In the 1960’s, our culture was very different. One huge difference was in every day advertising. An example of this is cigarettes. Virginia Slims was a brand manufactured by Altria (formerly Phillip Morris Companies). The brand was introduced in 1968 and marketed to young professional women using the slogan, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” This catch phrase has worked its way into societal idioms and is occasionally still used. While thinking about the Arboretum and the fact that it is our 20th anniversary this year, I found the expression especially appropriate.
It’s the time of year when frost threatens the tomatoes that hang green on our plants. If you’re like me, you hate to see these fruits go to waste. On the other hand, your past attempts to coax these last fruits to ripen indoors might have been less than satisfying. Perhaps some additional information from horticulturists will lead to improved results.
It’s amazing to look back at pictures from a cold spring day 20 years ago when volunteers were planting the first trees at the Arboretum, and then to take a walk in what is quickly becoming a real forest. The growth and change is striking. Even year to year, the growth at the Arboretum is incredible. Just this year, we started a really fun new project for the Children’s Garden that is a Hobbit House and Garden. In addition, we planted over 57 new trees, created a new Buffalo Plant Sculpture (Mosaiculture), finished planting the new Master Gardeners Orchard, and created a trail through our new 4 acre butterfly meadow. It’s been a busy season!
In the past, the gardens have been extremely quiet during the month of October. We understand; the kids are back in school, the Cedar Valley has an abundance of cool fall activities, and the holiday season is just starting to begin – you’re busy! However, we would love for you to take advantage of our 35 acre oasis this fall and come enjoy walking the gardens. We promise you won’t be disappointed! Still need convincing? Keep reading for the four top reasons for you to visit the gardens this month!
First, a bit of history. When the Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens began, two of the largest trees in the pasture were honey locusts. It was the natural setting for planners to begin work on what is now our current Shade Garden, and the same trees still tower over the setting.
Some years ago, Lynn Kramer, an Arboretum supporter, arranged to obtain specimens of all the daylilies that had won the prestigious Stout Award up to that point. The plants came from the extensive collection at the Kansas State University Gardens in Lawrence, Kansas. In 2011, that collection was updated to replace plants that had not survived and to obtain the newer varieties that were not a part of the original grouping. Since that time new Stout winners have been added as they receive the award and become available.
“I think that I shall never see; a poem lovely as a tree.”
This old verse is often quoted and was created by an American writer known as Joyce Kilmer. According to Wikipedia; “Joyce Kilmer (born as Alfred Joyce Kilmer; December 6, 1886 – July 30, 1918) was an American writer and poet mainly remembered for a short poem titled “Trees” (1913), which was published in the collection Trees and Other Poems in 1914.”
The Children’s Garden has always been a particular favorite of many visitors to the Arboretum, and I don’t necessarily mean just the kids. It appeals to the inner child in many of us.
This year, we have been lucky enough to welcome a passionate rosarian, Edwina, onto our gardening staff. She has worked tirelessly to ensure that our Rose Garden will be looking beautiful all season, and wow, her work has paid off! If anyone reading this has been fortunate enough to be able to visit our Rose Garden this year, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t had the time to visit this year, I strongly encourage it! Let’s learn a little more about Edwina’s background with roses, and then we’ll move on to some burning questions you may have about your own rose bushes.
Our gardens and the farmers’ markets offer a bounty of this season’s crops, including strawberries and rhubarb. The blog writers are eager to share some of their favorite recipes for these tasty treats. Enjoy!