Daily Plant Masthead

Volume XXVII, Number 5692
Thursday, Aug 23, 2012

The Sanctified Landscape

Planting of the Cucumber Magnolia tree at Downing Park
Planting of the Cucumber Magnolia tree at Downing Park

A Cucumber Magnolia propagated at the Arthur Ross Citywide Nursery was planted on Sunday at Downing Park in Newburgh, New York.

It was October 14, 2010 when I wrote an article for The Daily Plant about the Cucumber Magnolia which my wife first noticed on the Craig House Mansion.

When I was writing my book “The Mystery of The Magical Cucumber Tree,” I met the Professor of American History at Franklin & Marshall College and author David Schuyler. He is the utmost scholar on the life of Andrew Jackson Downing. “The Apostle of Taste” by Schuyler is the biography of Downing's life and he also helped write the Olmsted Papers for the NYC Parks Department.

He has just written a new book “The Sanctified Landscape” and a letter was written to Commissioner Adrian Benepe requesting the historic Cucumber Magnolia tree. Chief of Central Forestry Bram Gunther approved the delivery of the tree which was planted on Sunday, August 19 in Downing Park in a celebration of the life of Andrew Jackson Downing and the release of Schuyler's new book.

I had the pleasure of returning a three year old historic endangered tree which we propagated back to Newburgh, the original hometown of Andrew Jackson Downing, the master of naturalistic early American landscape designs. It was a truly special moment.

Submitted by Richie Cabo

Youth Volunteerism Encourages Learning And Greener Parks

Recently we just finished up a program for the youth where we hosted a group from the Van Cortlandt GreenYouth Jobs. They spent a few days with the Bronx Greenhouse staff, and then a couple of days with the Arthur Ross Citywide Nursery staff. The Citywide staff gave them a tour and a talk about the complete nursery operation including the new 02 Compost area. They learned about plant propagation and nursery management.

The Citywide Nursery also received a visit from the J.C.C. of Greater D.C. by an organized camp trip of Jewish children who travels to different locations to perform community service through volunteering. Master Gardener Debralee Mercado organized the days activities and tours. This came about when the "Fresh" movie film maker Ana Sophia referred the J.C.C. group to Richie Cabo & the Citywide Nursery. The J.C.C. camp counselor said it was the best visit for the children during the entire summer.

At the beginning of the spring I visited the Van Cortlandt Park Nature Center and spoke to a group of Green Teens organized by the Urban Park Rangers about organics, sustainability and gardening.

There was also a large event cosponsored with the Bronx Greenhouse staff. The Citywide Nursery hosted 200 volunteers from the Eagle Boys Academy, and several of them cleaned up and weeded around the nursery grounds.

Giving the youth the opportunity to learn about horticulture by volunteering in NYC Parks is a great way for them to learn while at the same time helping NYC Parks to stay green.

We also did a special memorial tree planting of a Cucumber Magnolia at P.S. 244 in the Bronx for a Penny Harvest Program to remember a teacher who passed away in a motorcycle accident.

A special Thank You to all our volunteers!

Submitted by Richie Cabo
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