2012 Images Added to the Edgewood Gardens Web Site

John T Lonsdale john@johnlonsdale.net
Tue, 01 Jan 2013 10:13:26 PST
Happy New Year!


The good news is we made it through another year, albeit a crazier one than
normal, so less 'free' time and fewer pictures taken.  The bad news is that
the virus introduced here by Panayoti Kelaidis 6 or 7 years ago has
continued to spread.  5 areas of the garden have now been infected, meaning
that they have had to be turned over to the cultivation of hardy cacti,
agaves, succulents and other 'xeric' plants.  Actually, I had grown weary of
doing battle with various aril and Juno irises so it really wasn't that hard
a decision to turn their quarters over to the expanding collection of cacti.
Despite their beauty the irises took up a lot of real estate, and were
rewarding for a very fleeting period every year.  Their homes were tailor
made for the cacti, which not only have spectacular flowers, they offer
year-round interest with their amazing forms and spines of many shapes and
colors.  For a few pictures see http://tinyurl.com/bbx9asu/ and
http://tinyurl.com/bfdrv3v/.  Perfect drainage and dryness at the roots in
winter is at least as important as protection from the cold.  Three of the
'cactus patches' are unprotected year-round; the one in front of the porch
has 8' x 4' polycarbonate covers from early December to the end of February,
and the long bed down the south side of the house has polycarbonate covers
over the same period, and a wrapping of frost blanket during January and
February.  The blanket provides about 10F of protection and really works,
providing a home for the more borderline temperature hardy plants.  There
are hundreds of species and forms/selections that will grow very happily in
these conditions, including many that I doubt have ever been seriously
attempted in this region.  They are not trouble free (some die), they have
their own likes and dislikes that need learning, and they certainly fight
back, but they are so rewarding.  Best of all, you can only get one or two
rare Oncocyclus irises for a hundred dollars but you can get about 20 cacti!
I've also started growing a number from seed, and that is also fun once you
learn a few tricks, including how not to sunburn them.  Other treasures,
such as Asphodelus acaulis, love the same conditions and have been outside
without protection for 3 years now (http://tinyurl.com/acawvlf/).  Nananthus
transvaalensis is one of my favorite succulents


Superb cactus and succulent suppliers include Beaver Creek Greenhouses
(Roger Barlow; http://www.rockgardenplants.com/), Miles' to Go
(http://www.miles2go.com/), Sunscapes (Bill Adams;
http://www.sunscapes.net/) and Mesa Garden (http://www.mesagarden.com/).  High
Country Gardens was also great but has sadly just closed.

Some other nice combinations this past year were Gazania linearis
self-seeding into Delospermas (http://tinyurl.com/bggnxt4/), and back-lit
Iris albicans and Pulsatillas in seed (http://tinyurl.com/aunehpc/).
Edgeworthia chrysantha in several forms (http://tinyurl.com/ahtw9s6/)
continues to be the best shrub in the whole garden and Epimedium Domino in
the same link is one of Darrell Probst's very best introductions.  The
'orange' form of Claytonia virginica is stunning
(http://tinyurl.com/b2kfefm/) and I'm happy to say it is self-sowing all
over.  Galanthus reginae olgae Fotini is amazing and happily seems to be
doing well (http://tinyurl.com/bjjjqpc/). 

Hurricane Sandy came and went, and left us with a lot less damage than many
people - although we did lose a 70' northern red oak when the 60mph winds
went around to the north - something our trees are not used to
(http://tinyurl.com/bepvk2s/).  On its way down it destroyed a couple of
large American beeches, but everything missed the power lines and the house.

Cyclamen hederifolium continue to take over the hillside - there are tens of
thousands of them now and they look great for nearly 9 months of the year
(http://tinyurl.com/bepvk2s/).  C. rhodium was also lovely this year and is
great because it flowers so late, C. hederifolium 'Stargazer' plants are
getting big enough to look weird and you can see the flies on Dracunculus
vulgaris (http://tinyurl.com/axnls5c/). A white seedling of Iris brandzae
showed up (http://tinyurl.com/a9htsnf/). 

The Homeland Security personnel are getting longer in the tooth.  Sadly we
lost Felix this year, just before he reached 17, and he was very happy right
to the end (http://tinyurl.com/aqr858f/).   Tammy is 22 in May but still
enjoys the outdoor life (http://tinyurl.com/axl5q23/).  Ali's cat Kingston
has been coming for ever longer 'vacations' (http://tinyurl.com/arbne4a/).
Calico continued to pack on the pounds, in anticipation of the end of the
world cutting off her food supply (http://tinyurl.com/b5g2vld/).   


Please enjoy the images, feel free to drop me a note with any comments, and
let me know if I've messed up any of the names.  


Thanks and all the best,







John T Lonsdale PhD
407 Edgewood Drive,
Exton, Pennsylvania 19341, USA

Home: 610 594 9232
Cell: 484 678 9856
Fax: 315 571 9232

Visit "Edgewood" - The Lonsdale Garden at  <http://www.edgewoodgardens.net/>

USDA Zone 6b


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