The yellow flowered evening primrose starting the slideshow were photographed between 6:39 p.m. and 7:01 p.m May 18, 2006 for
the two flowers and 8:06 p.m. to 8:19 p.m.May 26, 2006 for the group shot. As the weather warms in early June the flowers get smaller
and open later until it is just before dark making it difficult to have enough light to photograph them. They bloom until August,
the longest blooming perennials I have. Unfortunately, the blooms quickly shrivel on hot days so flowers are not noticeable during
|Pushkinias minor bulbs
||Daffodils in 2005
||Daffodils December 2005
||Variegated red tulips
My garden plant collection in Fort Wayne, Indiana
USDA zone 5 was on its second display June 17, 2006
in the Eleventh Annual Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory garden walk. In 1996 it was in the first garden walk and featured
in local newspaper promotions. I have
discovered old heirloom garden plants in cemeteries
as part of my genealogy research and either have similar ones or added some to my garden. Unfortunately, many of those plants are
being lost as changing growing conditions and modern cemetery maintenance destroys most of the century old plantings. I can only
wonder what plantings were lost before I visited the cemeteries. I have visited and heard of several cemeteries that are considered
botanical gardens. One such cemetery is Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum
in Cincinnati, Ohio with 400 acres of maintained landscape where they even conduct weddings!
May 28, 2006 the local newspaper featured my garden
for the June 17, 2006 Inside the Garden Gate
garden walk. A surprising number of hits for this newspaper article in internet searches appear on web sites I never heard of.
I occasionally think of myself as an artist turning clay into soil. Spreading seeds and plants across the canvas. Arranging and
rearranging plants as they thrive or decline with the extremes of Midwest weather. Cold and wet, then hot and dry. Winters seem
milder and summer droughts longer and hotter. As my knowledge of plant growing preferences improved, I eliminated the finicky plants
replacing them with larger masses of the same or similar plants practicing the "less is more" design concept of sweeping vistas of
similar colors, shapes and sizes. Mother nature is my model having visited examples of most of Indiana's natural landscapes. Native
plants thrive and intermix with non-natives, often tolerating stresses the non-natives cannot. Many purchased perennials are short
lived disappearing over time, while the natives generally reseed and spread. Most of Indiana was formerly temperate forest, the
urban landscape today more closely resembles hot droughty western prairies. The cold wet winters eliminate most western arid plants
so southern and Midwestern natives do best.
|More Daffodils in 2005
||December Daffodil area
||Specie tulips in 2005
||Tulips December 2005
Most people do not realize that Indiana has one of the highest number of native orchid species in the United States, 42 species
mostly with non-descript flowers while Hawaii has only 3 species which are much more colorful. We have several native cactus found
mostly in the western and northern counties. The northern counties have cranberries bogs typically found in cooler more northern
regions, bald cypress swamps around Evansville more typical of the Louisiana bayou and a few southern counties have mountain laurel
more typical of the Appalachian mountains to the east. We even have carnivorous pitcher plants, sundews and aquatic bladderworts
in a few northern counties in sphagnum bogs typically found in the southeastern United States. This is because we are on the edges
of the eastern forest, western prairie and northern arboreal forest.
|Hosta September 2005
||Hostas December 2005
||Azaleas in 2002
||Azaleas area 2005
I had habitat gardens ranging from common perennials, acid soil loving azaleas and rhododendrons which require too much care in
our alkaline droughty midwest soil, bog and water plants like arrowheads, marsh marigolds, primroses and water lily, to rock garden
and drought loving cactus plants. I still have thousands of spring flowering bulbs, dozens of lilies, 45 different varieties of
hostas and an assortment of ferns in my woodland wildflower garden.
My plants struggle in droughty weather often weeks of hot weather without any accumulation of rain as it goes around the "summit
city". Many times I watch the local weather radar as the rain splits to the north and south, hitting the local airport weather
station, 11 miles away, dumping an inch or two of rain that never makes it to my garden on the northeast side of town. The storms
generally regroup in Ohio after they pass the city. Often the airport reports 2 to 4 inches of rain a month we never got, lowering
our level from 35 to 36 annually to around 30 inches or less per year.
I grow sunflowers for the goldfinches
and Texas sage, lobelia and cardinal vine among other plants for the humingbirds.
plants grow 8 feet tall in the blazing sun with the help of irregular watering, but are floppy due to too much nitrogen as they
prefer low nitrogen soil.
|July 2005 flowers
||Venus Flytraps 1997
||Flytraps in garage
I grow carnivorous pitcher plants
in containers. My Venus flytraps are
growing, but not thriving as I found out the hard way they die using our hard alkaline tap water instead of soft acid rain water.
The pitcher plants seem indifferent to tap water as I water daily to keep the moss wet and growing. Several pitcher plants did not
survive the 2005 winter outside on the patio, so I assume were from southern origin. The surviving pitcher plants are doing ok
in 2006, but any that die will not be replaced again.
|Hybrid pitcher plants 2005
||Hybrid pitcher plants 2005
||Pitchers December 2005
||Purple pitcher closeup 2005
My garden was in the first annual Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory and newspaper promotions in 1996.
The gardener gone mad heading resulted from a rainy day in April when I was soaking wet when the first reporter arrived. I told the
second reporter a month later that it helps to be a little mad to work in the rain when it is better for the plants, than the
gardener. I had gardens of perennials with prairie plants growing 8 to 10 feet tall, carnivorous pitcher plants and Venus flytraps
that eat bugs. A small water lily pond with bog plants, rock garden with hardy cactus and succulents, shade loving ferns, wild
flowers, hardy and tropical orchids, azaleas and rhododendrons. Happy accidents occurred when seeds from different habitats carried
by ants, birds and animals volunteered seedlings in unexpected combinations.
I easily aced horticulture classes at Purdue University
in 1993 and spent a few years trying different careers with internships at theFoellinger Freimann Botanical Conservatory
here in Fort Wayne, Indiana and the Chicago Botanic Garden
where I wrote this paper on witch hazel
shrubs. I worked as a landscape foreman,
then for Heartland Restoration Company
which collects native plant seeds and restores prairie and wetland habitats with the seeds and locally grown native plants. The
physically draining 50-60 hour work weeks enduring daily sunburns, bugs, poison ivy, heat, humidity and the constant dirt that goes
with the territory no longer seemed rewarding.
The growth of computer technology and related careers motivated a change. I like working with computers and digital data,
researching, writing and learning new skills so started taking computer classes in 1999. I plan to stay in Fort Wayne, which limits
my career choices. I worked a couple of years for a Sprint cell phone affilite
then was downsized. I would like to find an environmental job that makes use of my science and family research background
using current computer technology. As a weekend gardener I still spend too much time working in the dirt, but at least I work
at my leisure on my schedule.
Plant Disease and Pests
Incomplete List of Plant Sources