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  A note from cercis:  
" Plants have always been an important part of my life. Among my earliest memories of growing up in Cleveland, OH are those of my family striving to grow prize-winning roses, our next door neighbor’s herbs, flowers, vegetables and manure pile, and my own attempts to name every plant I came across, and understand how it worked.
Earning a Certificate of Merit in Ornamental Plants from Longwood Gardens after week-long courses spread over ten summers remains a supreme sense of accomplishment and satisfaction for me. Not only did this experience forge friendships with plant people from all over the US, it allowed me to get up close and personal with one of the more dazzling gardens of the world. One of my children described my summer experiences as “Plant camp for adults.”
My husband and I moved into our house in western MA in April, 1969 and immediately began landscaping and gardening. When our children were young we concentrated on growing vegetables and annual flowering plants. Now, we divide our time between summer in western MA (zone 4-5) and southwest VA (zone 7).
Our gardens are ones of friendship and memory. We plant trees and shrubs to remember various occasions, such as Halesia caroliniana (Carolina silver bell) to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary and Ginkgo biloba (ginkgo) to commemorate the Millennium. Other plants have been gifts or were grown from cuttings and seeds exchanged with friends and local gardeners. Some unusual plants were acquired through The Friends of The Arnold Arboretum (Boston, MA) or grown from the seed exchanges of the American Horticulture Society and the (British) Royal Horticulture Society. We use mail order catalogs for ideas, but generally purchase locally.
Travel to private and public gardens in the U.S. and out of the country continues to increase my knowledge and powers of observation and comparison. The Internet and world wide web with almost instant access to other gardeners and some exceptional horticulture sites has made my inquisitive lifestyle much easier and less frustrating.

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cercis signed up on Apr 11, 2002


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