EDWIN JOSEPH TOTH
Ed Toth grew up in Newville, a small rural town in south central Pennsylvania. While attending high school, Ed developed his interest in gardening and during his senior year raised flower and vegetable plants for sale from cold frames and hotbeds he built. After high school, Ed attended Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture, Doylestown, PA, graduating in 1967 having majored in ornamental horticulture. At DVC he was active in the College’s A-Day program, OH Society and helped in staging the College’s exhibition at the Philadelphia Flower Show. During summer recesses and holiday breaks he gained further experience in horticulture by working at a landscape nursery and flower shops.
In 1967 Ed started graduate work at Purdue University, but left to work at George’s Flowers in Carlisle, PA. In 1969 he enlisted in the US Army Intelligence Corp, later attending the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California where he studied Thai. For the balance of his military career he served in Bangkok, Thailand.
Upon leaving the military Ed was accepted into the Longwood Graduate program at the University of Delaware. During his two years at Longwood Gardens and the University Ed conducted a study of Home Landscape Demonstration Gardens across the United States. He continues this interest today. For his Master Thesis he researched the “Derivation of the American Suburban Garden, 1825 – 1900” and hopes to write popular articles on this subject.
Upon graduating from the University of Delaware in 1974 Ed accepted a post as Superintendent/Horticulturalist at the Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai, Hawaii, While in Hawaii Ed was active in the Hawaii State Jaycees and served on their Bicentennial Commission. During his tenure in Hawaii Ed also worked with Dole Pineapple Company and with the University of Hawaii’s International Agricultural Program in tropical vegetable production on the island of Hawaii
In 1976 Ed returned to the US mainland and later accepted a position at The Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee where he served as the first Gardens Director. He developed their garden maintenance, apprenticeship and their educational program and activities including a lecture series, a short course program, and travel programs. After three years at Dixon Ed moved to Shreveport, Louisiana where he managed Griffith Wholesale Plants
During 1981 Ed decided to move back to northeastern United States to be closer family and later took up a post as Head Gardener and Grounds Supervisor at the J. Seward Johnson Estate “Jasna Polana” in Princeton, New Jersey where he put his many talents to good use.
In spring of 1984 Ed became Curator and Horticulturalist for the new National Country Garden at the US National Arboretum in Washington, DC. Ed was instrumental in bringing the NCG project to completion and was involved in the project’s management and daily operations. Ed writes and lectures on intensive gardening techniques and continues his interest in this subject.
In early 1985 he began an association with the Somerset county Park Commission in New Jersey. As head of the park system’s Department of Horticulture, in addition to his general duties, Ed oversaw the management of the Leonard J. Buck Garden, the Colonial Park Arboretum, and the Rudolf van der Goot Rose Garden. While in New Jersey Ed served as Project Coordinator in compiling information and assembling photographs for the New Jersey Gardens guide published by the NJ Division of Travel and Tourism.
Ed is active in the Garden Writers Association of America and has served on the Board of Directors. He has been a Professional Grounds Management Society member since 1977. In March 1988 Ed took up a post with the Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing New York as Director of Horticulture and worked on rebuilding the garden and preparations for the building of the five-acre Gardens of the Orient that will include a Chinese, Japanese and Korean gardens.
From September 1989 to September 1991 Ed worked as a Horticultural Consultant for Lehman Plant Care Company of Hicksville, Long Island selling tree care and pruning, fertilization, ecological plant care, turf care and landscape renovation to his clients.
In October 1991 Ed established his own business DeckScaping Limited in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, operating as Archadeck of Greater Harrisburg, a deck sales and construction service business franchise. During 1993 a new division called Gardens for You was established to provide unique and novel gardening products to south-central Pennsylvania. His special interest is to see public horticulture and Arcadeck flourish in Harrisburg and surrounding areas.
In November 1999 Ed started a new career with WorldAtMyDoor.com an Internet marketing and e-commerce business focusing on small businesses. As a initial member of the start of team Ed conducted lead generation, sales, marketing, website setup, site owner training, ongoing client services and support. In January 2001 promoted to Area Accounts Manager with expanded duties for AR collection, website vendor programming, area management. In August 2001 the Harrisburg office was closed and moved to Valley Forge.
Late in 2001 Ed worked for Resource Plus, a vendor merchandising company that provided vendor services to Lowe’s Home Improvement storeHe was District Lawn and Garden Service Representative assisting Lowes employees and manufacturers in driving the Lawn Garden business to achieve sales productivity goals and overall Lawn Garden performance. Ed serviced the stores in south central Pennsylvania — Harrisburg, Lebanon, West Lancaster, York, Hanover, Chambersburg and Mechancisburg.
In the summer of 2002 Ed moved to Jessup, Maryland to accept a position with USDA, APHIS, PPQ as a Plant Protection and Quarantine Officer serving the Port of Baltimore. He worked in the office and port in Dundalk and at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
During the summer of 2003 Ed took a position as Landscape Instructor at the Woodstock Job Corp Center, U.S. Dept. of Labor until February 2004 when he accepted a position at Horticulturist at the Smithsonian Institution Greenhouses caring for the Special Events and Interiors Greenhouses until January 2005.
In August 2005 Ed took a Horticulture Teaching position at Board of Child Care, Strawbridge School. He stayed on this job for three months before leaving Strawbridge. The behavior management of special education kids was not what Ed was looking for. In February 2006 started work for the Home Depot in Lansdowne as a Garden Sales Associate and Power Equipment Specialist for the spring season. In March 2006 found an online opportunity with DesignScape.com and online landscape design company based in San Diego, CA. Ed enjoys creating landscape designs for clients and working from home.
In November 2007 Ed joined F & F Landscaping in Brandywine MD as Project Coordinator where he assist in the operation and management of the company.
In August 2010 Ed joined the Washington Metropolitian Area Transit Authority (WMATA/Metro) as Supervisor, Landscape Programs as a staff resource person to the Superintendent, GMAC and the Assistant Superintendent for Landscapes. Ed also was an instructor at The Graduate School (formerly USDA Graduate School) for evening courses Principles of Horticulture, Perennials for Spring, and Perennials for Summer.
Ed is a Certified Arborist of the International Arboricultural Society and a Certified Pesticide Applicator.
Ed designed and developed his own garden in Jessup from 2002 to 2012 where he enjoyed creating, re-working and caring for Suan Toth II.
In August 2012 Ed sold his home and garden in Jessup to pursue retirement living in the Tropical Philippines.
Now he pursues tropical container gardening and developing and caring for a small parterre garden – Suan Toth III at his town-home in Sun Valley Estates, Antipolo, Rizal.