This Week's Podcast: Into the Woods — Mark Richardson
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Our guest this week is Mark Richardson, the new Director
of Horticulture for the New England Wild Flower Society based at Garden in
the Woods in Framingham, Massachusetts.
Mark went through the Longwood program for Professional Gardeners and
then took on the roll of Student Programs Coordinator before running the adult
education program at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland. Now he has the
challenge of discovering ways to improve the visitor experience of the 80-plus-year-old
garden, and make sure that the plantings meet the Society's conservation goals
and focus on New England natives.
Fortunately, he will be working with a terrific staff of
enthusiastic, dedicated young horticulturists,
including Nate McCullin, who was
a guest on the show (5-14-12).
“As I'm sure you can imagine, it will be several years
before we see the start of any major changes,” Mark said. “I'm hoping in the
meantime to make some minor, incremental changes that will accomplish two
things: 1) create a more unified garden experience and 2) relieve some areas of
frustration/confusion in the garden.”
I know what he means. The garden is a bit crowded, with
so many wonderful areas too close together. You walk from a woodland to a bog
in a matter of feet. There are also areas that feature broad North American
habitat types and genera, when the focus could really be more on New England
natives that would appreciate the climate and grow better.
But don’t wait. If you are a
lover of wildflowers, Garden in the Woods is the place to see them – week by week through the
spring: orchids, trillium, ginseng. One of Mark’s goals is to extend the interest through the seasons,
as seen in the fall photo, above, by Steve Ziglar.