Shade Plants for Floral Design with Author Ken Druse (Episode 204)
July 29th, 2015
Author/photographer, lecturer and radio host Ken Druse has contributed to nearly every garden and home design magazine in America.
He is probably best known for his books, which the New York Times called “bibles for serious gardeners.”
The American Horticultural Society chose his book, The Passion for Gardening, as best book of the year; and the Wall Street Journal recommended it as one of the “five garden books to own.”
Ken has authored 20 gardening books, including recent titles PLANTHROPOLGY: The Myths, Mysteries, and Miracles of My Garden Favorites and Natural Companions: The Garden Lover’s Guide to Plant Companions, which features both Ken’s photography and that of digital artist Ellen Hoverkamp.
In 2004, the Garden Club of America awarded Ken the Sarah Chapman Francis medal for lifetime literary achievement. In 2013 Garden Writers Association awarded Ken the gold medal for photography and the silver medal for writing. In 2013, the Smithsonian Institute announced the acquisition of the Ken Druse Collection of Garden Photography, comprising 100,000 images of American gardens and plants.
I have interviewed Ken for stories about his work that appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, so it is with great pleasure that I welcome him to the Slow Flowers Podcast. Ken is a pioneer of gardening podcasts, having been on the air for a decade with his national podcast and public radio show “Ken Druse Real Dirt,” which listeners can hear through their computers and iPods.
We’re here today to discuss Ken’s timely new book, The New Shade Garden: Creating a Lush Oasis in the Age of Climate Change, published in May by Stewart Tabori & Chang.
Ken reveals the low-stress environment of shade (cooler temperatures; fewer water demands) and how shade is extremely beneficial for our plants, our planet and us.
The thriving garden of the future might just exist in the understory!
I come to floral design from the residential garden and a love of plants. And the floral designers in my world are always on the lookout for uncommon, ephemeral lovelies.
Guess what? Many of those special fronds, flowers, leaves and branches can be found in the shade garden. Learning from a master like Ken Druse is a huge treat — I hope you found what he shared as inspiring as I did.
I highly recommend this comprehensive guide to “all things shade.” For gardeners and floral designers alike, “The New Shade Garden” is packed with inspiration and with ideas for having a lush, textural and fragrant garden where many colors exist!
And just for fun, to get a flavor of Ken’s wonderful and welcoming interview style (and to hear his radio-perfect voice!) here are links to the two Ken Druse Real Dirt episodes where I appeared as his guest:
May 11, 2012, “Field to Vase”
March 22, 2013, “The Local Flower Movement’s Champion”
On his web site, Ken writes: Spending time in nature, especially nurturing plants, strengthens our connection with the natural rhythms of life. In the garden, we often experience a kind of “meditation therapy”–weeding actually becomes a time to sort through the other parts of our busy lives.
I couldn’t agree more, and like Ken, I see the garden as a metaphor for life.
On August 15th, if you are in the Northeast, you have a chance to hear Ken Druse lecture on shade; take his hands-on garden-photography workshop; shop a rare-plant sale; and tour the garden of fellow garden writer, editor and podcaster Margaret Roach in Copake Falls, New York as part of the Garden Conservancy Open Day in her area. Here are details for purchasing tickets and to find the full day’s schedule.
Follow Ken Druse on Facebook here.
Find Ken Druse on Great Garden Speakers here.
Ken Druse’s “The New Shade Garden” floral arrangement includes:
Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’
Foliage from three different hostas
Flowers from two hosta varieties
Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’ (slightly faded to green)
Pachysandra terminalis ‘Variegata’
And “whips” (actually flower spikes) from Persicaria virginiana ‘Painter’s Palette’
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Until next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto Itunes and posting a listener review.
The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.
The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Wheatley and Hannah Holtgeerts. Learn more about their work at shellandtree.com.