SAMPLER OF SHRUBS AND VINES PLANNED BY ARBORETUM
The drawing below was part of the competition submission that won landscape architects Douglas Reed, M.L.A. '81, and Gary R. Hilderbrand, M.L.A. '85, the opportunity to design "the last great landscape collection to be developed at the Arnold Arboretum," as Robert Cook '68, director of the arboretum, calls it. He is speaking of a shrub and vine collection to be spread on nearly four acres of sloping land below the Dana Greenhouses on the north side of the arboretum in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Cook and his staff will raise $2 million to build the garden and $1 million to endow it once the arboretum has met its $8.2-million capital-campaign goal. With $900,000 to go in that effort, construction of the new garden may not begin until 2001.
The garden will display up to 450 kinds of sun-loving shrubs (not including roses or lilacs, collected elsewhere on the grounds) in a series of terraced beds, suggested in the foreground of the drawing. About half of these plants will be of known wild origin, while the rest will be varieties developed in cultivation. The "cultivar" part of the collection will be a rotating display, with plants in place for five years or less, and will focus on evaluating shrubs for their ornamental merit in landscapes made by humans. In front of a long and massive stone wall, shown in the drawing, are indications of trellises on which will rise 60 or more kinds of woody vines, many more than most gardeners could identify or, left to their own devices, would consider growing.
Trellises will support 60 or more ornamental vines.
Outdoor signage will interpret the plantings, telling of the various modes of climbing invented by vines, for instance, or of their many anomalous anatomical features. Such signage has never been deployed in the naturalistic, Olmstedian terrain of the arboretum's main grounds. The staff will enhance the public-education role of the new garden through additional material put up on the arboretum's website.
The structure at left in the drawing is a redesigned enclosure for the arboretum's splendid bonsai collection, in about the location of the present bonsai house. The structure at right is a new open-sided pavilion of 1,000 square feet that will be used for day and evening educational classes and functions, and in which one could hide from the elements if they suddenly turned mean.
Designer Reed recently received the President's Award of Excellence from the American Society of Landscape Architects. Hilderbrand is associate professor of landscape architecture at the Graduate School of Design.