Sustainability Topics

Mummies in the Wister Greenhouse-IPM at the Scott Arboretum

When I was young I asked Santa for a greenhouse. I secretly hoped for one in the Lord and Burnham style, the kind featured in the glossy British gardening magazines. Realistically I was willing to settle for one with polyethylene panels. I knew Santa had many lists to check off. What “Santa” brought was a custom-built cold frame, complete with a hinged glass door to allow for ventilation. I was thrilled! As plant enthusiasts, we often dream about a greenhouse and all the plants we can grow, display, and overwinter. The romantic ideal eventually wanes and reality sets in: greenhouses …

Continue reading »

Organic Lawn: One Year Later

Organic lawn in August 2011. photo credit: L. StiebitzRecently Nicole Selby, our gardener leading the organic lawn effort, interviewed with local garden reporter Virginia Smith of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Nicole discussed upon our philosophy, efforts, and challenges to date.

DSC00324

Organic lawn during the wet month of August. photo credit: L. Stiebitz

How is it working? The 2011 growing season has been extreme from hot and dry to wet and soaked. At the moment, though, the conventional and organic lawns all look the same – green.

Learn more about the organic lawn in these past posts.

Listening to the Organic Lawn

Announcing the Organic Lawn Brochure and Blossoming …

Continue reading »

Playing in the Dirt: a Twist

Preparing the clay for the earthen wall. photo credit: R. RobertAll gardeners like to play in the dirt. Well, the latest art installation on the grounds of the Scott Arboretum takes playing in the dirt to a whole new level. This project entails building walls out of dirt. Starting this week and continuing until October 7th, students, volunteers, and community members will help artist Massey Burke, 2000 alumni of Swarthmore College, construct an earthen wall.

RHR 004

Massey Burke prepares the site for the construction of the Beardsley Earthen Wall. photo credit: R. Robert

Massey Burke has been teaching and practicing natural building techniques for seven years. She has built homes to …

Continue reading »