Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 51

NANCY VANCE

"Lenten roses make beautiful cut
flowers," he says. "They are 100 percent deer proof and they can live to
be over 100 years old. They have no
serious pests."
He pointed to a plot. "That
was my first planting and some of
those, even though they've had no
care because I've moved on to other
things, are 25 to 30 years old. I'm
now planting the babies of the babies of the babies."
It didn't take long for word
of Glick's expertise to spread. He
speaks internationally about plant
propagation, native plants, and hellebores, and he supplies arboretums
and landscape architects all over the
United States with plants for their
gardens. While I toured the four
greenhouses below his house, Glick
and a helper packed up boxes of
plants that were destined for a garden in New York City.
Before I left, I asked him what
he would like his legacy to be. After a moment, he said: "I want to
be a bridge between experts and
the home gardener. I want to be the
person who creates and encourages
relationships between people who
love plants."
It seems to me that he's already
done that and more. From a 58-acre
farm, deemed only worthy of white
pines, he has created a network of
people and plants that extends all
the way around the world. It all
began with a single cheeky bloom
peeking out from beneath the snow,
and the focused passion of a self-proclaimed "summa-cum-laude graduate of the school of hard knocks." 

This whimsical sign
marks the driveway
to Sunshine Farm and
Gardens.

ROB CARDILO

what to do with the rest of his steep
ground and they suggested white
pines. He rejected that plan, but it
wasn't until a red flower poked its
cheerful face out from under a snow
drift in the middle of a hard February
that he discovered his life's passion.
"When I saw that beautiful
flower, I thought 'holy crap what
is that?'" It turned out that Glick
had planted a Lenten rose, sent to
him by a friend who owned a greenhouse in Georgia. That little flower
was the start of a dream that soon
spilled down the side of his mountain and out into the world beyond.
Now, at his farm, visitors can
choose from several paths that
descend through the cascade of
Lenten roses to a mountain stream
below. In full bloom, they are a
pink, purple, rose, magenta and
green carpet under a cathedral of
soaring trees.
While Lenten roses were the beginning of his lifelong obsession
with growing what he calls, "idiotproof plants," Glick soon turned his
attention to plants that have origins
in the surrounding Appalachian
Mountains.
After my hike through the blanket of blooms below his house, he
and I climbed to the outdoor laboratory where Glick has created a
checkerboard of test plots for native
plants. We wound our way through
beds of skunk cabbage, marsh marigolds, Mayapples, liverleaf, shooting stars, spider lilies, trillium and
dog tooth violets. I tasted ramps.
I learned which plants are medicinal, which are useful for restoring
wetlands, which were used by the
Native Americans and which ones
are easiest to grow and propagate.
Our last stop was at several beds
of his beloved hellebores. In any
given year there are from 2,500 to
7,500 three-year-old plants nestled
there. After hand-pollination, Glick
will collect the seeds and plant
them to see what new colors he has
created. The whole process can take
up to six years and yield only 1012 new varieties deemed worthy of
inclusion in his breeding program.

You Can Go See Barry Glick
Barry Glick welcomes visitors but there are a few things you should know before you go:
* Please call ahead to make sure he will be there and available. You'll find his number at
the bottom of his website: sunfarm.com. It's also a good idea to look there and see what's
for sale as you'll probably want to purchase some plants.
* Although Glick says there's always something in bloom, the best time to see the extraordinary carpet of Lenten roses is mid-March to mid-May. Dress for possible cold and
wear shoes for steep trails.
* The farm is at the end of a winding, scenic road so you'll have lots of fun getting there.
-GN

March/April 2017 51


http://www.sunfarm.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017

Features
Festival Guide 2017
Waterfalls of North Carolina: A Photo Essay
Wytheville Loves Edith
Barry Glick, Garden Guy
Vanishing Landmarks of North Georgia
Cheese!
Departments
From the Editor
Contributors
Mill Creek Stories
Worth a Click
Creature Feature
The Good Walk
Mountain Report
Country Roads
Singing in the Garden
Festivals & Events
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Contributors
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Mill Creek Stories
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Worth a Click
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - The Good Walk
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Festival Guide 2017
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Waterfalls of North Carolina: A Photo Essay
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Wytheville Loves Edith
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Barry Glick, Garden Guy
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Vanishing Landmarks of North Georgia
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Cheese!
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Singing in the Garden
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Cover4
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