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One June 18, this Saturday, the Sakonnet Garden in Little Compton, Rhode Island, opens for a symposium titled “Lofty Aspirations of Down-to-Earth Gardeners.” John Gwynne, who has been working on the one-acre plot with Mikel Folcarelli, his partner of 30 years, says, "We started collecting just to see what we could grow."
Native (and extremely local) plants create stunning wildflower fields in 30 acres in rural Pennsylvania.
Garden writer Marjorie Harris shares with us her shade garden in Toronto, Canada, as well as a detailed list of plants that she uses in her garden. 
Two brothers use nature as inspiration   
Known for designing elaborate gardens, Arne Maynard takes a pared-down approach at Allt-y-bela, his rustic home in Wales.
One of the most-striking and long-lasting cut flowers isn’t even a flower. The foliage of ‘Crane Red’ ornamental kale forms a tight cluster, rose veined with a rosy-purple center, at the end of a long, sturdy stem, looking like an oversize rose blossom. The Crane Series (which comes in several colors, including bicolor and white) was bred specifically for cutting, taking the popular cool-season annual kale to new heights, up to 2 feet tall, with heads up to 7 inches wide.
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Ornamental peppers have become popular summer annuals, and surprise, surprise, they're happy indoors as well. 'Sangria' is a new introduction from PanAmerican Seed with a continuous full complement of red and purple peppers that are not hot (so they're child-friendly).

Can you recommend some good sources for buying seeds and offer some tips for starting plants from seed? 

—Julia Tomer, Pittsburgh 

Starting plants from seed, whether flowers, fruits, or vegetables, requires a little research. Some seeds will need an early start indoors; others can be sown directly in the garden. Most seed packets will provide you with all the information you need to have a successful season, as will the websites of many online purveyors. While I still enjoy receiving the odd seed catalogue or two by mail—Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (rareseeds.com) is a favorite—I do most of my seed shopping online.

May is a banner month for public garden plant sales. This year at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, curator Don Mahoney is growing the fragrant luculia shrub, for which, he says, “a local nursery had a waiting list 35 people long.” At the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, director of horticulture Dorthe Hviid has been dividing some of the garden's historic collection of daylilies, readying them for sale.
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