Another week at the office, another week learning about historical garden plants. I have almost reached a stopping point after digging deeper into the old cultivars of Asters, Chrysanthemums and Tulips. My excel sheet contains 622 lines of information about the Chatham garden varieties. I have also cataloged the 1985 restoration plans, totaling in ten planting plans being accounted for. I must say that though the Shipman plans have an appeal of their own, I love the look and layout of the 80’s plans. Both are hand drafted but the 80’s plans have standardized lettering and an overall geometric look. If I were to only hand-draft for my career, I would do it in this style.
Plan of Entry – 1985 Chatham Restoration Plans
I will be able to walk away from this project having dusted off some of my AutoCAD skills and able to recognize some classic species for garden design. I felt very accomplished when I finally found (through scouring Google Books) a cultivar that I was sure I misinterpreted the name of. The biggest surprise was Chrysanthemum ‘Chos Jolly’ which turned out to be ‘Chas Jolly’. ‘Chas’ was (maybe still is?) a way of shortening Charles. The more you know!
In a nutshell, I’m an expert Ellen Shipman handwriting decipherer.
It was also interesting to learn about other famous gardeners, as their cultivars would be named after them. For example, Amos Perry cultivated the first pink Hardy Aster and said Aster is named after him (Aster ‘Amos Perry’, Perry’s Pink, etc). Another interesting find was that there was a section of the Chatham garden that had two plans. One was for purely Chrysanthemums, and since I cataloged this version first, I assumed the second version was the same genera but different cultivars. However, when I started to find information on these cultivars for the other plan I quickly realized it was purely tulips! It made me see the section in a whole new lens, while learning about a whole new genus. It highlighted the dynamic nature that theses spaces can take.
Near the end of the week, the four of us OCLP interns headed out to the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site (Fairsted) in Brookline, MA to go see the Branching Out Crew give a “Teach Back” on the work they had completed at the site. It was a nice day trip out of the office to a site that we all knew very well and we were curious to see what changes had been made since we were last there. The Branching Out Crew did plenty of installations (around 50 new plants!) and it was great to hear them discuss how their work was all towards restoring the 1930’s look of the property. I certainly learned more about landscape maintenance hearing it from peers.
Discussion in the courtyard where new Yews were planted
My favorite part of the week was that Kristi (@kristi0lmsted), who lives out in Brookline for the summer, had us take an alternate route back to the T stop by the reservoir. If there is one thing I love, it is staring at big water bodies. The reservoir was picturesque on that nice summer day out with my fellow interns. Thank you Kristi for the wonderful walk.
Us walking by the reservoir from Fairsted
Lastly, we had a double header this week! Two brown bags this week. One was with Eric Breitkreutz, Chief of Historic Structure Research and Documentation at the Historic Architecture, Conservation and Engineering Center (HACE) in Lowell, the other with Mamata Akella, a cartographer and web map specialist for the Cultural Resources GIS NPMap program out in Lakewood, CO. And of course, Eric was from San Antonio, TX! It’s always great to see San Antonionians outside of San Antonio. It’s refreshing. Also, amazing to have met two in the Park Service in such a short span of time! Eric stressed to us the importance of networking, which is great because if there is another thing I love it’s networking! Mamata’s talk introduced us to the internal mapping system of the National Park Service which was extremely fascinating! I want to make all of the maps now! The user interface for their platform is so modernized and it’s an amazingly collaborative environment. I think it is a perfect program to advertise within the agency as well as a great way to keep the public well-informed about the parks, especially with the centennial right around the corner! I’m jealous that I didn’t really get a chance to explore it this summer but I do look forward to at least pitching project ideas for next summer’s crew!
Next week we gear up for a new group project! Until next time!
2015 DTP Interns Picture? Check.