Preserving Place at the Morris Arboretum: A Landscape Management Plan for the Historic Intern House Garden and Hillcrest Building

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Bowman, Kristiana

The primary objective of this project is to guide the proper care of a historic section of the Arboretum through the creation of a landscape management plan. The property around the Gardener’s Cottage—now serving as the Intern House— and Hillcrest Building is a visible part of the garden where three major pathways converge. Architectural features from the turn of the century and a Conifer collection dating to the Morris era should be preserved for their historic significance. The initial phase of this project includes an investigation into the history of the Gardener’s Cottage, Hillcrest Building, and the surrounding landscape, which informs priorities of focus and any future redesign. The site was surveyed to assess existing conditions, including the health of accessioned plants and trees, perennial plantings, drainage and hydrological movement, as well as common pests and noxious weeds. Drawing from a diverse range of plans published by other arboreta to private landscape architecture firms, the landscape management plan for the Intern House Garden and Hillcrest Building will incorporate effective strategies for garden management while upholding the site’s original design and scale. The foundation of this plan involves a task checklist to direct proper care for the garden throughout the year. Assignments are delegated to teams in Horticulture, Arboriculture and Facilities, and a timeline illustrates when each goal should be realized. A coordinating map of accessioned plants and perennials will contextualize the landscape management plan tasks and document a snapshot of the garden’s current presentation. The final objective of this project is to offer a proposal including future improvements to the site and a recommendation for the implementation of the landscape management plan across all relevant Arboretum teams.

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An independent study project report by The Alice and J. Liddon Pennock, Jr. Endowed Horticulture Intern (2018-2019)
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