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Meet Our Community: Karl Gercens, garden traveler and conservatory manager

Let’s get to know each other!

Since we’re not able to meet up in person this year, let’s meet online. Every week we’re introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We’re excited to see what everyone’s talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you’d like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)

Karl Gercens

Anthurium trees at Longwood Conservatory

I’m the Conservatory Manager at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, and I get to create flower-show-type displays 365 days per year. I’m always on the prowl for a new plant, a bigger blossom, or a captivating color combination that will awe and inspire each person that visits.

In my home garden I have a passion for colored foliage on trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals. I started out with a red-leaf honey locust, golden spirea, variegated iris, and silver senecio. Who needs flowers when foliage is so stunning?!

I’m passionate about the plants, garden design, and architecture in gardens. When I meet a plant-passionate person, it’s simply impossible to resist sharing the excitement! I have been so lucky to visit over 3,000 gardens (I stopped counting a few years ago) in over 30 countries. I photograph and share my observations on the day I visit, so all my posts are real-time. If you see it blooming on my feed, then you know what time of year to go visit yourself.

I created a Google Map to keep track of all the places I’ve been and all the ones I want to visit in the future! I need to update lots of my green “want to go” places into gold “favorites” after some of my recent trips.

I share my photos and observations on my Facebook page and Instagram, and the Big Kahuna of my images is on Flickr. You can find more info about me on my website.

I adore gesneriads and Anthurium. We get months of blooms from Kohleria, Achimenes, Streptocarpus, Seemannia, and x Gloximannia! But if I had to pick just ONE plant that I can’t live without, it would have to be my variegated Asparagus densiflorus ‘Myersii’.

Medinilla at Longwood Conservatory

I’ve spent as much time in a postage-stamp-sized garden talking plants with a passionate gardener as I have in the grandest estates in Europe with avenues of trees and mirror-like lakes. As for favorite gardens, I’m torn between the greatest created landscapes like Serres Royales in Belgium and the natural landscapes of Greece that are virtually untouched by human hands.

I’m in love with the Southern Hemisphere. The flora of Australia (5 trips), South Africa (3 trips), and South America (5 trips) are so vastly different from what I’m used to, it makes me feel like a kid at Christmas again. The anticipation, the wonder, the unknown, and then the great reveal!!


Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Karl!

All photographs courtesy of Karl Gercens.


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