Tag Archives: Morris Arboretum

Sensuality in the garden

As an independent audio producer, I am particularly attuned to the sound of things: early morning birdsong, the musicality of a voice, boots crunching in snow. Sometimes when I can’t sleep, I use my recollection of sounds to transport me to a place of serenity.

As part of a recent assignment for the Morris Arboretum, I interviewed horticulturists there to hear what garden features are their particular favorites. The experience heightened my appreciation for this magic place and also gave me a new “library” of sounds to which I can retreat when life gets too jangly and stressful.

Arboretum as retreat from PTSD

IMG_5192 The Morris Arboretum served as a retreat for John Shober after he returned from active duty in Eastern Europe in the 1950’s with the Army’s Special Forces. Even though the garden was overgrown and neglected, he found solace there, and continues to do so.

His story is one of several oral histories that the Arboretum has commissioned as part of a larger effort to capture the stories that, collectively, describe the evolution of this public garden.

For more information about the Arboretum, visit their website.

Music: Jason Shaw, “Running Waters”


Morris Arboretum Oral History Project to capture a rich history

A member of the Morris Arboretum staff tells the story of a boy who lived with his father in the log cabin on the Arboretum grounds in the 1960’s. Today he is a botanist, influenced by the experience of growing up on the lush acres that make up what was once the summer estate of John and Lydia Morris.

Over the next year Barbara will be interviewing members of the staff, longtime volunteers and friends to help create a collective image of this historic public garden.

As a sample, listen to the Arboretum’s senior botanist Ann Rhoads describe the inspiration for her decision to pursue a career studying and documenting the region’s flora.