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The practical book of outdoor flowers / by Richardson Wright ; with 9 illustrations in color 134 in doubletone, and 4 plans.

New Book Arrivals - Tue, 03/13/2018 - 4:00pm
The practical book of outdoor flowers / by Richardson Wright ; with 9 illustrations in color 134 in doubletone, and 4 plans.
Author: Wright, Richardson Little, 1887-1961.
Call Number: SB405.W95 1924b

The Beauty of Orchids in Ikebana

Garden Blog - Tue, 03/13/2018 - 10:11am

Meditative, artful, and transporting. In a way, the experience of seeing Asia in Bloom: The Orchid Show is much like ikebana, the traditional Japanese art of flower arranging. On display now through March 25, this new feature of the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Orchid Show invites you to pause and reflect on this historic art form.

ikebana

Ikebana is the traditional Japanese art of flower arranging.

The practice of ikebana (ee-kay-bah-nah), also called kado (or, the “way of flowers”), dates back approximately 600 years. Originally, men and women arranged flowers as Buddhist offerings for altars at temples. Since then, ikebana has established itself as an art form beyond religious ritual, and is often seen displayed in people’s homes. 

Though it is now a secular practice, ikebana carries deep philosophical meaning. When arranging flowers in the ikebana style, the arranger is invited to remain silent. The silence creates a meditative space for the artist to connect with and appreciate nature more closely. For ikebana floral designer and Garden volunteer Shelley Galloway, the connection between nature and person is key.

Orchid ikebana display

Ikebana with Phalaenopsis orchids and ferns

“Love of nature, the desire to convey the inner essence of the plant material, and the ability to give a personal interpretation reflecting the artist’s own view of the world are all important components of ikebana,” said Galloway.

Although ikebana designs can be created with all kinds of flowers, the designs on display at this year’s Orchid Show feature the main event: orchids. 

“Unusual orchid varieties were most attractive to my eye for use in the ikebana arrangements,” said Galloway. “The Garden provided us with some very tiny colorful orchid plants whose arching stem structure gave me the shape I wanted to echo.”

The art of ikebana is more than simply putting pretty flowers in a vase. Ikebana is known for its distinct asymmetrical style and the use of empty space. Attention to harmony and balance is key, as in many other traditional Japanese art forms. Ikebana is also customarily taught by a teacher, who instructs you how to insert flowers into a base or container.

ikebana-orchid-show

Harmony and asymmetry are hallmarks of the ikebana style.

At the Orchid Show, artists from three schools, or styles, of ikebana created the compositions on display. The arrangements reflect balance and the beauty of nature, as interpreted by the schools of Ikenobo, Ohara, and Sogetsu.

  • Ikenobo —The oldest school of ikebana, Ikenobo is based in Kyoto, Japan. It features classic and contemporary styles, and observes the belief that flowers reflect the passing of time.
  • Ohara —The Ohara school of ikebana focuses on the natural world. It emphasizes seasonal changes, and invites its students to observe nature and the growth processes of plant materials.
  • Sogetsu —The Sogetsu school considers ikebana a practice accessible to people of all cultures—not only Japanese. It aims to spread appreciation of the art form all over the world.

The Chicago Botanic Garden celebrates this timeless art form at three ikebana shows annually. The first show is happening now at the Orchid Show, through March 25. The Ikenobo Ikebana Chicago Chapter Show will be held August 25 to 26, 2018. The Sogetsu School of Illinois Ikebana Sogetsu Exhibition will be held September 8 to 9, 2018.

Orchid Show entry display

See Asia in Bloom: The Orchid Show daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; join us for our final Orchids After Hours on March 15 and 22, from 4 to 8 p.m.

©2018 Chicago Botanic Garden and my.chicagobotanic.org

How to grow roses / by J. Horace McFarland [and] Robert Pyle.

New Book Arrivals - Mon, 03/12/2018 - 3:00pm
How to grow roses / by J. Horace McFarland [and] Robert Pyle.
Author: Pyle, Robert, 1877-1951.
Call Number: SB411.P9 1937b

How to grow roses / by Robert Pyle, J. Horace McFarland, G.A. Stevens.

New Book Arrivals - Mon, 03/12/2018 - 3:00pm
How to grow roses / by Robert Pyle, J. Horace McFarland, G.A. Stevens.
Author: Pyle, Robert, 1877-1951.
Call Number: SB411.P9 1934

The future of conservation in America : a chart for rough water / Gary E. Machlis, Jonathan B. Jarvis ; with a foreword by Terry Tempest Williams.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 03/10/2018 - 12:00pm
The future of conservation in America : a chart for rough water / Gary E. Machlis, Jonathan B. Jarvis ; with a foreword by Terry Tempest Williams.
Author: Machlis, Gary E., author.
Call Number: S933.M33 2018

Garden insects of North America : the ultimate guide to backyard bugs / Whitney Cranshaw and David Shetlar.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 03/10/2018 - 12:00pm
Garden insects of North America : the ultimate guide to backyard bugs / Whitney Cranshaw and David Shetlar.
Author: Cranshaw, Whitney, author.
Call Number: SB605.N7C73 2018

The prairie in seed : identifying seed-bearing prairie plants in the upper Midwest / Dave Williams.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 03/10/2018 - 12:00pm
The prairie in seed : identifying seed-bearing prairie plants in the upper Midwest / Dave Williams.
Author: Williams, Dave (David Wayne), 1961- author.
Call Number: QK128.W555 2016

Plants that kill : a natural history of the world's most poisonous plants / Elizabeth A. Dauncey and Sonny Larsson.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 03/10/2018 - 12:00pm
Plants that kill : a natural history of the world's most poisonous plants / Elizabeth A. Dauncey and Sonny Larsson.
Author: Dauncey, Elizabeth A., author.
Call Number: QK100.A1D386 2018

The less is more garden : big ideas for designing your small yard / Susan Morrison.

New Book Arrivals - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 10:00am
The less is more garden : big ideas for designing your small yard / Susan Morrison.
Author: Morrison, Susan, 1963- author.
Call Number: SB473 .M68 2018

Maker lab outdoors : 25 super cool projects : build, invent, create, discover / Jack Challoner.

New Book Arrivals - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 10:00am
Maker lab outdoors : 25 super cool projects : build, invent, create, discover / Jack Challoner.
Author: Challoner, Jack, author.
Call Number: Q164.C43 2018

Bird builds a nest / Martin Jenkins ; illustrated by Richard Jones.

New Book Arrivals - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 10:00am
Bird builds a nest / Martin Jenkins ; illustrated by Richard Jones.
Author: Jenkins, Martin, 1959- author.
Call Number: QL675.J46 2018

Oxford textbook of nature and public health : the role of nature in improving the health of a population / edited by Matilda van den Bosch, William Bird.

New Book Arrivals - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 10:00am
Oxford textbook of nature and public health : the role of nature in improving the health of a population / edited by Matilda van den Bosch, William Bird.
Call Number: RA427.O94 2018

Designing with palms / Jason Dewees ; photographs by Caitlin Atkinson.

New Book Arrivals - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 10:00am
Designing with palms / Jason Dewees ; photographs by Caitlin Atkinson.
Author: Dewees, Jason, author.
Call Number: SB413.P17D48 2018

Scrambling to save the aspens

Garden Blog - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 12:52pm

Just below the summit, we scrambled past enormous boulders to an unhappy sight—a small group of beautiful aspens in big trouble.

As curator of woody plants at the Chicago Botanic Garden, I’m interested in what’s happening to quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) because the trees have become increasingly threatened by geologic disturbance and climate change. The Garden is part of a research group that’s working to collect root pieces and other genetic material from the aspens in the Chisos Mountains of west Texas; the material will allow us to raise the trees in cultivation and then plant new ones in the wild. The quaking aspens project is just one part of a broader Garden goal to protect species and promote biodiversity.

As part of the initiative, I met with Adam Black, director of horticulture at the famed Peckerwood Garden in Hempstead, Texas. Adam is a plant geek at heart and knows the Chisos Mountains intimately from 20-plus years of exploring there. He put together the collaboration between the Chicago Botanic Garden, Peckerwood Garden, the National Park Service, and the University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation.

Quaking aspen growing out of the boulder field below Emory Peak, Big Bend National Park (white trunks visible in foreground)

Quaking aspen growing out of the boulder field below Emory Peak, Big Bend National Park (white trunks visible in foreground)

In mid-February, Adam and I began the long, steep trek toward Emory Peak, in Big Bend National Park, gaining about 1,800 feet of elevation in 4 miles. Passing through Laguna Meadows, I first glimpsed the stunning white bark of the aspens growing out of enormous boulders above us. Adam and I dropped our packs and scrambled across the boulder field, photographing the terrain and aspens as went.

The chalk-white bark of these quaking aspens (Populus tremuloides) contrasts with the Mexican pinon pine (Pinus cembroides) growing amongst the boulder field.

The chalk-white bark of these quaking aspens (Populus tremuloides) contrasts with the Mexican pinyon pines (Pinus cembroides) growing in the boulder field.

When we reached the trees, it quickly became clear that this grove of aspens was unlike any other I had seen before. Aspens usually grow in enormous clonal groves, which means that the trees are essentially a single plant, connected by one elaborate root system. The grove below Emory Peak includes only 40 trees or so, in poor health. Jason Smith, Ph.D., forest pathologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville, believes that the trees are under stress from the radiant heat of the rocks in which they are growing. When the trees grow to about 25 feet high, they get a canker disease—a fungal infection—and quickly die. 

Adam and I collected root pieces and shoots from six separate trees in the grove, all good genetic material that will allow us to cultivate the plants. Reaching the roots was no easy task. The aspens are growing in the remains of what appears to be a major rock collapse from an igneous intrusion, or rock formed from intense heat that has crystalized into molten magna. While most aspen colonies spread upward from roots in less than 18 inches of soil, these trees grow through several feet of stacked boulders. As we moved from tree to tree, I struggled to keep my footing on the shaky boulders and tried not to cause a rock slide down the mountain.

With GPS data and root sections in hand, Adam and I climbed up to the mountain’s East Rim, where we were rewarded with stunning views of the Chisos Mountains, canyons carved out by the Rio Grande River and Maderas Del Carmen Reserve in northern Mexico. The next morning, camping on the mountain rim, watching the sunrise cascading across the United States-Mexico border, I forgot about the 8-mile descent ahead of me until it was time to pack up and go. During the hike down, Adam and I stopped by the second group of quaking aspens that we’re studying; a month earlier, Adam and Dr. Smith had collected root pieces from the trees for propagation.

Sunlight fading over Sierra Del Carmen in Coahuila, Mexico

Sunlight fading over Sierra Del Carmen in Coahuila, Mexico

After the team cultivates new plants from the genetic material we collected, the trees will be distributed to botanic gardens and arboreta across the country and added to the institutions’ conservation collections. The team is also doing genetic testing on the Chisos Mountains trees to determine how they relate to other aspen populations.

 

©2018 Chicago Botanic Garden and my.chicagobotanic.org

Scrambling to save the aspens

Plant Science and Conservation - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 12:52pm

Just below the summit, we scrambled past enormous boulders to an unhappy sight—a small group of beautiful aspens in big trouble.

As curator of woody plants at the Chicago Botanic Garden, I’m interested in what’s happening to quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) because the trees have become increasingly threatened by geologic disturbance and climate change. The Garden is part of a research group that’s working to collect root pieces and other genetic material from the aspens in the Chisos Mountains of west Texas; the material will allow us to raise the trees in cultivation and then plant new ones in the wild. The quaking aspens project is just one part of a broader Garden goal to protect species and promote biodiversity.

As part of the initiative, I met with Adam Black, director of horticulture at the famed Peckerwood Garden in Hempstead, Texas. Adam is a plant geek at heart and knows the Chisos Mountains intimately from 20-plus years of exploring there. He put together the collaboration between the Chicago Botanic Garden, Peckerwood Garden, the National Park Service, and the University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation.

Quaking aspen growing out of the boulder field below Emory Peak, Big Bend National Park (white trunks visible in foreground)

Quaking aspen growing out of the boulder field below Emory Peak, Big Bend National Park (white trunks visible in foreground)

In mid-February, Adam and I began the long, steep trek toward Emory Peak, in Big Bend National Park, gaining about 1,800 feet of elevation in 4 miles. Passing through Laguna Meadows, I first glimpsed the stunning white bark of the aspens growing out of enormous boulders above us. Adam and I dropped our packs and scrambled across the boulder field, photographing the terrain and aspens as went.

The chalk-white bark of these quaking aspens (Populus tremuloides) contrasts with the Mexican pinon pine (Pinus cembroides) growing amongst the boulder field.

The chalk-white bark of these quaking aspens (Populus tremuloides) contrasts with the Mexican pinyon pines (Pinus cembroides) growing in the boulder field.

When we reached the trees, it quickly became clear that this grove of aspens was unlike any other I had seen before. Aspens usually grow in enormous clonal groves, which means that the trees are essentially a single plant, connected by one elaborate root system. The grove below Emory Peak includes only 40 trees or so, in poor health. Jason Smith, Ph.D., forest pathologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville, believes that the trees are under stress from the radiant heat of the rocks in which they are growing. When the trees grow to about 25 feet high, they get a canker disease—a fungal infection—and quickly die. 

Adam and I collected root pieces and shoots from six separate trees in the grove, all good genetic material that will allow us to cultivate the plants. Reaching the roots was no easy task. The aspens are growing in the remains of what appears to be a major rock collapse from an igneous intrusion, or rock formed from intense heat that has crystalized into molten magna. While most aspen colonies spread upward from roots in less than 18 inches of soil, these trees grow through several feet of stacked boulders. As we moved from tree to tree, I struggled to keep my footing on the shaky boulders and tried not to cause a rock slide down the mountain.

With GPS data and root sections in hand, Adam and I climbed up to the mountain’s East Rim, where we were rewarded with stunning views of the Chisos Mountains, canyons carved out by the Rio Grande River and Maderas Del Carmen Reserve in northern Mexico. The next morning, camping on the mountain rim, watching the sunrise cascading across the United States-Mexico border, I forgot about the 8-mile descent ahead of me until it was time to pack up and go. During the hike down, Adam and I stopped by the second group of quaking aspens that we’re studying; a month earlier, Adam and Dr. Smith had collected root pieces from the trees for propagation.

Sunlight fading over Sierra Del Carmen in Coahuila, Mexico

Sunlight fading over Sierra Del Carmen in Coahuila, Mexico

After the team cultivates new plants from the genetic material we collected, the trees will be distributed to botanic gardens and arboreta across the country and added to the institutions’ conservation collections. The team is also doing genetic testing on the Chisos Mountains trees to determine how they relate to other aspen populations.

 

©2018 Chicago Botanic Garden and my.chicagobotanic.org

Bulletin / Iris Society.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 9:00am
Bulletin / Iris Society.

The Mayflower.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 9:00am
The Mayflower.

Bulletin / Massachusetts Flower Growers Association.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 9:00am
Bulletin / Massachusetts Flower Growers Association.

Plant, cook, eat! : a children's cookbook / by Joe Archer & Caroline Craig.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 9:00am
Plant, cook, eat! : a children's cookbook / by Joe Archer & Caroline Craig.
Author: Archer, Joe, author.
Call Number: TX801.A73 2018

Discoveries in the garden / James Nardi.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 9:00am
Discoveries in the garden / James Nardi.
Author: Nardi, James B., 1948- author.
Call Number: SB450.97.N37 2018

Pages

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