Hudak responsible for city’s container gardens
Container gardening is my passion and sharing them with others is my joy. Let me introduce myself – I am Stephanie Hudak and I design, install and maintain the 42 planters located throughout the town of Madison along with the Welcome Center Garden. These are all affectionately called “my children” because like children they have their good days and their bad days, but no matter what we always love them and take care of them.
I started working on the containers in 2008 and learned a lot in the years that followed. A short sabbatical took me to other endeavors but my true passion called and I am back, but this time with a new vision for the containers and the flower beds around town. Madison is already famous for its historic homes, antique shops and charming restaurants – the flowers will just be “icing on the cake.”
The goal is to have each container hold unique plants in dramatic combinations and at the same time be able to withstand the heat and humidity. I’ve created a blog (www.madisoncontainers.blogspot.com) to help people learn about the plants and be able to watch their progress thoughout the seasons. Be sure to check the blog out because I’ll also be telling you where you can buy the plants.
Shortly, the containers will have brass tags affixed to the posts identifying them by a number. On the blog site there is a map showing the containers locations and corresponding boxes that lists the plants in each of them. And in the near future, we’ll have a printed guide so folks can locate specific containers that might be of interest. Is that uptown or what?
This is just the beginning – stay tuned for more fun stuff to come. And the best way to do that is check the newspaper and look for this column. Yep, that’s right…this is going to be a regular feature in the Citizen. Besides information about the container plants, I’ll be letting you know about new plants on the market, seasonal garden activities, which bugs are feasting on our plants and lots of other garden related topics. I am fortunate to have many friends who are Morgan County Master Gardeners so I have a deep pool to draw information from.
It isn’t quite cool enough yet to be planting pansies but I gotta tell you about a new series that is available so you can be thinking about using them in your fall and winter gardens. The Cool Wave pansies are really “cool”. What’s so great about them? They are spreaders – perfect for those hanging baskets and a great spiller for containers. The large two-inch flowers cascade on stems that reach nearly two feet. They come in four colors: bold yellow, crisp white, a violet wing and a delicate white with frosty blue edges. You can bet they will be showing up in our city containers this fall.
I’m excited about this opportunity to share my passion about plants and what I’ve learned while happily mucking about in the dirt. If you see me on the street tending the plants, feel free to stop me and ask questions – I’ll be the one wearing the white hat.
Stay tuned to the Morgan County Citizen for more columns and gardening and information from Stephanie Hudak.
Printed in the September 13 edition.