Epic Two Days

In the past 48 hours, I’ve travelled about 2,000 miles (mostly by air of course!) but saw some neat things.  On Wednesday morning, I headed to O’Hare airport to fly out to Connecticut as I was recruited as a speaker at the University of Connecticut Perennial Conference.  It was nice to see greenery at O’Hare including these hydroponic planters (above) and vertical planters offering some coloration.  The actual O’Hare campus is also beautiful with well maintained flower beds and containers during the growing season as well.  I met some of their grounds staff years ago and they do a dynamite job.  I hate airports and flying but made the best of it with an early departure Wednesday and then on to the next leg of my journey upon arrival.

 ‘Habanero’ hot peppers (Capsicum sp.) in O’Hare planter (hydroponic)
 Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris) in O’Hare planter (hydroponic)
 double-sided vertical planters at O’Hare (above and below)


I had received an invite to visit Broken Arrow Nursery (Hamden, CT) by their manager Andrew Brand upon my arrival in CT.  We are a current customer of this specialty nursery and despite all the snow on the ground (uncharacteristic for them right now), the tour and hospitality were excellent.  The weather was decent so travel from the airport to the nursery (40 minutes) was smooth.   I enjoyed visiting with Andrew and Adam Wheeler, both of whom I knew by name but now by face!  I also met Chris, Carl, Mark and many other staff.  Needless to say, I had my plant fix for the trip just viewing their nursery (above) and greenhouses (below).  Their new catalog is as impressive as ever and they continue to promote their mail-order portion of the business as well.


 golden Scots pine (Pinus sylvstris ‘Moseri’)
 variegated pine (Pinus densiflora ‘Golden Ghost’)
 Andrew Brand (Nursery Manager) to the left and Adam Wheeler (Head of Propagation) to the right
 winterberry (Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Gold’) – female (at Broken Arrow Nursery)
 golden umbrella pine (Sciadopitys verticillata ‘Ossorio’s Gold’) – at Broken Arrow Nursery
Thanks to the great staff and hospitality of Broken Arrow Nursery!

Despite even more snow on Thursday morning, I had no trouble getting to the UCONN campus which was beautiful with both old and new architecture.  My two talks (Basics of Landscape Design and Sensory Gardens) seemed well received and it was nice connecting with some Midwestern friends like Mike Yanny (Johnson Nursery, WI) and Kelly Norris (Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden).  Thanks to Dr. Jessica Lubell-Brand, Dr. Mark Brand and the UCONN hospitality crew.  The flight back was uneventful and the inevitable luggage delays made for a long but rewarding day.