Monday, May 28, 2012

24th Annual Garden Ramble

      Yesterday we went to the 24th Annual Garden Ramble at the home of Dr. Wesley Whitesides, who is a retired botany professor from Eastern Illinois University.  Dr. Whitesides has created a botanical garden on his 5 acre property and opens it every year on Memorial weekend to the public.  Because he is now 85 he says it will be his last Garden Ramble.  His garden is so interesting--and to those of us who love gardening--inspiring!  I am amazed at the vision, patience, and work it took to lay it out with meandering paths flowing into different habitats including forest areas, shade gardens, rose gardens, a daylily propagating area, and perennials.  See this link for a description of the plants grown in the gardens.
     It was so interesting to hear Dr. Whitesides speak of the garden and the various species of plants that are growing there, including the rare Benjamin Franklin tree and several other plants not indigenous to this area but which are flourishing anyway.
    Jim Wuersch from 5-Acre Farm Daylilies ( gave an informative talk and demonstration on dividing daylilies.  After dividing a large clump he gave the divisions to those of us watching.  This year the cultivar was Daniel Mann, a beautiful red daylily with a greenish yellow center.  See picture here.
    Here are a few pictures I took at the garden.
Dr. Whitesides

I especially love hostas so I was interested in these areas where they were used as a ground cover.  Beautiful!

Dividing daylilies

      Because of our unusual season this year many of the plants that are usually in prime bloom at this time of year have already finished blooming.  Mom & I went to the Garden Ramble in 2010.  That is when I first heard of, and saw a big-leafed magnolia in bloom, and knew I must have one for my garden.  Here is a picture of that spectacular bloom in 2012.  The tree was almost through blooming this year.

        When I checked with nurseries in this area I was told these trees don't live here.  As you can see it obviously does.  Dr. Whitesides said he now has several growing that were planted by the birds from this original tree which was planted more than 20 years ago.  Anyway, I eventually was put in touch with Randy Netzley of Netzley's Nursery (812-894-2121,  9111 E Moyer Dr, Terre Haute, IN 47803where I purchased 2 of his seedlings that appear to be happily growing in my yard.  Randy is an encyclopedia of knowledge on plants so I would highly recommend a drive out to his place if you live in the area (call first) to see his plants and learn about some you've never heard of.  A trip to Netley's is as interesting as a walk through Dr. Whitesides botanical garden.  Both are wonderful experiences for plant lovers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems these unusual plants don't know that they're not supposed to thrive here. They just bloom where they are planted!! :0)