Sunday, March 27, 2016

Flowering Dogwood at Glen Magna Farms.

The flowering Dogwood tree, Cornus florida is a tree native to Eastern North America.  It has an average height and width of 15’ to 30’ and grows best in full sun to part shade.  April through May, the dogwood tree blooms beautiful white flowers.  The dogwood flowers are visited by traveling butterflies and other beneficial insects. During the fall, native birds make a meal out of the dogwoods showy red fruit.  It is theorized that the dogwood tree got its name from the old Celtic word “dag”, meaning hard or strong wood. Historically, the wood of the dogwood was perfect for making small cleaning tools.
   In 1898 the Honorable Joseph Chamberlain, member of the English Parliament and Father of Neville Chamberlain, created the Shrubbery Garden at Glen Magna Farms.  Multiple species of shrubs, trees and flowers were planted in this garden; many of them still grow in the garden to this day, one of them being the flowering Dogwood tree.
   When you visit Glen Magna Farms, make sure to pay tribute to the beautiful flowering Dogwood tree and the historic shrubbery garden that surrounds it.
The Flowering Dogwood tree (left) in full bloom. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Come join us!

  Glen Magna Farms is looking for volunteers to maintain its historic  Rose Garden this 2016 garden season.  Weeding pathways and garden beds, deadheading roses and herbaceous perennials.  If you are looking to serve your community, meet fellow gardeners or just get some fresh air then please join us in the Historic Rose Garden. Volunteers are welcome Monday through Friday. Please contact Matthew by email at before volunteering.  See you in the garden. :)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Carriage road.

Carriage road
  One of the first things you encounter when you walk on  the grounds of Glen Magna Farms is carriage road.  A beautiful stone dust road lined with over thirty mature pin oaks that leads to a magnificent iron gate.
   Pin oaks- Quercus palustris is a native tree to Massachusetts growing 60’-70’ in height.  Pin oaks are pyramidal and usually have a central leader with beautiful fall foliage. Pin oaks are a widely used landscape tree due to its ability to tolerate pollution, drought and soil compaction. Pin oak acorns are eaten by many native animal species such as wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, squirrels and certain species of ducks. 
    But the pin oak was not the first species of tree planted along this road. The pin oak was planted in 1975 to replace the stately American elm tree.   In 1817,  an avenue of elms was planted by Joseph Augustus Peabody.  The American elm tree- Ulmus americana, is a large tree growing to 80’ and the national champion was 112’ in Copemish ,MI.  The American elm was at one time the most common street tree in America. Unfortunately a disease called Dutch elm disease has killed many of them, including the avenue of elms at Glen Magna Farms. 
 In 1859, George Peabody, son of Joseph, agreed to relocate the Newburyport Turnpike (route 1) to the west, if the town would discontinue the use of carriage road as a public road. 
  I hope the next time you visit Glen Magna Farms you stop  to appreciate the history and beauty of this cherished carriage road. 

Avenue of elms, facing south.