Archive for December 2012

Plants of the Week – December 17


I find myself repeatedly admiring the form, character, and presence of the mature Quercus macrocarpa growing in the Terry Shane Teaching Garden. The bur oak is a slow growing oak native to the eastern United States bearing a columnar habit in its youth developing a broad crown with age. The bark is textural with deep ridges. The ridges become perfect anchoring points for mosses and lichens to take hold. Photo credit: J. Coceano


A variety of cultivars have resulted from selections of Magnolia virginiana. One such selection is M. virginiana var. australis ‘Santa Rosa’, known for being one …

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A History of the World in 6 Glasses

By Tom Standage

Did you know that democracy was invented over a glass of wine? Or that brandy was once called the “water of life”? Or that distilled drinks helped the early settlers of America establish themselves as rulers of the New World? According to Tom Standage, the “flow of history” of human civilization can be told through the stories of a few important beverages: beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and Coca Cola.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good cup of coffee. But I will never be able to look at these beverage the same way again after …

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Plants of the Week – December 3

Magnolia grandiflora ‘Hasse’ is a cultivar of southern magnolia selected for its narrow columnar form. Trees typically reach up to 35’ in height with a spread of 10’. Magnolia grandiflora ‘Hasse’ is ideal for garden areas with limited horizontal space. A specimen can be seen growing in the Theresa Lang Fragrance Garden.  Photo credit: J. Coceano


Juncus effusus f. spiralis ‘Unicorn’ is a hybrid rush grown for its unique spiraling foliage. Rushes are grass-like plants that thrive in wet soils. Juncus effusus is a winter-hardy rhizomatous perennial. Containers around the Cunningham House and in the Cosby Courtyard feature this …

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