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Mandalas in Nature

Landscape Gardener Tim Chadd at one time designed and replanted Sherman Library & Gardens’ modern formal garden as a living mandala with butter lettuce, thyme, and bok choy. The word ‘Mandala’ is a Sanskrit word for a circle contained within a square, often with sections radiating out from the center point. The process of making… Read More »

The Hardiest Houseplant You’ve Never Heard Of

Pull up a chair, roll up your sleeve, and put on a brave face because it’s time for your daily dose of trivia! Ready? Let’s begin: What plant is hand pollinated using cat whiskers? Need a hint? This plant shares its name with the mascot of Georgetown University. If you answered Hoya, then treat yourself… Read More »

Horsefeathers in Horticulture

Starve a cold and feed a fever. Don’t cross your eyes too long or they’ll get stuck that way. Always wait thirty minutes after eating before swimming. Drinking coffee in adolescence will stunt your growth. Shaved hairs grow back thicker. Unless you were raised by wolves, you’ve likely heard at least one of these admonitions… Read More »

Captivating Carnivorous Plants

Precocious pitcher plants, seductive sundews and the vivacious, yet vicious Venus fly traps use their alluring bodies to entice their naive guests into a romantic dinner for two. But there’ll be no walk along the beach after this malicious meal. For the carnivorous plant, its date is the main course in this tale of summer love…. Read More »

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

In 1900, L. Frank Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. This classic tells the story of a young girl, Dorothy, entering a strange magical world where she must rely on the help of her friends to find her way back home. As Dorothy follows the yellow brick road to find the powerful Wizard of Oz, The… Read More »

Papaver nudicaule: Iceland Poppies

Papaver nudicaule is the Latin name for the Iceland poppy. The Latin genus Papaver means ‘poppy’ while the Latin specific epithet nudicaule means ‘with bare stems.’ Other common names include Icelandic poppy and arctic poppy. These plants are native to Asian mountain areas north into arctic regions. Iceland poppies are technically considered a perennial but… Read More »