Winter Work: 30-degrees & Garden Tricks
by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
On my walk into the office this morning I was having trouble staying warm. It was only 30 degrees — but for an office-dweller like me, it seemed frigid. My hands were so cold they wouldn’t work properly and I was having trouble taking photos with my phone. I noticed a buggy piled high with cardboard just ahead. For a minute I though, it’s too cold to even go find out what’s going on over there, but then I reconsidered, thinking about my coworkers who work outside each day, regardless of the heat or cold (and sometimes rain!). Horticulturist Leah Purdy and gardener Chris Brown were working together to expand the mulch rings on the overcup oaks (Quercus lyrata) in the Central Garden, in front of the Conservatory.
It was a neat project and I was marveling at their ingenuity of using a piece of twine and spray paint to make their work easier — finding a shortcut to create a perfect circle around the tree — using a strand of twine as the radius and the tree trunk for an anchor (a simple trick you can use at home too!). They were expanding the mulch bed and covering up grass, and didn’t want to have to use chemicals to kill the grass when there’s a better way: cardboard. They used giant staples to tack the cardboard down to the ground to make it stay in place. For a step-by-step guide to how you could do this at home, just see the photos of Chris and Leah below.
“Try and stay warm you guys,” I said as I walked away.
“It’s not that bad,” said Leah, “I love this kind of weather!”