Recently, the Yale University Press Green Team arranged a trip for staff to visit the Yale Marsh Botanical Garden, located at 227 Mansfield Street in New Haven.
A botanically-inclined contingent from YUP wandered into the rain, and once inside the garden, they were given a private tour by Eric Larson, the garden’s manager, who explained the history and development of that site. Upon Othniel Charles Marsh’s death in 1900, his house and grounds were donated to Yale to become the first forestry school in the United States. Since then, the property has changed hands, but it still stands today as a testament to the passion for plant biology amongst Yale scholars. Now, the greenhouses and outdoor spaces are used for research, instruction, and outreach events, allowing students, scientists, and citizens of New Haven the chance to explore and learn on the grounds.
The tour traveled through four greenhouses and the outdoor gardens. Highlights included The Desert House, which contained hundreds of harsh climate cacti and plants, The Tropical Collection, which was full of delicious looking fruits and spices, and the Carnivorous Plants room, home to ever-popular species like the Venus Fly Trap. The staff was also allowed to try the so called “Miracle Berry,” which temporarily binds sweet receptors to the taste buds, turning bitter food sweet. Biting into a lemon tasted like candy.
The Marsh Botanical Garden is free to visit and open to the public, allowing anyone to experience the exotic beauty and charming atmosphere of this great resource.
For more information on plants and horticulture, check out these recent titles from Yale University Press:
“A Rich Spot of Earth”: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello by Peter J. Hatch; Foreword by Alice Waters
Flowers and Herbs of Early America by Lawrence D. Griffith; Photography by Barbara Temple Lombardi
Breathing Space: How Allergies Shape Our Lives and Landscapes by Gregg Mitman