Passion for Plants
horticulturalist and plant expert
Cullina has a fascination for wildflowers
will share his knowledge
at Yew Dell Gardens event
Helen E. McKinney
CRESTWOOD, Ky. William Cullina has a passion
for plants. He has traveled extensively studying and photographing plants
and will bring his impressive volume of knowledge to Yew Dell Gardens
for a wildflower lecture.
Cullina, a noted horticulturalist and expert plant propagator,
will speak March 7 at
Yew Dell Gardens.
Cullina cant put his finger on the exact reason
he finds wildflowers so intriguing but admits it has been a life-long
interest. He is partial to lady slipper orchids, which he defined as
the most unique of wildflowers. They have a mysterious reputation.
Cullina, an internationally renowned wildflower grower, photographer
and writer, on March 7 will present Fabulous Wildflowers! at Yew Dell
Gardens. The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The lecture
will focus on native plants, while weaving in ecology, design, cultural
elements and stories, said Cullina, 44.
Lecture participants will learn about the diversity of wildflowers
in the eastern forest and tricks on cultivation in the garden,
said Paul Cappiello, executive director of Yew Dell Gardens.
Accompanying the lecture will be images Cullina has taken. His goal
is to have participants never look at a plant the same way again.
Cappiello said Cullina is among the best experts on the subject of wildflowers.
His experience is broad and his knowledge is very deep on all
things related to native wildflowers.
This will be Cullinas first lecture at Yew Dell Gardens. We
have numerous wildflowers located around the gardens, said Cappiello,
and the Virginia bluebells are a sight to be seen in late April.
Cullina, originally from Connecticut, holds degrees in plant science
and psychology. He is a past director of horticultural research for
the New England Wild Flower Societys Garden in the Woods and Nasami
Farm, the largest retail native plant nursery in New England.
He left this job to pursue a position as plant and garden curator for
the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, one of North Americas newest
public gardens. The gardens feature 250 acres of forests and gardens
along a mile of salt water in Boothbay, Maine.
Coastal Maine has a mystique and charisma all its own, said
Cullina. It is a setting most garden designers and horticulturists
can only dream of. To have the opportunity to help develop a young public
garden on a beautiful piece of waterfront property along the Maine Coast
is a dream come true in itself.
The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens opened two years ago. Cullina is
responsible for developing the gardens, collections, interpretation
and overall helping it to grow, he said.
Cullina lectures extensively to garden and professional groups, similar
to the program he will present at Yew Dell Gardens. He is a frequent
contributor to popular publications and trade journals. His fifth book,
"Understanding Perennials," is expected to be for sale soon.
It is not an encyclopedia, cautions Cullina. Rather he would
have readers think of it as an owners manual. The
book answers such questions as: "What makes plants drought-tolerant?"
And it focuses on topics such as stems, leaves, flowers and propagation.
We try to bring in speakers who are experts in their field and
who present in a manner that engages the audience, said Karla
Drover, assistant director of Yew Dell Gardens.
Cullina lives on Southport Island, Maine, with his wife, Melissa, 6-year-old
son, Liam, and 1-year-old twins, Ronan and Maeve.
Cost for the William Cullina lecture is $15
for members and $25 for non-members. For more information, call Yew
Dell Gardens at (502) 241- 4788 or visit: www.yewdellgardens.org.
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