Chadwick Arboretum
An image of a Lenten rose, another of pansies, a third of a garden under construction, and a fourth of students standing in front of mountains

All Things Chadwick

Spring ‘24

It’s officially spring and the season is springing forth, though winter is still hanging around more than we would perhaps appreciate. We are all excited at the flowering occurring in the gardens. From the hellebores to the daffodils, the silver and red maples (seriously…go look at the complex beauty of their flowers) to the magnolias, which seemed to last all of 3 seconds this year. Spring is springing, birds are singing, squirrels are digging and we are planning!

The Still Garden has a new plan thanks to our talented horticulturist, Pam Poeth. Pathways will be installed in the coming weeks and then the planting shall commence. We’ve removed many of the dying, and underperforming woody plants (don’t worry, we left the ones doing well, so there will be some mature plants in the garden). We also removed species that opted for what I would term ‘poor behavior’ (fountain grass, I’m looking at you, seeding ALL OVER for example). We are planning some new species to maintain the diagonals of the original plan. We are preserving the species that were performing well and will add in updated cultivars, more native species and even prepping areas where we could introduce some containers for cool plants, tender perennials, maybe even some tropicals and annuals (they are often herbaceous plants too). I cannot wait to welcome visitors to a newly renovated garden. But in the meantime, please ‘Pardon our Progress’!

Spring Plant Sale and Auction Fundraiser

Our annual plant sale is right around the corner on May 9-11, and I’m excited to participate for the first time in more than 20 years! The volunteers are working hard to make this a wonderful sale. We will have tons of plants, garden-themed vendors, and the students will also be selling the plants they have grown. I know everyone has many places they can spend their hard-earned money on plants, and I so appreciate that people choose Chadwick! We especially hope that you’ll join us for Member’s Only Night (link) on Thursday, May 10 from 4-8 p.m. – not only will you get the first chance to shop, but you’ll also get to enjoy music, hors d'oeuvres, and 10% off all non-vendor plants. It’s a party! Want to become more involved as a volunteer? Please reach out to Julia Wilson at


Earth Day and Arbor Day Celebrations


Earth Day is Monday April 22 and the Environmental Professionals Network (EPN) has crafted a wonderful event “Eat this Earth Day” focusing on Ohio native plants for food. Hosted at the Fawcett Center, participants can experience Ohio native plants through various senses, listen to experts, and interact with various exhibits!


More information is HERE


Trees are life. Trees are history. Trees are…

Come help us celebrate trees on Arbor Day Friday April 26 from 10-11:30. It is a time for us to celebrate trees, new tree plantings, the redo of the campus tree map, and be inspired by these wonderful creatures. There will be coffee and cake, and while the main event will be outside (rain or shine), please enter the Kottman Hall lobby to view student artwork as they tell their tree stories.


More information is HERE



Chadwick would be nothing without our people and volunteers. So I’m very excited to share (again!) that we were able to promote Julia to Program Manager! I was here about 2 weeks and immediately recognized her skills, organization, passion, and abilities. Our Interim Director (Dr. Dewey Mann) really helped me make a case for this promotion with the university and it came through. If you run into her, please congratulate her.

I will continue to try to highlight our folks, interns, student workers, and volunteers. Chadwick folks are the best of the best!

Director Ramblings

I was lucky enough to take a small group of students from CFAES Wooster to the National Collegiate Landscape Competition over spring break. Most people have never heard of this event, but it’s basically the Olympics of landscaping! Hosted over 3 days, attended by nearly 700 students from 50 schools across the US and Canada, it showcases students in nearly 30 different events ranging from driving a truck and trailer, driving a skid steer, plant identification, tree climbing, business skills, sales skills, pest and disease identification and irrigation assembly (to name but a few). Our team of 4 competed in: Exterior Landscape Design, Arboriculture, Truck and Trailer, Skid Steer, Woody Plant Identification, Herbaceous Plant Identification and Compact Excavator, and it was exciting to see these students ‘give up’ their spring break to be judged by industry professionals. While we didn’t bring home a National Championship, one of the students placed 168 out of 600! The event travels the country and 2023 was in Provo, UT, hosted by Brigham Young University. The weather was cold, but otherwise very nice, and I feel sorry for folks who just ‘have’ to look at those mountains all the time! Next year the event is at Colorado State University, so we will be headed back to the mountains again, hopefully with a ‘ONE OSU’ Team comprised of CFAES Wooster and Columbus students!

I’m also teaching Sustainable Landscape Design this semester and 9 students are learning about design principles, form composition, drafting and the CAD program Vectorworks. We are tackling the front of the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation office located at Waterman Lab for our final project. We took measurements in the cold rain at the beginning of the semester, worked to get the base plan on paper, and the students will present their final plans at the end of April. This group of young folks has been a delight to work with from day 1 (though I think we were all a little nervous on that day). They are engaged, are willing to share their opinions, and I am confident their designs will not only be functional, but aesthetically pleasing. I cannot wait to teach more classes over the coming years. Fall Semester I will teach Herbaceous Plant ID and Sustainable Landscape Management. Getting out and getting dirty!

Plants and Fun Facts

People always ask me what my favorite plant is. My usual answer is “whatever plant I’m standing in front of at the moment” because I really do just love plants!

So right now…my favorite plant are pansies. I know they are common. I know the box stores sell them. I don’t care. Their little faces make me happy, and I smile every time I see them. Every year, when they show up in spring, I cannot help but fall in love all over again.