Holly is a new gardener with us this year and we asked her to share a little about herself, her garden plot and why she loves to garden. Here is what she says:
It is my hope to create a parterre, one of my many loves of the gardening world. My plot at Girard Garden is planted on either side with dwarfed English boxwood to hopefully form a symmetrical pattern, which is the basis for a classic, formal garden design known as a “parterre”. I eventually plan to plant the top and bottom with the boxwood as well. The center is planted with “candy-cane” Dianthus, English blue Lavender and Lily of the Valley. I originally fell in love with the parterre after a visit to Hampton Court Palace, the famous site of Henry VIII and his many wives.
My initial introduction to the garden came as a small child watching my grandparents, avid gardeners weeding, mulching and inspecting the roses, ferns and azaleas among other floral delights; but it was not until my early twenties that I truly fell in love with the garden after a visit to Keukenhof in the Netherlands.
Keukenhof was once part of the estate of Teylingen Castle and is an independent showcase of the Dutch floricultural industry, with a special emphasis on flowering bulbs. In one section of the garden alone there are over 75,000 tulips in over 600 varieties.
While at Keukenhof the process of cross-hybridization of tulips was explained to me thereby solving the mystique of those rare and gorgeous black and white tulips I was seeing everywhere throughout the sprawling gardens.
Upon my return home from Keukenhof, there was a contest in a local newspaper and the winner received paid tuition to the Penn State Horticulture Certificate Program. I won the contest writing about those beloved black and white hybrid tulips of Keukenhof.
The certificate program was long, intense and upon completion it was a requirement,that I would volunteer to work for the Agriculture Department. I did so willingly, meeting many people, researching and answering many questions on pests, plants and propagation.
While hopefully creating a successful parterre, I am also working on raising Orchids inside the house. I have yet to work with vegetables and herbs, but it is certainly something I aspire toward in the future.