Erica Glasener at Flower Garden Nature Society of Northwest Arkansas

Atlanta GA is the home of HGTV personality and author Erica Glasener ( who gave two talks at the Flower Garden and Nature Society last Saturday. Program chair for FGNS, Gail Pianalto, introduced Glasener as “a rock star of the gardening world”.

In her recent past Glasener hosted “A Gardener’s Diary” on HGTV for 14-years, interviewing gardeners across the U.S. Her list of writing credentials include a garden column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Southern Lady Magazine, Fine Gardening, and many others.

Her books include “Proven Plants: Southern Gardens” and her planting tips are part of the Southern Living Plant Collection website at

Glasener opened her first talk by saying that she thinks the soul of any garden is the gardener who works there. She is also a plant-lover who thinks native plants are perfect but that imported plants and hybrids are also quite important in a garden.

The morning talk included dozens of photos from the gardens that were featured on “Gardener’s Diary” over the years plus her own garden.

C. integrifolia Arabella at
Clematis Arabella is a favorite in her own garden and Glasener recommends letting it grow as a groundcover and through perennials. It blooms from May to Aug in zones 4 to 9. No pruning is necessary with Arabella.

Another of Glasener’s favorite plants is Amsonia hubrichtii or Arkansas Bluestar. The Perennial Plant Association chose Amsonia as plant of the year in 2011. Its grass-like leaves are 1 to 3 inches long, producing clumps 2 feet tall. Pale blue flowers bloom in April and May and the fall leaf color is gold to yellow.

In the afternoon talk, Glasener focused on a topic that she said is close to her heart: “Why do people garden”. She commented that landscapers can install a landscape for your home but that there is no such thing as low-maintenance gardening.

“Low-maintenance gardening misses the whole purpose of gardening,” said Glasener. “Why garden? If you want a low-maintenance garden, take up golf instead.”

She said to consider the plants that will surround structures and paving. In one garden, blue chairs and a blue trellis set off hydrangeas and a collection of blue flowers. In another, Black Mondo Grass lined and set off a path made of gravel and pavers.

In her talk titled, “Designing a Garden for Year Around Pleasure”, Glasener said to pay attention to plant groupings to include something of interest for all four seasons so you can enjoy the view all year.

For example, include an evergreen plant with a group of deciduous ones. In the summer the evergreen will fade into the background but will take center stage after the first freeze. She also used collards as a background planting for wallflowers and other spring flowers.

Also for winter interest, plant Arum Italicum Pictum. The leaves come up in the fall, remain over the winter and die back in the summer. Cold hardy in zones 5 to 9, Lords and Ladies prefer moist shade.

Glasener’s new book, “Proven Plants: Southern Gardens” is divided into 20-categories including, Perennials for Shade, Trees with Colorful Bark, Flowering Bulbs for Summer and Fall, etc. In each category ten proven plants are described with facts and photos. All the basics such as drought, soil and sun are covered, too.

The Flower Garden and Nature Society meets in Springdale Arkansas, monthly, on Saturday mornings.

Upcoming meetings:
May 18 The Herbal Adventurers, Sheila Deal and Meghan Hassler, “Everything You Wanted to Know About Herbs”, June 1 “Through the Garden Gate” garden tour, and,
July 20 Lynn Rogers, Washington County Master Gardener, “Irises: Rainbows in the Garden”

Learn more at or contact Gail Pianalto 479-361-2198. Also visit Lynn Rogers’ garden blog at


Felicia said…
Erica is fantastic isn't she? I miss her show terribly. All these horrid makeover garden shows have so little to do with actual gardening. Anyway, Martha Tate, one of Gardener's Diary executive producers also has a blog that you might enjoy:
Molly Day said…
Hi Felicia -
Erica is fantastic.
Your blog is wonderful, too!
I wish you had a subscribe by email set up so I could know each time something new goes up.
I'll check into Martha Tate's blog, too.
Thanks, Martha

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