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On the Bright Side

February 19, 2014

Garden lectures to give taste of spring

It’s far from time for spring planting, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start thinking about gardening. 

The Franklin Garden Club will host a series of spring garden lectures beginning this weekend and continuing through May. The lectures will be held at the newly opened Franklin Railroad & Community Museum at 572 Main St., behind the National Bank of Delaware County. Entrance is to the left of the town hall. 

The lectures, on selected Saturday afternoons, are free and open to the public, with donations accepted. Light refreshments will follow each lecture, with the opportunity to meet the speaker and exchange ideas with others.

The series will begin Saturday, when Don Statham will present “The New Perennial Movement.” Statham has worked for 20 years as a garden designer in the U.S. and in Scotland, and has written a garden column for Kaatskill Life magazine since 2005. He also writes at, often featuring his Totem Farm Garden in East Meredith.  

Statham’s lecture will trace the history of the perennials movement from its founder, William Robinson, through the Arts & Crafts Movement in England with Jekyll, Johnson, and Sackville-West; to continental Europe and America with the contributions of Karl Foerster, Mien Ruys, and Oehme Van Sweden; and finally to the present-day innovators Piet Oudolf, Tom Stuart Smith, Sarah Price and James Golden. 

Other lectures in the series include Kathy Purdy, “Colchicums: Autumn’s Best-Kept Secret,” on March 8; Sondra Freckelton, “Art and Garden Design,” on March 22; Diana Hall, “Inspiration in the Spring Gardens of England and France,” on April 12; Deirdre Larkin, “Herbs Into Weeds: Medieval Medicinals Naturalized in New York State,” on April 26; Steve Whitesell, “Bulbs For the Longest Possible Bloom Season,” on May 17; and Mel Bellar, “Fall and Winter Interest in the Garden,” on May 31.

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