Thursday, August 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Rock garden

This is part of the flower show exhibit for the North American Rock Garden Society, Delaware Valley chapter. It's really cool. Located in Hall B, towards the back on the right, it's titled "A Traveler's Rockery." Volunteer and former chair Joan Schmitt showed me around. These funky things are Styrofoam fish boxes covered in a concrete mix. They were the brainchild of retired architect Gene Spurgeon of Swarthmore, whom I featured in a story last year about seed saving and seed exchanges. (He does that too.) I think these are pretty ingenious, and when I visited Gene at his house, he had a pile of them - not covered yet - in his office. The exhibit also uses some hypertufa troughs, which are a lot heavier, and sections made from 2x4's. They're arranged and planted just so. I liked this one a lot, and I guess so did the judges. It won best in show for plant societies. This is what some readers were talking about when they complained that too much attention is paid to the big exhibits. There's more - and smaller - stuff to see. Right you are.

Rock garden

Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)
Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)

This is part of the flower show exhibit for the North American Rock Garden Society, Delaware Valley chapter. It's really cool. Located in Hall B, towards the back on the right, it's titled "A Traveler's Rockery." Volunteer and former chair Joan Schmitt showed me around. These funky things are Styrofoam fish boxes covered in a concrete mix. They were the brainchild of retired architect Gene Spurgeon of Swarthmore, whom I featured in a story last year about seed saving and seed exchanges. (He does that too.) I think these are pretty ingenious, and when I visited Gene at his house, he had a pile of them - not covered yet - in his office. The exhibit also uses some hypertufa troughs, which are a lot heavier, and sections made from 2x4's. They're arranged and planted just so. I liked this one a lot, and I guess so did the judges. It won best in show for plant societies. This is what some readers were talking about when they complained that too much attention is paid to the big exhibits. There's more - and smaller - stuff to see. Right you are. 

About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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