7 a.m. on a fine summer Sunday
Arrived safely in NYC. NYBG doesn't open until 10 am for
nonmembers. Fordham University directly across the street. Campus
looks intriguing. Went walking around, until the NYBG opens.
Note to self: Always buy a
membership before striking out for a
botanical garden. Internet access and e-shopping makes that
possible even when it's a spur of the moment trip!
First impression of Fordham U. campus: Grand old
Right: A ginkgo tree dwarfs a 3-story building. At 60' tall
and perhaps 50 years old it's still young, a member of a species
that can top 100' and live for 1,000 years.
Above, left: Everyone loves to walk under trees to enjoy the
shade. Ironically, the more people who do this, the more
trouble the tree has as all those feet crush the air- and water
space from the soil around its roots. Above, right: Open spaces in
the groundcover around the base of this beech may be on account of
shade from the trunk.... or because tree huggers love to touch its
Big trees are becoming rare in cities, victims of constant
construction and renovation along with restrictions on root space
and degradation of the soil from so many feet seeking shade. So I
kept my eyes open for what Fordham's horticulturists might be doing
to maintain these trees.
They pay attention to the roots in many ways. Under some of the
trees there is an egg rock mulch covering an area as big as the
entire crown or more.
Note to self: Come back here on a
discuss this with the horticultural staff.
Ask how they keep this mulch weed free
and if they use herbicide, what they do to avoid the harm
when accumulated herbicide is absorbed by tree roots
or disrupts the soil microbiology.
One island bed in a very shady area looked nice as it added
some color along the walkways. Even better, it's space where water
can get into the soil beneath the trees -- better than pavement for
the trees overhead!
In many places on campus, color reminded me how much milder
the winters are in NYC, compared to inland in the Midwest: Fully
blooming mophead and lacecap hydrangeas. We just can't grow them as
well, darn it.
Oh, no! I see ash trees with thin
crowns and epicormic
We're always on the lookout yet
hoping not to see this, because we saw the very first emerald
ash borer (EAB) outbreak on the continent and have been
involved from day one with the Ag department and Extension to
educate people to this terrible problem. There were no exit holes
or woodpecker/bird damaged bark that I could see, but I suspect EAB
and will contact the hort staff to be sure they know this may be an
indication of the pest's presence.
I don't know much about architecture but think
of the buildings were pretty special... especially
with plantings that made them even more
10 a.m. Hmmm. Lots more ground to cover here and obviously nice
plantings all over -- I wonder how many gardeners realize that
almost all college campuses are also arboreta and garden?
However, I didn't have Fordham on my list when I made this
detour into NYC. My goal is to go to New York Botanical Garden and the Monet Garden display. So