Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Steppe Summit 2017 at Denver Botanic Gardens

    Over the last few years more and more regional gardeners are exploring the meaning of steppe, especially in relationship to ornamental gardening, and our personal gardens in particular. Denver Botanic Gardens staff have conducted programs around the world, written a rather ambitious book (Steppe: plants and ecology of the world's semi-arid regions) and constructed an ambitious garden to show off some of the more characteristic and charismatic plants of the region. I have talked about this garden in a previous blog. In three weeks there will be a fresh take on Steppe from two premier experts from Europe and America.

James Hitchmough is chairman of the Landscape Architecture Department at Sheffield University in England: I was privileged to hear him give not one, not two, but three talks in Lund, Sweden a few weeks ago. I was astonished by the range of his experience and the novelty of his ideas. You must not miss this amazing designer, a Landscape Architect with greater sensitivity to plants than horticulturists! His book, is dense with specific plant combinations and techniques that show the way to growing herbaceous plants in meadows, large scale landscapes or home gardens to maximize display and minimize maintenance. In addition to working in England, Dr. Hitchmough holds appointments at a University in Melbourne, Australia where he works in the South Hemisphere summer, and in China. He designed the Olympic Park in London for the 2012 Olympics among hundreds of projects across Europe and America.

Copies of the book will be available the evening of the talk for purchase (and James' autograph)...

Do click on this link to the Sheffield University staff descriptions and click here for James' Research Pages. Hitchmough has collected repeatedly in all the steppe regions and will give us a fresh view on our native biome from a British perspective.

Mark McDonough is a keen horticulturist who also spent much of his career in Architecture--primarily in the computer end of CAD design and applications. He's devoting himself full time in his retirement to his extensive garden, complex plant breeding programs and to teaching and lecturing about his lifelong passion for bulbs--especially Allium--and other groups he has worked with that include shrubs, trees and a has wide spectrum of rock garden plants and perennials.

Mark has grown more Allium and studied the genus more deeply than anyone on this continent.

Mark was honored this year when his hybrid 'Millennium' was selected at Perennial Plant Association Plant of the year. The genetics of this and many other alliums trace to the steppe. Here's a link to more images and discussion of what many consider the supreme summer Allium.

This is sure to be a memorable and momentous evening: do click on this URL and read more about the Steppe Summit, and best of all you can sign on to attend!

                                                     Steppe Summit registration.

See you there!

1 comment:

  1. At this time I am only half way through "Steppe: Plants And Ecology of the World's Semi-Arid Regions." I am loving it. I wish each chapter was a book in itself with images of all the places described. I have learned some general facts of ecology that may prove useful for ecological restoration in my area especially with the changes that are predicted from a warming climate.


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