I thought I had died and gone to botanical and plant geek heaven yesterday when I was lucky enough to catch a tour of Hofstra's South Campus Arboretum with grounds director Fred Soviero. Of course it's sort of true that I feel like I'm in botanical heaven on a walk on any given day through this campus. But it's not every day that I get to hear binomial names rapid-fire and the Latin too!
So instead of just taking in all the colors, textures and the growth of the moment, which is my habit, I got to hear some of the history of the campus and stories about specific trees while touring the pinetum and some of the fabulous South Campus grounds.
Turns out that the mammoth commanding Katsura I fell in love with the first time we met is the oldest tree on campus and the Chinese Quince with the incredible bark, which I just met last week and is my latest crush, was actually saved and then transplanted from the north shore of Long Island when it was already 30 feet tall and quite massive.
I didn't know that the Hofstra campus was a registered arboretum when I first went for a walk on the grounds, but I knew immediately I was somewhere special that people had spent a good while creating and maintaining.