Spring Suggestions from Michael Petrie



I recently visited Michael Petrie’s Handmade Gardens in Downingtown, PA. If you attended the Flower Show this year, you’ll remember Handmade Gardens as the creator of the funky, nearly fluorescent painted tree seen here (at right).IMG_1541

Now entering its second year in operation, the retail plant nursery, garden shop, and landscape design business is going strong and attracting a wide clientele. Michael and his business partner Sue Phillips pride themselves on offering unusual annuals and perennials, as well as found objects, antiques, and art.

When we spoke, Michael gladly offered some tips for Mid-Atlantic gardeners.

If deer are a problem where you live, Michael recommends hellebores, osthmanthus, boxwoods, cryptomeria, and green giant arborvitaes.

He also suggests people embrace small trees when mapping out a garden. “As a general rule, I would say that every garden needs about two more trees; I’ve yet to see one with too many!”

Of course I couldn’t resist asking Michael about any plans he may have for the 2010 Philadelphia Flower Show, Passport to the World. Although it’s many months away, Michael gave me a tiny hint as to what’s in store.

“I’m an opportunist, and the retail property presents an opportunity in bamboo. I haven’t worked out the details yet, but I’m excited by the possibilities.”

Learn more about Michael Petrie’s Handmade Gardens here.

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