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Yew Dell Gardens

Cappiello co-authors
new book on dogwoods;
Yew Dell expands boundaries

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (April 2005) – Kentuckians know that spring has arrived when the dogwoods sprout their white, pink and lavender buds, bringing to life a formerly dull winter landscape.

Paul Cappiello

Paul Cappiello

This much-admired tree is the subject of a new book co-authored by Paul Cappiello, executive director of Yew Dell Gardens in Crestwood, Ky. Cappiello is a nationally noted horticulturalist, designer and photographer who took most of the photographs for the book.
The idea for “Dogwoods: The Genus Cornus” came about because no one has ever written a book on the genus, said Cappiello. “I’m amazed that such a popular group has never been covered in a book,” he said.
Yew Dell Gardens will hold a lecture and book signing for Cappiello at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 16, at the Legacy Center on the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary campus, Lexington Road, Louisville. Admission price is $10 for members and $15 for non-members of Yew Dell Gardens.
Cappiello has conducted extensive research on the subject, so this book seemed a natural thing for him to pen. Cappiello is the former horticultural director of Bernheim Arboretum in Clermont, Ky. He was also former associate professor of horticulture at the University of Maine, where he spent 10 years teaching and researching.
Cappiello has spent the last 2 1/2 years working on the book and the last 20 years studying dogwoods. He has co-authored the book with Don Shadow, an acclaimed nurseryman from Tennessee. Shadow owns the family-run business, Shadow Nursery, located in Winchester, Tenn. It specializes in woody ornamentals and unusual plants.
“This book is a resource for gardeners,” said Cappiello. It describes the many different varieties of dogwoods, as most gardening books on the market are not as detailed in the variety descriptions and information. It contains useful knowledge on five groups, spanning ground covers and shrubs to trees.
To provide a unique aspect to the book, Shadow and Cappiello have spent many hours tracking and documenting the stories behind dogwoods. All of these stories are in people’s minds, but not on paper, said Cappiello. That is until now.
Published by Timber Press in Portland, Oregon, “Dogwoods” sells for $39.95, and will be available for purchase at Yew Dell Gardens by mid-April. Members of Yew Dell can receive a discounted price of $35.
Yew Dell expands
Last fall, Yew Dell Gardens purchased the neighboring Minish & Potts florist-nursery property in Crestwood. The property contained greenhouses, work and office space, several existing warehouses, and field and woods acreage.
Yew Dell “was very interested in it because it wraps around warehouses and connects with Yew Dell below the castle and meadow,” said executive director Paul Cappiello. Tentative goals for the additional property include enabling staff to explore expanded nursery production and possible plant sales, plant evaluation, research and garden rehabilitation, as well as provide a larger area for program expansion at Yew Dell.
It will enable Yew Dell to conduct the necessary daily nuts and bolts operations of a botanical center but not showcase these operations, said Cappiello. Yew Dell will continue to promote its themed gardens, which include settings for roses, dwarf conifers, hollies and evergreens.
The purchase “concentrated on the original property, with efforts to enlarge it,” said Cappiello. Many projects completed or under construction on the original 33-acres once owned by renowned horticulturalist Theodore Klein, include rehabilitation of a rare bank barn, renovation around the stone castle (a former pool house) and an expanded public parking lot close to Klein’s Cotswold-style home.
With so many upgrades completed on Klein’s original property at 5800 N. Camden Lane, Cappiello now wants to concentrate on the newly acquired property and decide how to best use and maintain the parcel of land.
Cappiello said the project is in a very early master planning stage. He is gathering ideas and is in the process of searching for a firm to construct a master plan. With the many volunteers, visitors and programs Yew Dell has begun to host, Cappiello feels the need to move forward rather quickly, to respond to Yew Dell’s growing popularity and important status in the horticultural world.
Yew Dell is one of 13 American gardens designated as Partnership Gardens by the Garden Conservancy, a national group dedicated to preserving Amercia’s exceptional gardens. The staff at Yew Dell continue Klein’s legacy by maintaining the more than 1,000 rare specimen trees and shrubs, some of which Klein personally introduced into the nursery trade.
The spring touring season begins in April at Yew Dell as tour days are scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon for the second Saturday of every month, and from noon until 2 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. All other times are by appointment only. A $5 donation is suggested, but free to members. Once a month volunteer workdays will also begin from 9 a.m. until noon on April 9.

• For more information visit www.yewdellgardens.org or call Cappiello or Leslie Buddeke at (502) 241-4788.

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