certificate for business
help with this generation shift) management excellence. Jacki also manages the Prosperity
Program and Peer to Peer Network for Landscape Ontario.
2. Hard work = meaningful work: If what they do every day isn’t
changing lives (including their own), they’re not interested. Jacki writes for other trade magazines and will be a regular
Your HR office will need a revolving door. contributor to our business column. CBH is a consulting firm that
“passionately believes that entrepreneurial success depends on
3. Having a story to tell is more important than having a job. If sustained forward momentum - across all areas of business - both
they have nothing interesting and proudful to share on the visible and the invisible.
social media and with friends, they won’t feel successful or To learn more about CBH visit
important, and they won’t show up

wiry stems, hairy leaves and bodacious blooms. . .

Aesculus parviflora - Bottlebrush Buckeye
by Kristina MacKulin
Aesculus parviflora. otherwise known as
Bottlebrush Buckeye, is noted for being one of
the best summer-flowering shrubs for sun/
partial shade areas. It has two admirable
qualities: it is low maintenance and is fast
Bottlebrush Buckeye
Bottlebrush Buckeye is a deciduous shrub, flower,
native to the southeastern United States and is leaf and
hardy in Zones 5-8. It reaches a height of fruit close up.
8’-12’ and a spread of 8’-15’. It is a multi-
stemmed, suckering shrub. The showy white
8”-12” long panicles appear in mid-July to
early August and attract butterflies. The
stamens and pistil of each flower project an
inch or so beyond the petals, giving the panicle
a “bottlebrush” feathery-like appearance. also be used for erosion
control and soil
The foliage is somewhat coarse, with stabilization. It does
palmately compound leaves. The leaf well in woodland areas.
color is typically a dark green on top with
a grayish pubescence underneath. The Another attribute of
autumn color is a clear yellow. Bottlebrush Buckeye is
Bottlebrush Buckeye fruits are a smooth, its ability to act as a
pear-shaped husk 1”-3” long and are light “groundcover” .
brown with nuts inside. Here in the Typically no
northeast fruit does not typically set due undergrowth will occur
to a not long enough growing season. due to its habit and
dense foliage.
Bottlebrush Buckeye prefers full sun but Bottlebrush Buckeye is
will tolerate partial shade and is not as prone to other
happiest in moist, well-drained soils Aesculus diseases and
high in organic matter. It is not a insect problems and is
drought tolerant plant They are easy to relatively
rejuvenate by heavy pruning and are maintenance free.
deer and rabbit resistant and tolerate
wet but not water-logged soils. Once a hard to find
shrub, Bottlebrush
In the landscape Bottlebrush Buckeye Buckeye is becoming
needs a large space due to its spreading more available.
tendencies and makes a great specimen
plant as well as planted en masse. It can
Sources: Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder -, UCONN
Plant Database - and Prides
Corner Farms Plant Library -

Do you have a favorite plant you
would like to write about?
Send us your submission
anytime - we would love to
share your favorite plant
with your fellow
VNLA members!

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The VNLA/Green Works mission is to support and strengthen
Growers, Retailers, Garden Centers, Nurserymen
the horticulture industry
and Women, of Vermont
Landscape Designers andby creating greater
awareness of the benefits
Landscape of landscaping
Architects, Maintenance Experts,and promoting
Arborists, Turf Specialists, Industry Representatives,
PO Box 92, N. Ferrisburgh, VT 05473 the professional services and products of our members.
P: 802.425.5117 | F: 802.425.5122 Allied Trades People, Students, and Educators.
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