Native Plants With Uli Lorimer A Way to Garden With Margaret Roach July 6, 2020
With me today to talk about how we can each become more informed, native plant consumers, Yuli, Lorimer who has made a career of working with native plants. He was longtime curator of the Native Flora Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden in two thousand nineteen. He became director of Horticulture at native plant. Trust the former New England wildflower society and America's oldest plant. Conservation organization founded in one, thousand, nine hundred welcome back to the show I'm so glad to speak to you as always. Yes thank you for having me back on A. Spring Been. it was good. I mean and. In the sense that it was very strange year with without the public here. And we unfortunately weren't able to open until a little past the peak for our spring displays so. On one hand it felt very privileged to be able to see it. and have the whole garden to yourself on the other hand. It was certainly felt like a shame, not being able to share it with with our members and the public. All able to keep working. You've been able to stagger people and do all that to keep keep going. Keep the garden. Yeah, we! We've been very fortunate that where we're in a good position, financially this year and you know with some. Creative scheduling and you know getting to work on some some work from home projects. We were all able to stay fully employed burns. Glad to hear that, not the case everywhere, but very good news. FORGO FORTUNATE So before we begin our main topic I. Just want to say I mean someone when people have been looking for online opportunities to learn more and native plants, such an important subject in such. A subject that's in demand and desire from so many gardeners and you guys have a lot of great courses, and I just thought you could give us a couple of sentence pitch about those, and then I'll get the link with the transcript of this show, too, where people can browse the course listings and so forth and maybe register for one. Yes. Absolutely, so you know. Public programs and education is a is a big part of what we do, and so we offer two certificate programs which are sort of designed to to get you through sort of the basic certificate in ecological horticulture and Botany and field ID, and then there are also advanced certificates in Botany and conservation. In addition to that, we also offer a wide variety of classes and field studies almost all of them now online, of course, because we still can't have classes in person but touching on everything from designed basic you know gardening for pollinators plant family, sorts of things gardening for diversity plant ecology There's there's a whole slate of of courses that are there. and I'm sure that there's something for all of your listeners oh definitely an including me. Very tempting list so Yes, we'll thank you for that. That synopsis because. great stuff so. I confess I feel like I know. A medium, intermediate, advanced intermediate amount about native plants for a gardener for someone who's not a scientist or an ecologist, or whatever, but I confess that even I am totally overwhelmed a lot of times and I said in the introduction you know the cone flowers like I think there are nine species in nature of ECHINACEA, but now there's like a zillion named cone flowers in the Garden Center, and then I read stories with headlines like twelve of the best ECHINACEA's to grow and like help you know. Maybe, we should be begin with a sort of explanation of what straight species. What's a selection cultivar kind of a one on one? What are we seeing whether all this versions of what we're seeing of native plants as consumers? Let me, begin by saying I completely agree that. The the amount of choice is bewildering and even for for professionals. It's hard to sort out all of the different options that are out there. and I can certainly see a home go. or or somebody just getting into interest in native plants that it's really hard to figure out where to begin. so to answer your question we can define species of plants as plants that have evolved with those distinct suite of characters that includes you know geographic distribution their morphology the way that they look. and increasingly some degree of genetic distinctness. and their naturally occurring, so the things that humans have not had any direct hand in creating. and there are a couple of sub levels that people might. Encounter that include subspecies, varieties and forms, and these are things that you know like the pink flowered Dogwood for example that may occur in nature every so often in a population of white flour, dogwoods but stable enough that it gets to be called a form or variety.