A History Rewritten-2005


We have landed smack in the middle of the first decade of the 21st century and things are happening PLANNING

  • Three Year Strategic Plan

I found a 3-ring binder that documented the work of a sub-committee chaired by Nancy Friedman, that was brainstorming major projects. Space would not allow me to reproduce all of the material here, so I will give you a list of what this group was thinking about.

  1. Construct a centrally visible structure to recognize tributes and donors
  2. Construct a drop-off at the top of tower hill
  3. Enhance the Children’s Garden main entrance and sign (on the East side)
  4. Put colorful plantings along paths and meadow flowers in the Southeast corner of Hess and Orange Road
  5. Create a 3- mile walking path around the site
  6. Install movable vehicle barriers as well as vehicle directional signs
  7. Upgrade irrigation system
  8. Re-locate tool sheds
  9. Re-locate or sell the green house
  10. Design walking path to Shade Garden
  11. Design special events center
  12. Design hard surface paths through the grounds
  13. Design construction of a natural pond in the Sesquicentennial Forest

From Director’s Notes:

  • Hired two full-time summer gardeners
  • Installed 12 of the green metal signs throughout the Arboretum


  • Wine and Scare Crows

This is an event that was put on for many years, this is the first evidence that I found that looks like it. I am not sure it started this year.

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  • Fall Harvest Festival

Only had records of these two events, but the king event is very much in evidence

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  • Upgrade to the parking lot

Remember that we saw the evolution of parking as it moved from up around the tower to down the hill in front of the Head House. Now might be a good time to look at parking according to the Master Plan. In that plan, there was to be a temporary parking lot by the temporary visitor’s center. This temporary visitor’s center is about where the Head House is, so the parking lot we are talking about here is about where the temporary parking lot would have been.

Anyway, this project was designed to make this spot more attractive. Following is a quote from the site files.

“Catalpa trees and boxwood shrubs were planted as a ‘green’ parking lot.  Larry Kurtz with AHTS, Waterloo was the Landscape Architect.  Waterloo City Forrester, Todd Derifield, planted the 14 catalpa trees.” (it would seem from the computer disk, that these were planted last year.) Driving into the parking lot, you will notice that it has been renovated and expanded.  The parking area in the center of the parking lot will have 100 hardy boxwood shrubs to serve as bumper guards for cars.”

The following photo shows the ultimate result of this project, it was taken three years after the project was completed.


  • Walkway to the college

This was to create a pathway for easy access from the college to CVABG on foot. A quote from the site files. “Constructed a 220 feet long walkway to Hawkeye Community College from the parking lot and Head House.  Also installed brick walkway in the parking lot.”

This pathway exited onto Campus View Drive, across the street from the college parking lot.


  • Arrival Garden

Quote from the site files:

“As a long-time supporter of the Arboretum, Craig Ritland, Ritland Landscape Architecture, donated his professional services to design the Arrival Gardens.  A variety of shrubs, evergreens and deciduous trees create a sense of mystery as visitors walk along the entrance path to the gardens and Arboretum.  Craig envisions a layered effect to showcase multiple colors, shapes, sizes and textures which will be combined for aesthetic appeal.  Varied in texture and form, the Arrival Gardens stand as a welcome to visitors. The planting showcases trees and shrubs suitable for visitors’ home landscape.”

This description better fits the Shrub Garden from the Master Plan. In the Master Plan there is an Arrival Garden and there is a Shrub Garden. The red dot on the following image says Annual and the green dots is the shrub garden


In the garden descriptions from the Master Plan, the red dot is called the Annual/Arrival Garden and you can see where it was to be located. Quoting from the plan. “The arrival garden should be simple, colorful, and change from year to year.”

The shrub garden in the Master Plan is the green dot and here is the shrub garden description. “The shrub garden will be an extensive collection displaying both native and exotic shrubs.  The native species could be located with the Sesquicentennial Forest and its native trees as its backdrop.  Visitors will be able to see labeled plants grouped by species and new cultivars of the species selected for improved characteristics such as fall color, good fruit display, and disease resistance.  Viburnums, dogwoods, hazelnuts, chokeberries, and elderberries, to name a few, will be planted along the south side of the perennial garden creating a beautiful backdrop for the floor display.  On the north side of the perennial garden will be the exotic shrub display showing the best varieties of the lilacs, cotoneaster, forsythia, hydrangea, and spirea, old and new.”

None the less, our present-day garden was named the Arrival Garden in 2005 and remains that to the present day. This garden was planted by volunteers as a showcase for the types of shrubbery that do well in our area. It is located just to the East of the Head House about where the Nursery has been.

  • Brick Path

This walkway leads from the Head House to a gravel path to the kiosk installed last year and then turns to go through the Arrival Garden and up to tower hill. This has become the point of entry to the gardens from the newly renovated parking lot. I didn’t have any photos taken when the garden and walkway were created in 2005, the one below was taken five years later.



  • Tim’s Garden

If you recall from our earlier journey back in time, the first garden planted was the Wattle Garden, it was on tower hill adjacent to the tower and just East of the entrance. It was used as one of the garden spots to display annuals. Looking at the site files I find this entry for this garden spot in the space in the file for history:

“Circle drive installed in 2005”

I believe this is when the Wattle Garden became a different garden, entrusted to the care of longtime volunteer Tim Spengler. I assume that it was in this time frame because in those same site files is this entry for Tim’s Garden:

“The existing access drive to the radio tower from Orange Road is positioned at the safest location for visibility of approaching traffic on Orange Road.  This driveway will need to be upgraded to provide the two-way access to the garden site for both visitors and to begin garden construction.  In the future, this will remain as a service access road.  A temporary identity for the gardens will need to be developed at this location with planting and signage.”

Notice especially the bold type in that quote. It would seem that the Wattle Garden was one of those gardens that took on a “temporary” identity. That identity has changed again this year and is now known as Tim’s Garden


This is obviously a photo taken in the fall but this gives you an orientation, remember back and you discover that this the same spot as the Wattle Garden. You can even see those original fence posts on the left side by a tree where the Clematis were planted nine years ago.

  • Fern Gully

This garden is taking on a new identity this year as well. From Director’s Notes: Converted Fern Gully to the Alpine and Rock Garden


As noted last year, this garden extends all the way to in front of the Education Center

  • Arrival Garden

I am including the space along the East edge of the parking lot in this garden.

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  • Children’s Garden

It looks like to me that the entrance to this garden is still from the North Gate and so, there has been an effort to beautify the grounds along the fence on the outside of the garden

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  • Community Gardens

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  • Individual Gardens

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  • Head House Garden

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  • Herb Garden


  • Pond Garden


  • Rose Garden

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We are still doing a trial garden




From Director’s Notes: Planted 80 trees for windbreak, shade, and improve general collection though I’m not sure what trees these were.


Our people are always hard at work, there are hundreds of hours being put in by many wonderful folks.

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The Community Gardens have been a feature since the beginning and starting in 2005 we have some records of the people that planted one or more.

  • Carol Ackerman                      Howard and Roberta Craven
  • Jan Eardahl                             Rita Garertson
  • Diane and Jack Golden           Ann Herzog
  • Janet Ludolph                         Liz Rath
  • David Roberts                         Kevin and Susan Shreiber
  • Mary Severts                           Tim Spengler
  • Dorothy Wright

As our time machine ascends, we take a backward glance and on to next year.


You can clearly see the site taking on a more definite outline with delineated path-ways and service road that now runs behind the children’s garden.