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Plant of the Month

Heather Garden Calluna and Erica species and cultivars

Location: Grid O-30 near the Arboretum Barn

I think the Heather Garden down at the south end of the Arboretum looks the best it has since it was planted in 2004. That is probably due to the mild winter we just had. The winter of 2014 was also very mild, but there was a sudden cold snap in November that did a surprising amount of damage to various plants. We seem to have avoided that this year, and the Heathers are flowering extra heavily in response.

Heather Garden 3-23-16
Heather Garden 3-23-16

The Heather Garden was planted in 2004 with funding provided by Dick and Marlene Johnston. A wide array of species and cultivars were planted in hopes of finding which would do the best here on the Palouse. Unfortunately, I have not been able to determine a pattern for which plants survived and which have not. Ornamental Heathers are generally cultivars from either the genus Calluna or Erica. Within those cultivars there are Heather that flower in late winter/early spring (those that are flowering now) and cultivars that flower in late summer.

Heather Garden 3-23-16
Heather Garden 3-23-16

Without doing a complete inventory, it seems that there are some survivors and some losses from all of the groups. It is hard to know if the remaining survivors really are hardier here, or they just lucked out for some reason and survived some of our tougher winters.

Monthly Projects

As often happens in Moscow, March has been much more wintery than February. That has slowed things down a little, although I would say most things are still about two weeks ahead of 'normal' (if there is such a thing).

We have actually mowed some grass, mostly in areas that didn't get done late last fall and we have been running the mowers to mulch up the oak leaves that otherwise would end up in the lower pond, contributing to the algae and aquatic plant problems.

Forsythia in bloom 3-23-16
Forsythia in bloom 3-23-16

It seems that there are always more pruning jobs than we have time to complete and cutting back perennials and ornamental grasses in various gardens has kept us busy as well.

The tree removal project in the Shattuck Arboretum is on hold waiting for it to dry out enough to get the trucks and equipment onto the site.

Upcoming Events

APRIL 13, 2016
Arboretum Associates Annual Meeting
6:30 pm Great Room 1912 Building
Town Hall Meeting format to present and discuss "Arboretum Initiative 2015"

MAY 18, 2016
Spring UIRA Arboretum Tour
2:00 p.m. at the UI Arboretum and Botanical Gardens Meet at south end, Red Barn (free, public welcome) Crabapple trees and lilacs blooming are spectacular!!!

JUNE 4, 2016
Arboretum Associates Annual Plant Sale
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Palouse Ice Rink, Latah County Fairgrounds
Plant Sale List

'Pablo' Decorative Dahlia. One of lots of new plants at the sale!
'Pablo' Decorative Dahlia
One of lots of new plants at the sale!

JULY 11, 2016
16th Annual Summer Breezes
and Sweet Sounds
Free Concert in the Arboretum
7:00 p.m. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs

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