5 reasons to visit the Fall Harvest Festival

For many families in the Cedar Valley Area, the Arboretum is a hidden treasure full of fun activities and memories to be made. With magical hiding holes, mysterious gnomes, and a variety of gardens to explore visitors are sure to find something that brings a smile to their face. The Fall Harvest Festival is our annual celebration in honor of the end of the season as our last large event. If you weren’t one of the over 3,000 people who attended the festival last year, we hope that you’ll think about joining us this year on September 22nd & 23rd and see what the hype is all about!

CVA Fall Harvest Billboard posterflex_18


Reason #1: There are so many activities!

Each year our committee meets and discusses what ideas we want to bring to the festival for that year. This year the introduction of a new sponsor level helped us bring in fun entertainment such as the petting zoo on Saturday. The popular Hobbit activities are making a comeback this year with the chance to use the slingshot and participate in the middle earth quest as well as some new additions such as haybale horses. There are crafts, photo opportunities, and educational opportunities.


Reason 2: The festival is free to Arboretum Members!

Free admission to the festival is a perk for each membership level and a great value for families who want to attend both days. Families are able to come and go as they please throughout the day without worrying about re-entry fees which is great if you have a soccer game or other event on the weekend but also don’t want to miss out on the fun.

Scarecrow Comittee.JPG

Reason 3: See the scarecrow committee’s hard work on display!

Our scarecrow committee starts to meet in late spring and build the scarecrows that are available for auction. Many of our scarecrow committee members have been building scarecrows for the auction for 3 or more years! We couldn’t do it without the help of Jerry who generously lets the committee take over his property for a few months.


Reason 4: You get to enjoy nature!

Even though there is the hustle and bustle of the festival going on you can still find quiet places to sit and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine or listen to the birds sing or watch butterflies flutter by. With 40 acres to explore you’re able to enjoy time away from screens and technology and disconnect with the rest of the world. For those who aren’t fans of walking, the trolley ride takes you out to the furthest part of the Arboretum grounds and lets you see areas of the Arboretum you may have never seen before.


Reason 5: You help support the Arboretum!

The Fall Harvest Festival is one of our largest events which helps bring in thousands of new visitors and shares our mission to enhance the quality of life for all individuals through horticulture. When visitors attend the festival, they enrich their lives by helping us nourish and share the beauty of the natural world, the joy of gardening, knowledge of plants, and the diversity of our world. In our increasingly technologically based world, we are a vital part of providing a space where people can disconnect and spend time outside. Every visitor who comes through the gardens, every photo taken and hashtag shared, every scarecrow bid on, and every recommendation to attend the festival (and the gardens) in the future helps us to continue our mission.

While everyone has their own reason for attending the festival, we hope that this list intrigues you enough to come and see our little celebration for yourself. Bring the family, bring the dog (on a leash of course) and bring your love for Iowa and the outdoors. We’ll see you on the 22nd & 23rd!


A History Rewritten-2003

By Paul Kammerdiner

2003-1What! Wait a minute, who set the time machine controls for February? Well no matter, we can bump the time up a bit and land in more favorable conditions.


Ah, this looks more promising, but we should not forget that every year we always begin our same cycle and that starts with


I didn’t find any photos of the annual retreat again this year. I am sure, however, that while the gardens are sleeping many people are anxiously awaiting another growing season. From the director’s notes: Hired Josh Blough as full -time summer gardener. Target donated books for the Children’s Garden Library


  • Children’s Garden Dedication

I just made up the name, all I have are a few pictures of what looks like some type of mini-event. I do know that Helen and Max Guernsey were long-time patrons of the Arboretum and major donors for the Children’s Garden


Speculating again, it looks like what is now the back gate of the Children’s Garden may have been the main entrance at the beginning

  • Alice in Wonderland Tea Party

All I know about this one is that there were several pictures with this caption on them

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  • Country Garden Brunch


  • Ice Cream Social

This is what the caption on the pictures say, but it looks like what was going on was a demonstration of powered parachute flying


  • Classes


Fairy Gardens


Mud n’ Muck

Who wouldn’t want to do this one?


Trash to Treasures


  • Volunteer Breakfast


  • Hope

I don’t know what this was, but the shirts all say hope on them, whatever it was, it appears that everyone is having a good time.

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  • Fall Harvest Festival

It looks like we had activities for the kids



  • Parking Lot

In the original master plan was a provision for what was called a temporary parking lot. This was designated that way as the welcome center was temporary as well in anticipation of eventually building an event center.

Up to now, we have been parking up on tower hill, but this year we are ready for a real parking lot which will be down in front of the head house.

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What was a single pathway up to the Head House now becomes an oval around a center boulevard. The Ethnic Garden is now gone.

The gravel becomes the finishing touch


We graded the old parking spot on the hill and added some greenery


  • Kiosk

Now that we have a parking lot down the hill, the entrance will be from there so we install a new Kiosk that welcomes you to the gardens


  • Entrance Gate



Now that the parking lot is finished along with grading and adding gravel to the entrance road, this is what the entrance looks like, but not for long. Following is an image of an issue from our newsletter dated November 2003. The image is a little faded but it says:

The Arboretum main entrance; now located off Orange Road; is remodeled with $30,000 raised by a committee chaired by Jan Guthrie. A new gate is put in place with funds donated by Bill and Harriet Rickert. This gate is designed by Harriet’s son Brian Barnes a landscape architect in Chicago.


The following is an excerpt taken from an article written by Craig Gibleon:

“Leonard Truax donated much of his time to create the fieldstone pillars, using his exceptional masonry skills taught to him by his father, Harold.  The road is newly-graded with a fresh limestone surface.”


This is what our entrance gate looks like at the beginning of 2003


This is what was built for us

This photo shows what the gate looked like with the pillars and after it achieved its patina.


  • Fern Gully

This year we created a new garden called the Fern Gully. There was a garden in the Master Plan, Phase 1-B, called the Fern Grotto. The description for it is as follows:

“The fern grottos along the Mississippi palisades in northeastern Iowa provide the inspiration for this garden. During the Victorian Era fern grottos were popular as a cooling retreat from the summer heat. At this location on the hillside, seep springs occur, and these can be enhanced by bringing drain tiles from the upper gardens to daylight at this location. An irrigation and misting fog creating device can also be employed to enhance the environment for an extensive fern display of as many types as are hardy for this site. Ferns come in such great variety and popular interest can be generated.”

The red dot on the image below shows the location of this garden from the Master Plan.


I am not sure if we were using this as a model, but, according to our site files, a new garden was created this year that we called the fern gully.

Here is a quote from that file:

“Fern Gully” was constructed with ferns, pieces of wood and small dogwood trees. Initial funding for the project came from a memorial gift in honor of Maurine Crisp’s mother.  Arches with shade cloth were installed to shade the garden.”

This space would change and evolve over the next several years. At one time it was common during and after heavy rains for this gully to have flowing water in it.


  • Rose Garden

It’s still early days for the Rose Garden. Notice, there is no fence to the left of the photo and none to that side or in the back


  • Community Gardens

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  • Individual Gardens (Display)

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You can see a raised bed from the Enabling Gardens in this one as well as some of the Individual Gardens


  • Enabling Gardens


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  • Trial Garden

This is for the Food Bank, we have done this before


  • Espalier

Is this a garden or trees? If you have been with us, you may remember this was created in 2000. The picture captions call it the Apple Wall and it is coming along.



Here is the list for this year from the computer disk.

Tree Species Number Planted
Red Maple 5
Snake Bark Maple 1
Northern Catalpa 14
Pagoda Dogwood 3
Sunburst Locust 1
Northern Red Oak 3
Bur Oak 1
Scarlet Oak 1
English Oak 1
Ginkgo 1
Green-spire Linden 1



The engine that makes us go!

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Back into the time machine and away we go to next year.

A History Rewritten- 2002


There is a flash of light as our time machine bursts into 2002. As we hover in the air we get a clear picture of what has happened since we were here last. The grass field to the West (top of picture) is relatively unchanged, the Ethnic Garden is there, no parking lot yet. Moving East (toward the bottom of the picture), we see the Head House. Notice that the service road in that area delineates two square shapes. The one to the left of the picture is where the green scene gardens are while to the right is empty space with a bit of the nursery still remaining. If we keep coming toward the bottom we can see the brand-new Rose Garden (no fence or surrounding trees yet). Crossing the North-South service road we come to the Tower Hill area and it is pretty much the same except on the North end is a new complex which is the just completed Children’s Garden and Education Center.


Looks like for a while we quit taking pictures of the annual retreat and I didn’t come across any paper documents.


  • Memorial Day Event (Freedom Tree)

September 11, 2001, is a date we all remember when our country suffered a terrorist attack. This year the Federated Garden Club planned an event at the Arboretum to commemorate that time and to plant a tree as a memorial. They chose a spot in the newly created Children’s Garden

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  • Grand Opening of the Children’s Garden

We can see from the document below that this event was quite elaborate and contained several components.


Orkin put on a display all about bugs, of course


We had music


The schedule included hot air balloons and small aircraft

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Of course, there were loads of things for kids

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  • Organ Donor Night

From the time it opened, the Children’s Garden has been an excellent venue for events

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  • Children’s Garden

This project has been in the works since 1999, our time travels even showed us a glimpse of the ceremonial groundbreaking back then. At last, after three years of hard work, we are ready to build.

To refresh our memories; the Master Plan says in part: “children visiting the garden should have a place for their own needs, a safe and stimulating environment where whimsical structures for climbing will allow them to expend some of their abundant energy……” “this garden will offer greater freedom of movement and exploration to youngsters and serve as a gathering space for many educational activities.”


The red dot shows us where it was on the Master Plan and we find that the present location is very near this spot. There is a four-page document in the archives called the concept plan, rather than include copies of the entire thing; I am listing the main points from this document, but first a quote from the opening statement of the plan.


“The Children’s Garden is designed for playful and engaging education. It is not conceived as an active playground or a pre-school tot lot. The garden is meant to support the teachers, docents, and educational programs for school children between the ages of 6-12 in grades 1-6. The goal of the garden is to stimulate inquisitive thought and encourage critical analysis. The garden is meant to train the young scientific minds of future scientists.”


Main points and/or features

  • Storybook garden
  • Different animal homes and habitats
  • A compass Rose
  • A sundial
  • A water- channel
  • Shade structures
  • Weather station
  • Fast plant garden
  • Windbreak play area
  • Soils study area
  • Compost study area
  • Prairie butterfly maze
  • Sand area

We should note here that the original concept was changed early on to accommodate an Education Center as evidenced in this document shown below, given the early success of our Earth Connections program and the stated importance of education in the Mater Plan, it is not surprising that the garden shed has given way to an Education Center.


Now let’s take a look at the actual building process

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One item of interest that has to do with the Children’s Garden is the advent of our T-Rex.

According to an article in our newsletter dated March of 2002, an 8 feet tall steel Tyrannosaurus Rex created by welding students from Hawkeye in 1993 was looking for a new home. So, Sparky, as he was named by the students, was donated to the newly created Children’s Garden. He originally resided in some type of cage by the sandbox, according to the article. Today you can find Sparky in the tall grass right outside the Children’s Garden fence.


Sparky (this photo taken after he was moved outside the fence)


Photos from this year seem to have been limited to the newest gardens, the Children’s and Rose Garden.

  • Rose Garden

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  • Children’s Garden

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According to the disk, lots of trees this year, many one-of-kind. A lot of them went into the Peek-a-boo forest in the Children’s Garden

Tree Species Number Planted
Pagoda Dogwood 1
Emerald Green Arborvitae 1
False Cyprus 1
Kentucky Coffee Tree 1
Swamp White Oak 1
Ginkgo 1
Weeping Mulberry 1
White Ash 1
Patmore Ash 1
Hosford Dwarf Eastern White Pine 1
Pendula Eastern White Pine 1
Dwarf Scots Pine 1
Norway Spruce 1
Dwarf Canadian Hemlock 1
Montgomery Colorado Spruce 1
Serbian Spruce 1
Mutant Mountain Hemlock 1
Bristlecone Pine 1
Little John Douglas Fir 1
Japanese White Pine 1
Rocky Mountain Fir 1
Korean Fir 1
Golden Raindrops Crabapple 1
Red Jade Crabapple 1
Quaking Aspen 7
Little Leaf Linden 1
Princeton Gold Maple 1
Hard Maple 1
Crimson Frost Birch 1
Northern Catalpa 1


My favorite topic

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Things are happening at the best green space around; can’t wait to see what lies in store!


By Rita Lynn

Your Cedar Valley Arboretum membership automatically enrolls you in the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Program.  Ever wonder how far that program reaches?  A friend, on hearing that I would be vacationing in Hot Springs, Arkansas, highly recommended that we visit the Garvan Woodland Gardens there.   That visit was put on our “must-see” list and was our first destination.  The entrance fee at Garvan is $15 per person, and, on seeing my AHS card, the greeter happily honored it and waived the entire fee.  So began a wonderful day!

Garvan Woodland Gardens occupy 210 acres of woodland landscape and 4½ miles of shoreline on Hamilton Lake, in view of the Ouachita Mountains.  The land was initially owned by Verna Cook Garvan, heiress of family fortunes earned in a brick and tile business, and in a lumber company.  Purchased in about 1915 after a timber clear-cut, commercial timber cutting was never again allowed there.  In about 1956, Mrs. Garvan began to develop the land as a garden and for a future residence.  Seeing how other structures around the lake disturbed the beauty of the wilderness, she eventually opted not to build the residence.  She proceeded to dedicate herself to laying out paths, designating which trees were to be removed, and choosing thousands of plants and their locations as she developed her garden.  Nationally acclaimed architects were then enlisted to design the Garvan Pavilion in the center of the original plantings.

On Mrs. Garvan’s death in 1993, the property was bequeathed to the Department of Landscape Architecture through the University of Arkansas Foundation.  The gardens are now an independent department of the University’s Fay Jones School of Architecture.  In addition, Garvan Gardens enjoys the support of the Arkansas Legislature, Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, many private donors, and more than 3,500 members.

The mission of the Gardens is to preserve and enhance that unique part of the Ouachita Mountain environment; to provide a place of learning, research, cultural enrichment, and serenity; to develop and sustain the gardens, the landscaping and structures with exceptional aesthetics, design and construction; and to partner with and serve the surrounding communities.

As we wandered the gardens, places of natural beauty met us at every turn and on every path we followed.  Stately trees formed the backdrop for bushes and cultivated garden beds.  Streams, ponds, waterfalls and picturesque bridges abounded.  Although they looked as if they had been there for millennia, each water feature was intentionally designed and built, including placing boulders to make the hillsides look like a natural mountain terrain.  It looked as if natural springs flowed over these many features, but water is actually pumped throughout the gardens from the adjacent Lake Hamilton.  Displays change with the seasons, with special exhibitions throughout the year.  One of the highlights is a holiday light festival, featuring colorful lights throughout the gardens.  We arrived in time to enjoy the end of the azalea and hydrangea blooms and the beginning of summer plantings.

Garvan Gardens offers a wide variety of educational opportunities ranging from such topics as bonsai lectures to fly fishing demonstrations.  Day camps for children take place during summer months, and docent training occurs throughout the year.  The Gardens offer accessibility to visitors using wheelchairs and families with children in strollers.  Dogs on leashes are welcome, although they too are charged an entry fee.  Spectacular, architecturally significant venues – the Pavilion, an amphitheater, and the Visitors’ Center, as well as an incredible chapel complex – offer places for special events booked throughout the year.  Visitors can enjoy a fairy garden, a model railroad display, a koi pond, a children’s garden, the resident peacock and peahen, and a wildflower slope.  And a variety of foods are available at the Chipmunk Café.  Under construction now is a huge tree house structure designed by architects at the university to provide children of all abilities the opportunity to directly experience the woodland environment.

Garvan Woodland Gardens is amazing showplace, the result of harmony between natural beauty, landscape design, and architectural marvels.  It is an award-winning prime attraction in the Hot Springs area, and I will remember my visit there with awe in the years to come.  To ensure you don’t miss experiences like this, remember to take your AHS card when you travel.  Look for gardens and arboretums en route or at your destination.  A list of benefits can be found at <ahsgardening.org/gardening-programs/rap/find/statebystate>

A History Rewritten 2001

By Paul Kammerdiner


We have landed in the first year of the new century and once again let’s take a look.


The entrance road and service road are more defined by now. We can see the green building, which is the Head House about in the middle of the photo. Notice the line of White Spruce along the North, behind it, are becoming more established.

To the South is the Ethnic Garden (the round one) seen in 1999 and farther on, closer to the road we can see a line of what are lilac bushes. I only know that because they are still there today. Looking East across the path from the Ethnic Garden on the Southside we can see the Green Scene Gardens. Present day there are trees in this spot.

The major activity is still going on to the East of the Head House, we can see the Nursery and then what looks like tilled ground and in the middle of that the new Rose Garden. (see the white crescent and short path)

We can see the greenhouse for the Enabling Garden beyond that.

Notice especially that there are no trees yet right next to the service road as it turns West from the entrance down towards the Head House.

Notice also the path South of the Head House where it turns East toward tower hill, this is where the Arrival Garden will be, in front of the Green Scene Gardens.


Again, this year I am without any photos or documents that talk about the annual retreat. That doesn’t mean no planning took place in the Winter, I am sure it did. I have one document that suggests that plans for the Children’s Garden are in full swing. This document is evidence of a huge fund-raising campaign.



I had to search diligently to find something for this year. I finally came across something in a copy of the View. Notice at the bottom where it says 2001 CVABG Highlights


We had a class put on by Jean Durbin, an Ice cream social, and the Fall Festival



  • Rose Garden

There were actually two rose gardens called out in the master plan: a formal rose garden and a shrub rose garden. Our rose garden started out as a vision from two of our volunteers, Arnold Webster and Craig Gibleon. Because of Arnold’s association with one of the most famous of rose hybridizers, Griffen Buck, our rose garden was to be a tribute to him and planted primarily with Buck Roses: see the quote from a document written by Arnold Webster;

“It should be no great surprise that one of the first formal collections at the Cedar Valley Arboretum would be those in the garden of Buck Roses. Every rose aficionado knows the story of  Dr. Griffith Buck (1915-1991) and the eighty-plus roses that are attributed to his brilliant work as a hybridizer.”

Furthermore, Mr. Webster was a former roommate in college with Griffith Buck who become a professor of horticulture at Iowa State.

This garden began during the growing season of 2001 but sadly in December of that year, Mr. Webster passed away. However; under the expertise of Craig Gibleon the Rose Garden continued to take shape. Early plant lists in our archive show 30 different cultivars of Buck Roses in this space.


Arnold Webster

Let’s take a look at what the Master Plan had to say on this topic

First, the Formal Rose Garden: “the rose, more than any other ornamental plant embodies a long and enduring history of ornamental horticulture in Western civilization” it goes on to say:

“The plan for the Formal Rose Garden represents traditional European design with a classically shaped fountain at the lowest grade in the garden. Around this central feature, the proposed beds offer an opportunity to display hybrid tea roses by type, category, history, and color.” The red dot on the image below that says Formal Garden shows the location for the Formal Rose Garden


I am going to speculate that this is not the type of garden Arnold and Craig had in mind.

The other mentioned rose garden was the Shrub Rose Garden, it is the green dot on the plan above. Quoting from the Master Plan: “shrub roses are gaining popularity owing to their long blooming periods and disease resistance.”

Let’s say that this is closer to what Arnold and Craig were looking at doing, although we know for sure from the documents that their idea was all about Buck Roses, which are shrub roses. In any event, our Rose Garden started out as a showcase for Buck Roses and was located much farther West, on tower hill between the Head House and the Community Gardens.


The Rose Garden


The Rose Garden



Nothing in the way of individual photos of gardens. This is all I have


We can see the Community Gardens and a glimpse of the Herb Garden


In the foreground of this one is the new Rose Garden, in the background to the left is some of the Enabling Garden


My computer disk only shows 4 Hackberry and 10 Techny Arborvitae planted this year. However, there is the following record of at least one more tree.


This is the Federated Garden Club planting a Kentucky Coffee, they are calling the freedom tree to commemorate 9/11.


I must always stop and pay tribute to that most special group of people that make everything happen.

Every aspect of this place is touched by them and happens because of them. If I had 50 photos of volunteers from 2001 I would post them, but I only found 2.


Bob Frenchick and Scott Dimburg

One of the unique things about our folks is that we have fun while we work.


Linda Shulte, Jan Guthrie, Sara Jansen, Maurine Crisp

As we bid farewell to 2001, one last look at tower hill


Time to go, another year awaits!

Neonicotinoids: Helpful or Harmful pesticide?

Written by Beth Lavenz

Back in March, Kristine Nemec of the Tallgrass Prairie Center gave a presentation about planting a small prairie or butterfly garden in your backyard. Students were fascinated by her information and how easy it seemed until we began talking about plants. Kristine talked about where she purchases her plants from and mentioned that many big box stores sell plants that have been treated with nicotinoids already. She tends to avoid these stores for plant purchases as she believes in limiting the number of pesticides that her gardens receive and rightfully so. When it comes to using pesticides, those troublesome garden insects are not the only organisms being removed. Non-target organisms can also be affected and may include natural predators for invasive bugs and garden visitors like bees.  Many plants we purchase today have already been treated with pesticides and may be impacting our gardens without us knowing about it.

While “low impact” pesticides exist, some gardeners and activists believe that even a low impact on the environment can be too much. However, the argument for or against pesticides is for another day. Long-time gardeners have tailored their garden practices to include a number of natural and commercial applications however the impact of one group of pesticides in particular, neonicotinoids, is beginning to get a lot of attention.

Neonicotinoids are pesticides that are chemically similar to nicotine. Companies began developing neonicotinoids in the early 80’s in response to pest resistance, especially in agricultural and crop settings and the pesticide became widely available in the 90’s. Hailed as the latest and greatest, the pesticide was promoted for its low toxicity to other insects and animals, however, the research is divided in regards to the effect of this pesticide on the environment. There are seven neonicotinoids used in a variety of garden products available today. You can tell if a product uses a neonicotinoid if it has any of the following as ingredients: acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, nithiazine, thiacloprid, or thiamethoxam.


According to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, neonicotinoids severely impact the health of non-target insects, especially bees. Once applied, the pesticide is absorbed through the soil and through testing, the plants attempting to take nutrients from the soil have been found to transfer some of the pesticides to the pollen and nectar of the plant. This increases the chance that non-target insects, like bees, will receive secondary exposure through the pollen rather than primary exposure, such as being sprayed with the pesticide. Due to the difference in the size of bees vs the plant they take pollen from, smaller amounts of exposure can easily impact the health of bees. Another concern focuses on the length of time that neonicotinoids remain in the soil and the amount that remains after multiple applications. Another issue related to the use of neonicotinoids include the application process which can transfer the pesticide to other plants through the air and water.

Neo Info.PNG

This infographic comes from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation’s publication “How Neonicotinoids Can Kill Bees” 

Neonicotinoids work by paralyzing insects and blocking the messages sent to the insects’ nervous system. A study done by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation found that four out of the seven neonicotinoids were found to be highly toxic while the other three were found to be moderately toxic to honey bees. Incorrect application procedures can cause drift from the target plant to others in the area or be carried along in water and sent downstream affecting more than just the originally treated plant. Preventative applications often found in agricultural settings change the need for previous biological predators which can impact the variety of insects, both good and bad, visiting your garden.

Ultimately neonicotinoids can be used as an absolute last resort to pest management but the best option for gardeners looking to limit their impact on the diversity of insects in the garden would be to prepare an integrated pest management plan and use other options such as crop rotation and neem extract to fight against pests in the garden. By learning more about the effects of the products we use in our gardens we can help to limit the amount of exposure vulnerable populations, such as bees receive to these deadly pesticides.

References & Resources to learn more:



http://ento.psu.edu/publications/are-neonicotinoids-killing-bees (The infographic comes from this resource and can be found on page 17)














A History Rewritten: 2000

Written by Paul Kammerdiner

CVABG-Part 5

We have now arrived at the two thousand’s, despite all the fears of computers causing the end of the world (remember y2k?), we kept on chugging along at the Arboretum.For whatever reason, there was not much in the way of photos or other documentation for the beginning of this first decade. I have to be content with showing you what I have, beginning with what the CVABG looked like this year





Even though the service road off the entrance now extends to the West to the Head House, for the next few years people continue to park up around the tower.


This photo really gives us some perspective, looking back from now. Notice, to the West, no Rose Garden. Also to the North, everything ends at the fence. To the West, there are no Arrival Gardens, just the Nursery and then the Head House


No photos or documents to look at. I am sure, however, that the annual retreat took place and some plans were made.

2000-3This photo from March shows the beds for the Community Gardens, we have planted some type of conifer trees along the fence to the North and the shelves remain from the Bonsai display.


Again, no documentation for me to look at. I know there was a Fall Harvest Festival at least.


  • Children’s Garden

Remember in 1999 that a ceremonial groundbreaking took place for a new Children’s Garden. This is the year for the project to begin in earnest.


This document outlines that beginning

  • Head House

Looking at the site file on the head house, I find this one line in the history summary: “2000.  Office was built in the Head House.” I do know that prior to this year, this building was used for equipment storage, so am assuming that space was made for an office, probably for the Executive Director. It was still there in the left side corner when I first volunteered here in 2009.


  • Community Gardens
  • Display Gardens
  • Enabling Gardens

Again, I have little in the way of documentation for this year, but if you look closely at the photo that is a repeat of one of the first shown, you can see evidence of the continuation of the community and the different annual gardens.


The community gardens are on the right side of the photo and left would be the Iris beds, Raised beds, and the Herb garden. Top right, in front of the parked cars I think are the Green Scene gardens


This is one of the enabling garden beds in front of the greenhouse

This looks like a special occasion, but I don’t know what it was, how tantalizing traveling back in time can be



My computer disk only shows 5 trees for this year; here they are

Tree Species Number Planted
American Yellow Wood 2
Scarlet Oak 1
Harvest Gold Crabapple 1
Hackberry 1 

In an article in the View written by Arnold Webster, I find reference to an espalier being planted on the new fence adjacent to the community gardens. It is called an Apple Wall in the article because it is composed of apple tree branches. Espalier, according to Wikipedia, is an ancient form of training tree branches against a flat surface, usually fruit trees. I am going to say this qualifies as tree planting


I didn’t have any photos of the Espalier in 2000, but here it is in 2008


Only one photo of a volunteer that I know for sure comes from 2000.



Tim Sprengeler


Our stay here is only for as long as we have things to look at, so away we go


Recipe for a garden-by Beth Lavenz

When you think of a garden, you’re not likely to associate the different flowers and plants as integral parts of the recipe to create a garden. Flowers are not easily measurable like dry ingredients and it’s no easy feat to tell when a garden is complete by using a toothpick. All joking aside though, many people think that gardens and cooking are two completely different worlds, however, there are many similarities to the work of a chef or baker and the work of a gardener. Continue reading

A History Rewritten- Part 4 by Paul Kammerdiner

1999  From a time- machine, you always can look down on a place!

1999-1Notice the top left of the photo, we can see the Head House, cars parked up by the tower and stretching to the East the fledgling arboretum, we can also see the new road (Arboretum Drive) to the top of the photo. The red line is where the entrance was supposed to be for CVABG.



This is a good year to introduce my axiom for CVABG; Ever Growing, Ever Changing!

Planning always starts in the months prior to the growing season so we can devote the warm months to working outdoors as we build and plant.

  • This year we have a new Executive Director, Sue Shuerman.

Lots of things going on as we pick up the pace and start some major additions to our green space.

Continue reading