The front gardens look the best I have ever seen them. This is mostly due to the effort and care provided by Jean Cassidy, The Garden Manager and all around Arboretum Assistant. Jean started here in 2008 and is really doing a great job. She also supervises a volunteer group of local teens. Thanks to Angela, Ami, Jen, Rose and Matt. Their weed pulling and compost spreading is the other reason the beds are in such good shape.
In a June wind storm we lost most of our Champion Giant Dogwood (Cornus controversa). This tree planted in the early 1950s was the largest of its kind in the state. The tree has not completely left us. The main trunk is shattered taking with it most of the branches but there are several root suckers that have formed a good sized colony. We still need to finish cleaning it up to see how this will change the Dogwood Area.
The next two months we will put a lot of effort into controlling invasive plants. Mile a Minute vine, hops vine, and honey suckle grow very fast this time of year. Arboretum Assistant Ed Lyons often has his hands full of them as they are removed from the desirable plants. This can be a frustrating job as the task is endless, but thanks to Ed we are making progress. In many areas where the invasives have been controlled native plant like Jewelweed and Jerusalem artichoke are thriving. This decreasing the population of invasive plant and the encouragement of native and specimen plants is one of the goals in caring for the property.