A Garden of Trees and Shurbs - Purple Mountain Press


by Fred Lape

From "First Steps":

"For this upper unprotected field I also planned a shelter belt of evergreens along the north and west sides. This plan has been successful. A varied planting, mainly of fast-growing pines, makes now after thirteen years an interesting background to the section, and alread provides much shelter from wind and drifting snow. In any arboretum to be started on hilly windswept land, the immediate planting of such shelter belts is of great importance.

Certain other allocations were easy, and have been successful: a well-drained and slightly protected knoll for variants of the European beech; an area under a grove of reforestation pines, and near a spring, for Ericaceae; a section of rich damp muck land for the magnolias; a slope facing northeast for some of the Asiatic and western conifers. Much else of my planning has turned out to be a long catalog of what not to do. My most disasterous mistake was not to consider sufficiently the drifting of snow. . ."

By the time Fred Lape inherited his family's 97-acre farm 25 miles west of Albany (near Esperance in Schoharie County), he had distinguished himself as a writer, poet, and teacher. He had grown up close to the land and knew what he wanted to do with it: plant an arboretum that would be open to the public. He named his arboretum in honor of George Landis, a friend who died suddenly in 1951 and bequethed Lape the funds he needed to begin.

Aided by knowledgeable horticulturalists and friends, Fred Lape labored on his project until his death in 1985. He chronicled his prodigious efforts to collect and study plants from nurseries, roadsides, forests, and fields in a book published by Cornell University in 1965. We are pleased to make this long out-of-print and very scarce book available again in a new paperback edition with a foreword by Richard W. Lighty, director of the Mount Cuba Center for the Study of Piedmont Flora, and an up-to-date appendix by the staff of the Landis Arboretum.

Amateur and professional gardeners, who want to start a small arboretum or botanical garden, will welcome this new edition with its expert advice on what to do, what not to do, and why; but as the original foreword notes: "the book's widest audience will be among landowners who wish to improve their property and to increase and enhance the quality of their plantings."

Originally published by Cornell University Press
129 pages, illustrated, 7.5 x 10.5, index, 1998
$17.00 paperback--A Purple Mountain Press reprint

Copyright © 1998 Purple Mountain Press. All rights reserved.