The Renewal and Success of Lied Lodge & Conference Center
By James R. Fazio | July 24, 2017
“I have stayed at Lied Lodge a few times for different purposes, always with a group or conference. The ambience is amazing, hospitality is top-notch, food is wonderful, and conference services are the best. Best of all is the dedication to environmental stewardship.”
When a guest commented on his experience at Lied Lodge & Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebraska, he summed up the goals of the facility, giving staff reason to celebrate.
In 1990, this concept was only a dream and some plans on paper. In 1993, the new building was ready for use. By 2015, corporate leadership at Wyndham Vacation Ownership and the Omaha-based Peter Kiewit Foundation recognized the more than 20 years of success and special contributions made by this unique facility and its staff. As a result, and with the added financial support of Arbor Day Foundation members, they sp..
Ask An Arborist
Ask an Arborist: How do I Choose a Nursery Tree?
By Arbor Day Foundation | July 21, 2017
Good tree care starts with a healthy tree. When shopping for trees at a nursery, there are numerous types of trees to choose from. Before buying a tree, there are three factors to consider: tree function, form and size, and site conditions. These factors will help you choose a tree that is appropriate for its planting location.
When choosing a tree, think about what purpose you would like the tree to serve. Are you adding a tree for beauty? Privacy? Windbreak? Shade? The type of tree you choose will be dependent on how you want it to function. If you’re planting to add beauty, a flowering tree is a great option. Evergreens work best when planting a windbreak or privacy fence and offer year-round color. A large deciduous tree will give shade, keeping your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Form and Size
Selecting the right form and size of..
Since ripping out the turfgrass in my new townhouse garden in 2012, I’m still waiting for the turfless garden to look DONE, like Evelyn Hadden’s new garden seems to have done in barely a season.
Here you see the front garden in late May, after the azaleas were done. The evergreens on the outside are barely growing at all. Wish I were more patient about them but that’s never been my strong point – in gardening or in life.
Last year’s new perennials are taking their sweet time, too. Who doesn’t love Amsonia hubrichtii – and wish they could buy them full-grown already? I recently added some Little Bluestem ‘The Blues’ to fill up the border and they looked good immediately, however short.
Thankfully my favorite volunteers are going strong and because I’ve massed them over the years, they have a real impact – Rose Campion and Pink Evening Primrose.
Vigorous as always is the groundcover Sedum takesimense lining the path. Every visitor asks about it.
Sun-tolerant Coleuses have been outst..
The roof now
Buffalo is not landscape architecture central. Aside from a large Olmsted park system (that’s been adulterated in spots), I find many WNY public landscapes uninspired. Private gardens are the thing here; almost 500 of them will be open to the public next week.
However, I do have a favorite local landscape architect. I’ve written before about Joy Kuebler’s forward-thinking public and private garden designs. We worked together on an unusual Show House exterior landscape in 2009, but, before that, in 2007, I visited Joy’s house to see my first green roof. It was also the first to be installed in WNY.
The 200 square foot roof is over her office, a separate building behind her house. The October installation was quite an event, with local green industry professionals and students invited to witness it. A company from Pennsylvania (Lichtenfels) provided the complex structure, as no local nursery had the training to do this (at that time). In fact, when Joy told people she was..
Bota Box Sponsors Arbor Day Foundation’s First Facebook Live Tour
By Coe Roberts | July 20, 2017
This is a recap of our April Facebook Live Tour supported by our partners at Bota Box. We are grateful to them for helping to make this trip possible and for their long-term commitment to the trees and forests of our nation.
Early Monday morning I headed to the mountains to meet with U.S. Forester Sage Finn at the Manitou Experimental Research Station in Pike/San Isabel National Forest. It was serendipitous that the first stop on our tour was at Pike National Forest, a forest Bota Box is helping plant trees in this year. I admired the sun bouncing off Pikes Peak as I drove down the winding road that led to the research station. If you’re ever in the Colorado Springs area and want to explore attractions other than the popular Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak excursions, call the Manitou Experimental Research Station and schedule a tour with a forest ra..
Tree of the Week
American Holly: A Mystic Icon
By James R. Fazio | July 18, 2017
The American holly tree has been popular since the beginning of American history, having served Natives with wood for different applications and berries that were used for buttons and barter. It was said to be a favorite of George Washington, and more than a dozen hollies he planted are still evident today. The first scientific observation of the American Holly tree was recorded in 1744.
Holly sparked spiritual status and a place in traditions dating back to ancient Rome and Saturn, the Sun God. Romans used holly to ward off lightning strikes, and they often included it as a decoration when giving gifts. Druids hallowed the evergreen plant, appreciating its greenness in the drab winter landscape. To them, holly became a hair ornament and outdoor home decoration that offered woodland fairies a place of shelter.
Early Christians borrowed the holly traditions when Christmas became e..
The other day, a visiting friend gasped when he saw a rat run across a corner of the suburban Connecticut yard where I garden during the week. I shuddered when he told me. I could guess what had drawn the creature: we have a henhouse full of geriatric chickens who are not the neatest of creatures. Indeed, I found the mouth of a burrow in one end of their run, and I took measures to evict the burrower. I didn’t hesitate; I know that if the rat proliferates, the neighbors rightfully will complain and the chickens will have to go.
Yet later, as I was pondering this visitation, I spotted a chipmunk sitting in the crotch of the sourwood tree (Oxydendron arboreum) that tops the tangle of bare-knuckled perennials my wife and I grow in front of our house. And the unfairness of the situation struck me. Why is it that the chipmunk, also a rodent, passes as cute, while rats are almost universally hated?
In fact, most of the charges leveled at rats also apply to chipmunks. For example, chipmunks..
Replanting Our National Forests
Summer Brings Blazing Forest Fires
By Bradley Brandt | July 14, 2017
The aftereffects of wildfires is devastating to wildlife and the natural landscape
When fires sweep across forests, the sight of these charred landscapes is devastating. Thousands of trees are burned and hundreds of wildlife species are left without cover. Many animals instinctively flee forests once flames begin, but for many young and small animals, their plan of escape fails, leaving them vulnerable. The effects of wildfire doesn’t end once the flames are extinguished. It is a long path to recovery and we are determined to be a part of it.
This year marks the 27th year the Arbor Day Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service have partnered together on forest restoration projects. In 1990, we offered our support and the desire to focus reforestation efforts on urgent, large-scale projects on federal lands. The first project we supported was on Gallatin National Forest, res..
These days I follow dozens of gardening channels on Youtube, especially those of Extension universities, where there are hundreds of good veg-growing videos are to be found. Except for the topic of turfgrass, videos about ornamentals are a lot less common.
So naturally I noticed this guy – Gary Bachman, with an actual Ph.D. – teaching ornamental gardening for Mississippi State’s “Southern Gardening”. The videos – now 190 of them – are made available at no charge to TV stations across the South, about 90 percent of which DO air them on their local news shows. Southern Gardening launched in 1996 and Bachman became the second host of the show in 2010.
In a phone call, Bachman told me that for Mississippi State it’s about using nontraditional ways to teach the public to garden. Besides local TV, the videos are available on Youtube, on Facebook, and as a podcast. There’s also a weekly Facebook Live event that’s “strictly no-script.” Bases covered!
The approach taken in the videos is very..
Photo from the 1924 film: The Dramatic Life of Abraham Lincoln.
I stared out my elementary school window for years, bored out of my skull, determined to forsake fractions for adventure. The Ohio River, my escape route, was a few miles away.
My curiosity for the river life was inspired by Huckleberry Finn and amplified years later by Harlan Hubbard’s Shanty Boat and the follow-up, Shantyboat on the Bayous, both published in the 1950s.
Carolyn Brooks must have read my mind when she sent me an email a few weeks ago:
“I am attaching a charming little clipping I found in an 1837 issue of the New Orleans True American. I never know what to do with the wonderful little tidbits I find on subjects completely unrelated to whiskey, but I try and think of somebody who might appreciate them.”
The clipping pertained to botanical goods for sale from the boat of John D. Stack, at a landing in New Orleans that year.
Ad from the New Orleans “True American.” March 2, 1837.
Carolyn Brooks is an his..