By Patricia R. Drackett, Director and Assistant Extension Professor of Landscape Architecture
The Crosby Arboretum, Mississippi State University Extension Service

Are you one of those people who have always wondered what happens here at the Crosby Arboretum? Please make plans to join us this Saturday, June 9 for our gallery opening event in the Visitor Center from 11:00 a.m. to Noon. Enjoy light refreshments, and plan for a stroll to the Pinecote Pavilion afterwards to feed the fish and turtles.

Saturday’s exhibit will feature photography by Dave Snyder and daughter Samantha Fabacher, who will display pictures taken during their travels that capture the “spirit of places”. The exhibit runs through August. 31.

If you have plans to travel this summer, you will enjoy Dave’s program on “Travel Photography: Capturing the Moment” which takes place before the opening event, from 9:00 to 10:30. Get out of the summer heat and enjoy this cool indoor program! You do not need to bring your camera to this program.

Dave will provide instruction to guide you in recording lasting memories reflecting your own unique trips.

He will dispel common myths, and offer suggestions on planning and documenting your own journeys.

Also included will be what to take with you and keeping it safe; thoughts on what to photograph and easy things you can do to set your pictures apart. Finally, he will show you what you can do, when you get home, to turn your trip into lasting memories.

On your visit to the Arboretum, don’t miss the chance to venture out into our Savanna Exhibit. The South Bog is absolutely stunning right now, a profusion of pitcher plants punctuated with blooming perennials such as the pink and yellow meadow beauties (Rhexia).

In the matrix of grasses and herbaceous plants, you’ll see thin-stemmed flowers called ladies’ hatpins (Eriocaulon). Also known as pipewort or bog buttons, this unusual flower is found in great profusion in the Savanna Exhibit, and especially in the South Bog. In the summer months, these tiny blooms transform the meadow into swaying sea of polka dots.

Flowers in the grasslands range from the tall to the tiny. Five species of petite candy root (Polygala) are common along our pathways, and found in shades of pink, white, purple, yellow and orange. Typically ranging from around two to six inches tall, they are also called milkworts or drumheads. Their unusually shaped blooms are attractive to butterflies such as skippers that sip their nectar and they earned the name candy root because their roots have an aroma like wintergreen candy. Look closely and you’ll see the orange-red blooms of fewflower milkweed (Asclepias), held conspicuously high above the rest, on stems that can be up to four feet in height.

Along our three miles of pathways, you will see summer-flowering shrubs gearing up for a show, such as Titi (Cyrilla racemiflora). Titi (rhymes with “bye-bye”), is a high-performing native shrub is called titi also called leatherwood. Its Latin name is Cyrilla racemiflora. Its long, pendulous white bloom clusters make it an attractive sight in the wet areas along our Visitor Parking lot, in our north bog, and at the pond edge across from the Pinecote Pavilion.

A large, sprawling, semi-evergreen shrub, it can grow to 15 feet overall, and sometimes as tall as 25 feet if given full sun, which will promote fuller bloom. Bees love it!

To sign up for Dave Snyder’s Travel Photography program on Saturday, June 9, from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m., please call 601-799-2311.

Space is limited and reservations are requested. Members may attend for free, and the cost for non-members is only $5.

Consider joining the Arboretum, as your membership will include a reciprocal admission through the American Horticultural Society to over 300 U.S. public gardens. Also great if you are traveling this summer!

Join us for an Insect Workshop Friday, June 15 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. with Hancock County Extension Agent Christian Stephenson. Cost for members’ children is $3, and non-members’ children $5.

A children’s craft workshop on making Nature Journals will be led by Kim Johnson on Thursday, June 28, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. 

Children must be accompanied by parent or guardian (no charge for adults). Cost for members’ children is $3 and non-members’ children $5. Reservations are requested for all programs to guarantee your seat. There is no charge for the adults in a children’s program.

For more information, see our website at www.crosbyarboretum.msstate.edu.

The Crosby Arboretum is located in Picayune, I-59 Exit 4, at 370 Ridge Road, and open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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