A Must-Follow Horticultural Blog

Posted on Feb 15, 2016 in All, People, Plants | No Comments

By Julie Moir Messervy

William (Ned) Friedman is not only the Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and the Director of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, but also a wonderful writer and interpreter of the Arnold’s horticultural collections. His blog, Posts from the Collections, offers fascinating information about the plants and captivating photographs.

Here are a few highlights from my favorite recent posts.

Images of bark from Ned Friedman's Posts from the Collection

Images of ornamental bark from Ned Friedman’s Posts from the Collections

December 27, 2015: End of Year Favorites

In this five-part post, Ned shares some “photographic memories of the venerable plants of the Arnold Arboretum in 2015.” I especially love Part I: Encounters with Ornamental Bark. Shown above, clockwise from top, are paperbark maple (Acer griseum), London plane tree (Platanus x acerifolia), and hackberry (Celtis occidentalis).

 

The prickles of the Chinese angelica tree (Aralia chinensis. Image: Ned Friedman, Posts from the Collections.

The prickles of the Chinese angelica tree (Aralia chinensis). Image: Ned Friedman, Posts from the Collections.

Armed and Dangerous Plants in the Arnold Arboretum

Do you know how to tell if something is a thorn, a spine, or a prickle? These terms are not to be used interchangeably–take it from a professor of evolutionary biology! Ned explains the distinctions, using the Aralia chinensis shown above from the Arnold’s Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden.

 

Oaks after a snowfall at Arnold Arboretum. Image: Ned Friedman, Posts from the Collections.

Oaks after a snowfall at Arnold Arboretum. Image: Ned Friedman, Posts from the Collections.

Oaks After a Snowfall

Fresh snow rendered the Arnold’s magnificent oak collection even more beautiful. Ned writes of how he captured the top image of “the soaring cathedral-like grouping of oaks on Bussey Hill,” contrasted with the white swamp oak (bottom left) he photographed on a clear, bright day in January. He notes, “no two days are ever alike in the living collections, even in the very same spot with the very same tree.”

I look forward to Ned’s weekly Posts from the Collections and recommend that you subscribe as well. You will learn so much!


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