When I was a little girl, I loved my grandmother’s meadow full of beautiful flowers but also full of birds, butterflies, and bees. I loved the texture of the grasses and how the blades of grass moved with the wind. I saw beauty in the afternoon sun shining down over the meadow like a blanket of warmth. One of the first gardening and conservation books I purchased was Wildflowers Across America by Lady Bird Johnson. I was drawn to this book by memories of my grandmother’s meadow and how I missed seeing meadows in the landscape. I grew up surrounded by woodland and a meadow, and I instinctively realized that we needed bio-diversity before it was a buzz word.

I grew up with farms growing fruits, vegetables, and tobacco. Farms that raised cattle for milk and meat and farming itself were diverse and beautiful, with meadows and wood fence posts that bluebirds could build their nests in and raise their families. Free range chickens were even in my own backyard—and isn’t it even more hard to believe that this was the land just five minutes from Washington, DC?


Adkins Arboretum and the Maryland Native Plant Society are partnering to screen the DVD Urban & Suburban Meadows: Bringing Meadowscaping to Big and Small Spaces by author and photographer Catherine Zimmerman. The 60-minute DVD brings into focus the amazing diversity of life inhabiting meadows. There will be a discussion following the presentation and hopefully we will all go away with the inspiration of creating our own little backyard habitat or meadow—large or small. I hope you will join us. Come early to enjoy a walk at 6:15 p.m. on the Arboretum paths, and then stay for the film at 7 p.m. in the gallery.

by Robyn Affron
Certified Professional Horticulturist
Certified Interpretive Guide
Master Naturalist 


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