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1) When did you first start gardening?
I first started gardening accidentally. After breaking off a branch from my parent's prized shrub, I stuck it back in the ground so I wouldn't get caught. A month later I checked on it since it didn't look dead. I gave it a tug and it resisted. I was amazed that it had started rooting. It was at that point, around age seven, that I was hooked on horticulture.
2) What is your favorite plant in the garden?
This is always a tough one to answer since I love so many, but Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) always comes to mind. It’s a tough-as-nails native that has four spectacular seasons of interest.
3) What is your proudest gardening moment?
I have had some great gardening moments from being picked to host a national gardening television show, earning my Master Gardener certificate and even being selected as the American Horticultural Society’s “Gardening Communicator of the Year,” but above all that was the day my daughter realized how incredible food tastes fresh from the garden. She visited me on the set of my show and the corn was ready to pick. Even though we were saving it to harvest for the show, I picked off an ear for her and we ate it right then and there. The expression on her face was, as they say, priceless!
4) What tool could you not live without in your garden?
My Fiskars PowerGear® pruners are always by my side in the garden. I love to prune and I know how important it is to a healthy garden. I use them ALL the time.
5) What inspires you the most?
I think inspiring others about gardening is a real rush for me. I love everything about gardening, but when I can share my passion with others and see them catch the fever, especially when it’s eco-friendly gardening, I love that!
Joe’s infatuation with gardening and nature began as a child. After a run-in with his parents’ favorite shrub, he panicked and jammed the broken branch into the ground. A few weeks later, it had taken root. Joe was not only relieved; he was also hooked on horticulture.
That passion resulted in a lifetime of learning and is evident to a national audience through his books, syndicated column, and who has watched Joe as host of the popular series, Fresh from the Garden on DIY Network and GardenSMART on PBS. Today, Joe combines his television experience and expertise of gardening, environmental stewardship and passion for living a more eco-friendly life, as host and executive producer of the award-winning national public television series, Growing a Greener World®.
Joe Lamp’l is an industry leader in environmental media and the 2011 recipient of The American Horticultural Society’s, B.Y. Morrison Communication Award, which recognizes effective and inspirational communication—through print, radio, television, and/or online media—that advances public interest and participation in horticulture.
With the price of plants these days, we all want to extend their life as long as possible, especially for that seasonal color that makes such a difference in accenting our landscapes.