Image courtesy of Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation.
Photo by Don Olson.
Many people don't realize that running a large apple-breeding program is a year-round operation. After the last bushel is picked and sold at the Applehouse, there are still chores to be tackled! Here's a rundown for the curious: In November and December, crews are busy mowing aisles between the apple trees as low as possible to reduce cover for a serious orchard pest - the meadow vole. These small rodents are active all winter and they love to eat the inner bark on apple trunks. Fortunately, predators (i.e., foxes, coyotes, owls and hawks) have a much easier time finding rodents when the grass is short and snow scarce. During these months, orchard staff also remove seedling trees that have been rejected by research scientist David Bedford who only selects a very small number for further evaluation. These rejects are cut off with a chainsaw and the stumps are pulled or dug out with a skid loader or small bulldozer. Orchard pruning starts in mid-January and continues into April. Pruning is an art and a science and is essential to growing high-quality fruit. So the next time you bite into a Honeycrisp, you'll realize it's the fruit of much labor! This week, apple scientists and orchard managers are attending the Minnesota Apple Growers Association winter meeting in LaCrosse, Wis., and Bedford is giving a talk on new cultivars. (Special thanks to Pete Moe for this update.)
Andersen Horticultural Library presents "Wild Green Things - The Art of Anne Ophelia Dowden," works by the renowned botanical artist and author, Jan. 18-May 2. These exquisite prints will be displayed in the Snyder Building & skyway, as well as the library. To learn more about Dowden's life, catch the "Inside the Collection" discussion about this artist on Wednesday, Jan. 18, from noon to 1 p.m., led by exhibit curator Dr. Lucienne Taylor. $7.50 member/ $10 non-member. Click here or call 952-443-1422 to register.
—Romp to Stomp out Breast Cancer on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Get active for a good cause! Originally planned for snowshoes, this will be a Nordic walking event in the event of insufficient snow. All proceeds benefit the Minnesota Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Register as an individual or part of a team. Fees: $37 (til Jan. 26) and $42 day of event; Lil Rompers - $27-$32. Special thanks to presenting sponsor Tubbs Snowshoes. Join the fun and register at http://www.tubbsromptostomp.com/mn.
—Tiny Treasures: Fairies & Gnomes at the Arboretum. Catch this whimsical display of miniature gardens and the fairies, sprites and gnomes that inhabit them. Look for special fairyland storytimes too. On display Jan. 28-March 4. Presented by Tonkadale Greenhouse.
If you would like to contribute or create a fairy or gnome garden for the public display please contact Lindsay Sypnieski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Gardening Class: Sexual Reproduction: Working with Seeds. Saturday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.. $35 member/$45 non-member. Learn the biology of seeds, germination, scarification, stratification and more with Jim Caulkins. Click here to register.
—Ladies Evening Escape. Friday, Feb. 10, 6-9 p.m. Fun evening of fun, fashion & shopping. Live acoustic music by the BZ Girls, fashion show and booths featuring home decor, jewelry and more. Cash bar & food available for purchase. $10 per person. Register here. (Guys welcome too!)
—Sign Up Now for PeaPods. Play, discover and learn about the natural world in these hands-on preschool sessions. At your own pace, you and your child can explore our many stations including: story time, music, art, science discovery, outdoor/greenhouse adventures, planting, sensory and a snack. Winter/spring session meets Tuesdays, Feb. 7-April 10, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. $100 member/$120 non-member for 10-week series. Register here or call 952-443-1422.
—Weekend Family Fun. Prehistoric Plants, noon - 4 p.m., Saturdays & Sundays in January, Learning Center. Drop-in and free with gate admission.
—Save the date for Gala in the Gardens. This annual Arboretum garden party and benefit will take place the evening of Wednesday, June 13. The date was recently changed from June 20, due to extenuating circumstances. (Unfortunately, some printed materials, including the Arboretum wall calendar, may have the earlier date.) We hope to see you on June 13 for the Gala. Details to follow!
—Arboretum open regular hours on Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Monday, Jan. 16.