Keeping Your Boxwood Healthy As Blight Spreads
Monday, June 10 at 5:30 PM
East Hampton Library, Baldwin Family Lecture Room
To Attend this Free Event, please RSVP below
In conjunction with the East Hampton Library and underwritten by landscaping firm McMasters Bros. Inc., GCEH is hosting a symposium for homeowners and landscapers on keeping boxwood healthy in the face of an aggressive fungus that has recently arrived in town. Calonectria pseudonaviculatum, or boxwood blight, can kill a plant in a few short weeks. It attacks otherwise healthy boxwood when temperatures rise above 41 degrees and especially during the kind of wet, hot weather we experienced last summer. The disease has been in Europe for almost 25 years, where gardeners and nurseries have found ways to live with and manage it, while plant pathologists here are working on ways to quickly identify it. Our speakers will be Andrea Filippone, T Fleisher, and Margery Daughtrey, all experts who together bring an extraordinary range of the most current knowledge to the issue.
Andrea J. Filippone is President of AJF Design and a partner with her husband Eric T. Fleisher in F2 (f squared) Environmental Design. Described by Paige Dickey as “a plant collector with a brilliant eye for design,” Andrea is a renowned authority on the culture and use of boxwood. She is a director of the American Boxwood Society and has traveled to study boxwood in its native habitat in Macedonia as well as in gardens abroad. She also regularly confers with boxwood experts in the US and Europe. She has a master’s degree in architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design with further studies at the Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City. Andrea has worked in architecture, interior design and landscape design throughout her career. Her work has been featured in Elle Décor, AD Germany, House and Garden, and Organic Gardening.
Eric T. Fleisher (T) focuses on sustainable horticulture and soil science at F2 Environmental Design. Having served as the Director of Horticulture at the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy in lower Manhattan for 25 years, where he pioneered organic techniques for large public gardens, he is a national leader in the field. T has studied European soils where boxwood is an indigenous plant and developed protocols to amend our soils with compost and compost tea to strengthen the plant’s resistance to blight and other diseases. T, who was a 2008 Loeb Fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, is a frequent lecturer on sustainable practices and serves as a consultant to some of the top institutions in the country, from universities to museums to parks.
Together, Andrea and T create healthy and vibrant boxwood gardens that don’t use chemicals, pesticides or fertilizers and that minimize irrigation. Their 35-acre property in Pottersville, NJ uses boxwood extensively in a series of stunning formal gardens and includes a 5-acre boxwood nursery where they grow 50 species or cultivars of the plant. Their garden is featured in Paige Dickey’s book, Outstanding American Gardens: 25 Years of the Garden Conservancy and in Gardens of the Garden State, by Nancy Berner and Susan Lowry.
Margery Daughtrey, Senior Extension Associate at Cornell’s Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center, is New York’s lead plant pathologist specializing in disease management of flower and nursery crops. She works locally with greenhouse growers, nurserymen, arborists, landscapers, and Master Gardeners. At the national level, she supports AmericanHort and the American Phytopathological Society, of which she was named a Fellow in 2012. Marge is widely published and quoted (co-author of or chapter contributor to 10 books about plant diseases, including Diseases of Herbaceous Perennials and Compendium of Bedding Plant Diseases and Pests) and speaks regularly at conferences. Her lab studies the biology of pathogens and evaluates new techniques to identify and manage them. She and her collaborators are actively working on more sustainable treatments for boxwood blight, especially as current treatments control but do not eradicate the disease. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary (BS) and of the University of Massachusetts Amherst (MS).