Posted by Carol Stocker
Thinking about joining the Friends of the Arboretum or renewing your membership? The Members' Plant Giveaway is on on Saturday, September 15. Free plant quantities are determined by membership level, and attendees may also participate in special drawings for remarkable plants. Experts will be on hand to help you with selections and to answer your woody plant questions.
You can apply as a School Programs volunteer guide and train to lead small groups of schoolchildren through an active learning program about plants and the natural world. Prospective guides must be able to volunteer for a minimum of two seasons, and prior experience with teaching, counseling, or volunteering with children is preferred. Training sessions begin this month, focused on introducing new guides to the basics of botany, the curriculum of the Arboretum's diverse field studies, and the Arboretum landscape as an outdoor classroom. Call Nancy Sableski, Manager of Children's Education, at 617.384.5239 for more information.
Arboretum members enjoy reciprocal benefits at gardens and arboreta affiliated with the American Horticultural Society, though some restrictions may apply for institutions within a 90-mile radius of the Arboretum. During Massachusetts Botanic Gardens Reciprocal Membership Week, August 11-19, members of any of nine participating institutions in the Commonwealth can enjoy free admission and other benefits when visiting these sites.
Curatorial Assistant Susan Hardy Brown has prepared specimens for the Arboretum's herbaria for a quarter century, utilizing aesthetic sensibilities cultivated in her vocation as a visual artist. Continuing this month in the Hunnewell Building, Ex Herbario is an exhibition of more than 50 pieces that evocatively incorporate some of the materials and ephemera associated with her daily work with plants collected from all over the world. Her paintings and constructions renew these found materials and offer viewers a unique perspective into the realm of preserving plants for identification and long-term study.
See current and upcoming exhibitions...
Celebrating its tenth anniversary this summer, the M. Victor and Frances Leventritt Garden holds a unique plant collection that includes a diverse selection of vines suitable for New England landscapes. The Arboretum grows more than 100 accessions of vines, which climb on modular steel trellises, grow along the fieldstone walls, and cling to the supports of the garden's open-air pavilion. A member of the buttercup family, clematis is a vine that climbs with twining petioles and bears flowers highly prized for their showy sepals and stamens. Its pollinated pistils expand and curl to form a round, feathery seed head that extends its ornamental interest into the fall.
Enjoy plants in our Featured Collection...
Three 30-foot-tall, 23-year-old ginkgos growing near the Arboretum's Bussey Street Gate are being studied from top to bottom as part of the first-ever effort to define the entire community of microbes found on the above-ground surfaces of a large tree. Senior Research Scientist Peter Del Tredici and Arboretum Director Ned Friedman are collaborating with Noah Fierer, Jon Leff, and Samantha Weintraub from the University of Colorado to sample and analyze the trees' microbiome--the complete record of their microbial associates. While the microbiome of humans has been well studied, those of plants are largely unknown. This project hopes to fill this gap by identifying what species of microbes live on these trees and how they vary according to their location from top to bottom as well as from north to south.
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