Our Front Cover
View of John Schamanek's Garden
Mark M. Holeman, Indianapolis, Indiana
The cover view of John and Ria Schamanek's garden in Willow Grove, Pa., was taken during a tour visit a few seasons ago. We were to have a box lunch at the Schamanek's and as the bus pulled into Willow Grove, the overcast sky let go, and a warm shower descended.
The garden could not have been more beautiful fresh from its Spring bath. Dogwood fluttered its veil of flowers overhead and the azaleas glowed. Every plant seemed to be in blossoming perfection. I had not anticipated the brilliant scintillation of this garden. It is not large: somewhat more than two city lots; with no obvious attempt at a landscape tour-deforce. But it was one.
Most of the tour members crowded on to the porch for their lunch. Instead I stood in the light falling rain and took my quota of film. The light was perfect. and the high-speed Ecktachrome film responded effectively. The planting consists of a mixture of mid-season azaleas. Shape, coloration and blossoming indicate strongly the Japanese Kurumes and Kaempferis, and the hybrids of the Glenn Dale, Beltsville and Gable varieties. John's long association with Joseph Gable would certainly indicate that many of his hybrids are included.
In another section, a woodland with raised beds, delicate bridges, a mating bell and sylphide stump, is a most comprehensive collection of named and unnamed Gable material.
Rhododendrons have not been neglected. At every turn of a path there is a fresh surprise of ericaceous plants. Even the larger areas of forgotten evergreen azaleas add to this symphony of color. Here too are the plentiful beds of John's own hybrids, as yet unnamed, but reaching the climax of his rigid standards of selection.