Saturday, January 30, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Posted by ChrisU at 3:13 PM
Rosmarius officinalis 'Logee's Light Blue'......Rosemay is flowering in the Herb Garden (in January!)
Rosemary is an excellent evergreen shrub so long as you choose a hardy variety and site it so that it'll stay fairly dry in the winter.
Posted by ChrisU at 3:03 PM
I went to the National Agricultural Library today; I'm going to help with a design for the space around their new sign on Route 1. Oddly, it's been almost exactly a year since I toured the facility with a coalition of my garden clubs. Weird. Or not. Susan Fugate, my contact for the design is in charge of Special Collections. This includes rare books, a collection of seed catalogs, art including an incredible collection of pomological watercolors originally done as scientific records, posters, et alia. I got another nice walk through and snapped a few pictures. The two colorful catalogs are over 100 years old and the poster dates from WW1.The poster resonated with me, not because we're at war, but because....well, everybody's growing vegetables! I wonder if the big pink jar is rhubarb?
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Pinus palustris needles hang interestingly from the Witch hazel beneath it in the Coastal Plain section of Fern Valley
It's nice that often people call me when they see something interesting or beautiful enough that they want to share.The light shining through the Hamamelis flowers, leaves, and the Longleaf Pine needles was really beautiful. You can get a sense of if from this photograph but as always I fail at some level. Still, Joan had a full house of volunteers so lots of people were able to appreciate the curious vignette.
Posted by ChrisU at 4:54 PM
One of the things Lynn Batdorf wanted to do before he retired was to reopen the scenic overlooks at the Arboretum
When you look down Hickey Hill from the overlook, you see part of the DC skyline framed by tall pine trees. The opening is fairly narrow at the top of the hill and widens towards the bottom. Over the years deciduous trees seeded in along the edges and gradually grew into the opening. They both obscured the view, and interrupted the uniformity of the pine forest. Not so much anymore.
Posted by ChrisU at 4:45 PM
Big project today on Hickey Hill involves a lot of tree cutting and removal...we reopened the view from the overlook
After deciding on a safe, practical, and practicable strategy, Pat began by cutting a notch, or face cut; there are a few different types/shapes of face cuts. I think he used a Humbolt notch.When the notch was finished, the back cut removed enough wood so that the tree tipped forward on the remaining wood (the hinge), the weight of the tree broke the hinge, and the tree fell just where it was supposed to. Note the large cleared area around the tree. It's important to be able to move freely without tripping or stumbling. A 45 degree angle to the back allows for a safe retreat when the tree begins to fall. It's halfway down in the picture below.
Cutting up a downed tree, or "bucking" is at least as dangerous as dropping the tree, again requiring strategy and safety consciousness. Pat "bucked" this one particularly efficiently and the rest of us loaded it up and drove the pieces to the brickyard where they will be turned to wood chips and ultimately to mulch.
Posted by ChrisU at 3:40 PM
Posted by ChrisU at 3:56 AM
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Polyhouse 7 is a cheerful place in the winter...if you come in the back way, you enter under this Calamondin standard, x Citrofortunella
After a little research, I now know that the rest of the world considers this an extremely useful and tasty fruit. It is juiced, cooked into marmalade's and chutneys, added to drinks for flavor, eaten whole, and used for a variety of medicinal purposes. I suspect that the Lime I planted this summer in Florida, that looked so good at Christmas is now black and dead, a victim of two nights of sub 20F temperatures. Later this year, I'll plant a Calamondin as a replacement, and happily anticipate future explorations of its gastronomic potential.
Posted by ChrisU at 3:29 PM
Monday, January 25, 2010
Posted by ChrisU at 2:38 PM
This Cherry is right on the road from the Administration Building to the Gotelli Collection. You come upon it as you move from an open meadow to Gotelli.
Posted by ChrisU at 2:20 PM
Sedum rupestre 'Angelina'.....in a good location, that is, a bad location, this evergreen succulent flourishes to the point where it becomes a functional groundcover
Posted by ChrisU at 2:02 PM