C.L. Fornari to speak on ‘Creating the Cocktail Garden’

January 5, 2018
By Marcy Shortuse

The Boca Grande Garden Club will host the well-known author, radio commentator, newspaper columnist, and gardening legend, C.L. Fornari, who will speak on the topic of her latest book, “The Cocktail Hour Garden: Creating Evening Landscapes for Relaxation and Entertaining,” in addition to adding advice from an earlier book in which she addresses 70 misleading myths about backyard gardening.
The presentation will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 2 p.m. in the Boca Grande Community Center auditorium.
Hailing from Cape Cod, C.L. has lectured at the New York and Massachusetts Horticultural Societies, numerous garden clubs, and flower shows from San Francisco to Rhode Island. She hosts two radio programs on Saturdays on WXTK and WRKO Boston, and enthralls audiences at horticultural trade shows, garden clubs, botanical gardens, master gardener symposiums and alumni/women’s groups.
In addition, she writes blogs and runs a consultation service for Hyannis Country Garden, an independent garden center on Cape Cod.
A creative gardening expert (a.k.a. “plant geek”) who transitioned from artist to garden communicator in 1995, C.L. is the author of seven books, including her latest, “The Cocktail Hour Garden,” published by St. Lynn’s Press.
In 2012 C.L. was awarded the Garden Communicator award from the Perennial Plant Association, and in 2013 she won three awards from the Garden Writers Association.
In 2015 C.L. launched the first annual Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival, a ten-day regional celebration of gardens that raised over $30,000 for local non-profits.
C.L. loves children, cooking and dogs. Her not-so-secret mission is to cultivate the gardening revival in the USA … but in the meantime she grows multitudes of plants on Poison Ivy Acres in Sandwich, Mass.
In her talk C. L. will explain how to develop a cocktail hour garden that “will be a refuge where you can relax, recharge and reconnect with other people and the natural world.”
She emphasizes how important it is to have a place where we can enjoy a garden created for all the senses, putting aside digital devices (especially our cell phones) where you can sit “with a cup of coffee in the morning, an iced tea in the afternoon, or a cocktail at the end of the day.”
Stopping to smell the flowers with drink in hand sounds especially nice and perhaps even necessary.
This book has recipes for concoctions with and without alcohol, but she writes more about places and plants, and plants with benefits. She offers ways to stimulate the senses, or as she calls it, “experiencing the elements” of earth, taste, air, smell, sight, sound, fire and water in a garden setting, by describing plants that invite touch, or white blossoms for a “moonlight garden.” She will explore how we can all benefit from a garden created for all those senses, especially taste and growing ingredients for cocktails and for sampling hors d’oeuvres or, as C.L. calls it, “grazing.” She even suggests having a cocktail party in a vegetable garden and encouraging guests to snack on snap peas or snip an herb leaf to smell or taste. Her book therefore includes recipes she recommends for your Cocktail Hour Garden. She will also offer her advice from her book entitled “Coffee for Roses and 70 Other Misleading Myths About Backyard Gardening.” Both books will be for sale at the tea following her presentation. You won’t want to miss it!
Her presentation is free to members of the Boca Grande Garden Club and open to guests for a fee of $35, payable at the door by check payable to The Boca Grande Garden Club, with “Jan Mtg” in the memo line.
Membership is limited on a first-come, first-served basis, and there is currently a waiting list.
For more information, please contact Polley Cunningham at polleycunningham@gmail.com.