Archive for July 2010

Organic Lawn Consultation with Eric T Fleisher

Testing soil at Mertz Lawn. photo credit: C. Robertson

Following a full day of soil science education and information exchange with consultant Eric “T” Fleisher, Swarthmore College’s Organic Lawn Care Initiative is one step closer to implementation. As I discussed in my last blog post, I am spending my summer internship helping the Grounds Department and Scott Arboretum transition the five-acre Mertz field into an organic lawn, and Monday, July 12 was a critical day in this process. T’s visit is the first pass toward a feasible and effective detailed program design.

We approached T after hearing about his work on Harvard University’s Soils Restoration Project, upon which our …

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Plant of the Week – July 26

Zelkova serrata 'Goshiki' photo credit: J. CoceanoZelkova serrata ‘Goshiki’ photo credit: J. Coceano

Hibiscus moscheutos 'Lord Baltimore' photo credit: J. Coceano

Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Lord Baltimore’ photo credit: J. Coceano

Cunninghamia lanceolata 'Glauca' photo credit: J. Coceano

Cunninghamia lanceolata ‘Glauca’ photo credit: J. Coceano

Adina rubella  photo credit: J. Coceano

Adina rubella photo credit: J. Coceano…

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Firmiana simplex

Firmiana simplex leaf photo credit: J. Coceano

The John W. Nason Garden is filled with dramatic textures and forms.  The fine texture of Nasella and Amsonia juxtapose beautifully with large-foliaged plants like Catalpa, Paulownia and SilphiumFirmiana simplex, the Chinese parasol tree, is another dramatic character.  The two specimens located on the grounds of the Scott Arboretum are found behind Trotter Hall.  Firmiana hails from Asia and is a member of the Sterculiaceae or chocolate family.

The Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs notes that Firmiana is “a noble foliage tree of medium size for the mildest climates.”  The large, rich green maple-like leaves …

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