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Tree Campus

Student leaders and Lesley Urgo with the Arboretum’s Tree Campus USA flag

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What’s Happening at the Arboretum

Here you can find an archive of past events held by the Arboretum association.  Often flyers and images will be available for download.

Montgomery Hall Sculpture Garden: Professor of Art Lisa Scheer and Sculpture 101 Birth a Garden and Outdoor Sculpture Space out of an Abandoned and Trashed corner on Campus:

Sculpture Garden photo

Sculpture Garden Flower wall

Picture it: The Montgomery Hall loading dock area.  Parking lot surrounding.  Raised concrete delivery space with overspray from past paint projects, a littered and weed infested grass plot, a huge dumpster servicing the college's primary humanities building.  Get the picture?  Not pretty...

No, it was not, but now it IS!

Thanks to the vision and determination of Professor Scheer, a noted sculptor and long-term professor at St. Mary's, it's now reclaimed campus real estate, greener and spruced up, and evidencing the work of her Sculpture 101 class.  This spring, students designed four concepts for the space, then combined the best elements into one plan.  With Arboretum and grounds support, plantings now in the green space include a river of blue fescue, the Maryland state flower Black Eyed Susan, edging shrubs of winter jasmine, climbing honeysuckle vines, and a small shrub version of MD native fringetree.  On the 'dock,' there is a chalkboard tree in the corner, recycled (from soda bottles and cans) vine/flowers, recycled benches (thanks facilities!) for a resting space, even a cigarette butt holder to encourage better daily cleanliness in the space. 

Stop by and view the space when on campus next time!  Thanks again to Lisa Scheer for this most wonderful project and means to celebrating Arbor Day, 2013, at St. Mary's!

Passalong Plants: Thanks to our Local Garden Club!

Passalong Plants: Thanks to our Local Garden Glub
Passalong plants.  Taking a root division, or a stem cutting, and giving it to another for their garden, well, that's sport of sorts for any active gardener!  To date, the St. Mary's Arboretum has enjoyed asking for 'passalongs' when it revitalized the garden at the old rectory/now our Alumni Affairs office space, and just this past week, was an activity that has now made possible the full planting of the foundation bed in front of the River Center.  Lesley Urgo, a member of the St. Mary's Garden Club and the Arboretum's founder, saw in club mailings that Julie Kemp, another local garden club member, had clumps of daylilies and iris to share.  Lesley collected these clumps, took them home and soaked, and then split them, and on Friday April 12, 2013 she and Arboretum intern Ainsley Thomson (and senior sailor at St. Mary's College) planted them out at the River Center.  "We put in about 3 dozen each of the days and the iris" Ainsley says.  "We pulled weeds, fed our new root divisions with bone meal, and fed along with them the 100 daffodils I put in there with a volunteer team last fall!"  Ainsley thanks Julie Kemp for her donation of plants, and she looks forward to seeing the flowers when she comes back in future for alumni events with the sailing team!  Here's a picture of Ainsley with her daffodils, working away at planting the new daylilies and iris!

Arbor Week 2013: A HUGE SUCCESS!

During Arbor Week, 2013, the St. Mary's Arboretum covered a lot of ground, literally!  From its weekly clean up with Keep St. Mary's Beautiful leader Alex Bates '14, and student volunteers, on Sunday, March 31, to a birdhouse painting study break on Tuesday April 2 (over a dozen new houses painted by students!), through the planting of daylilies, lavender and rosemary (over 200 plants in all!) at the student center and library area on Wednesday the 3rd, and on to berry bush plantings, the official Arbor Day installation of a native fringe tree at Monty (with a whole slate of plants coming later in semester, once the Sculpture Garden project there is completed with Professor Lisa Scheer's class), and speaker John Campanini (retired City Forester of Providence RI and founder of RI Tree Council) presentation to the public on Saturday the 6th, it was a non-stop week of activities, future beauty (plantings) and fun.  Arboretum intern Ainsley Thomson '13 led much of the work, with able support from grounds horticulturalist Chery Krumke and staff, Arboretum founder Lesley Urgo, and committee members Bill Williams, Cathy Ray, and Jackie Paskow all attending and lending support through the week.  Here are pictures from the various events, including a nice shot of John Campanini taking a break at Lesley Urgo's house, after his talk on Saturday.

Click thumbnail to view full size image:

Alex Bates '14 doing Arbor Week clean up Birdhouse painting study break Arbor week 2013 Birdhouse painting study break Arbor week 2013 Student planting daylilies at library spring 2013
Planting lavendar at student center 2013 Cheryl Krumke and student at Monty planting Planting by student center Arbor Week 2013 Professor of Art Lisa Scheer overseeing the sculpture garden project


Bat Boxes on Campus: Natural Pest Control

Can you find it...on old campus (hint)?

Thanks to student Arboretum committee member and leader Clint Slocum '15, we have bat boxes now up on trees or buildings around campus!  In late spring, 2012, then first year student Clint came to see Lesley Urgo, to inquire about why we didn't, but should, have bat boxes up for natural pest control.  "They eat mosquitos, they don't need feeding or watering or anything from us other than a place to roost in the daytime" Clint said.  They agreed to bring it to the Arboretum's attention in the fall, and left it at that.  Lesley thought she might never hear from him again...but...

Two days before fall session began in 2012, Clint called.  "I have boxes ready to go up.  I built them with my dad this summer.  Can I bring them to your office since i don't think my roommate will want them taking up our joint space?"  Stunned, Lesley said "sure" and made plans to meet him upon arrival back to campus.  On time (Clint is ALWAYS on time), he and his dad brought in nearly a dozen of these large, built with precision for bat needs, black boxes (black to absorb heat).  With no fanfare, it was DONE.

For the next few weeks, many were consulted about where they should and could go.  By semester's end, our arborist Justin Mattingly in grounds placed them around campus, and two were given to Historic to put up in their area as well.  You will see them around, fairly high in larger trees or attached to buildings.

See how many you can find next time you visit campus!  And thanks to Clint for his vision of a pesticide free form of mosquito control!


Color-Insurgency Project:  An Art Installation:

Color Insurgency

Hope you caught it!  Recently, and briefly, campus trees were used (by the pond, by the Library) to test out color change, effect of wind/noise, and impact of light.  Color panels were trunk-wrapped, and it made for a fun display on Thursday, March 21.  Student Caiti Sullivan checked with the Arboretum 'first' in her desire to do no harm (which the Arboretum appreciates and supports!).  FUN FUN FUN!  Good job, Caiti!

Bay-Wise Program an Arboretum Draw Saturday, March 16 2013:

About 30 folks came out to learn how to qualify a home landscape in Maryland as a 'Bay-Wise' property.  For the session, Jackie Takacs, St. Mary's Arboretum committee member and faculty member here on behalf of the Maryland Sea Grant Extension Program, presented, along with Linda Crandall, UME Master Gardener and member of the St. Mary's County Bay-Wise team.  Crandall and Takacs gave an overview of what is involved in assessing one's property for ways to create a bay-friendly environment, and then fielded questions from the participants about issues like plant choices, pest management, and stormwater management.  Thanks Jackie and Linda for giving this fact-filled session for our visitors to the St. Mary's Arboretum!  Learn more about this effort by visiting terpconnect.umd.edu/~wtm/MDBayWiseProgram.htm

Dr. Michael Raupp Speaks About Our 'Invited' Pests Via Invasive Species Redistribution: February 20, 2013:

Mike Raupp TalkOn Wednesday, February 20, 2013, we partnered again with the Natural Science and Mathematics Colloquium Series at SMCM to present a speaker addressing environmental issues relevant to landscape management.  Dr. Michael Raupp of the University of MD and Professor and Extension Specialist spoke to a full house in Schaefer Hall 106, and walked the crowd through a variety of test situations in which the bad bugs can take hold and prosper, dependent on density of plantings in an area and diversity of same.  Dr. Raupp has received numerous awards and has directed hundreds of students in research pursuits tracing the path of the current (and forthcoming, stink bugs and emerald ash borer to name two) band of marauders invading our home and municipal landscapes.  A favorite with the master gardener set, we hosted both a large crowd of current SMCM science students as well as local tillers of the soil.

Special Campus Shrub Gets New Home on Campus, Winter 2012:

Shrub gets a new home

Behind St. Mary's Hall, a large Lonicera Standishii honeysuckle shrub stood until recently.  Over ten feet tall and half as wide, this shrub doesn't attract much notice except for late winter/early spring, when it's non-showy blooms open and its scent is powerful.  Mary Alves, retired horticulturalist for Historic St. Mary's City and a member of the Arboretum committee in the past, brought up this shrub when, in meeting, we discussed as a group the pending work to fix some foundation issues at the Hall.  "What about the Lonicera?" she asked.  Once alerted to its danger, and how special its scent is, the decision was made to try to move it over the winter months of 2012.  In late fall, Cheryl Krumke and the grounds crew first root-pruned it, then allowed another six weeks for it to regrow some immediate at base roots in preparation for the move.  Then in mid February, they dug it and moved it.  And it seems to be fine, as by late March it was blooming in its new home, gracing now the backside of the recently relocated Margaret Brent building.  "At Margaret Brent, it gives the foundation there real presence, real grounding, with this sizeable specimen addition" says Lesley Urgo, founder of the Arboretum.  Good job, all, for recognizing the opportunity to save it, and to take the time to do it right!  Long live our Lonicera!

PGMS Awards St. Mary's College for Best Maintained Landscape in the Country

The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) has recently announced St. Mary’s College of Maryland winner of its 2012 Grand Award. The award distinction is the highest in PGMS’ Green Star Professional Grounds Management Awards program.

The award recognizes St. Mary’s College as having one of the country’s best maintained landscapes in the colleges and universities category, placing the college among overall past PGMS award winners such as The Disneyland Resort, Smithsonian Gardens, the National Zoo, and Penn State University. Read more.

Thanks, Lauren Jackson '13, for a Great New Arboretum Art Piece!:

Lauren Nelson '14 art piece donation

Psychology major and art minor Lauren Jackson recently produced a modest but GREAT piece of art for her Advanced Photography class with Professor Colby Caldwell.  As part of their 'remix' assignment to revamp artwork from someone in Billy Friebele's mixed media/digital class, Lauren took a tree picture and deconstructed it to look at tree leaves, instead.  She took leaves found on the townhouse green (her home at St. Mary's!) and positioned them on regular notebook paper, photographing the collage for her art piece.  Arboretum founder Lesley Urgo saw the art piece on display in the student center last semester and asked Lauren if she'd gift it to the Arboretum for future use in presentations and gatherings.  Thanks Lauren for the gift, and the beauty of your art work!  We appreciate it!  Lauren sets out this summer after graduation on a 4,000 mile plus bike tour across the country, raising funds for charity.  St. Mary's students are both talented AND caring!

November, 2012 - January 2013  Arboretum Intern Creates Living Moss Wall Arboretum Signage:

Ainsley with Stencil and Moss Arboretum Wall Moss Before Wall


Arboretum intern and SMCM senior Ainsley Thomson has created a living moss signage piece for the Arboretum!  After one unsuccessful try with the difficult medium and application, her second go at beautifying the niche under the passageway between the IT and library buildings is now, well, GROWING!  "It's a living sign, with the moss we hope able to live at least until the high heat of summer.  Many have helped it grow, watering/misting it over the holidays and now, well, it's actively growing!" says Ainsley.  Ainsley wanted an art project piece for her year long Arboretum internship (through Museum Studies) and this idea, something she came up with after researching extensively about innovative signage, fit the bill.  Its installation helps to advance her other priority effort for her internship, raising awareness of the Arboretum on campus.  "So many have asked me what it is while I did it, and water it, and they are amazed to learn it's real moss, and living.  It's been fun to do and fun to explain to folks" says Ainsley.

Also installed in the niche is a new planter box (with spring bulbs to flower soon, and right now sporting blooming pansies and rosemary, in St. Mary's colors) and a birdhouse repurposed as a pick up spot for Arboretum tree tour pamphlets.  Ainsley painted the birdhouse as well, with a pseudo map of the campus.  "This is a great initiative for an underused space" Associate Vice President of Planning and Facilities Chip Jackson remarks.  "It's certainly improved what we look at every day" says Michael Gass, head of IT.  Michael has even helped keep the moss hydrated, spraying it routinely.  Thanks Ainsley, Michael, and Chip for all the encouragement and help in bringing this project to fruition!  And thanks to Dan Branigan, in planning, for helping Ainsley get the oversized print stencil for the project done, too!

December, 2012 Renovation of Bell Tower garden space:

Bell Tower

The week before Christmas, Lesley Urgo planted new mountain laurels, dogwood trees, and daffodils up at the bell tower site (just below Montgomery Hall).  Removing some boxwood was the first order of the day, and this was done by Cheryl Krumke from grounds, who placed the removed shrubs in their new home over at Admissions.  Why?  Well, the boxwood never really 'fit' with the naturalized look of the plantings and wild space surrounding the bell tower.  So we extended the reach of the laurels, nearly circling the area (allowing a slight opening towards the water overlook).  And the addition of two dogwoods for spring color (and to address the old, failing dogwood situation already on site) along with 80 new daffodils should make this space pop with color in years to come! 

Saturday, November 10 2012 Raingarden Workshop and Tree Planting Demonstration:

Jackie Takacs offered again her popular raingarden workshop, teaching a dozen folks about how to manage stormwater runoff effectively with the added beauty of a raingarden configuration on a home landscape.  Jackie stressed the applicability of these gardens to both sun and shade conditions, and took questions from the group who came to learn how to make such a garden to tackle their problem yard spaces.  Lesley Urgo then gave a tree planting demonstration to the group, installing with them a new yellowwood tree on campus. 

Fall Tree Plantings, Thursday and Friday, November 1 and 2, 2012:

Alex Walls with one of the bald sypressWhat a fall!  This fall, the St. Mary's Arboretum installed dozens of new trees and shrubs on campus, as well as hundreds of naturalizing narcissus, all with the help of our grounds staff and student/staff volunteers!  As of November 16, 53 trees have been installed and 6 new shrubs are in ground, along with 300 daffs.  Once the rest of the stock arrives (anytime now!), another 7 trees will be in ground, as well as 6 more shrubs and 100 more daffs.  30+ folks helped in the two-day planting blitz, and the grounds staff completed the work with staking and mulching.  New varieties added to our inventory will include osage orange, red buckeye, yellowwood, purple leaf plum, cucumbertree magnolia, Shummard oaks, and vitex!  What a team effort, and what a difference it is going to make on our campus in years to come!

Thanks all!

Alumni House Planting (Phase Two) and Clean Up, Thursday October 25, 2012, 1-3 p.m.

Alumni House Planting Group Shot


At our Alumni House (old rectory) on campus, this fall, 30 student and staff volunteers came out to plant 75 daylilies, 125 naturalizing narcissus, 20 hostas, 8 liatris, a dozen iris and a half dozen sedums in the side and back beds of St. Mary's College's Alumni House/old rectory building.  This concluded a year plus effort to revitalize the space, making it useful for alumni gatherings and other events on campus.  Previously, the front beds were renewed (half dead junipers removed, new plantings done) and a new brick pathway was added for accessibility.  This fall's efforts completed the renovation of the landscape around this building, with reseeding of the back lawn completing the overall project.  "It was so good to just be outside today enjoying the sun and hanging out a bit" remarked one student who came, she said, to work for twenty minutes, but ended up staying the entire time.  The team also raked the rapidly falling leaves, and dodged walnuts tossed down by playful squirrels!  Look for lots of color here next year, and in the years ahead!  Here's a picture of most of the volunteer crew, just before finishing the project.  Thanks to all who helped, and thanks too to the friends and staff who contributed 'passalong plants' (freebies, we like those!) to our plant stock for the day.  About a third of what we planted today were donated plants given to us from our Arboretum friends!

Riverfest Celebration with the St. Mary's River Watershed Association:

On Saturday, October 13, 2012, Arboretum student leader Clint Slocum manned an information booth about the Arboretum at the annual Watershed rally at Historic St. Mary's City.  This year, Clint not only passed out Arboretum pamphlets, walking tour flyers, and other information, he also distributed to table-stoppers an assortment of tree seedlings grown out in the St. Mary's Arboretum tree nursery!  With funding for the seedlings coming from the Chaney Foundation in Waldorf, MD this year, the Arboretum will be distributing tree seedlings for FREE at our outreach activities all this year.  Other funding (for irrigation system and site improvement) has been supplied by the Arboretum, with the nursery at Chancellor's Point on Historic St. Mary's City grounds.  Thanks to Clint for giving up a precious Saturday, to educate folks about the Arboretum's outreach activities in St. Mary's County!

Hawktoberfest: Arboretum Events for the Parents and Alumni Weekend, October 6-7, 2012

For the very successful, fun-filled weekend each fall bringing current students, parents, and alumni together, the St. Mary's Arboretum sponsored several events, including:

Open House at Admissions to View the Artist Naturalist botanical drawings - Friday (all day) and Saturday 1-3.  Student Arboretum leader Bethany VanWaes hosted the Saturday viewing session open to the public.  The show is so well-received that its run at Admissions has been extended until May 2013.

Winners of the Scavenger HuntScavenger Hunt exploring the St. Mary's Arboretum/campus - all attendees received the hunt details in their sign in packets.  For those who completed it, they toured the campus on their own at their own pace, and learned about what is planted on our acreage and why.  Professor Jackie Takacs' environmental studies classes devised the hunt, and three of her students supplied tree seedlings or seed balls to those who completed it.  Here is a group picture of the students (Nathan Smith, Tira Valkanas and Claire Tiffany) and the first visitors to arrive with completed scavenger hunts. 

Campus Tree Tour with Dan Branigan - Over 50 folks came out for a 11 a.m. walk and talk tour of campus plantings, learning about what the Arboretum at St. Mary's College means environmentally and how it is tied to the mission of educating our students.  Dan wove a great narrative of the college's building and planting history into this hour long tour, bringing to bear his extensive knowledge of the campus drawn from his lead role in planning and facilities. 

Clean up at Pears and Berries: September 16, 2012

Clean up at Pears and Berries

On Sunday the 16th Lesley Urgo took a group of students who came out for the Arboretum's student subgroup, Keep St. Mary's Beautiful (who do weekly trash pick ups on campus) up to the DPC area site of spring-planted Pear trees and berry bushes (blues, black and raspberries). We weeded and got the beds looking good again after summer brought in lots of invaders like wire-grass, pokeberries, and crabgrass. The plants were planted just this past spring, but all the five pear trees have survived, and one even set fruit this fall! Of the four mixed black and raspberry plants, three survived and have bushed out nicely. The dozen blueberries bushes have had a rougher time surviving the summer's heat, but most look like they'll be back for next year's growth. Good job, all!

Artist Naturalist: Talk and Opening of Art Show September 15, 2012

Artist Naturalist Pictures At Admissions Sue Johnson Artist Naturalist Talk

Professor Sue Johnson and teaching assistant Carol Mackie Morris debuted the student artwork from their spring, 2012 class highlighting Arboretum plants around the St. Mary's College Admissions building on Saturday, September 15. Professor Johnson gave a talk from 2-3 about the genre of botanical/naturalist art in history, and gave some pointers as well for those currently interested in nature drawing and observation, in case they'd like to pursue this art form on their own. Over 50 people came to the 3 p.m. art show opening of student work at Admissions, with plants like the Hinoki Cypress and butterfly bush now artfully rendered and showcased for all to see and enjoy. The show will continue through early December so if you missed it, please stop by and see the botanical drawings on display. They are lovely!

Green Roof Clean Up: Getting Ready to be a National Arboretum Test Site for Native Sedums!

David cleaning up the roof

On Friday, September 14, 2012, junior David Wood (one of this year's seven St. Mary's Arboretum student leaders) led student volunteers in a clean up of the green roof garden space above the breezeway connector between Schaefer and Goodpaster Halls. David cleared vegetation to get ready to plant out, next month, starts from the National Arboretum of native sedums (collected seeds from trips to the southwest in previous years). The goal of the National Arboretum is to learn which, if any, native sedums are suitable to green roof applications in our area. Typically, green roof plants are Mediterranean based plants. With the current drive to 'go native' in selecting plants by many gardeners, finding native-based alternatives for green roof friendly plants is a goal. We are a test site for the National Arboretum in this endeavor. Good luck David in this work! It's David's St. Mary's Project research study, and a great scientific endeavor for the St. Mary's Arboretum!

Orientation Project: First Years Learn about the Arboretum and Weed the ARC's Native Plants Garden

First Years learn about the Arboretum and Weed abd ARC's Native Plants Garden

On Saturday August 25, 2012 Lesley Urgo worked with 10 students during Orientation activities for first years on the ARC's spring-planted native plants garden. Despite threatening rains the group managed to clear the area of weeds and then, as well, move on to begin clean up at nearby Glendenning rain garden. Urgo took the opportunity to talk to students about the Arboretum's work on campus, and how they can participate in tree plantings and bulb plantings this coming fall, if they desire. The group filled to the brim a large weed bag during the process, and improved the look of the space dramatically. Thanks to all who participated, and to Orientation organizer Jessica Marie Clayton for steering the eager first years to this project! We beat the rain, but just in time!

The Woods in Your Backyard: Craig Highfield from Forestry for the Bay. August 11, 2012

Craig Highfield Event

On Saturday August 11 2012 Craig Highfield from Forestry for the Bay gave a three hour workshop on "The Woods in Your Backyard." This program explored steps the private homeowner can take to make a positive environmental contribution in managing their homesteads. Understanding life cycles of invasive plants (to know how and when to treat for eradication most effectively) and having a plan afterwards for restorative planting was the core of his presentation. 30 folks attended and Craig took us from the classroom into the nearby woods of campus to illustrate his main points. Participants walked away with two field guides on invasives and management principles for the small landowner. Check out his website for more information: www.FORESTRYFORTHEBAY.org

Alumni Weekend Boxes and Houses: Creating Homes for Our Winged Friends. June 9, 2012

Bird Box

On Saturday June 9 alumni and Arboretum donor families were invited to join us to learn about pollinators like bees and birds and how to provide shelter for them through both plantings and built housing. SMCM education minor and rising MAT student Julie Walter devised a lesson plan for the little ones about pollination, and Jackie Takacs, Lesley Urgo and alumni Arboretum committee member Cathy Ray helped the group paint birdhouses to install at campus raingardens and near campus ponds. At the end of the session, ten birdhouses were completed for installation on campus.  Thanks to all who helped bring some new beauty and function to our campus, benefitting our winged friends! (At left: birdhouse painted by alum and committee member Cathy Ray)

Native Plants in Maryland Workshop and Public Planting. May 5, 2012

On Saturday May 5 Jackie Takacs from the Maryland Sea Grant Extension Program hosted a talk about good native plants for stormwater management and difficult planting situations, and followed the presentation with the hands-on installation of a new raingarden area on campus (near the ARC, adjacent to the track). Over a dozen native plant types were installed, with over 200 plants total going in ground. Thanks to a nice team of volunteers who came for the morning session, we were finished with the planting in a little over an hour! Next time you are on campus, check out this raingarden and others, like the ones near Glendenning and at the student center.

Garden Market at Historic St. Mary's City. May 3, 2012

Held on Thursday, May 3, lots of folks came out to purchase locally grown shrubs and bedding plants for their home gardens.  Mary Alves, landscape curator at Historic, organized this event. Pre-ordering was possible, and there were still lots to choose from for those who dropped by that day. This annual event has come to be very popular for local gardeners, knowing that the stock is good and were hardier due to their having been raised nearby. Lots of natives were available for sale, which is fantastic since many typical sources/big box suppliers stock few native plants in their inventories. If you missed it, plan to come by next May 2, for your next opportunity to get great plants and help Historic St. Mary's at the same time!

Arbor Week Events at St. Mary's College, 2012:

On Wednesday, March 28th, twenty folks came out to play and plant the front bed of the college's Alumni House. Having removed some old and mostly dead junipers, the foundation was freshened up with new paint and an assortment of green and colorful plants. Yellow knock out roses, native blue wild indigo, little princess spirea, hollies, lily turf and a specimen threadleaf maple were installed. A new brick path leads from the front steps to Calvert Hall, welcoming our alums and visitors and staff now daily. Thanks to all who helped to plant and rejuvenate this space!

On Wednesday, April 4, the St. Mary's Arboretum welcomed a wonderful speaker, Dr. Richard Olsen, who is a research geneticist at the National Arboretum in DC. Addressing a crowd of about 65 students and community visitors, Dr. Olsen talked about how the push for industry successful urban trees has impacted the resources for planting to all, limiting and essentially monoculturaling what rural and suburban gardeners find at plant nurseries. He also detailed specifics of what to avoid and look for in buying and setting out new trees (avoiding girdled in pot trees and shrubs, minimizing damage through compaction and over mulching) and gave a solid historical overview of how our landscape has changed over time.

Dr. Olsen then joined us for our edible plants installation alongside the greenspace at Daugherty Palmer Commons. There, 16 of us (students, staff and visitors) installed 5 fruit bearing (one day!) pear trees, and an assortment of blue, black and raspberry plants. This length of greenspace has in the past suffered from strangling vines, which have been cleared by our grounds department, showcasing now a rich palette of mostly native Maryland trees. Over time, this will be the place for those who love edible plants to visit and 'snag' a piece of fruit. The Arboretum pledges no pesticide spraying or herbicide use on the edible plants; we will test and see how much yield we have over time!

Arbor Week at St. Mary's College was a big success in 2012!

On Trees: a Reading. March 29, 2012.

Dr. Joan Maloof, Biology professor emeritus from Salisbury University, read from her work. She is the author of Among the Ancients: Adventures in the Eastern Old-Growth Forests (Ruka Press, 2011) and Teaching the Trees: Lessons from the Forest (University of Georgia Press, 2005). Dr. Maloof made her presentation in the Voices series of authors at St. Mary's College, at the Daugherty-Palmer Commons. Thanks to Dr. Maloof for her imaginative presentation!

Pruning Lesson and Work Day at Historic St. Mary's City

The crowd gathers at a pruning workshop in Historic St. Mary's City.

Another shot of the pruning workshop

On Saturday, February 18th, a pruning workshop was held at Historic St. Mary's City. Kevin Mercer (Superintendent of Grounds), Justin Mattingly (Certified Arborist), Cheryl Krumke (master gardener) and Mary Alves (Horticulturist) lead the workshop.  The workshop was wildly successful; forty-two people attended and helped get Historic St. Mary's City pruned and ready for spring. Cherry trees, boxwoods, crepe myrtles, coralberries, lilacs, and invasive ivy were among the plants pruned. Thanks to everyone for coming out and getting a lot of work done, through working and learning together!

Here are two helpful guides on how to prune properly:

When to Prune Your Plants
How to Prune Your Ornamental Plants

Tai-Chi in the Healing Garden, and The Healing Powers of Gardens

An instructional Tai-Chi lesson was held by Alex Kampf on Saturday, November 5th in the Arboretum's Healing Garden. Jesse Ditillo, a current St. Mary's College student who was the primary force in creating the healing garden, welcomed visitors. Prior to the Tai Chi lesson, M.J. Raleigh, Director of the college's Health and Counseling services, spoke to the group about how green spaces nurture us and restore us, lowering blood pressure and improving our coping abilities. Among the information shared: children who spend 10 hours or more per week outdoors are less likely to need stress medications later in adulthood. Jesse Ditillo giving introductory talk at Healing Garden

"What's Bugging You?" 

Dr. Stanton Gill giving his talk

On Tuesday, September 27th as part of the NS&M Colloquium, Dr. Stanton Gill (Professor and Extension Specialist, IPM for Nurseries and Greenhouses at Central Maryland Research and Education Center University of Maryland Extension) gave a talk on the biological control of herbaceous perennial plant pests, including the stink bug and a new fruit fly.

Getting to Know Our Critical Areas – What We Can and Can't Do in Them

On Saturday, September 24th, Jackie Takacs (Maryland Sea Grant Extension Program) and Sue Veith (St. Mary's County Environmental Planner) gave a workshop in Cole Cinema followed by a public planting. The talk focused on the regulations surrounding critical areas in St. Mary's County.

Rain Barrel Workshop - Capturing Rain for Home Garden Needs

Jackie Takacs, Maryland Sea Grant Extension Program, and faculty member at St. Mary's College of Maryland, will help participants build rain barrels for home use on Saturday, August 6.  Fee involved for materials.  Contact Jackie for details, jutakacs@smcm.edu or call 240-895-3156.  Workshop held at Historic St. Mary's City's Visitor Center, from 9-noon.

Slide Show about St. Mary's Arboretum Association: Not Your Grandmother's Idea of An Arboretum

Join Arboretum Association members Lesley Urgo and Dan Branigan for a slide show and guided tree tour on campus. Lesley's talk "Not Your Grandmother's Idea of an Arboretum - The St. Mary's Arboretum" will begin at 10:30 a.m. in Cole Cinema at the campus center. Dan's tree tour will begin immediately after the slide show ends. The slide show and tree tour should run from approximately 10:30 to noon. All are welcome, no charge, wear comfortable walking shoes. Saturday, June 11, 2011.

Habitat Walk with Dr. Ernie Willoughby:

On Saturday, April 23rd, 2011, retired St. Mary's College biology professor and ornithologist Ernie Willioughby led a group on a tour of St. Mary's Arboretum natural and managed plant habitats. Superintendent of Grounds Kevin Mercer joined the group to talk about recent college actions including meadow and forest creation on St. Mary's college acreage. This was a no-cost, open to the public event.

Tuesday, April 5 2011 Plant Sale and Garden Market at HSMC pre-orders are due on this date.

The Plant Sale is an annual event that benefits the gardening program at Historic St. Mary's City. There are interpretive gardens at the Godiah Spray Tobacco Plantation, the Woodland Indian Hamlet, Smith's Ordinary, Farthing's Ordinary, and the Visitor Center that add much to the interest and beauty of these exhibit areas. Museum staff members and volunteers care for these gardens as well as other small beds throughout the museum site. Research materials, plants, seeds, tools, and other supplies are purchased throughout the year.

In addition to Green Acres Nursery in Leonardtown which supplies the herbs and annuals, we are again partnering with Shelby’s Nursery in La Plata, which has instituted a fundraising program featuring perennials.

Please download the plant sale order form and pre-order by April 5. Please plan on picking up your order during the Garden Market on Thursday, May 5 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The Market will take place on the corner of Routes 5 and 584 (Old State House Road. If you are not able to come that day, consider sending a friend. If that is not possible, contact Mary Alves (240-895-4964 or mmalves@smcm.edu), and she will hold the plants for you.

In the tent we will have a selection of the most popular culinary herbs including many additional varieties of old favorites such as basil, lavender, mint, sage and thyme. There will also be a selection of scented geraniums, drought tolerant hanging baskets, and distinctive herbal containers. Besides herbs, we will be offering some popular perennials for sun and shade.  Outside vendors will be there offering plants, garden products, and paraphernalia.

Saturday, April 16 (9:30-12:30) Making The Most of Your Native Plants, Part 1

Guest expert, Mary Stuart-Sierra, owner of Lower Marlboro Nursery, will lead a propagation workshop at Historic St. Mary's City. This workshop will cover the basic biology of plant propagation using vegetable methods, such as division, layering, and cutting. Live plant materials, native to southern Maryland, will be used for demonstration. Pre-registration is required. The cost is $20 to participate, $15 for HSMC members. Refreshments will be provided. 240-895-4964.

Sunday clean ups with Keep St. Mary's Beautiful

Most Sundays while school is in session. Meet at the campus center at 1 p.m. Contact Sola Ogundele at extension 4209.

Healing Garden Planting

Event Held: March 22 2011

As part of the week leading up to President Urgo's inauguration, over 200 native shrubs and perennials were planted between the Cobb House and St. John's Museum as a healing garden. The purpose of the Healing Garden is to provide an outside therapy space for counseling services, as well as an open use area when the health center is not using the space. We had a great showing of volunteers for this event, and the difference made can be shown by these before and after pictures.

Healing Garden before pic 1

Healing Garden before pic 2
Healing Garden after pic 1
Healing Garden after pic 2
Healing Garden after pic 3
Healing Garden after pic 4

Saturday February 12 - Pruning Workshop at Historic St. Mary's City, led by St. Mary's College Certified Arborist Justin Mattingly

Dorch and PG Plantings
Event Held: Nov. 2010

In November of 2010, the Arboretum began its ‘projects’ work with new plantings and renovation of greenspace at Dorchester and Prince George residence halls. Clean up of the spaces preceded the planting of redbud trees, sweet pepper bushes, daffodil and daylily bulbs by student volunteers and staff from physical plant, as well as with Arboretum committee members. Also installed was new green sod, picnic tables, and cookout grills. Over 50 students came out to help with this first-ever SMCM volunteer landscaping project. It was a fine kick-off for projects on campus for the St. Mary's Arboretum Association!

How to Plant A Raingarden
Event Held: Oct. 16th, 2010 

Raingarden Flyer Thumbnail

Please click here for a full version of the flyer.