The Town and the Campus 43
white oaks and water-oaks shall be carefully planted and lovingly
cared for, our little town will within a generation become a summer
paradise." "An unceasing blessing and joy have been the trees of dear
old Wake Forest."
The next important improvement in the development of the Campus
came early in the administration of President Poteat, which consisted
of improving the lawns. We have seen that from 1869 for some years
they were pastured. On one occasion the exuberant broomsedge was
burnt by the direction of President Wingate, but as this came near
proving disastrous, fire was not tried
again.17
After the new lawn was
set, in President Taylor's administration, the grass was cut for hay two
times a year by some professor or other citizen who had horses. This
process naturally impoverished the soil and made the grass on the
lawn scantier, and it was to stop this that the new improvement was
begun, which consists of frequent mowings and leaving the clipped
grass lie on the ground. There is no watering and the grasses are not
those of an English lawn, but when the seasons are good the lawns
present a beautiful appearance, considering the character of the soil.
For several weeks during the early spring the beauty of the lawns is
marred by an exuberant growth of wild onions which have become a
great pest in North Carolina since they are protected by the stock and
fence laws against their natural destroyer, the pig.
Other improvements have been made in the past dozen years.
Shrubbery has been planted around all the buildings and the grass
plots against them. The open plazas in front of and between the
buildings have been surrounded with barberry hedges and sown to
grass. Some fifty long-leaf pines have been set around the
southeastern campus wall and along some of the walks. Numerous
dogwoods have been planted as an undergrowth and
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17 John C. Scarborough, then a student, who knew something of how broomsedge
burns in a wind, protested against setting fire to it. Wingate refused to heed him, but
when the fire had started and was going like a pack of galloping horses, he lifted
both his hands and cried to the students, "Put it out! put it out!"
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