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In the Garden
What kind of cherry tree did Washington fell?
ashington’s birthday is a good time to think about cherry trees. But rather than questioning whether George really chopped down the tree and then admitted to it, I find myself wondering what kind of a cherry it could have been. (The story, incidentally, may be apocryphal. It was reported by Mason Locke “Parsons” Weems for his 1802 book, “Life of George Washington: With Curious Anecdotes, Equally Honorable to Himself and Exemplary to his Young Countrymen,” but has never been decisively confirmed.) POSSIBLE CHERRIES FELLED BY GEORGE That cherry tree could well have been something akin to the sweet cherries we can buy or grow today. LEE REICH Sweet cherries (Prunus avium), sometimes called bird cherries or, in their wilder state, mazzard cherries, were among the plants ordered from Europe by the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1629. By 1650, there was a cherry orchard in Yonkers, New York, and before the end of that century, there were plantings in Rhode Island, Maryland and Virginia. Those cherry trees became so abundant that by 1749 Peter Kalm wrote that “all travelers are allowed to pluck ripe fruit in any garden which they pass by, provided they See Cherries p. 2D
Designers now taking a holistic approach to health-care spaces By KIM COOK Associated Press Health-care facilities can be stressful places for patients and visitors, with depressing waiting rooms, rows of uncomfortable seating, a blaring television. But designers of some medical spaces are remedying the situation. A more holistic approach includes mood-elevating colors and artwork. Chairs are angled to look out the window. Screens offer calming nature scenes instead of newsfeeds. There’s softer overhead lighting and skylights. Sometimes, diffusers even waft a gentle breeze of lavender or citrus to mask the harsh scents of disinfectants and medicines. Sheila Semrou, a Milwaukee-based design consultant who has worked on numerous health-care facilities, says she takes inspiration from local scenery and geography. Think big windows, natural light and a palette that reflects outside vistas. “The results can be supportive spaces that nurture occupants and provide comfort,” she says. New research is showing that a lot of clinical design
This undated photo provided by Perkins+Will shows the waiting area at Orlando's Nemours children's hospital, with rich hues, contemporary yet comfortable seating and natural light via floor to ceiling windows. (AP photo) norms are hard on patients, she says. Bright, polished floors can be slippery, and create glare. Bland color schemes aren’t so much
soothing as uninspiring. “Studies suggest that some of the best environments for health and healing incorporate a variety of
hues, use both warm and cool tones, and vary color saturation,” Semrou says. At the Diane L. Max Health Center in New York City, a project by Stephen Yablon Architecture, upbeat primary and neon colors were used on midcentury-style seating, facades and to define different areas of the building. On the other hand, in the reception area of Memorial Sloan Kettering in West Harrison, New York, blonde terrazzo floors, rift white oak and chic, light blue chairs clad in walnut veneer create a serene space, designed by EwingCole. In colder climes, a fireplace can add a welcoming feel at little cost, says Carolyn BaRoss, who leads a health-care interior design division at the New York firm Perkins and Will. “A number of our projects in Canada and the northwestern U.S. have included fireplaces as part of the waiting areas and other lounges,” she says. “We try to specify ones that look the most realistic and surround them with interSee Design p. 2D
2D The Mining Journal
Thursday, February 16, 2017
House to Home Mortgage Index 30-YEAR Rate-Fee/Pts.
This graphic represents a Tuesday survey of regional lending institutions. Figures are based on rates at Range Bank, Northern Michigan Bank, mBank, Marquette Community Federal Credit Union and TruNorth Credit Union.
This undated photo shows weeping cherry trees in Bryn Mawr, Penn. George Washington could never have cut down cherry trees like the ones depicted — not because they are so large but because these Asian species didn’t arrive in the States until the late 1800s. (Lee Reich via AP)
Ch e rrie s
In this undated photo provided by CCRM New York, sunlight streams in to a serene, calming waiting space overlooking midtown New York's bustling cityscape, at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine's New York offices. (CCRM New York via AP)
esting materials. We’ve used both electric and gas fireplaces. They provide a source of warmth, but are fitted with a protective enclosure for safety.” BaRoss says an Orlando, Florida, project, Nemours Children’s Hospital, has a “hospital in a garden” theme, with nature elements, daylight and views woven into the design. There are small “picnic blanket” designs in the flooring pattern, and childsize play areas, as well as “ceiling elements like the large flower in the dining area.” Treatment areas are also benefiting from this kind of patient-focused design. The Florida Hospital for Children in Orlando and the Women and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide, Australia, are among facilities offering the “Philips’ Ambient Experience” in MRI suites. Patients select a lighting color, as well as audiovisual projections like nature scenes, to help ease anxiety during the
procedures. At Mercy St. John’s Hospital in St. Louis, an enormous vibrant butterfly greets visitors in the lobby, while patient floors are decorated with laser-cut images of animals. BaRoss says new LED technology allows for more dimmable, flattering lighting, which can also be used to help patients find their way in a new facility. At the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine in New York City, designed by Perkins and Will, chairs face out onto the cityscape. Look out the window, and you’ll also see Robert Indiana’s large “Hope” sculpture on the street below. “The waiting room is typically where a patient will spend the most time. With that in mind, we took care to design an environment that’s low-stress and soothing,” says Dr. Brian Levine, the practice’s director. “We took advantage of the views by placing our waiting room in the brightest and most visually stimulating aspect of our floor plan. We chose light-col-
ored wall coverings, flooring, and furniture to help reflect and carry the light throughout the room, so no patient would ever feel like they’re in a ‘dark corner,’” he says. Melissa Thompson, a health-care industry strategist from Westport, Connecticut, developed breast cancer shortly after giving birth to her daughter in 2015, and began a long treatment journey. The experience got her thinking about how important physical environment was to her comfort and, she believes, even her recovery. She didn’t stay long at the first hospital she went to: “It smelled bad — like an old cafeteria full of chemicals.” But Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut and Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City were a different story. Rooms were oases of natural woods and light. Both hospitals had lounge areas where patients could relax outside of their rooms in a warm, comfortable atmosphere. “I was noticeably happier, and discharged sooner,” she says.
do not break any branches; and not even the most covetous farmer hindered them from so doing.” So it is not unlikely that Washington had a few sweet cherry trees planted at his farmstead along the shores of the Rappahannock River in Virginia. The legendary felled tree also could have been a tart cherry (P. cerasus). Though native to the Caucasus Mountains, this tree has been grown in many different places. The ancient Romans knew eight different varieties, and by the 17th century, 24 varieties were being grown in England. Colonists in Massachusetts planted tart cherries (the variety “Red Kentish”), so this tree also may have made its way in the nursery trade south to Virginia. CHERRIES THAT GEORGE COULD NOT HAVE FELLED One thing is certain: Washington’s famous cherry tree could not have
been one of the ornamental types commonly planted these days. These nonfruiting cherries originated in Asia and were introduced into America only about 100 years ago. The most famous of these species is perhaps the Yoshino cherry (P. x yedoensis), which fringes the tidal basin in Washington, D.C. Other Asian species introduced around the turn of the last century include the Higan cherry (P. subhirtella), the Sargent cherry (P. sargentii) and, perhaps the most widely planted today, the Japanese flowering cherry (P. serrulata). NATIVE CHERRIES Besides exotic introductions, the Eastern United States was full of wild, native cherry trees. Our native pin cherry (P. pennsylvanica, but also called bird cherry) is not much more than a bush. And if George had cut down a chokecherry (P. virginiana), another native species, his father probably would not have been riled. The tree doesn’t grow very large and the
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fruit, to quote William Ward (1634), “so furre the mouth that the tongue will cleave the roof.” Good wildlife food, though, both of these species. Also abundant — I am looking at three large, wild trees from my window as I write — is our native black cherry (P. serotina), also known as the rum cherry. This species is sometimes called the American sweet black cherry, but “sweet” is a stretch. Fruits of some trees have respectable flavor, but it’s accompanied by bitterness. Colonists did eat the fruit or, more often, mix it with rum into a cherry liqueur. Black cherry fruit is enjoyed by birds and some humans, and the tree can be attractive, especially in a few months, when the branches will be drooping with long, white racemes of flowers. The best part of the black cherry tree is the wood, a hardwood which with some sanding and then oil or varnish takes on a soft brown finish, with just a hint of red.
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