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March 2010


In this issue
  • New Signage Interprets Blackwell Footpath
  • Spotlight on...Stachyurus praecox
  • Roses Highlighted Among New Library Books
  • Take A Class: Growing Plants From Seeds
  • Artist Lynn Avery Presents The Sacred Forest
  • Winner Selected in Lilac Sunday Design Contest
  • Marie Stella Offers Sage Tips on Going Green

  • Spotlight on...Stachyurus praecox

    Stachyurus praecox, the spiketail, was introduced into cultivation from its native of Japan in 1865, yet is still rarely grown outside of botanical and collectors' gardens. This is unfortunate, because spiketail is considered one the finest of winter-flowering shrubs. In mid March, the plant produces stiff, weeping racemes of creamy yellow, cup-shaped flowers. The contrast of the plant's pale flowers and its arching, mahogany-red stems creates some dramatic flair in the late winter landscape. Plants leaf out after flowering with lustrous, dark green leaves that may turn rosy to yellow in autumn. Since it is marginally hardy in Zone 6, the Arboretum's best plants grow in protected areas, such as the microclimate in the Explorers Garden and the south side of the Hunnewell Building.

    Roses Highlighted Among New Library Books
    Arnold Arboretum Library and Archives

    The Arnold Arboretum Library, established in 1893 with 6,000 volumes from the personal collection of founding Director Charles Sprague Sargent, has grown to more than 40,000 volumes encompassing a wide range of plant-related topics. Recently, the library received a generous donation of rose books from the family of Malcolm M. Lowe. A rose cultivator and breeder, Mr. Lowe was a recipient of the Lester F. Harrell Award for significant contributions to the study, preservation, and popularity of old garden roses in America. The library makes its resources available for on-site use by the public. Visit the library and its handsome reading room in the Hunnewell Building between 10:00am and 4:00pm, Monday through Saturday.

    Take A Class: Growing Plants From Seeds

    Late winter finds gardeners preparing for the impending growing season, and for many this means starting seeds indoors. From annuals and perennials to trees and shrubs, success can be achieved if you understand what triggers germination. Arboretum Propagator Jack Alexander will share his expertise for starting various types of plants from seeds on Saturday, March 13 from 9:00am to 1:00pm. This workshop is for beginners and those frustrated in past attempts to transform seed to seedling. Students will leave class with a selection of seeds raring to grow.

    Artist Lynn Avery Presents The Sacred Forest

    On Saturday, March 13, the Arboretum opens The Sacred Forest, an exhibition of paintings by Concord artist Lynn Avery. On display in the Hunnewell Building lecture hall through April 25, The Sacred Forest celebrates the power and spirituality conveyed by an ancient or immense grove of trees. Inspired by mounting evidence that trees around the world are increasingly at risk, Lynn Avery has created a series of forceful, large-scale paintings that suggest the intensity of trees and communicate concern for their uncertain future. Join the artist at the exhibition on March 13 from 1:00 to 3:00pm for a free opening reception.

    Winner Selected in Lilac Sunday Design Contest

    For the past several years, the Arnold Arboretum has held a competition to create the logo design for its most popular annual event, Lilac Sunday. The winning design is featured on Lilac Sunday T-shirts, signage, and promotional materials, and becomes a part of Arboretum history. The Arboretum is delighted to announce that Lisa Rosowsky of Framingham, MA, is the winner of the 2010 Lilac Sunday T-shirt Design Contest. You may purchase Lisas winning design on T-shirts sold in the Visitor Center and on the grounds during Lilac Sunday festivities on Sunday, May 9.

    Marie Stella Offers Sage Tips on Going Green

    Landscape historian and designer Marie Stella embraces the Renaissance ideal of merging art and technology. This principle guided the design of her teaching site and landscape laboratory, Beaver Lodge (pictured here), created to address and promote environmental awareness, reduced energy consumption, sustainability, and innovative uses of plant material. In a lecture at the Wellesley College Campus Center on March 22 at 10:30am, Marie will explore the process of building an energy efficient, sustainable house and integrating it with a responsibly managed landscape. Join her for a vision of architecture and landscape that harmoniously blends art and technology toward a more ecologically-friendly future.

    All images from the Arnold Arboretum Archives except spiketail photo courtesy of Great Plant Picks, Avery exhibition image courtesy of the artist, and Beaver Lodge image courtesy of Marie Stella.

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    New Signage Interprets Blackwell Footpath

    In February, the Arboretum installed new interpretive signs along its Blackwell Footpath in the Bussey Brook Meadow. Funded by the Arboretum Park Conservancy, the signs feature changeable graphic panels designed by volunteer artist Anne Schmalz, displayed in permanent frames. In both their physical design and thematic content, the signs reflect the goals of the Arboretum's 2008 Interpretive Master Plan.

    This installation is part of the Arboretum's continuing efforts to enhance the visitor experience, and provide continuity of interpretive display through all parts of the landscape. This spring, this project continues with the addition of five new interpretive signs in other locations in the Arboretum.

    Find out more about the Arboretum's Interpretive Master Plan...
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