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kent russell

Comedy and chaos, crocodile shoes and coral bells, were the highlights of the first meeting of RGC's 2018-19 season on September 18. Garden Guru Kent Russell stormed into the Sea Bright Beach Club with hilarious stories, a truckload of gorgeous perennial specimens and yes, shoes, to keep our members in stitches.

A nationally recognized celebrity gardener, Kent regularly entertains and educates garden clubs (he particularly loves GCA clubs like ours!) and horticultural organizations across the U.S. with his colorful, over-the-top presentations. Based in Bucks County, PA, Kent has been giving gardening talks since he was 18 years old, when members of garden clubs who visited his family’s nursery, Russell Gardens, noticed how knowledgeable he was. Over the years he's developed an entertaining and educational program which focuses on creating eye-catching drama in any garden setting.

Kent russell butterflys

Kent began his RGC presentation with a hilarious story of his entry of an unusual Foxtail Rosemary in the 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show, where it received The Edith Edelman Scott Award for Best of Show in the Horticulture division. Parading around the room wearing a colorfully painted pair of Christian Laboutin shoes, and with pots of gorgeous plants spilling out of his arms, he delivered information and tips on colorful container or garden combinations for all to oohh and aahh over.

But the shoes! Kent shared his recent passion of pairing his Laboutins with some of his favorite plant specimens, creating living works of art. What fun we had laughing at his antics as he allowed members to "stroke" his snakeskin loafers and admire the gorgeous butterflys on a pair which he nestled in a grouping of fall-themed plants.

As the laughter subsided, Kent offered a wide assortment of unusual and high quality plants from around the mid-Atlantic region for sale to his "Rumson Garden Club friends" and members had fun choosing plants for their own gardens.

"Fashion, flowers and footwear create the sole of the garden," said Kent. Many thanks to Program Chair Ciona Buckley for bringing Kent's creative, fun and visionary presentation to RGC!