Midsummer excitement came to Walnut Hill in the form of giant pink platters on Kurt Bluemel’s signature perennial hibiscus (‘Anne Arundel’) and in the arrival of two buses of visitors from the Perennial Plant Association symposium in downtown Baltimore.
After April’s civil unrest, we were happy to show Baltimore in another light and as a city taking action to improve the quality of urban life. We’re happy that several P.P.A. events took place at Cylburn Arboretum, where its beauty and programs for all ages enrich city life.
On hand to greet visitors to our garden were Roger Foley, photographer of our book; Kathy Hudson, its author; John Fitzpatrick, horticulture editor; and our Walnut Hill neighbor, Karen Smith, who’s coordinating the exhibit of Roger’s work at Cylburn for our October book launch.
Our first guest was Anne Raver, garden writer extraordinaire. We’ve read her articles for years in the New York Times. She came early then joined other visitors to wander the curved paths Kurt Bluemel first scribed with our garden hoses. We introduced her to Alex Betz, Kurt’s grandson. She, of course, knew Kurt, had visited him and his nursery in Baldwin, Maryland and had written about him in her New York Times column.
During their visit, one P.P.A. person suddenly remembered being in the garden just after the pool was built. That was more than 20 years ago. Allen Bush, from Jelitto Perennial Seeds, had a similar moment last fall when he visited and quickly remembered that Kurt had brought him to the garden years ago. Now Allen has written a moving tribute to Kurt in the foreword of our book.
Things have a way of coming full circle in the garden. Our Hibiscus ‘Anne Arundel’ stands as a reminder.