I was more than just a little excited to see that one of my favorite gardeners is coming to town.
Well, close to town anyway. Felder Rushing will be lecturing at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 at Fellows Riverside Gardens. If you don't know who Felder Rushing is, imagine a combination of Jeff Foxworthy and Roger Swain of "The Victory Garden" sprinkled with a bit of brilliant eccentricity and multiply it times 10.
Can you tell I'm a fan?
Rushing's visit is sponsored by the Men's Garden Club of Youngstown along with Mill Creek Metroparks. According to their press-release, he will ''bring down to earth gardening peppered with off-beat humor to his lecture, entitled ''Grow Anything in Anything.''
After his lecture, Rushing will be signing copies of his latest book, ''Slow Gardening.''
I haven't been in the loop much lately and didn't know his new book was about the exact thing I have been writing about recently making gardening a little easier, especially for those of us moving up in age who just don't want to work that hard anymore.
"Slow Gardening" is a term Rushing adapted from the Slow Food movement that began in the 1980s. The idea behind the Slow Food movement is basically the opposite of fast food, which is to take the time to enjoy our food, particularly food that is local, seasonally grown and at best, organic. Slow gardening carries the same basic philosophy, take the time to enjoy your garden, grow your own and let the sun and soil do most of the work.
The first time I saw Rushing lecture was at a garden conference. I had never heard of him, but by the time the lights dimmed and he began to describe his slideshow on the big screen at the front of the room, all you could hear besides his voice was near constant laughter. Before I went back to my hotel room, I was one of many who stood in a long line to get him to sign a copy of his book I had just purchased. By the time our tour bus brought us back to our cars, I had finished the book, giggling most of the way through it.
According to Rushing's philosophy, when it comes to horticulture, we don't need ''stinkin' rules.'' On his website, FelderRushing.net, he describes himself as a 10th generation American gardener with too much book-learning and travel experience to suit his style.
If you love gardening and enjoy a good chuckle now and again, don't miss this lecture. The cost for the lecture is $10. Register by calling John Kolar at 330-545-2266.
Since I am offering shameless plugs for one of my favorite garden writers, I might as well segue into one of my favorite plants, which also happens to be the 2013 Perennial Plant of the Year.
That's right, it's barely the end of summer and here I am giving you information that the Perennial Plant Association doesn't usually release until January. So here it is, without drumroll and without fanfare. The 2013 Perennial Plant of the year is Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum,' commonly known as variegated fragrant Solomon's-seal.
Solomon's-seal is a perennial herb and a member of the lily family, Liliaceae. The wildflower has been around for centuries and was used medicinally for skin ailments. It can be found all over north America, include our own woodland areas.
Fragrant Soloman's-seal, like its wildflower cousins, is a shade plant that prefers moist, well drained soil. It does well in rock gardens and shady borders. It grows two to three feet tall with burgundy stems and leaves that are pale green streaked with white. The flowers are white and bell-shaped and dangle beneath the stems. The flowers are small, but as the name implies, they are fragrant. It blooms from late spring to early summer and by fall the spent flowers have evolved into blue-black berries.
If you can find seeds, now is the time to put them in the ground, but next spring, it will probably be easy to find these plants in just about any garden center.