A Roadtrip

Obviously with a million things to do in the garden, a roadtrip to see other gardens and meet with other gardeners and talk about gardening does not get anything done in my own garden, but who cares, it’s a lot more fun!

Unplanted daffodils and yet to be stored dahlias be darned because last Saturday a few obsessive fall-snowdroppers made plans to meet up at Edgewood gardens to talk snowdrops and of course “pick up a few things”while we’re at it.  Some picked up more things than others and that happens.  Actually it’s harder to not have that happen when faced with the hundreds of hardy cyclamen in perfect fall foliage, and pot after pot of full-bloom autumn snowdrops.

fall snowdrops

Autumn blooming snowdrops on the greenhouse benches of John Lonsdale’s Edgewood Gardens.

I don’t mean to sound holier than thou, but I was actually less excited about the amazing plants than I was about meeting up with friends.  It’s been a while and this die-hard group hasn’t been gathering as much as it should, so hopefully I didn’t come across as too needy or desperate when I grilled people on secret soil mixes, perfect winter microclimates, and how does your Galanthus bursanus tolerate sudden lows below 10F…  Somehow these questions only seem possible amongst this group 😉

hardy cyclamen hederifolium

An amazing range of potted hardy cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium).  John may not have a sand plunge (like I do btw) but he does well enough growing these in cold frames and the open garden.

It was excellent, even if the time does fly by when we’re there.

fall camellia

Hardy camellias in full bloom on the shaded hillside.  Even in November there’s plenty to see outside.

There would have been more time, but I foolishly tried to wedge in a side trip on the way down.  Ott’s Exotic Plants of Schwenksville, PA has been on my bucket list for a few years and for some reason this trip was the time when it became “on the way”, so I finally stopped in.

Otts exotic plants

Otts exotic plants.  Multiple greenhouses filled with… exotic plants!  This centerpiece conservatory was big enough to house a waterfall, observation bridge, and 40 year old fiddleleaf fig, which reached for the sky and has a trunk wider than I could ever hug!

I was 100% happy with the stop.  I found the multiple greenhouses to be amazing, and the lush, mature tropical plants were cool, but the thought of heating them all was a little scary.  Many of the greenhouses were filled with sales benches, but some were just filled with plants, and it felt more like visiting a botanical garden rather than some tropical plant clearinghouse.

Otts exotic plants

A little late in the season for the famous mums-mountain, but you can still get a sense for the fall extravaganza which likely takes place here each autumn weekend.  Even on a gloomy, drizzly Saturday in November there were still plenty of people out and about.

One excellent thing about this stop were the free plants.  Since it felt like a botanical garden I didn’t think a $25 admission fee was out of the question, but rather than pay it, I put it towards a plant purchase and ended up paying nothing for the aloe and African violet which followed me out.  Wow, do I have a flair for accounting!

Let’s just not mention the other stop.  Even with an admission voucher, I still went a bit over.  Obviously it’s not my fault, but who would ever suspect I’d need to take home an entire flat of hardy cyclamen in addition to the other stuff?  It was Edgewood Garden’s first and only (hopefully) ‘a tree fell on my greenhouse’ cyclamen clearance sale, and there are still flats left if you’re interested.

Obviously nothing was planted Sunday… or since… oh well, it happens, and just like I’m still having a good week I hope you are as well.

12 comments on “A Roadtrip

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Be still my heart– those cyclamens are GORGEOUS. I think your accounting is brilliant, Frank. I’d have done the same. 🙂

    • bittster says:

      🙂 The last cyclamen from this trip were just planted yesterday. My accounting may be cutting edge but my planting schedule is still a little haphazard 😉

  2. TimC says:

    Sounds like a perfect use of time to me!

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I am having quite a nice week thank you. It is exciting to read about your outing. All of those plants not tucked away in the basement or elsewhere will certainly await your attention. It sounds like you had a fruitful outing. One you can dwell on well into the winter months. Cheers.

    • bittster says:

      It’s a little colder and grayer now and I’m already ‘dwellling’ on these memories ;). Just yesterday I thought I should have bought another snowdrop or two and a few more cyclamen… it’s that buyer’s remorse they always talk about, just that in my case it’s usually that I didn’t buy enough!

  4. Kerry says:

    Sounds like an excellent use of time! And wow, that exotic plant place sounds right up my alley!

    • bittster says:

      It was a cool place to visit. The terrible thing was that most garden visits I make don’t include hundreds of pots with prices on them, so more trips like this can be very dangerous to the credit card!

  5. pbmgarden says:

    Glad you were able to gather with other gardeners, still a distant memory for me. Gorgeous cyclamen. I think you had no choice but to bring them home!

    • bittster says:

      The get-togethers are still done cautiously, and fortunately a garden tour is easy to do outside or in a greenhouse with ventilation running. Hmmmm…. it never occurred to me that the same conditions plants need are also excellent for humans! Well I guess that would exclude bog plants. I can’t imagine standing in a foot of bog water would be entirely healthy 😉
      Fingers crossed we continue to find a new normal.

  6. Cathy says:

    I think it is wonderful when you can meet people who have the same passions (and obsessions?😉) as yourself and that is why blogging is so valuable, even more so these days! Both visits sound fruitful. And that fig tree is amazing. 😃

    • bittster says:

      Obsessions? Haha, this blogging thing has been the worst possible thing for obsessions! My garden was so timid and innocent when I first started, but then someone mentions lantana, someone else mentions a bunch of asters, someone adds a gravel garden, someone plants a hedge of sunflowers and tithonia, and then before I know it that’s all I can think of! I just wish many of us were closer.

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