Art of garden designing

GARDEN GURU: Mary Dumsch receives some gardening advice from renowned garden designer and author Janet Macunovich. Also pictured is Patti Lemson, president of the Big Rapids Garden Club and Julie Tews who is writing down information from Macunovich's website, gardenatoz.com. (Pioneer photo/Lonnie Allen)

GARDEN GURU: Mary Dumsch receives some gardening advice from renowned garden designer and author Janet Macunovich. Also pictured is Patti Lemson, president of the Big Rapids Garden Club and Julie Tews who is writing down information from Macunovich’s website, gardenatoz.com. (Pioneer photo/Lonnie Allen)

Renowned garden designer and author Janet Macunovich talks trees at FOTA event.

BIG RAPIDS — Many trees can grow to overpower or even endanger the homes they are near and many shrubs that are placed too close to foundations can rub against the exterior walls and can cause structural damage, but all this can be avoided by proper planning.

Gardeners should consider right-of-way, overhead and underground utilities property lines and zoning regulations before deciding on a location. Remember to plan for the mature size of the plant, renowned garden designer and author Janet Macunovich said.

“Visualize what the scene will be in 10 to 15 years,” Macunovich said. “Remember that trees and shrubs can take years to develop into the specimens you see in photographs, but there are some species and varieties that grow faster than others.”

Sprucing up small areas with the art of gardening was the topic of discussion during the Trees and Shrubs for Small Spaces presentation on Wednesday at the Miller Wing of the Mecosta Osceola Career Center.

Approximately 70 people attended the presentation, part of the 2014 Festival of the Arts that was sponsored by Big Rapids Garden Club.

MASTER GROWER: Renowned garden designer and author Janet Macunovich gives a presentation on Trees and Shrubs for Small Spaces as part of the Big Rapids Garden Club's emphasis on trees during the 2014 Festival of the Arts. (Pioneer photo/Lonnie Allen)

MASTER GROWER: Renowned garden designer and author Janet Macunovich gives a presentation on Trees and Shrubs for Small Spaces as part of the Big Rapids Garden Club’s emphasis on trees during the 2014 Festival of the Arts. (Pioneer photo/Lonnie Allen)

This is the second year garden club members have participated in the festival, said Patti Lemson, club president. Club members host the event with the hope that people can learn creative gardening ideas.

“Gardening is a different form of art,” Lemson said. “A form of art I actually can do.”

Macunovich’s formal education in gardening and design includes hundreds of hours of seminars and workshops at botanical gardens and educational institutions in several states. She completed the Michigan State University Extension gardening program and is active in her community as an Advanced Master Gardener. She has been a garden designer for more than 30 years.

“It’s enjoyable to work in gardens with friends and family,” Macunovich said. “I like to garden around the country. As gardeners, we see the stick we put in the ground as the tree it will become and what we will grow under it. As gardeners, we have the vision to do those things.”

Macunovich tailored her presentation to go along with the Garden Club’s emphasis on the importance of trees.

“Our focus this year is on trees, because we have lost so many trees in the area because of the Emerald Ash Borer infestation,” Lemson said.

Macunovich presentation focused around trees that grow well in this region.

“Trees are an important issue because you’re in that place that has lost a lot of ash trees and continue to see them come down,” Macunovich said. “The trees we talked about today are good for replacing ash trees in areas that are small or in areas where a tree can be replaced.”

Throughout the presentation slide show, Macunovich showed how large shrubs and trees can get.

“Look at the area where you plan on putting the new addition,” Macunovich said. “Make sure the amount of sunlight the planting site receives matches the amount the plant requires. Consider the eventual height and width of the plant.

Properly planted trees or shrubs are likely to be more tolerant of adverse conditions and require much less management than ones planted incorrectly. The plant should be specifically appropriate to the site, or the site should be amended to specifically fit the plant.

“It’s good to see what the tree will turn into before buying it,” Macunovich said. “Just because a tree is labeled a dwarf it can still grow higher than you expect.”

Ludington resident Julie Tews, said seeing Macunovich was well worth the drive to Big Rapids.

“It is very informative,” Tews said. “Janet gives such great information about planting and gardening. Her information about trees and shrubs gives gardeners good information for design and location.”

avatar

Posted by Lonnie Allen

Lonnie is the Pioneer's city/county reporter. He also coordinates the Gardens and Growers page. He can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8328 or by e-mail at lallen@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply