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The Scoop

Gardening news, notes and trivia for this week.

Henry Shaw Medal award to Dr. Michael Dirr

Dr. Michael A. Dirr, professor emeritus of horticulture at the University of Georgia, has received the Henry Shaw Medal from the Missouri Botanical Garden. Named for the garden’s founder, the medal honors those who have made a significant contribution to the Missouri Botanical Garden, botanical research, horticulture, conservation or the museum community. It was first awarded in 1893. Dirr received the honor because of his great influence on a generation of students, gardeners, nurserymen and professional horticulturists. He is the author of 12 books, including Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, and more than 300 scientific papers and magazine articles.

Union of Concerned Scientists releases a free guide, The Climate-Friendly Gardener

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has released a free online publication called The Climate-Friendly Gardener: A Guide to Combating Global Warming from the Ground Up. This guide encourages gardeners to avoid contributing to climate change by using certain tools and techniques. The UCS, founded in 1969, is a science-based nonprofit organization working for a healthy environment and a safer world. To read the guide see

New introduction: a compact, deer-resistant boxwood

Boxwood fans will fall in love with a new littleleaf boxwood cultivar named Baby Gem. Its attributes include vigorous growth, good deer resistance and a compact, dense form. Baby Gem's tiny leaves retain their rich green color very well in winter and provide a matte effect even when sheared, because they don't show shearing cuts. It will grow in sun or shade and will tolerate dry soil once it is established. It grows to 3 or 4 feet wide and 4 feet tall, though it can be kept to 3 feet tall. With its natural rounded habit and quick growth, Baby Gem is ideal as a short hedge or as a foundation or edging plant. It can also be formally clipped for topiary. USDA Zones 5–7.

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