Monday, September 22, 2008

Norma Merritt

Fort Washington, MD, Sep. 21: Tanta-Cove Garden Club member Norma Merritt is almost a one-woman environmental protection agency along the Potomac River south of the Wilson Bridge. Sunday was such a beautiful day that she went rather far:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fungus Invades Hilleast

Sep. 13-14: Appearing seemingly overnight, these mushrooms/toadstools caught our attention and then, a day later, they were huge!
For the Mushroom Festival in Kennett Square, PA go here.

Breeding Breakthroughs at September Meeting

Sep. 9: Dr. Robert E. Lyons, director of the Longwood Graduate Program of Public Horticulture at the University of Delaware, presented a terrific program on breeding breakthroughs in petunias, zinnias and impatiens and a rundown on "edgy" plants, both woody and herbaceous:

o Woody Plants (note that all may not be hardy in the northern zones)

§ Edgeworthia chrysantha/papyrifera

§ Betula nigra ‘Summer Cascade’

§ Ulmus alatus ‘Lace Parasol’

§ Gardenia augusta

§ Emmenopterys henryi

§ Daphniphyllum macropodum

§ Lindera salicifolia

§ Abelia chinensis

§ Wisteria frutescens ‘Amethyst Falls’

§ Ternstroemia ‘Variegata’

§ Ternstroemia ‘Burnished Gold’

§ Heteropterys glabra

· Herbaceous Plants (A – annual/tender perennial; P = perennial)

o Ipomoea batatas (Ornamental Sweet potato) A

o Helianthus hybrid (perennial sunflower) P

o Rudbeckia hirta ‘Indian Summer’ P (et al.)

o Muhlenbergia capillaris P

o Hemerocallis hybrid (altissima hybrids) P

o Cissus discolor A

o Manihot esculenta A

o Kaempferia A

o Solanum quitoense A

o Solanum quitoense (thornless form) A

o Solanum pyracanthum A

o Spilanthes oleracea A

o Cosmos sulphureus A

o Cosmos caudatum (?) A

o Leonitis leonurus A

This was the first meeting for new president Elvira Sisolak, who introduced program chair Alex Belano, who introduced program committee member Ed Peterman, who introduced his former professor Robert Lyons.

The club bid farewell to Ellen Davis. It was her last meeting before retiring to California.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tree Houses at Tyler Arboretum

Media, PA, Sep. 7: Tyler Arboretum is arguably the oldest in the United States. William Penn deeded the land to a family which held it for 8 generations before a descendant in 1944 bequeathed it as a public arboretum. However, systematic plantings of trees and shrubs began as early as 1825.

Note the groundhog (below r):

We were drawn by a special exhibit of 17 tree houses, which were enticing families and children into visiting an arboretum. However, only a handful were actual tree houses. The "Best in Show" was this cantilevered structure:

Runner up was this pink elephant of recycled materials:

This was close, but turned out to be an academic study in reconstruction after Hurricane Katrina; note the high water mark in the left closeup:

At least this one got off the ground and incorporated lots of play:

Honorable mention goes to a reconstruction of Thoreau's cabin with the Tyler pond standing in for Walden Pond:

This bamboo structure didn't get off the ground:
You couldn't go in this "tree house" (l); and not even children could fit in this "Hobbit" house (r).

There was no tree in these play houses:

Others were "tree houses" only in concept, or context, or contemplation. They seemed to have too much art school and not enough play.
One was a collection of hammocks:

Another was a collection of viewing platform to "see" trees differently:

Here, recycled rubber, died blue, was used to trace the root system of a tree:

This platform emphasized how birds of prey might use a dead tree as a perch from which to hunt in a meadow; Our hunt found this bee:

This Cape May structure was an homage to blue bird houses:

A cacophony of cow bells was facilitated by this structure:

The last was a study in river birch habitat: