August 11, 2001 |
Armed with only mapping equipment and a notebook, Amanda Ault is spending much of the summer on the battle lines. Her territory: Wissahickon Park. Her mission: scouting for the invaders - those foreign plants that kill native vegetation. Just a few minutes into one foray during a recent afternoon, she made the day's first find: a large gap where there should have been trees - except that nonnative vines had claimed the turf as their own. A graduate student at Lehigh University, Ault splits about 40 hours a week between the office and field work on a program called the Invasive Exotic Vegetation Mapping Pilot Project.
January 29, 2001 |
In 1773, the same year a crowd of colonists crept aboard English ships in Boston Harbor and dumped cases of tea into the dark waters, a Chester County native named Humphry Marshall planted a small garden behind his home in Marshallton, West Bradford Township. To present-day horticulturists and historians, Marshall's gentlemanly pursuit is now considered to be a turning point in American history as dramatic as the Boston Tea Party. Marshall, a stonemason, miller and Quaker farmer who built his own home, complete with a small observatory and a hothouse, probably thought nothing of his gardening pursuit, which he took up in earnest at the then-advanced age of 51. Advised by area doctors and even a local herbalist, known as Indian Hannah, on what to include in the garden, Marshall planted rows of medicinal herbs, native plants, and exotics grown from seeds he obtained from a group of gardeners and scientists he regularly corresponded with in Europe.
September 1, 2000 |
A museum dedicated to conservation is nearing completion at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, the marshy oasis for migrating birds that sits, incongruously, in an industrial corridor next to Philadelphia International Airport. Supporters hope that after seven years of planning, the $5 million Cusano Environmental Education Center will generate renewed interest in protection and restoration of the largest remaining freshwater tidal marshland in the state. The Cusano Center, named for a Ridley Park machinist who left his life's savings to the U.S. Treasury, is expected to make the 1,000-acre wetland a more popular tourist destination.
April 1, 1999
You have to wonder what the folks protesting the "culling" of deer in Fairmount Park think about wildcats. When predatory animals roamed the park decades ago, they ate the deer for breakfast. How do the demonstrators think the natural world operates? This just in: Animals kill each other, and then they eat each other. When it doesn't happen that way, the environment goes out of whack. This is what has happened in Fairmount Park, where the deer not only are eating themselves out of house and home, they're eating their neighbors' habitats.
September 11, 1998 |
Butterflies will find it hard to resist the colorful river of flowers that flows into the newly created meadow maze at Tyler Arboretum. And visitors to Tyler's newest offering will find it difficult to complete the tour without gleaning some insight into native plants and wildlife. The Stopford Family Meadow Maze, which opens tomorrow, features a four-ring labyrinth, the butterfly river, and a series of discovery stations along the maze's perimeter that are designed to educate and entertain visitors.
March 10, 1998 |
With temperatures due to plummet into the low 20s by late tomorrow, Rick Lewandowski of Morris Arboretum has this advice for nervous gardeners: "If you believe in God, I'd touch base. " Absent divine intervention, the region is about to get a two-day blast of frigid air - the coldest since the Mummers hit Broad Street on New Year's Day. You can unpack a sweater. But what to do about all of those pretty plants that are acting like it's mid-April? "In reality, nothing," says Lewandowski, director of horticulture at the Chestnut Hill arboretum.
January 30, 1998 |
If you are looking for ideas for the garden this year, take a walk on the wild side. Into the woods, actually. For it's in the woods that ideas for the garden abound. Even in the dead of winter, the forests are alive and green. Evergreens of every description line the trails, creating micro-climates that shelter less-hardy shrubs that are heavy with berries coveted by birds and squirrels. It's tough to convince many gardeners of the versatility of native-species gardens.
January 10, 1997 |
Mom & Pop's Coffeehouse in Levittown will present singers Kim and Reggie Harris this evening. The husband-and-wife duo, who have been singing together for almost 20 years, will perform at 8 p.m. at United Christian Church. "Their singing can move an audience. The topics of their songs are very carefully selected, very meaningful," said Sue Deckhart, program director for Mom & Pop's. "They address freedom, social justice, environmental issues, romance, humor. " Their first album, Music and the Underground Railroad, was recorded in 1981.
September 16, 1996 |
Dana Ely went plant shopping on Saturday. She was on the lookout for flora that was attractive, low-maintenance and easy to grow. At a tiny sale near here, she hit pay dirt. The Brandywine and Red Clay Valley Associations were holding their third annual gardeners' plant exchange with an emphasis on the native over the trendy. If the two should meet, so much the better. Amid the holly, the ironweed and the helianthus, Ely snagged a treasure - the only clethra "hummingbird" cultivar, "an absolutely lovely plant," said sale organizer Harriet Wentz.
September 9, 1996 |
Kelsey Kirkwood, 10, tried to wiggle her way out of a pair of 17th-century steel handcuffs. Eric Truitte, 12, spent much of his day Saturday making 18th-century-style lead pencils. Anne Vince, flour splattered on her Revolutionary-style apron, handed out fire-baked scones with rich herb butter. It was the first day of Chadds Ford Days, a weekend historical extravaganza organized to celebrate the area's revolutionary past. The event was sponsored by the Chadds Ford Historical Society.