Hi! My name is Josh Spece (surprise!). I live with my family on a small dairy farm in Eastern Iowa. In my free time I like to surf the net, design web sites, be outdoors, listen to music, and travel...unfortunately that doesn't happen nearly as often as I would like. I have a couple pets...a cockatiel named Fred, koi, goldfish...and every farm has a dog and cats.
My number one past time, though, is gardening. I guess you could call me a plant nut...the more unusual the plant, the more I like it. My passion for plants started when I was very young by helping my mother in the vegetable garden. Soon I had my own raised veggie garden that gradually became mostly annual flowers. As my interests expanded I began designing beds around our house and yard. I have a small collection of orchids I grow indoors under lights (*someday* they'll have a nice humid greenhouse...) and went through a brief African Violet phase, but have since given them all away.
My real weakness, however, is water gardening and hostas. It all started about ten years ago. I had always been fascinated by ponds and fish and finally talked my parents into installing a backyard pond. The hostas came soon after as my grandmother began buying them for her very shaded yard. Being the grandma she is, she often bought two of the same...one for her and one for me.
Now, ten years, close to 300 hosta varieties, and three ponds later, Iíve completed my AAS in Horticulture and my mom and I have opened a garden and gift shop specializing in, what else...hostas and water gardens! Our shop, In the Country Garden & Gifts, opened the spring of 1998. We've grown tremendously, but we still have a long way to go.
I was born with a form of Muscular Dystrophy, so I use a wheelchair to get around...not very convenient when it comes to gardening, but where there's a will, there's a way! I won't complain too much, because it has recently brought along an exciting opportunity. In September 2000 I attended a local Pond Expo and met Helen Nash...author of many books on backyard ponds and water gardening. A friend of hers I had been talking to online suggested I write an article about my raised pond for Helen's magazine, Pond & Garden. Turns out she liked my article so much, she offered me a regular column on accessible water gardening! It's ironic, really. I always hated writing in school and still enjoy other things much more, but I guess my teachers did a good job :)
Enough about me...sit back, relax, and (I hope) enjoy my little piece of the web!!
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