Page 37 - The Hunt - Summer 2019
P. 37

                  finds a way to get you to “consider the lilies of the field and how they grow”— or so goes the Bible verse. Though he favors a naturalistic philosophy, he does maintain a colonial-style vegetable garden surrounded by formal and geometric shaped beds that keep “exuberant” plants in check. The garden is treated with the importance it was given in the 1700s. Instead of rows, the vegetables are planted in 16 square beds, with the outer borders set on an axis and close to the house.
Culp, who grew up among Quaker
and Pennsylvania Dutch traditions in Reading, Pa., finds it easy to channel the practical mindset of the early settlers.
He was a “child gardener,” who grew up digging in the dirt and watching the creative efforts of his two grandmothers —one a rose grower, the other a begonia enthusiast. He later worked in the retail trade at the former Waterloo Gardens, relying on a series of gardening mentors who seemed to appear at times when Culp
needed them. Now, whenever Culp sees
a flowering plant cultivated by a mentor, the stories of those human connections come back to him like “ghosts in the garden,” reminding him that he also must “empower people to garden.”
“My job is to acquaint [gardeners] to the possibilities,” says Culp. “ I like to think that there are many ideas out there—and that gardening should be about what you can do, instead of what you can’t.”o
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