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Growing A Greener World


Tracy and Joe in gardens at Hiddenhaven
[ photo by Carl Pennington ]

I had the opportunity to have Joe Lamp’l aka Joe Gardener visit me in my gardens at Hiddenhaven and film a segment, on pruning perennials, for his new gardening series on PBS called “Growing A Greener World”. We had a blast and it was such an honor to spend time sharing my craft with such a knowledgeable fellow gardener. We hope you enjoy watching the video and reading Joe’s article. Check out his informative site at and be sure to watch “Growing A Greener World” which airs in every state on most PBS stations.


Tracy being filmed by Carl Pennington pruning Phlox paniculata [ photo by Joe Lamp’l ]

The mission of the show is to travel the country, telling the story of how people, places and organizations are using the garden and eco-friendly practices to promote environmental stewardship and how viewers can apply these same principles to make a difference in their own little corner of the world. The program covers organic/sustainable gardening and also features a cooking segment each week with fresh in-season ingredients….Cool!

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Sow annual poppy seeds now

As plant nerds we all go through different plant fetishes. I’ve been through numerous “species obsessions” including the Geraniums, the lilies, and the Dianthus just to name a few. And currently I’m into Carex in a big way. But I’ve been in love with poppies (both annual and perennial) for about as long as I can remember. I even have a history of “smuggling” poppy seeds into the USA in my “unmentionables”J when returning from a year and a half of work/study abroad 28 years ago. The best germination success of annual species, for the home gardener in colder climates, seems to occur when the seeds are sown directly in February or March when the ground is free of snow. Also to ensure success I’ve learned to order fairly large quantities of seeds—one small packet just doesn’t cut it. I’m talking about getting ¼ lb. or even 1 lb. of seeds when available. I sow seeds of California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Red Corn Poppy or Flanders Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), and Bread or Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum) about the gardens in any available space. It is harder to find large quantities of opium poppy so it may require numerous smaller packets for best effect. A great source for seeds of poppies is Wildseed Farms Also remember to allow poppies to go to seed once you’ve got them established in the garden. You can even cut off the mature seed pods and spread them about in the desired location. Good luck with these gorgeous plants.

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My Hiddenhaven photo album

My personal garden is called Hiddenhaven and it is constantly changing.   I keep my camera close at-hand and take lots of pictures.   You can view a collection of some of them on the GARDENS page.  Enjoy!


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