We had droves of visitors today; two of them spotted this festering ooze on Korean Hill where once a Styrax japonica had stood. They noticed it from the road possibly with their noses; it smelled mighty bad.
Visitors and flowers were everywhere and the pollen is so heavy you could almost taste it. A few regulars, including Mary Pat, mentioned that it seemed like "visitorship" (my word, not Mary Pat's) has been up significantly this spring. I've had that same feeling myself but it could just be the wonderful weather following our winter from hell. I had the same feeling much of last year though. Im taking a good read on this and think two things: one, that we, staff and volunteers, have made, over the last ~3 years, significant net improvements to the appearance of the Arboretum; and two, that it is having an effect on local visitors. Two trips a year, or three, or four, or five instead of none or one or two. It's a more interesting place (see Brad's plantings around the Administration Building, the new improved Herb Garden, Fern Valley, Capitol Columns, and on and on) and a much better maintained place, see the New York Avenue fence line,many of the Research Nurseries, the Ellipse, the R Street gate and adjoining fenceling, the Friendship Garden, the Flowering Tree Collection, the peripheral areas around Holly Magnolia, areas around the Asian Toolshed..... I could go on, the edges of the Beech Woods, the Prunus triangle, Hickey Hill Overlook, Mt. Hamilton Road, the backside of Fern Valley, the Grove of State Trees. All these areas look significantly better than they did five years ago.