James W. Waddick

James W. Waddick - Jim to my friends, lives and gardens in Platte County, Missouri, just north of Parkville, a small river town/suburb of Kansas City. My acre of garden is mostly on glacial loess, a very fine wind blown clay. Conditions tend to be on the alkaline side (no azaleas here!); even the water supply can have an outrageously alkaline reading toward a pH of 10. Winters are cold (well below 0 °F) and without snow cover, while summers blaze over 100 °F and 'cool down' to 80 °F at night. Gardening can be a challenge.

Regardless, I grow a lot of things with some bulbous favorites including Iris, Crinum, Lycoris and spring flowering basics (Crocus, Narcissus, Anemones, Reticulata and Juno iris and many more). I am also very fond of peonies especially the species sorts. I also grow a variety of woody plants, grasses, perennials (Hellebores) and love variegated foliage plants of all types.

I have a small heated frost-free greenhouse for my most impractical cacti, succulents, tender bulbs, and even a few woody vines and shrubs. I usually start a few seeds of annuals and veggies, but also exotics of many sorts.

I love to trade plants and seeds and value those things I can attach a name or face to. I think that both philosophically and in action that horticulture is close to agriculture and try to make the garden produce new plants I can share with friends and garden visitors. I am convinced that I give or trade away many more plants than I acquire each year. I also believe in sharing information and experience so I belong to many local and national plant organizations. I've been a member of the PBS almost since its inception.

On the more professional side, I have a PhD in Zoology although I have worked as a botanist often enough, too. My major publications are quite varied: "Gardening with Iris Species" (Editor), "Iris of China" (co-author), "Bananas You can Grow" (co-author) and "The Genus Paeonia" (co-author) and a number of magazine articles especially on Lycoris and Peonies. I have travelled the world including a half dozen trips to many parts of China including leading plant groups to remote areas of Tibet and beyond.

I've lived in the Kansas City area for about 30 years with my partner, Jim Murrain, and currently four (That's a LOT) of cats. I have a daughter, son-in-law and 3 grandkids in far off Vermont. Always open to new people and new plants, so come visit if you are in the neighborhood.

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Page last modified on August 11, 2012, at 06:37 AM