Plants of the Week: December 15

Betula costata, the Korean birch, is considered by some to be the most attractive of all the birches. Young trees produce voluminous amounts of peeling bark. Trunks become more smooth and creamy white with age. Photo credit: J. Coceano

Garden location: Southwest corner of Sharples Dining Hall


Billbergia, like so many bromeliads, offer unusual foliage colorations and patterns and sport dramatic, otherworldly flowers. The Bromeliad Society/Houston is a fantastic online resource on bromeliads. Several Billbergia, overwintering in the Wister Center Greenhouses are in flower. The Society has this to say about Billbergia: “Billbergias grow mostly …

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Message in a Bottle: Garden Holiday Gifts

Everyone is always in search for a gift with a personal touch. Why not send a garden message in a bottle this holiday season? Practice upcycling and creating unique garden gifts even the non-gardener will enjoy.

All you need is:

  1. glass bottle (does not matter the kind)
  2.  goodies from the garden (bark, needles, leaves, berries)

Follow three simple steps:

1. Remove label from the bottle. (Some labels come off by scraping while others require a soak in water.)

2. Insert garden goodies into the bottle. (See tips below.)

3. Tie decorative ribbon around the top and add a gift tag. …

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Plants of Week: December 1

The Japanese larch, Larix kaempferi, is native to and common throughout central and northern Japan where it is an important forestry crop. In the wild, mature trees typically reach 70’ – 90’ tall with a broad conical crown and horizontal branches. Bright green needles turn yellow in fall before dropping to the ground in winter. Like Metasequoia and Taxodium, Larix are unique conifers due to their deciduous nature. Photo credit: J. Coceano

Garden location: between Sharples Dining Hall and Clothier Hall

Just about every publication cautions about the spines on Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Sasaba’. While the spines are certainly …

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