Dick and Judith Knott Tyler
Overview681 Rock Church Road 23927
Dick & Judith give joint talks, their very different points of view on gardening combine to provide an unusual presentation. Judith co-authored with Cole Burrell the AHS award winning Hellebores, a Comprehensive Guide which features Dick's photos.
w: Timber Press
Dick and Judith Knott Tyler have owned and operated Pine Knot Farms since 1982, two years after they returned to the US after living in Canada for eight years. The land where the nursery is located is part of a farm that has been in Judith's family for six generations. When the Tyler's returned to Virginia they were severely garden deprived and began producing plants to fill the borders that were being created before they finished building their house. Since their gardens are located in an eastern mixed deciduous forest, the primary focus soon became plants that would thrive in shade. Hellebores soon became a focus and after a few years the collection became an obsession. Judith is the author, with C. Coleston Burrell, of the Timber Press publication entitled Hellebores; A Comprehensive Guide which features many of Dick's remarkable photographs. This title won the AHS Gold Medal.
Dick, who was a building contractor for twenty years, is primarily responsible for the hardscapes and soil preparation. He has created several garden structures and is planning a gazebo/summerhouse in the newest area under construction. Being gifted with a natural talent to see the underlying structures he is the chief electrician, cum plumber, cum carpenter, mechanic and whatever else needs attention. A university course in Geology may have sparked his interest in stone, which is visible at the garden in the form of walls, steps and pathways. Dick began studying photography in the mid 1970's and is responsible for all the slides and photographs used for talks, website, and publications.
Judith studied art and was interested constructing mixed media collage/sculpture before their children were born. She feels that some of this energy has been channeled into creating gardens, since the forms and textures of plants can be layered to create a living sculpture that changes with the seasons. She is also responsible for the metal accessories that adorn several of the borders. Her early love of words and former literary aspirations has found an outlet in writing the Pine Knot Farms catalogue, articles and editing the website.
Both partners fell under the intoxicating influence of the genus Helleborus, began breeding the plants and their lives have never been the same. Each winter is devoted to travel and study of the genus. Travels have taken them throughout the US, UK, Europe and The Balkans searching for hellebores to add to their collection which includes all the species and innumerable hybrids. Their breeding work with the double forms has sparked national interest.
The Tyler's are former co-curators of the Garden of Winter Delights at the J.C. Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh NC. Their gardens at Pine Knot Farms have been featured in Southern Living, Virginia Gardener, Virginia Living, Carolina Gardener, Heritage and Washingtonian magazines, numerous newspaper articles and on Martha Stewart's television program and magazine.
The Tylers speak with personal experience gained through decades of gardening in seveal distinct climates. Their lectures do not simply focus on pretty picures of great gardens maintained by hordes of staff. By sharing their experiences, of failures as well as successes Dick and Judith demonstarate that average people with average budgets can create above average gardens. Most of their photos are taken in their gardens. Each presentation is geared to the location and if possible level of interst prior to presentation. There is no worrry of seening all zone 9 plants at a zone 4 location.
*Plant Sale, Book Signing and Presentation Package. Interested in something different? Contact us if you are intersted in a combination event featuring a presentation, plant sale and book signing. We provide plants, books and a presentation tailored to the needs of your group.
*Gardening in the Shade; Staying out of the sun is good for you and your garden, using shade plants for year round interest.
*Gardening with Hellebores; How to use Hellebores successfully in the garden, with emphasis on the many different species as well as hybrids and companions.
*The Winter Garden; Finding and using plants to provide winter interest.
*Using Fragrance in the Garden, featuring plants which grow and bloom in the Southern US.
*Hellebores Today; what's New and Exciting, concentrating on the new hybrids between species as well as what's happening with Lenten Roses.
*Creating a Meadow Garden; Making and maintaining a sunny meadow, from our experience making the Meadow Garden at Pine Knot Farms.
*Helleborus species for American Gardens; Growing and using species hellebores in the garden, combining them with other plants for best effect.
Making Chicken Salad from Chicken Sh*t; Building, planting and furnishing a garden using the imagination rather than the pocketbook.
*2003 A Hellebore Odyssey; Photos and Tales of Visits with Top Breeders in UK, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
*2004 Hellebore Homeland, The Balkans; April 2004 visit to Germany, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, and Bosnia studying Hellebore Species.
Clarksville Virginia 23927
Experts in their Field
Dawn Alleman, Education Program Coordinator from Virginia Horticultural Foundation - 11/30/2006 04:44:14
Our professional conference, the Mid-Atlantic Horticulture Short Course, had the Tylers for 2 talks this winter. Both show-cased their expertise in shade perennials and specifically hellebores. The audience loved them, and as an event planner, they were easy to work for logistics & scheduling.
Audience comments included: "So knowledgeable! Passionate." "What a warm, genuine sharing couple. So much helpful info, so nicely presented." "Wonderful walk through the forest garden all year long!" Shade gardening is always a sought-after topic, and these folks are truly experts and industry pros themselves.
Excellent program, wonderful people
Chuck Robinson from Kansas City, MO - 11/30/2002 10:41:52
The Tylers gave a pair of programs for Gardeners Connect and was loved by the audience. They are gracious and knowledgeable.