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Fence Update and The Doyenne's Choice Awards

audio button In a special two-part feature, Ketzel shares the latest dirt on the Great Fence Challenge, and also and gives us the inside skinny on a couple of plants awarded high honors around the country.

  • And the envelope please...

    Fence Update

    Long ago and far away, when I thought I knew what I wanted, I decided on a fence design that suited all my needs. Then I met a carpenter who took me for a walk in my own neighborhood, where I saw (and immediately coveted) other people's fences. The carpenter and I talked and drew and talked and drew -- stealing ideas from everywhere, including a great deal of stuff from the original design plus a couple of neighbors' ideas -- and ended up with a very lovely resolution to an exceedingly belabored problem.

    The fence work has begun.

    Let's review, shall we? Here's a view with the old fence...

    View with old fence

    ...and that same vew with no fence.

    View with no fence

    Here we are looking back at the house with the old fence...

    View of house with old fence

    And now the house with no fence.

    View of house with no fence

    Now, tell me: Isn't change great? Yes, I'm certain it will be, just as I'm certain that I'll someday manage to scan in the complete drawing of the new fence. But for now, consider this a sneak preview of a work in progress by master carpenter Steve Kass. More, much more, to follow.

    View of house with no fence

  • Construction has begun, but what became of the plants? Read all about it.


    Doyenne's Choice Awards

    Well, they aren't the Oscars, and certainly not the Emmys, but they're at least as legit as the People's Choice Awards. The envelope please:

    In the category of best purple-leaved shrub for the mid-Atlantic region, the winner is Weigela florida 'Wine and Roses' (aka 'Alexandra'). And for that same region, top honors for the most sumptuously-barked tree is Parrotia persica (Persian ironwood). Check out the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society for more complete listing of their Gold Medal Winners, including those breathlessly awaited beauties of 2001.

    Moving to the high mountains and plateaus, where we're tongue-tied in anticipation of what this year's winners will be, the favorite for most-everblooming pink perennial goes to Diascia integerrima 'Coral Canyon', its common name twinspur. And for a groundcover that thrives in adversity, flowers in spring and turns gorgeous colors in fall, the winner is Prunus besseyi 'Pawnee Buttes', the sand cherry. Kudos to the Denver Botanic Gardens and Colorado State U for these nominations.

    Finally, in the Pacific Northwest, where the only plants that don't grow are made of plastic, Great Plant Picks announces 15 fabulous flora for 2001. We'll mention two. In the category of most welcome spring perennial, the winner is the impossibly long-leaved Pulmonaria longifolia ssp. cevennensis (we suggest you avoid cheapening her with her common name, lungwort). And for best Japanese maple, the judges were unanimous: Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium'.

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    Copyright © 2003 National Public Radio, Washington, D.C.