Plant Picks: The Hydrangea Collection

With the second week of guesses in, the Daily Gazette announces Jessica Thomaston ’10 as the winner. Last week’s clue read: This summer border garden can be found beside rebuilt social justice. Despite having oak leaves and tree-like shapes, these plants sit calmly in the shade of larger trees.

The location gave many participants trouble, as hydrangeas are present all around campus. In fact, the oakleaf hydrangea is one of several signature plants of the Scott Arboretum. The “rebuilt social justice” in the clue let readers know that the garden was near the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility’s new home on Whittier Place. A correct guess was also received from Uma Nagendra ’09, with many runner-ups indicating hydrangeas but not the specific garden.

Plant collections, “automatically organize space that would otherwise be amorphous,” according to a history of the Scott Arboretum by Ben Yagoda. “Each collection possesses a distinct identity that endows it with a sense of place…” The hydrangea garden is a small alcove of soft, shady green shot through with showy clumps of bright color. Though many species peak during the summer, several like the pictured panicled hydrangea are still in full bloom. If you find yourself wanting a break from the busy Science Center, you may want to take a calming nap beside these beautiful bushes.

This week’s clue reads: In this educational garden it seems we should all look skyward, not below for koi.

Remember, name the garden and win your picture in the next plant picks feature. Send all responses to myles [d o t] dakan [a t] gmail [d o t] edu

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