I have a lot of time for Benjamin Vogt. He’s an ornamental native plant gardener, which means he’s a wildlife gardener by default. He also speaks a lot of sense about a lot of things.
He had a virtual book launch this evening, 6pm UK time, lord knows what time in Prairie Land. And why is it virtual? It was an actual book launch, online. And it was great, he talked about the process for setting up a garden, a prairie garden in the US, so sedges & grasses and flowers. I asked in the chat about any UK gardeners in the room, and someone suggested James Hitchmough’s book Sowing Beauty: Designing Flowering Meadows from Seed.
Firstly, I don’t have a traditional horticultural training, so I don’t know his work very well. I did read Nigel Dunnet’s Naturalistic Planting Design and I was thoroughly disappointed, because it was all about how things look, not about the native plants and ecosystems.
I have a sneaking suspicion that I wouldn’t get on with the meadows book but I will do some investigating.
What I really want is someone to write a proper garden design book with UK native plants, forbs and all. Combinations, conditions, ideas, habitat, management etc etc
Back to Benjamin, he was great, really polished, like he was skating over the things he’s said a thousand times before. And it was good, it was easy to digest, and lots of it correlates with my experiences. I have slides, I might do a write up of the key points for myself in another blog.
The other event this evening was Growing Wild - which trees are best for Nature and Wildlife? by Fellowship of the Trees. It was good, two speakers, one form Devon Wildlife Trust, talking about different species and wildlife value. The other from a native tree nursery in north west Scotland, in Sutherland I think. Very different conditions, just on the cusp of the boreal forest. Alas, I had work to do simultaneously, so I could listen to the presentations via my mobile phone. Very enjoyable though.