Friday, May 27, 2016
Restoring Spring Flora at Veblen House
The first iris opened last week, a vestige of Elizabeth Veblen's english garden. Photos from the 1950s, recently found at the Institute for Advanced Study archives, show that the garden completely encircled the house in a broad oval complete with split rail fence, as if the house were enclosed in a horse corral. The photos, selected from a large box of slides by Friends of Herrontown Woods volunteer Victoria Floor, and then digitized by IAS archives staff, show the Veblen House grounds from many angles, and will greatly facilitate restoration of the gardens.
Farther down the slope, the pawpaws planted by volunteers during a new years weekend planting party are beginning to grow, protected from deer browse.
FOHW board members Kurt and Sally Tazelaar cleared this area of multiflora rose, allowing native sedges to rebound. The fallen tree is a black locust, possibly planted long ago to create a grove from which their rot-resistant wood could be harvested for fenceposts.
Also growing in this field are green-fringed orchids, many of which we're protecting from the deer and mowing crews.
Whether it's the buildings or the land the Veblens left behind, the aim is to appreciate and nurture what remains.
For more on this spring's flora along the trails in Herrontown Woods, follow this link.