Field of Science

What is a well-landscaped campus for?

A reshuffling of lab exercises has created a couple of timing problems. Some dye plants are needed, and it's December, and a few lonely flurries are in the air. The marigolds that usually are found in several planting beds are gone. Darned grounds crew is just too efficient. And speaking of that, where did all the bayberry bushes go? They used to grow in three places on campus and they're all gone which means the Phactor had to visit another campus here in town that still has the good sense to have bayberry because there it is right in Exercise 11: collect bayberry fruits for wax extraction. Now how the heck are students supposed to do this without bayberries? Didn't you read my lab manual? And what about the mullein (Verbascum thapsis) that used to grow in that weedy area on the edge of campus? Whose idea was it to kill all those "weeds"? Most of those plants are there because of a student pollination research project of some 20 years ago, so they were mine, and waste not want not, the mullein leaves make a nice dye. Scheesh, this job is hard enough, and you just can't go out and buy this stuff. Glad the Phactor thought far enough ahead to have grabbed some black walnut fruits before they were raked up and removed. Listen up, people, all those trees and shrubs are not just pretty landscaping to fill the space between buildings. The whole doggone campus is MY classroom and if you drastically change the contents you had better check with the person that uses them! Note to self: send email to campus arborist to set her straight about who is in charge.

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