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  • Gardener | Joseph Tychonievich

    Books Plants for sale SOLD OUT Cartoons Speaking

  • cartoons | Joseph Gardens

    Anchor 1 I like drawing silly cartoons. A few old ones are here and I'm currently drawing a new one every week for Fine Gardening Magazine . You can see them every Friday on their Facebook page. If you like my cartoons, you can also find more in my silly book.

  • Newcartoon | Joseph Gardens

    I draw a silly cartoon every week for Fine Gardening Magazine's Facebook and Instagram pages.

  • Plantago | Joseph Gardens

    Plantago major 'Purple Perversion' Yes, this is the all-too familiar weed plantain. But I, on a ridiculous whim, have been collecting odd variants of this plant and breeding them together to create a bizzare dark leaved, ruffled version I call 'Purple Perversion' because it is purple and twisted, and you have to be a little perveted to want to grow it. Rest assured that it is still a weed, and will seed around like crazy. I'm okay with that, because I figure I'll have plantain in my lawn no matter what I do, so it might as well be fun looking. I get asked frequently if this has the same edible and medicinal qualities as the regular green version, and the answer is I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't, but I honestly don't really know. If you are wacky enough to want to grow this: Plants are available from Arrowhead Alpines Seeds are available from Jelitto 'Purple Deviant' To make things even odder, I crossed 'Purple Perversion' with the 'Rosularis' form of Plantago which grows very cool leafy bracts on the flowering stem. The result is a plant that is a absolute frenzy of purple, ruffled leaves that doen't even look like a plantain any more. Sadly, for some reason, it is also incredibly wimpy, with plants only living a year or two before dying, and not seeding around like one would expect. If this was a plant I actually cared about, I would try to figure out how to solve the vigor issue, but frankly, I've already spent WAY too much time on this little weed, so I'm just giving up and accepting that it isn't meant to be.

  • xnorrisii | Joseph Gardens

    Iris x norrisii (aka x Pardancanda norrisii) Breeding goals About Iris x norrisii aka x Pardancanda norrisii aka Candy Lilies aka Norris Iris aka a bunch of other things is a hybrid between Iris domestica (formerly Belamcanda chinensis ) and Iris dichotoma (formerly Pardanthopsis dichotoma ). These two species have very different flowers, and the hybrids produce flowers in a dizzying array of forms, colors, and patterns. I think there is enormous potential to select new, exciting forms of this hybrid species. Color The great appeal of Iris x norrisii is the enorous color range. Seed lots tend to be dominated by yellow-orange forms, but good purples, reds, and pinks are easily found, and I'd like to push the colors to blue, white, brown, green, and explore the great potential for complex bi- and tri-colored blooms. Form I'm focused mainly on selecting for large flowers with very broad, rounded petals which give a fuller, more eye-catching look than the typical narrow petaled forms. I've also identified some seedlings with extra petals which are, frankly, pretty ugly, but I think have potential to be bred into attractive double flowered forms. Perenniality Many selections of Iris x norrisii are short lived, only persisting a few years in the garden. This is variable, so it is possible to select for long-lived forms, which I am doing. However, breeding for long-life is inherently time-consuming, requiring the breeder to wait for years to see which plants persist, so I've accepted that my early selections will probably be short lived, and aiming to increase perenniality in future generations. Can I buy them? Eventually I'd like to start selling my selections, but I'm still very early in the breeding process so it will probably be a number of years before I am able to.

  • Contact | Joseph Gardens

    Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, concerns, or if you want to send me boxes of chocolate. E-mail (preferred): gsparrowgardens at gmail dot com Phone (not preferred): 517-303-0865 or use the contact form on this page. Success! Message received. Send

  • Gladiolus | Joseph Gardens

    Gladiolus Zone 5 Winter Hardiness I hate digging up my glads every year so I've been selecting for winter hardiness so they can be left in ground over winter. My current populations have survived two record cold winters with lows reaching -23 F/ -30 C. No Flopping I hate staking. It is the one garden chore I just won't do. So I've been selecting for gladiolus with shorter, stronger stems that don't flop over into the mud. We get frequent thunderstorms with strong wind and heavy rain during gladiolus bloom season here in Michigan and anything that isn't standing tall after a storm I eliminate from my breeding population. Branching Rather than the typical very long, single stem of flowers from each bulb, I select for flowering stems that branch. The result is that as the first branch is finishing bloom, the lower branches are beginning to flower giving a significantly longer display in the garden. The individual flower stems are not as long as the truly massive show gladiolus stems, but the shorter stems are less likely to need staking, work better in smaller vases, and make a much better garden display. New Diversity The genus gladiolus is huge and contains more diversity in flower color, form, pattern and fragrance than any other group of plants I know, yet standard hybrid gladiolus tap into only a tiny fraction of that diversity. I am working aggressively to integrate as many new, unusual species into my populations to radically expand the diversity available in these flowers. This is a slow process, but in the coming year I should have some radically different looking gladiolus to share. Can I Buy Some? Not yet. My plan is to transform this site into an on-line mail order nursery in the next few years and start selling these and my other breeding creations, but it takes time to build up enough numbers to make that work. If you want to make sure you get notified when they are available, sign up for my mailing list. Breeding Goals

  • Breeding | Joseph Gardens

    Plant Breeding Some of my breeding projects. Many more are in the pipeline. I'm kind of obsessed Hardy Gladiolus Iris x norrisii Salvia azurea Plantago major

  • Follow | Joseph Gardens

    Keep in touch on Facebook or Instagram: Or sign up below for my mailing list, which I use VERY rarely to announce big things like a new book. Sign up to get news and updates Subscribe Now

  • Speaking | Joseph Gardens

    Speaking "I'd place Joseph at the forefront of public speaking in horticulture in America today." -- Panayoti Keladis, Senior Curator, Denver Botanic Gardens In all my talks, I combine rigorous, science-based information with a lot of silly jokes. My goal is for everyone to laugh and learn something new and useful, no matter their skill level or experience as a gardener, and have fun while doing so. Some titles of my recent talks include: How to Stop Killing Your Houseplants Grow Food: A guide to your first vegetable garden Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener Rock Gardening: Reimagining a Classic Style for Today's Garden Confessions of a Plant Nerd Shopping for Plants like a Pro Plants, Pollinators, and Why They Matter How Plants got their Stripes: The Science of Variegated and Patterned Leaves How Genetic Engineering Works: Understanding the Science, not the Controversy Great, Non-wimpy, Plants... You Don't Already Grow Dealing With Your Hosta Addiction: Cool Alternatives for the Shade Garden ​ To book me to speak email gsparrowgardens at gmail dot com Or fill out the form below: Success! Message received. Send

  • Salvia azurea | Joseph Gardens

    Salvia azurea Salvia azurea 'Blue September' seed strain Salvia azurea is an underappreciated species native to a wide swath of the middle of the United States. I love it for its masses of true-blue flowers beloved by bees and other pollinators in the fall, and the fact that it is a zone 5 hardy, drought tollerant, tough perennial. The down side is that unless pruned back early in the season or staked, it flops all over the place. My seed strain selection 'Blue September' is shorter -- about 4 feet -- with strong stems that don't require staking in my garden. If you irrigate and fertilize heavily your milleage may vary. As this is a seed strain, there is some variability in size and flower color, including the occational white flowered individual. You can purchase plants grown from my seed from Select Seeds

  • Books | Joseph Gardens

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Joseph Tychonievich

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