Friday, November 17, 2017

National Garden Bureau 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year - Allium 'Millenium'

Photo Credit: Walter's Gardens, Inc.

"The Perennial Plant Association has awarded the title Perennial Plant of the Year® 2018 to Allium ‘Millenium’. This herbaceous perennial, relative to the common onion, is a workhorse of the late summer garden. Bred by Mark McDonough, horticulture researcher from Massachusetts,

"...This cultivar is the result of a multigenerational breeding program involving Allium nutans and A. lusitanicum (formerly Allium senescens ssp montanum), selected for late flowering with masses of rose-purple blooms, uniform habit with neat shiny green foliage that remains attractive season long, and for its drought-resistant constitution.

"Allium ‘Millenium’ has numerous virtues to add to the landscape setting. Growing best in full sun, each plant typically produces an upright foliage clump of grass-like, glossy deep green leaves reaching 10-15” tall in spring. In midsummer, two to three flower scapes rise above the foliage with each scape producing two or three showy two-inch spherical umbels of rose-purple florets that last as long as four weeks. The flower umbels are completely round (spherical), not domed or hemispherical as they are in some Allium species.  They dry to a light tan often holding a blush of their former rose-purple color.  While other alliums can look scraggly in the heat of the summer, ‘Millenium’ does not let the heat bother it!  Easily grown in zones 4-9 (possibly zone 3) makes it a great perennial in many areas of the country.  In very hot summer climates it does appreciate afternoon shade."

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Peggy Lee Hahn Horticulture Garden

Pergola at Peggy Lee Hahn Horticulture Garden

The Peggy Lee Hahn Horticulture Garden covers almost six acres of plant displays on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. It was established in 1984 by faculty members of the Horticulture department to serve as a resource for plant, landscaping and environmental education.

The garden featuring perennial borders, aquatic gardens, shade gardens, a native meadow, and a pavilion was named in 2004 after benefactors T. Marshall and Peggy Lee Hahn (1923-2009). T. Marshall Hahn (1926-2016) was president of Virginia Tech from 1962 to 1974.

Ms. Hahn is dearly remembered in her obituary. “During her marriage to Dr. Hahn, she was a successful and much loved First Lady throughout his presidency at Virginia Tech from 1962 to 1975. Her love of flowers and gardening is legendary, evidenced by her determination to see the Peggy Lee Hahn Horticulture Gardens and Pavilion at Virginia Tech brought to fruition. The embodiment of a gracious lady and consummate hostess, she spent many years at her husband's side while he served as President and CEO of Georgia Pacific in Portland, Ore., and Atlanta, Ga. After retirement, they enjoyed traveling around the world, but ultimately returned to Blacksburg and Hickory Hill, which she often referred to as ‘the most beautiful place on earth’ where her greatest joys were tending her gardens and spending time with her family.”

The Hahn Horticulture Garden is set in the magnificent campus of Virginia Tech. In my opinion, the real beauty of the campus is due to the Hokie Stone, a local limestone that forms the facades of most VT buildings. To ensure a ready supply, the university has owned and operated its own quarry nearby since 1869.

Visitors can reach the Hahn Horticulture Garden without difficulty, with the possible exception being “game days”. Any season is a good season to stroll the garden.

Follow me to see what grows behind that garden wall.

Peggy Lee Hahn Horticulture Garden terrace

View of Peggy Lee Hahn Horticulture Garden

Fall foliage at Peggy Lee Hahn Horticulture Garden

Carex at Peggy Lee Hahn Horticulture Garden

Winterberry Holly at Hahn Horticulture Garden

Lawn view at Hahn Horticulture Garden

Junipers at Hahn Horticulture Garden

Cow sculpture at Hahn Horticulture Garden

Oakleaf Hydrangea at Hahn Horticulture Garden

Rain Garden at Hahn Horticulture Garden

Memorial stone collection - Hahn Horticulture Garden

Water feature - Hahn Horticulture Garden

Fish sculpture at Hahn Horticulture Garden

Ajuga 'Black Scallop' - Hahn Horticulture Garden

Ornamental grasses - Hahn Horticulture Garden

Arum italicum - Hahn Horticulture Garden

Insect sculpture - Hahn Horticulture Garden

Frank Lloyd Wright sculpture - Hahn Garden
Lamiastrum - Hahn Horticulture Garden

Cupressus nootkatensis - Hahn Horticulture Garden

Conifer collection - Hahn Horticulture Garden

Trifoliate Orange tree - Hahn Horticulture Garden

Euphorbia - Hahn Horticulture Garden

Euphorbia myrsinites - Hahn Horticulture Garden
Have you visited the Peggy Lee Hahn Horticulture Garden in Blacksburg, VA? We'd love to hear of your experience. Leave a comment, please.

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