Phyllis E. Galanti Arboretum is an oasis of healing






For veterans receiving treatment at the McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Va., an 8-acre area of land on the center’s busy campus has been transformed into a growing arboretum. Here, patients, caregivers and members of the community can take a peaceful stroll, or even participate in a yoga class or other therapeutic activity to […]

Historic Woodlawn embodies the rural cemetery tradition






In early American cities, burials typically happened on urban plots of land controlled by churches. But as the decades wore on and those plots filled up, the question of where to continue burials posed problems for city planners and for those concerned about public health. One solution was the rural cemetery movement that began in […]

With a passion for sharing plant stories, Allan Armitage removes the mystery of growing plants






“Plants aren’t complicated, and gardening should be fun,” says Allan Armitage. Deciphering the pronunciation of a name like Centaurea cyanus probably isn’t the most welcoming way for a newbie to enter the world of plants. But telling a story about how this common roadside weed with fuzzy blue blossoms came to be known as “Bachelor’s […]

Plant collector turns suburban lot into a ‘gallery’ of living art






For many suburban homeowners, working in the yard is a chore, a dreaded weekend drudgery done solely to stay in the good graces of the HOA and the next-door neighbors. Lowrie Glasgow is not a typical suburban homeowner. In the 12 years since he moved to his half-acre suburban lot in Greenville, S.C., he’s changed just about […]

Sweet things are in the making at Kettle Ridge Farm






  From a weekly egg delivery service within its neighborhood to a soon-to-be-launched pancake food truck, Kettle Ridge Farm exemplifies the enterprise and creativity today’s small farmers must bring to their job. Kettle Ridge encompasses 70 acres spread out across areas around Rochester, N.Y. Owners Joe Hurley and his son, Chris, produce maple syrup, honey […]

Lansdowne Farm’s botanical history: plants preserve memories






Stories stream from Barbara Backus as she strolls the grounds of Lansdowne Farm, the property where she and her husband, Curtis, live in Fredericksburg, Va. From the farm’s history to the various iris, dahlia and daylily beds spread about the property, there’s no shortage of material. But that doesn’t mean that the botanical details of […]

Lamberton Conservatory shines at the holidays and beyond






Towers of poinsettias and trees festooned with lights make Lamberton Conservatory glow against the cold nights of early winter in Rochester, N.Y.’s Highland Park. The conservatory’s Holiday Show, which this year runs from Dec. 3, 2016, until Jan. 3, 2017, is a popular tradition and setting for holiday photos. It’s one of the many benefits this conservatory, […]

A coalition rallies behind an important Seattle-area forest






Like many communities on the outskirts of large cities, the city of Bothell, Wash., saw rapid growth during the housing boom of the mid-2000s. It’s easy to look at growth as an intrinsic threat to preserving open spaces, but that’s not quite how things turned out in Bothell, located outside Seattle. In fact, you could […]

Volunteers turn a public library landscape into an educational pollinator garden






Across the U.S., there’s a growing realization that pockets of public land that would otherwise house fertilizer- and water-dependent sod can be put to better use through the use of native plants. Pollinator gardens—landscapes designed to attract the bees, butterflies and birds that are necessary to plant life and food production—are becoming a popular project […]

Garden connects school students with literary classics






Every garden has a story, but the West Bloomfield High School Literary Garden, just outside of Detroit, Mich., has dozens. There are the stories of how of individual plants came to reside in a well-worked patch of dirt in what was once a neglected high school courtyard. The bittersweet vine was grown from seeds sent […]