Wednesday, April 22, 2009

News from the Audi ...

The AUDI Has the Answer to Two Questions That Pop Up with the Crocus Every May ... How To Jumpstart the Garden? How To Celebrate Mother’s Day?

How To #1: It’s our Perennial May Predicament…how to turn a patch of brown mud into a bed of glorious blooms. Then, given our 90-day growing season, how to jumpstart the color and keep it going until a frostbitten night next fall.
In Concord, lucky gardeners get a perennial solution, as the city’s General Services Department and The Friends of the Audi help the community turn the first spade at the Ninth Annual Perennial Exchange at Concord City Auditorium. Mother’s Day weekend Saturday morning, May 9, from 8am to noon, they are hosting the encore appearance of the popular floral “marketplace”. The Perennial Exchange draws 100s of gardeners to the Auditorium’s Prince Street parking lot, where they “Split and Swap”, sharing perennial plants and garden know-how.
The community spirit event helps folks increase the beauty of their gardens and the streetscape.
Here’s how the Perennial Exchange works: It doesn’t take long for a perennial plant to outgrow its bed. Expensive perennial plants soon develop into clumps. Hostas and lilies choke one another, while artemesia tries to run over everything. Soon clumpy beds need variety, and our frugal gardeners wonder “How To?”
The answer is at the Perennial Exchange! Check your garden and pick out the fattest clumps. Be ruthless! Take a spade and dig them up. Split them into pretty handfuls or a few shoots, put them in cans or newspaper, and water them well. Bring the plants down to City Auditorium on May 9. Add them to the selection on the tables, then choose among the varieties brought by other gardeners. The assortment changes all during the morning, with incoming and outgoing columbine, violas, daisies one hour, perhaps iris, ivy, or peonies the next. Back home, try to put your new plants where passersby will see them. One little lily or hosta becomes a bunch in a year, a bouquet in three and a barrel in five.
Since 2001, the Perennial Exchange on Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend has attracted large crowds of swap-happy gardeners. All have agreed the plant selection is great, the help offered by Master Gardeners is valuable, and – especially these days -- the price is right. At noon, any extra floral material is given to Adopt-a-Spot volunteers and city parks. The event goes on rain or shine, with the added treat of morning coffee and Panera’s pastries.
The Perennial Exchange also features a sale of affordable annuals and the Audi’s traditional “Mother’s Day Mugs”. Specially selected china mugs filled with annual plants and decked in ribbons are -- at a dollar or two -- charming, affordable, useful gifts.
The Perennial Exchange is supported by the annual “Great Gardening Raffle”, thanks to prizes donated by Concord’s leading florists and garden centers, including Osborne’s Agway, Aubuchon Hardware; Blue Seal, L.A. Brochu Nurseries, Cobblestone Design, Cole Gardens, Marshall’s Florist, D. McLeod Inc., Murray Farms Greenhouses, plus The Friends of The Audi.
Background Information on the Perennial Exchange: Several years ago, residents of side streets just west of the Auditorium began planting perennial beds in dooryards and the strips along the sidewalks. Neighbors began walking through these streets in the evenings to admire the beautiful little gardens and soon there was a very special sense of neighborhood. Around the corner at City Auditorium, strollers stopped to chat about the street-side plantings and worried about the cost of perennial plants. Soon they hit on the idea of sharing plants through a “Perennial Exchange”. A four-hour perennial swap once a year could provide anchor plantings for new beds, and inspire gardeners to visit local “green businesses” to fill in their beds with colorful annuals. The idea took root and keeps on blooming, as every year Concord’s gardens look more beautiful to passersby.
Volunteers from The Friends of The Audi and Concord’s General Services Department co-host the annual Perennial Exchange, which is a highlight of the “Perennial Favorites at the Audi” events of Mother’s Day Weekend.
For information, please call Karon Devoid, Chair of the Perennial Exchange,
at Concord’s General Services Department, 228-2737 or email”
How To #2: Here’s a real puzzler: How to celebrate such a special day? Start early. Saturday morning bring the ladies to the Perennial Exchange, let them pick out plants and treat them to a mug. And come back Saturday evening for BROADWAY ON PRINCE STREET, as the Granite State Symphony Orchestra and the Concord Chorale join for a Springtime Pops Concert filled with favorite show tunes. To Concord’s top musicians add these enticements: an exciting silent auction, the city’s tastiest desserts, and a chance to conduct the symphony! Tickets priced to include the whole family at $7-33 are available at and 226-4776.
Saturday of her weekend: Two Great Ways to Let MOM know she’s the Perennial Favorite!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Local folks were treated to a free concert at the Audi on the 22nd by folk legend (and former Concord resident) Tom Rush. The concert concluded this season of the Walker Lecture Series and was a great gift to the community, especially in these dire financial times. Rush, performing with just his voice and acoustic guitars, shared early memories of visiting French's, Granite State Candies and forming his first band--with inmates of the NH State Hospital! A good time was had by all in the packed Audi. To borrow a couple of Rush's song titles, there were "No Regrets" in "Merrimack County". Thanks to those who made this possible.