Archive for March 2011

Announcing the Organic Lawn Brochure and Blossoming Research Efforts

Photo credit: N. Lewis

The Scott Arboretum has published a brochure detailing the concept, practices and research behind the Organic Lawn Initiative. You can view it online at or pick up a copy from the brochure box at the organic lawn, installed just below the stairs of Magill Walk.

Four Swarthmore College biology majors are studying the biological diversity in our soil and the effects of our organic and conventional landscape maintenance practices on soil organisms. Such knowledge will improve our ability to maximize soil fertility and plant health by harnessing natural ecological processes. Organisms including fungi, bacteria, protozoa, nematodes, and earthworms are …

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Chimonanthus praecox 'Grandiflorus' photo credit: J. CoceanoWitch hazels and snow drops are considered by many to be the superstars of the late winter garden.  While rightfully so, it shouldn’t be at the expense of other noteworthy plants.  Chimonanthus, or fragrant wintersweet, offers both flower and fragrance to the winter garden.

A member of the Calycanthaceae family, Chimonanthus praecox was introduced from the far east in 1766.  The shrub can reach 10 – 15’ high and 8 – 12’ wide in southern climates.  Michael Dirr’s observations find Chimonanthus attaining smaller proportions in northern zones.  Dirr theorizes that colder temperatures may regulate size and growth.  Hardy from zones …

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Plants of the Week – March 7

Snow crocus corner of Elm and Walnut (1) JWCCrocus tommasinianus, blooming on the corner of Elm and Walnut, are great early spring bulbs because they naturalize in the lawn: blooming, and then going dormant as the lawn begins to grow. photo credit: J. Coceano

Jasminum nudiflorum Pearson cont (5) JWCJasminum nudiflorum is an arching shrub whose habit is perfect for slopes, atop a stone wall, or spilling over a containers edge as seen here in front of Pearson Hall.    photo credit: J. Coceano

Zanthoxylum simulans (6) JWCZanthoxylum simulans, near the Falkner Tennis Courts, is also known as Flatspine Prickly-ash.  The small tree, averaging 15-20 feet, is known for its spines on both branches and stems. photo …

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