Thursday, February 28, 2008

Robert Mowbray's Tour of the United States Botanic Garden

February 23, 2008: Robert Mowbray, a tropical forest ecologist, natural resource management specialist, and USBG docent, led 10 members through the collections at the United States Botanic Garden. The discussion ranged widely from endangered and threatened species, to non-native plant invasions, to sources for commercial plants (coffee, vanilla, starfruit), to plant mutation and hybridization (corn) to the pharmacalogical use of plants, the addictive nature of caffeine, the diplomatic problems of plant exploration and the distinction between a rainforest and a jungle (it's a second-growth rainforest).

Bloom of the cacao tree (l); from this small flowers grows the large pod that contains the cacao beans.

SITE UNDER CONSTRUCTION, Please return later.

Our February Phlox

Monday, February 25, 2008

Signs of Spring at National Arboretum

To the right in this view of the Anacostia is the blood-twig dogwood "Winter Beauty" "(Cornus sanguinea)"

The very fragrant wintersweet (chimonanthus praecox)

A Chinese witch-hazel (hamamelis mollis)

Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis)

The Lenten rose (helleborus orientalis)

Bird Sanctuary, 9th & C SE

Friday, February 15, 2008

Green Walls and Vertical Gardens

An ice storm notwithstanding, Lisa Delplace of Oehme van Sweden gave a spectacular program on the current technology for green walls and vertical gardens at the regular February 12 meeting. She started with an overview of green roofs and the structural challenges for planting green walls. She showed examples from Paris, the U.S. west coast and in Washington D.C., particularly the PEPCo installation on the Georgetown waterfront and the Finnish Embassy. Del Place also discussed plant selection. Depending upon soil condition, sunlight and irrigation, plants can range from sedum, to Alpine plants to native perennials.

For more information, she provided these weblinks:

Vice President E.J. Truax (below left) presided; Mary Weirich (below right) introduced the speaker:

Vira Sisolak (below left) introduced this month's garden volunteer; Wendy Blair (below) spoke about her work on the HILL GARDEN NEWS newsletter.

Gardens of the Adachi Museum of Art

Staff members of the Adachi Museum of Art in Yasugi City, Japan, presented a program on the development and maintenance of the museum's gardens, which themselves are considered works of art, Thursday night, January 17 at the U.S. National Arboretum.
The museum's gardens are meticulously pruned, replanted and maintained creating, in effect, eternal mature gardens. They are viewed, not by strolling through the gardens, but from windows inside the museum. The gardens are designed so that the gardens and the distant forests and mountains have the illusion of a seamless whole. Go here for online views of the gardens.

The orchid Oncidium Twinkle "White Cap" a/k/a "Fantasy Fragrance":

Monday, February 11, 2008

Member Gardens

At the January 8 meeting, Muriel Martin-Wein (above) spoke of her volunteer work at Turtle Park and three members discussed the development of their own gardens: Lynne Church(below left), Lorraine Fishback (below right) and Rachel Abramson (below center).

Bob Conly (below left) oversaw the digital projector and Joyce Jones (below right) emceed: