Welcome to Found at Fairchild

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Welcome to my first blog post here at Fairchild! Like most of you, my real passion and interest always lead back to nature. Even when peering into human history, nature plays the starring role because we are an integral part of the natural world even as we alter it. I once wrote that if I could do whatever I wanted for a living, I’d look for weird and interesting plants and animals, photograph them, and then write about them. I actually get to do that here, in one of the premier botanical gardens in the world.

I firmly believe we are presented with what we need, when we need. That’s why wandering around this Garden (or your own) is like a holiday: you get “gifts” at every turn. Or, you may not. Depends on whether you need them or not.

My hope with this blog is to discover and present Fairchild as a curious citizen, with more than a passing interest in science and nature.

Kenneth Setzer, Writer & Editor at Fairchild

Using Our Plot Maps to Find Plants

I’m calling this blog “Found at Fairchild.” So let’s start with how you actually do find things at Fairchild. While I believe serendipitous discoveries are usually the best, you can certainly guide the adventure a bit. Say you read about the cannonball tree and want to find one at Fairchild. If you have the scientific binomial name for it, in this case Couroupita guianensis, it makes finding it accurately easier, but if you don’t, that’s OK too.

First, visit our homepage at http://www.fairchildgarden.org (or look to the top left of this page). Click the tab on the left that says “The Garden.” A list will then drop down from under the heading you clicked. The first category under “The Garden” will be “List of Living Plants at Fairchild.” Click on it. This is your first key to successful exploration.

Now you’re presented with three categories:

Click here to view Fairchild's List of Living Plants

Click here to view Fairchild's List of Living Plants by Common Name

Click on link to view large map and click on the map to enlarge further.

Opening the first shows you a .pdf list of all of our living plants, which you can easily search. Just type the “Control” key (Ctrl key on your keyboard) or the “Command” key on a Mac, and simultaneously type “f” for “find.” Typing Ctrl+f will open a small search box in the upper right of the screen, in which you can type the name of any plant you are searching for, press "enter" and if it’s at Fairchild, the name will be highlighted.


Searching a pdf

Type Control + F to search a .pdf
(click to enlarge).

After typing in Couroupita guianensis in the pdf search box and hitting "enter," the search results will appear (see image below). In the column at right you can see we have three specimens of Couroupita guianensis, the cannonball tree. They live in Plot 137, Plot 152 and Plot 45. If you don’t know the plant’s scientific name, click the second of the three options above to search by common name.


Cannonball tree location
Entry for the Couroupita guianensis, the cannonball tree, with locations on right

Now what? Now click the third link above. This opens a Plot map. It’s simply a map of Fairchild with numbered planting locations, called Plots. Now you can find Plot 137, 152, or 45 and there will be a cannonball tree there! If your quarry still evades you, just ask any of our staff and volunteers for guidance. It takes a little getting used to the Plot map; study it prior to your visit, and you’ll get a lot more out of your time in the Garden.

Plot Map
A Fairchild Plot Map with Cannonball Tree Locations
in Red (Click to enlarge).