Plant of the Week: Touring a test garden in Des Moines

Hello and happy Monday!

Yoshitomo Nara 'White Ghost'
Pappajohn Sculpture Park
Last week was action-packed! On Tuesday and Wednesday we had some special events here at Spring Meadow Nursery, and then I was off like a shot to spend a couple of days in Des Moines, IA, to meet with my new friends at Better Homes and Gardens and Garden Gate magazines.

Deborah Butterfield 'Ancient Forest'
Pappajohn Sculpture Park
First of all let me say, Des Moines is really beautiful! I love the bridges that span the Des Moines river, the beautiful architecture, the Pappajohn Sculpture Park and of course the spectacular test gardens at Meredith, publisher of Better Homes and Gardens.

When we visited Sandra at the test garden, we heard so much about how they are trying to cope with the record amounts of rainfall they've been having, so I was particularly saddened to hear that the day after we left, Des Moines had another record rainfall event and experienced some major flash flooding. So we are all hoping for the best in the days to come, and that the residents and visitors of Des Moines can stay safe.
Gorgeous garden entry

Shade garden at BH&G in Des Moines
(See the Incrediball hydrangea in the back?)
Delightful daisies!
One of the things that are so spectacular about the Better Homes and Gardens test gardens is the fact that that, like a test kitchen, they test every plant they write about in the magazine for a couple of years before they present it in print or on screen, so they know first hand how they'll perform in a garden setting.

They also provide ideas that help readers imagine using the plants in their own gardens and landscapes and present unique ways readers can make use of the space they have to create a fabulous retreat - whether it's a back patio, or the back forty...

The garden and its various patio areas also provide a splendid outdoor video and photography studio for the company's publications, social media channels, and websites. 

This half of a city block is a gardener's dream with everything from a shrub walk and a shade garden to a perennial garden, a meadow, a vegetable and herb garden, and a few serene patio spaces to sit and relax. All in all, we spent about 2 hours touring the gardens and would have spent longer, but the weather was threatening so we moved inside.

If you're ever in downtown Des Moines, stop by...public visitors are welcome on Fridays from noon to 2 p.m., from the first Friday in May through the first Friday in October.

Tiny Tuff Stuff  mountain hydrangea
looking good in the test garden!
'Hayes Starburst' hydrangea
Want to see more of the test gardens but can't make it to Des Moines? Take a look at their website, it has interactive tours, slideshows, and videos including this one "The 6 Best Hydrangeas from the BH&G Test Garden." 

That's it for today...until next week, never stop growing.

- Natalie

No comments:

Post a Comment