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Garden club welcomes award winning author

Tawnya Panizzi
| Thursday, April 15, 2004

Award-winning author and photographer Ken Druse will share his passion for gardening during a luncheon Tuesday that will include tips for local horticulture enthusiasts.

Druse, a New Jersey resident, has authored 16 books that focus on the inspirational and artistic value of gardening. His 2001 best-seller, "Making More Plants," was given the Award of the Year from the Garden Writers Association of America and was named best book of the year by the American Horticulture Society.

"He truly is one of America's gardening authorities," said Karen Lally Meck, chairwoman of publicity for the event. "It's a great opportunity to hear his thoughts. He's a wonderful inspiration."

The slide-illustrated lecture, "The Passion for Gardening...Inspiration for a Lifetime," will begin at 11 a.m. A luncheon will follow. Cost is $50; to attend the lecture only is $25.

Hosted by the Garden Club of Allegheny County and the Village Garden Club of Sewickley, the event will offer ideas on creative arrangement and practical advice like replanting flowers, incorporating vegetables, creating paths and controlling pests. Druse will present photographs he's taken at gardens nationwide that include an Asian-influenced West Coast site and a public estate on Philadelphia's Main Line.

Proceeds from the program will benefit the Botanic Garden of Western Pennsylvania, a soon-to-be complete site near the

southern end of Settler's Cabin county park. The 432-acre lot is slated to be the region's most comprehensive

outdoor garden, and one where experts and novices can gather for classes and other presentations -- both indoor and out.

The lecture-luncheon is the first of its kind hosted by the Garden Club of Allegheny County, Meck said. Traditionally, the highlight of the club's fund-raising year comes in the fall with a shopping galleria, Pizzazz, that nets close to $75,000. Money has been doled out to area beautification efforts like Phipps Conservatory, Botany in Action and the Horticulture Society of Western Pennsylvania.

Meck said the luncheon is particularly exciting for club members because of Druse, who for years concentrated on how-to gardening books, but in his most recent publication, "The Passion for Gardening," looks to nature as a source of spirituality.

"People who garden know what an inspiration he is," Meck said. "Our mission is giving back to the community. To have him come in and draw this crowd will support projects that make Pittsburgh a better place." Additional Information:

Coming up

Who: The Garden Club of Allegheny County and Village Garden Club of Sewickley.

What: Lecture-luncheon.

When: 11 a.m. April 20.

Where: Fox Chapel Golf Club, Fox Chapel Road.

Phone: 412-782-3518.

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