Spring Perennial Secrets Berlin CT

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Gardeners learn best by doing. In this workshop you will learn hands-on in this garden from designer and author Janet Macunovich and Cheryl Bennerup, overseer of trial gardens and head of pest management at Sunny Border Nursery. 

Friday May 2 - Sunday May 4, 2014

Introducing the first Secrets of the Season Workshop:

Spring Care and Revelry in the Perennial Mixed Border

At the Bennerup Garden, Berlin, Connecticut

Even if a garden makes you happy just as it is, there are things you can do in spring to make the whole season easier and the garden more lush. The beds benefit from your attention in the spring and repay you with reduced needs in summer. It's also a wonderful time to rearrange or expand a perennial garden. This workshop is a hands on chance to learn both basics and secrets of the season from pros with a century of experience. (Two related sessions make it a whole season of secrets. See July 18-20 and October 3-5.)

Cheryl Bennerup of Sunny Border Nurseries in Berlin, Connecticut invites you to


garden with her and friend Janet Macunovich in the 3 acre Bennerup garden. You'll learn techniques and be able to practice them in areas in sun and shade, mixed borders as well as annual, vegetable and alpine beds, working with plants of newest vintage as well as long heritage. (A quick tour of the gardens...)

What we will we do and learn:
            • cutting back,
            • pruning,
            • weeding,
            • dividing,
            • problem diagnosis and solutions,
            • design*,
            • and much more we cannot list here...

... because this is the real deal. You will be working right alongside pros in one of the best gardens in the country, right with us to make the plan and then flex as we must to address the practicalities of nature.

*Those who love new plants -- us! -- will have special fun in design, as one of the


objectives Sunny Border nursery Director Pierre Bennerup has set for this garden is to display and trial the newest of the new perennials.
Right: Pierre, his passion for and contributions to the perennial garden were recently covered in American Gardener magazine. Take a peek!


The Bennerups work together on their gardens: A dream, a discussion, a delight to be around to see it happen!


The schedule

Friday welcome and warm-up (optional): 5:30 - 8:00 pm at the Bennerup garden. Refreshments, tour, meet the instructors and other gardeners, and start formulating your best questions and dreams for Saturday.

Saturday workshop


Strategy session, explanations and demonstrations,
9 - 10:30 am
Small group hands on activities,
10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Luncheon and discussion of tactical corrections,
12:30 - 1:30 pm
Small group activities, 1:30 - 3 pm
Wrap up review, questions and divvying of any "spoils", 3 - 4 pm

Sunday self guided tour of area horticultural attractions
10 am - 4 pm, a fun and idea-ful tour of lovely, innovative gardens small and large.

Right: Lunch is included. Can't beat enjoyable time with friends over good food as a chance to learn even more about what we've done.

To register

Friday welcome and warm-up: $40.00 Optional.

Saturday workshop: $175.00

Sunday self-guided tour: Free. Optional, but we must be notified in advance if you will make the tour.

Registration does not include the cost of your travel to or lodging in Berlin. Berlin is 30 minutes southwest of Hartford. There are lovely, reasonably priced, places to stay nearby. A list of accomodations will be provided with your registration confirmation. Contact us if you would like the accomodations list in advance.

Register now by sending an email with
            • your name,
            • mailing address,
            • the number of people in your party,
            • telephone number,
            • any special dietary needs and
            • whether you plan to attend the optional Friday and Sunday sessions.

Email that to BerlinWorkshop@GardenAtoZ.com. Simple as that. We will send you a bill!

What you should bring:

Tools. One of the best things about working with other gardeners is the chance to see and try different tools. Some of the instructors' hand tools will be available for trial and general use but we strongly suggest you bring your favorite hand tools, such as a spade, fork, trowel, pruning tools and weeder.

Gardening clothes, including a light rain jacket and warm jacket or sweatshirt.


Rain can alter our activites, and in the case of an electrical storm we take our work indoors, but we may be outdoors in a light rain. Temperatures are generally cool to very comfortable in Berlin in early May so plan to layer with a sweatshirt or jacket.

Right: We layer up because we love to be out there, the day warms quickly and time that goes by cannot be replaced.

A quick tour of the Bennerup gardens



Green greeting as you pull in.

Skirt the door, detour through the cool shade, peek toward the pool, then go see what's ripe in the kitchen garden.

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It's hard to stop and only peek in at the gate to the formal garden, no matter the season. (Below: left, October; right, May.)

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In the spring the woods are full to bursting with leopardsbane (Doronicum caucasicum, below, left) and other beds are readying themselves for a later show.

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It's a plant collectors' garden. Everywhere, plants you know and many you don't, each in its niche.

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This is a garden to enjoy and one with endless secrets to teach us!