What’s happening this June at the Crosby Arboretum?

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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

On a walk through the Arboretum grounds, you’ll almost always find something blooming along the pathways. Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), with its spherical white flower clusters, greets you now as you pass over the first bridge on our Arrival Journal. Halfway around the Pond Journey lies an impressive white-flowering swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum) gearing up to bloom, planted at the end of another bridge. Although we tend to think of our native “honeysuckle” azaleas as being spring bloomers, this one delights visitors with its fragrant summer blooms.

We unfortunately missed a chance to conduct a prescription burn of our south pitcher plant bog in January or February this year, due to the fact it was an extremely wet winter. Normally, at this time of year, our south bog would be absolutely stunning with a wide array of color displayed by the many perennial species that make their home here. But this year, the bog is chock full of the grasses that otherwise would have been burned away, and the perennial growth has been suppressed.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

However, one perennial that continues to stand out in the bog is the fewflower milkweed. Its wispy stems are topped with brilliant orange-red blooms that tower over the surrounding grasses and perennials, making them beacons to passing butterflies and other pollinators.

If you are missing blooming plants, you can always take a tour through our Pollinator Garden, located on the other side of our service drive loop. You will see many plants thriving in this hot, humid summer. Take home a few ideas of plants to use in your own landscape!

As people continue to discover the Crosby Arboretum, we hope they will choose to return and make us a regular part of their routine, spreading the news of this exceptional public garden that has the capacity to transform lives through the simple experience of being immersed in nature.

On a visit here, we hope you will find moments when the ordinary becomes extraordinary, and you feel connected to nature. Perhaps on your journey you will observe the emergence of a new butterfly from a chrysalis, ponder the intricate design of a flower, hear a wood thrush trill in the forest, or catch a fleeting glimpse of a red fox ahead of you on the trail.

As a youth, much of my own time was spent outdoors, exploring our extensive neighborhood woods, learning the names and habits of wildlife and plants, and reveling in the new discoveries in the creek underneath logs and rocks. Fortunately, this interest in nature was encouraged by my family. Bring your children to the Crosby Arboretum, and give them memories that will last a lifetime!

A visitor once mentioned that they would like to have a more extensive home garden, but because their time is limited it is easier for them to just come to the Arboretum for a “green boost” as they hate to remember to water. Why not start a water garden? They can be quite low-maintenance, as you don’t need to remember to water them – the water is already there!

This summer, the Arboretum will be offering many children’s programs. “Storytime at the Arboretum” will be held on Friday, June 21 at 10:00 a.m. and then for every Friday in the month of July. Free to members’ children; $2 non-members’ children. A children’s insect workshop will take place on Wednesday, June 19 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. led by Hancock County Extension Agent, Dr. Christian Stephenson, cost for members’ children $3 and non-members’ children $5.  A kids’ Storybook Tea and Craft Party will take place Saturday, June 22, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Members’ children $3, and $5 for non-members’ children up now for a popular children’s program on Venomous Mississippi Snakes with Pearl River County Extension Agent Dr. Eddie Smith, Wednesday, July 17, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Children must always be accompanied by an adult. (No charge for adults). Sign Drawings by Robin Veerkamp will be on display in the Arboretum gallery through the end of August.

For information on programs, please see our summer calendar, available on the Arboretum website at www.crosbyarboretum.msstate.edu. To sign up for programs, please call 601-799-2311. The Crosby Arboretum is located at 370 Ridge Road in Picayune, at I-59 Exit 4, and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 to 4:30. Leashed pets are welcome.

The Crosby Arboretum is located at 370 Ridge Road in Picayune, at I-59 Exit 4, and open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 to 4:30. Leashed pets are welcome.