Interview The Gardener: Josie Losh

Interview The Gardener: Josie Losh

You may recognize her from around the Farm, but we wanted to give you a better introduction to the gardener behind the friendly face! We recently sat down with our very own Josie Losh to learn more about her personal experience in the garden:

You were recently featured in our Pollinator Plants video! Do you grow many pollinator plants at home, and if so, who do you most look forward to having visit your flowers?

I live on the fourth floor of an apartment building, so I actually don't have many insects pollinating my plants. I do, however, have many Rufous hummingbirds which visit my flowers constantly! They are definitely most active at dawn and dusk, and I enjoy watching them zoom around from flower to flower on my balcony. They definitely have enjoyed my calibrachoas, cuphea, fuchsia and salvias. 

Is there anything you’re particularly excited by in your personal gardening space right now or anything that you’re looking forward to happening soon?

My balcony garden is about ten feet by five feet, so I don't have that much room to "garden" in a traditional sense, but I have maximized my space by adding window boxes and a tension rod to hang plants from. I do have many plants inside, as well, because I have a nice bright living room. I enjoy my houseplants just as much as my outdoor ones, but there's something special about seeing the seasonal changes outdoors. 

What’s your favorite plant and why? 

It's honestly so hard to pick a single favorite, so I'll give you my favorites in a few categories: For conifers, I would have to say Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa), and for deciduous trees, Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple (Acer shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon'). One of my favorite natives would have to be Shooting Star Flower (Dodecatheon sp.), and for grasses, it's hard to beat Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis), a.k.a. Eyebrow Grass — you'll understand why once you see the seed heads! 

We just so happen to be standing next to one of my favorite perennials. I love all kinds of salvias, but the one next to me is called Black and Bloom (Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Bloom'), which looks really great in containers! Another great container plant is Silver Falls Dichondra (Dichondra argentea 'Silver Falls'), which is probably my favorite annual.

    I’m told you’ve spent time in China and Japan, where many of the plants found in American gardens originate! Do your experiences there inform your understanding of gardening or your personal gardening style?

    Yes, and my time there was some of the best in my life. I saw many plants we cultivate here growing in the wild in East Asia. The diversity of plants in China alone is incredible! I did my Master's in Botany in China, and going out in the field to collect plant material was always the highlight. I would say my style tends to lean more towards Japanese gardens, especially "tsubo-niwa" — or courtyard — gardens. I built an entire Japanese garden in my parents' backyard as my high school senior project, and since then I've always gravitated to the austerity and simple palette of colors found in Japanese gardens. I'm also a sucker for stone lanterns!

    What’s one of your favorite experiences assisting a home gardener at the Patio?

    I love seeing our guests connect certain plants with nostalgic memories. I often hear things like "My mom used to grow these every year," and watching people pick some out something that has personal meaning like that makes me happy.