I recently visited the Crosby Arboretum during a long weekend trip to the area. The arboretum is affiliated with Mississippi State University, with the core space covering 64 acres as well as an additional 700 acres in adjacent natural areas.
I was excited to visit this site for many reasons, including the landscape architecture and architecture excellence, as well as the fantastic native plant communities. The site was originally selected for its rich diversity, as it contains longleaf pine forests, slash pine hardwoods, sweet bat tupelo swamp bay, beech magnolia, bald cypress tupelo, bottomland hardwoods, hillside bogs, and savannas.
The main piece of architectural excellence on site is the Pinecote Pavilion which was designed by E. Fay Jones [Frank Lloyd Wright understudy] and won an AIA honor award in 1991. The pavilion is a semi-open structure that overlooks a large pond and creates an amazing juxtaposition against the naturalistic landscape. Its verticality and secondary cross beams somehow harmonizes beautifully with the adjacent tall trees to blend in seamlessly. The site was designed by Andropogon Assoc. and Edward Blake, Jr. and won awards from the ASLA in the 1990’s.
As someone not too familiar with swamp, bog and savanna habitats, the arboretum was a treat to explore and the experience was greatly enhanced by the wonderful interpretive signage. It was especially informative to learn about the decline of the longleaf pine forest, as well as the importance of fire, like many successional habitats, for continued development.
But on my visit that day, the pitcher plant bogs stole the show! Check out my album to see the full effect.