LancasterOnline - Gardening

Every planter has a story

On the back porch of an old stone farmhouse, a vertical trellis garden swings in the breeze.

Succulents and cacti spill out of an aged metal planter.

A carpet of sedum serves as a living path between the house and the yard.

The relatives that gather at this Drumore Township farm for reunions have lots of plants to see.

“They always say, ‘Oh my gosh, look at all of the work,’ ” says Marty Henry, the woman behind these plants.

She runs a greenhouse business on the farm and has plenty of options, but she’s picky about what plants come home. If they need to be watered more than every four days, they don’t make the cut.

“It’s not as much work as most people think because you have to choose the right things for the right places,” Henry says.

Her garden is one of 12 on the Porches & Posies Garden Tour throughout the southern end of the county. You can read more about the upcoming tour in this story

If you are planning a houseplant or garden event, tour or talk in the region, virtual or in real life, please send the information to for future coverage in LNP | LancasterOnline.

Stay cool. Plant a tree

If you’ve had few places to cool down outdoors, think about adding a tree to your landscape. Temperatures can be 10 degrees cooler under a shade tree.

“Trees are, quite simply, the most effective strategy, technology, we have to guard against heat in cities,” said Brian Stone Jr., a professor of environmental planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said in a New York Times story about how trees can reduce heat deaths .

Pennsylvania's TreeVitalize program published a free and helpful guide about selecting a tree, prepping the planting site, how to plant the tree and common problems to avoid.

There's also a chart that explains tree forms and which trees are native to Pennsylvania, flower and have fall color.

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is this fall.

Best Buds: A Garden Trail

Lancaster County has a wine trail and an ale trail . There are local ice cream makers on a statewide ice cream trail . Now there is a garden trail with 21 gardens and arboretums around the state.

The Best Buds trail launched during the Philadelphia Flower Show. While there are no stops in Lancaster County, this is a great excuse to take a road trip and get inspired.

This is not to be confused with the greater Philadelphia garden passport . This program is a collaboration of 37 public gardens in the Philly region. Each garden has a different passport stamp. Fill up your passport and you have a chance to win prizes. You can pick up a passport at any of the public gardens or download it .

Did you plant anything this week?

Last week, Millie Snader planted tickweed and Larry Fowler planted marigolds.

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Upcoming garden events

Because of the pandemic, many events, talks and classes throughout Lancaster County have been canceled. There still are some chances to learn something new virtually. There also are some in-person classes to dig in and make something and a few garden tours. There are dozens of events in the region to check out in July . Most of the in-person events are keeping classes small to stay socially distant, so don't wait to sign up.

Wednesday, July 14, 7-8:30 p.m. Native Annuals: An Underutilized Resource. In this online class from Mt. Cuba Center, learn about short-lived native plants. $24. Register online

Thursday, July 15, 12:30-4:30 p.m. Woody Plant Conference. This virtual conference from Morris Arboretum, Chanticleer, Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Scott Arboretum and Tyler Arboretum has sessions on trees, shrubs and plants for the Mid-Atlantic. $39. Register online .

Thursday, July 15 and Friday, July 16, 1-4:30 p.m. Natural Design for the Mid-Atlantic States: An Intensive Virtual Course. This online class from Morris Arboretum will show how to design and document all phases of native landscape development. $150. Register online .

Thursday, July 15, 6-8 p.m. Women’s Intro to Foraging. Elizabeth Davidson of Forage Culture leads this in-person class at Horn Farm Center, 4945 Horn Road, Hallam. $25. Register online

Friday, July 16, 5-8 p.m. and Saturday, July 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Porches and Posies Garden Tour. Tour 12 gardens in the southern end, visit a garden shop and tour the newly renovated sanctuary of the historic Chestnut Level Presbyterian Church. $20, $15 in advance and $10 for children age 10 and younger . Contact the church office for tickets at 717-548-2763.

Saturday, July 17, 10 a.m.-noon. Foundations of Plant Medicine: Crafting an Herbal First Aid Kit at Horn Farm Center in Hellam, York County. Learn how to make your own herbal first aid kit. $30. Register online .


Share your photos

This is my first time growing okra. I never knew the flowers were this pretty! Your favorite okra recipes are appreciated. This is my current favorite .

Send me your photos of flowers, plants and insects in your garden or your travels. They may be included in an upcoming newsletter. Keep in touch on Instagram , Facebook and Twitter .

Thanks for reading!

Erin Negley

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