Interview with Glen Withey

Interview with Glen Withey

istock_000002942703xsmall.jpgIt’s here! Are you here? I hope so. I wouldn’t want you to miss out on this fantastic experience. More to come about that experience, of course, but in the meantime, may I recommend that you check out Charles Price & Glenn Withey’s seminar on “Bold & Bodacious Color” at 10:00 am on Friday in the Rainier Room?

They are the Curators of Seattle’s E.B. Dunn Historic Garden, an Olmstead-designed garden on the national historic register, as well as garden designers and writers. Over they years they have been featured in many national publications and are well-known for their knowledge of design, containers and perennials.

Note that the show requires Seminar Passes ahead of time (free) for seminars held in the Rainier Room and Hood Room. You can obtain them up to 2 hours before the seminar at the Seminar Pass Booth in the 4th Floor North Lobby, just outside the sky bridge entrance.

Flora – Thanks for meeting with us! Why is color important in the garden?

Glen – Well, you can’t escape color, since if you have plants-you have color. For us, form and texture are as important as color-and in some ways can’t be separated. All three are given equal balance and thought when we design.

Flora – What do you recommend as far as use of color?

Glen – We enjoy using yellow/chartreuse foliage, since so many days in the Pacific NW can be gloomy. Using these colors can add a “spot of sunlight”, even when there isn’t any. Some people want their garden to be restful, a place of repose. For that green is usually the way to go. Other people want to spice up their garden, as they want to be entertained. That is where yellow/chartreuse, orange, red, purple, variegated foliage comes into play.

Flora – How can color in the garden help the eye?

Glen – Color can act as a beacon, and/or a distraction. For instance, one plant with yellow foliage stands out. Of course if you want to create a visual distraction, using one plant with different colored foliage would be appropriate. An example for this might be if the neighboring property is dumpy or ugly and you want to focus attention away from it. We also often will repeat a foliage color. When you have three or five plants, it provides repetition, and your eye won’t focus in just one spot. We like to place colored foliage where afternoon sunlight can shine through it, as this can create a stained glass effect.

Flora – What are the advantages to container gardening?

Glen – It’s easier to keep slugs and bugs away from the plants. The soil heats up more quickly, so annual color often grows faster than if it is planted in the ground. It is also easier to move plants around, creating different vignettes.

Flora – What are the care differences between flowers in a container versus flowers in the ground?

Glen – The main one is watering. Containers dry out very quickly, during the summer, and require daily attention. In ground, plants can go for a much longer period of time with little watering. Also over time containerized plants will become pot-bound, whereas this won’t happen in ground. If pot-bound, then they REALLY dry out quickly.

Don’t forget your seminar pass! With a pass, if you are there at least 15 minutes early, you are guaranteed a seat at what is sure to be a most popular seminar.

  • Stuart
    Posted at 15:04h, 20 February Reply

    I enjoyed Glen’s perspective on how different colours in the garden help the way we enjoy it. I’m certainly in the ‘wanting to be entertained’ box and love variety of foliage but can appreciate other mood settings.

    Good interview.

  • shane
    Posted at 00:51h, 21 February Reply

    that was really enlightening.

  • Flora
    Posted at 11:24h, 23 February Reply

    Thanks, Stuart. Appreciate your participation! Flora

  • Flora
    Posted at 17:09h, 23 February Reply

    Shane, glad you enjoyed the post. It was enlightening for me as well and I would like to learn more about color within garden design.

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