Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Welcome to DCTropics

I'm a botanist and gardener in Washington, DC.  As a botanist, my research specialty is the plant family Gesneriaceae and I have authored or co-authored several papers on subject (although my current duties are primarily collections & data management).  I work almost exclusively with pressed, dried, brown, and quite dead plants so when I come home I want to see something green and growing!  My horticultural interests are eclectic and wide-ranging and include gesneriads, begonias, hardy palms, and just about anything else that's tropical or exotic. I've also been an amateur plant breeder for over 25 years and have produced numerous cultivars in the gesneriad genera Sinningia, Primulina (formerly Chirita), Kohleria, and Seemannia (formerly Gloxinia) as well as a smattering of others, including some intergenerics.  In the last few years my interests have turned more towards Begonia with the primary goal of producing hardy begonia hybrids.

I've always been interested in growing unusual and exotic plants, and particularly "zone-pushing", testing the limits of plants that may or should be hardy in my region (USDA hardiness zone zone 7a/b).  I’m the organizer/admin of two online gardening groups, DCTropics (Yahoo) and MidAtlantic Tropics (Facebook).  I also have an extensive photo album on Flickr although you can still find some of my older photos in Photobucket.  Here are some of my most popular photos on Flickr (and don’t ask me how Flickr decides which are the most “interesting”).

Finally, here's a view of my garden as seen from our roof deck, taken just this morning (and yes, those are our neighbor's garbage cans; we live in an urban rowhouse with a very narrow lot and it's sometimes hard to hide things like that...):

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