Monday, June 05, 2006

Gardener's Paradise

Wolfgang Oehme ( of Oehme, van Sweden & Associates, Inc. is a big name in the world of DC gardens in the way that Placido Domingo is a big name in opera or Steven Spielberg in movies. So when a magazine reader, now friend, called and said the American Bamboo Society ( was holding a meeting which included a you of Oehme's home garden and would I like to accompany her.
Uh, yeah! You bet I leapt at the chance. Well, it did not disappoint -hard to do justice to it in words. But I'm posting a photo here to give an idea of it. He is just a few blocks from downtown Towson, MD, and definitely has developed a little slice of paradise at the Towson Courthouse grounds as well. If you are ever by the Baltimore area, do yourself a favor and get to the courthouse. It used to be just a flat mowed-lawn and boring would be a compliment. Here is a photo of it as it looks now.
Oh yes, the tour also included the home gardens of Paul Babikow ( and Kurt Bluemel ( - both well-known wholesale nurserymen. They have had a tremendous influence on not just what is offered in our area but internationally as well. Kurt was preparing an order for the Biltmore Estate in his greenhouses. He said he mostly sells to landscapers or large installations now. He is not so much into nursery retail centers and the same with Paul whose plant selection catalog would make anyone drool. They also concentrate on the landscape supply business and are strictly wholesale.
I'm still recovering from this day-long excursion to plant heaven and I'm sure I'll be using more photos from this visit in the magazine as well as much background information in future stories on what is in store for DC-area gardeners.

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