N.Y. Times Profiles Downingtown-Based Horticultural Expert Who Sees Next Spring’s Flora in This Fall’s Dwindle

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horticulturalist
Image via David Culp.

Many gardeners mourn the fall season, considering it a gradual drop-off to winter’s drab. And although that may be a Chester County reality, horticultural expert and Downingtown resident David Culp sees plenty of potential in the fall. Margaret Roach profiled Culp as designer, author, and Longwood Gardens instructor in The New York Times.

This time of year, Culp takes a daily walk in his fall garden, notebook in hand, chronicling the success (or not) of his spring-summer growing season.

“Read your garden,” he advised, “and also let it speak to you.”

Culp believes that the best design decisions result from responding to what the space tells us, not from inventing some new feature to impose upon it or from impulse-buying.

One design tactic he recommends is layering. Culp enjoys stacking elements from the canopy to the shrub zone to the ground covering, blending not only colors but textures as well.

Culp says the winter may be a slow growing season, but gardens need not be all lifeless and gray.

He delights in seeing blossoms of snowdrops overtake his planting space, from fall to very early spring. He’s so enamored of them, he has planted thousands in a meadow on his property.  

“I’m just a man in love,” he said.

More on David Culp and his horticultural advice is in The New York Times.

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