Get Your Hands Dirty!

mitblog

MIT Children’s Garden

Here at JBL, we feel so fortunate to have one of the premier architectural treasures only a few short blocks away from our office at 875 Main Street. We are all beyond excited to be involved in updating the Children’s Garden at MIT’s Stata Center. We’ve added additional plantings, renovated the water feature, installed new sod, built a veggie garden and refurbished the Zen Garden originally designed by Elena Saporta. As you can see from the photos below, our crew has been very busy perfecting the craft of creating Children’s Gardens. We think we’ve got it down but take a look for yourselves…

See more of our Children’s Gardens at http://jeanbrookslandscapes.com/garden-type/childrens-gardens/

blogOCT23

Autumn Window Display, 875 MAIN ST

Here at Jean Brooks Landscapes, we’ve got our finger on the pulse of Boston culture and design.

TIPI’s in the garden = the new place to hangout! Here’s our version in our “woodland children’s garden” window display at 875 MAIN STREET. We’ve had 2 tipi commissions from clients since this went on display in late August. coincidence? I think NOT!

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blog1022

Franklinia at The Arnold Arboretum

….Planted as a CUTTING in 1908! Franklinia or The Franklin Tree. You can find this sprawling tree in bloom right NOW on the Chinese Path/Explorer’s Garden at the top of Bussey Hill at the Arnold Arboretum. This shot reminds me of a Dutch still life with the ants!

The first reported encounter with this tree on the continent was in the British colony, Georgia. John and William Bartram first observed the tree growing along the Altamaha River in 1765:

“We never saw it grow in any other place, nor have I ever since seen it growing wild, in all my travels, from Pennsylvania to Point Coupe, on the banks of the Mississippi, which must be allowed a very singular and unaccountable circumstance; at this place there are two or 3 acres of ground where it grows plentifully” (W. Bartram, 1791).

While it’s difficult to transplant, once established Franklinia can survive a century or more like the one pictured here. The tree is now extinct in the wild for a number of reasons but mainly due to overcollection by plant collectors and a fungal disease introduced with the cultivation of cotton plants. Because Franklinia does not tolerate compacted clay soil (which, unfortunately are the conditions in Cambridge) or any disturbance to its roots, the tree is a bad candidate for urban environments. True, it’s not planted much in Cambridge or Boston yet, it looks so familiar…At Jean Brooks Landscapes, we love planting  Stewartia which is in the same family as Franklina and has a VERY similar look. Both have the colorful exfoliating bark. Both have the same red leaf in autumn and the same fried-egg- looking flower. Stewartia has a smaller, more delicate flower than the Franklinia which has a heartier, rubbery, magnolia-like petal.

If you get the chance, I highly recommend visiting the Arboretum in the new few days. Foliage color is at its peak AND the Franklinia atop Bussey Hill, the miraculous survivor from a 1908 cutting is still in bloom!

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