A Horticulturist's Garden

A Horticulturist's Garden

Part of Ep. 1001 Uncommon Gardens

Join Ed Hasselkus, Emeritus Professor of Horticulture, as he shares landscape design tips using his own gardens as an example.

Premiere date: Mar 02, 2002

TRANSCRIPT+
Wisc Gardener Transcript: 

Shelley:
We are lucky today to be with one of Wisconsin's great plants-men and educators, Emeritus Professor of Horticulture Ed Hasselkus. And Ed is going to share with us some landscape design tips using his own gardens as an example. Now Ed, I expect more trees here knowing you're the curator of the gardens at UW-Madison Arboretum. I expected a miniature arboretum in your yard.

Ed:
Well Shelley it's been trees and shrubs all my life.

Shelley:
That's true.

Ed:
Now that I'm retired I'm having fun experimenting with herbaceous perennials.

Shelley:
Well tell us what you've done in your front yard please.

Ed:
Several things I feel strongly about here. Use some color, bring plantings right up to the street, and form basically an outdoor room out here.

Shelley:
Well rooms are very important, I mean we have walls and ceilings in our yard just like we do in our home, or we'd like to.

Ed:
Yes, and as we look out the window we can appreciate part of the garden. Passers by on the sidewalk, we bring the plants right up to them.

Shelley:
Well and you seem to have a color scheme going here, blues and pinks.

Ed:
Yes, we've got the Fairy Rose and Nepota, or Cat Mint.

Shelley:
Which is great for butterflies and bees.

Ed:
I tried to repeat some elements from the landscape, so the Fairy Rose is planted up here at the door.

Shelley:
And that's kind of important again in the overall design of the garden.

Ed:
Yes, the repeating color, texture and so on. The other is to remember the winter landscape.

Shelley:
Which is a long garden season here in Wisconsin.

Ed:
Absolutely. And so I incorporated what we like to call garden conifers, those that remain small for many years. And one that I particularly like is the Sander's Blue Spruce, which will always remain tight and small, never outgrowing the space I've given it.

Shelley:
A good point when you're putting it near your front door.

Ed:
Yes.

Shelley:
Well let's go to your backyard, I know that you've created several small garden rooms back there.

Ed:
Yes.

Shelley:
Well Ed, this is obviously your vegetable room and it's lovely!

Ed:
I practice square foot vegetable gardening, trying to make a pattern out of the plantings, so adding a little color with the colored lettuce.

Shelley:
Making it attractive again.

Ed:
And gives us plenty to eat once it starts coming to bearing.

Shelley:
And you've made it part of the overall garden because of things like adding this Daylily over here.

Ed:
This is Little Heavenly Angel.

Shelley:
That's beautiful. I love the pink of that one.

Ed:
As our opening to another garden room, I feel that lawns should have a distinct shape, either circle or square, kidney bean or rectangle in this case. Here I've used blue stone as an edging with serves as a mowing strip as well as allowing these low-growing perennials to spill over an edge.

Shelley:
See I need something like that, we keep mowing the edges of the perennials without something like that.

Ed:
Once again having a distinct color scheme is important. Here pinks, mauves, purples, Purple Rain Salvia here at its peak.

Shelley:
That's a beautiful plant.

Ed:
And here I've tried to incorporate a few garden features, not to overdue it, and we'll see a couple others.

Shelley:
So try to balance them.

Ed:
Now as we move in the shade notice that there are very few flowers but we're relying much more on foliage color and texture.

Shelley:
Well and that's really what you need to have a whole season of interest in a shaded area.

Ed:
Absolutely. And this Whirlwind Hosta in a pot really livens up this shady corner here.

Shelley:
That's a very special plant, that's beautiful. What's this here?

Ed:
Oh this is Corydalis lutea, the Yellow Corydalis, and this is, the color scheme here is blue, white and yellow, one of my favorites.

Shelley:
So much hotter colors too then.

Ed:
Yes, and the sun dial, somewhat of a restrained garden feature.

Shelley:
Again, try to control ourselves with toys in the backyard basically.

Ed:
Yes.

Shelley:
Now you've got one more room here, this is truly a room too.

Ed:
Yes, and this the pergola really serves as the transition between the house and the garden, tying the two together. The ceiling here, which provides shade in the middle of the day, is Wisteria, Kentucky Wisteria, a good hearty one for Wisconsin.

Shelley:
It's the only one that's going to bloom for us, isn't it?

Ed:
Yes. The other thing as we mentioned earlier is to incorporate some Evergreens. So here Boxwood has been repeated in several areas along with other conifers.

Shelley:
So again that we have that winter interest, we have the features and the evergreens to look out in January. Ed, this is beautiful, thank you very much for sharing it with us.

Ed:
It's been a pleasure.

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