Last updated: February 17. 2013 4:25AM - 93 Views

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Gnomes? Stephanie Cohen keeps the little statues in her garden because at least then she's taller than someone.

Deer? She'd rather they didn't visit but cheerfully acknowledges, "I provide them with a great buffet three times a day."

As for flowers? Her two acres are chock full. "I don't have much space between plants," she admits.

If you'd like to experience more of the avid gardener's humor and advice, you'll have a chance on Thursday, when Cohen will speak during the fall luncheon of the Back Mountain Bloomers garden club.

Cohen, who also answers to the nickname The Perennial Diva, will speak on "Perennials from Spring to Fall."

"We're going to talk about how to plant a garden that gives you color from spring through fall," Cohen said in a telephone interview. "As shoppers, as consumers, what do we do in spring? We go shopping, and you could have a heck of a spring garden but you'll have to go back twice."

With planning, Cohen said, you can have a pretty garden year-round.

Even in winter?

Sure, Cohen said. "Things that have berries will look good in winter. So does red-twig dogwood, a small shrub with red twigs. What's nice about it is the red twigs can be cut near Christmastime and used to decorate your house. And it looks fabulous against the snow."

Cohen, who believes she planted her first hardy flower when she was 5 or 6, is the author of several gardening books and has taught herbaceous plants and perennial design at Temple University for more than 20 years.

If you start a garden, she said, you can have more than a beautiful yard.

"It gets you outside, gets you not thinking about yourself, and if you're outside you're not eating," she said, describing the exercise as a good way to lose a few pounds.

Most of all, she said, gardening should be a hobby you enjoy.

"People who want to make it all drudgery and science take the fun out of it."


What: ‘Perennials from Spring to Fall'

Who: Stephanie Cohen, ‘The Perennial Diva'

When: 11:30 a.m. Thursday during Back Mountain Bloomers Fall Luncheon

Where: Irem Country Club, Dallas

Tickets: $30

More info: 570-388-2585

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