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This May, our Professional Gardener Program students (PG students) unveiled this year’s Student Exhibition Gardens. Designed, constructed, and maintained by second-year Professional Gardener students, the exhibition features four unique gardens that incorporate elements of sound.
Creating the exhibition was no easy task. Students began planning their displays last summer in their Introduction to Landscape Design class. It was here that their initial designs began to take shape. Working in small groups, the students developed design concepts, conducted site analyses, interviewed clients, and eventually began constructing their gardens in early March.
When brainstorming ideas, students were encouraged to think outside the box and without limits.
“We asked the students to interpret this year’s theme of sound creatively and to use this space as a way to inspire others, especially our guests,” says Brian Trader, Ph.D, Domestic and International Studies Coordinator.
“A couple of the gardens encourage guests to make sounds with clever gadgets, while other gardens are more cerebral in their approach,” says John Moore, PG student, on each garden’s interpretation of sound.
Each of the following four Student Exhibition Gardens is unique in its vision and message:
• Sound Surrounds represents sound waves with a series of curved walls and pipe instruments that invite guests inward to create their own sounds.
• Conduit of Color invites guests to enter into vined structures reminiscent of a gramophone horn as they see sweeps of vibrant color before them representing the outward radiation of sound.
• Sound Unfound uses plant color, texture, and form to present an organic and dream-like representation of the sound through silence.
• Breaking Point invites guests to experience the threshold between quiet and loud which is represented by a sleek set of walls separating the two areas.
Moore acted as one of the designers for Breaking Point.
“We absolutely love the impact we’ve created with the walls and encourage guests to walk through and really hear the concept as it pertains to sound and human emotion,” says Moore.
Overall, the PG students participating in this year’s exhibition say they are proudest of their teamwork and thankful Longwood has afforded them the opportunity to create their own displays for guests.
“I foresee that this space will continue not only because of its popularity, but because of the real-life learning that takes place as a result of its conception, realization, and implementation,” says Trader.
Located adjacent to the Idea Garden, the Student Exhibition Gardens will be on display until the end of October. Click here to plan your visit today.
Vibrant colors are perfect for your home garden during warm summer months.
At Longwood, our gardeners and designers are always adding bursts of color to the Conservatory, Idea Garden, Flower Garden Walk, and more—and they achieve this vivacity and newness with heat-loving annuals.
Section Gardener Karl Gercens, who is responsible for many of the changing displays in the Longwood Conservatory, relies on giving Longwood’s displays a fresh new look with annuals.
He says, “Now is the time to plant heat-loving annuals. We do this at Longwood and you can do it at home. You can change the entire feel of your garden just by changing the color scheme and that’s easy with annuals.”
Gercens says every garden, no matter how big or small, needs a game plan.
“Even if you’re a beginner gardener, before you go to the store you have to know what colors you want to incorporate, what size your garden is, and what kind of sunlight your plants are going to get. You should also think about whether you want to harmonize colors or contrast colors—you can’t go wrong with either,” says Gercens.
When you walk through Longwood Gardens in the summer Gercens says you will notice that our gardeners mix textures and colors. “Just by combining some textured foliage with a bright flower you achieve a sophisticated and highly stylized look. It really is easier to achieve than it looks,” says Gercens.
Gercens says the key to the success of your annuals lies within the soil, light exposure, and water feedings. “Know if you garden needs full-sun plants, partial-sun plants, or shade plants,” says Gercens, “Four or more hours of sun a day is considered full-sun. In terms of soil preparation, use a soil mix that has organic material, or, to give your plantings a fluffy feel, use pine bark mulch.”
If you are planning your annuals in a container, be sure to use a potting mix. “When it comes to feeding and watering your plants, remember that plants are like people—they can’t survive off of Thanksgiving dinner alone. You need to give your plants a lot of small feedings weekly,” says Gercens.
Even though nurturing a garden all summer is a lot more work than buying a bouquet of fresh cuts, Gercens urges all home gardeners to consider this, “A single bouquet of roses can cost you upwards of $35 and will die within a few weeks—where $10 worth of annuals can last you all summer long.”
Consider using any of these unusual annuals in your home garden:
Please note: you will find any of these in bloom in the Conservatory right now.
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Meet the arborists and gardeners that care for our trees and flowers throughout Spring Blooms, and see demonstrations throughout our Conservatory and outdoor gardens.
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Get ready for an evening of oohs and ahhs, as Longwood presents spectacular Fireworks & Fountains shows guaranteed to make your summer memorable.
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Registration is now open for our 2013 Continuing Education courses!
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