Garden Diary - April 2017

If you have any comments, observations, or questions about what you read here, remember you can always Contact Me

All content included on this site such as text, graphics and images is protected by U.S and international copyright law.
The compilation of all content on this site is the exclusive property of the site copyright holder.


A Morning at Scott Arboretum

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Yesterday Garden Writers Region II had a one day meeting in Delaware, the DuPont Triple Play. In one long day we'd visit Nemours, Mt Cuba, and Winterthur. Reluctant to leave home as early as required for a day trip, I instead stayed with my friends Liz and Rick in Pennsylvania. They not only provided me with a comfortable place to stay Thursday and Friday nights, I accompanied them to an additional garden on Thursday and a stroll around Scott Arboretum on Saturday.

Liz wisely suggested that I also plan on staying over on Friday night. And then upped the ante with the following query: "Oh, and how soon do you have to head back home on Sat. morning? Scott Arb is having an Arbor Day Open House 9 am til noon. we could pop over there for awhile. I need to pick up our free tree distribution. Let me know how these plans sound."

Mention another possible garden to visit, then just see if I take the bait. It's not like I have to catch a plane with a specific departure time. We three have a simple breakfast, then Liz and I watch Rick disappear towing a trailer loaded down with water jugs, soil ammendments, mulch, tools, stakes, and what-have-you for this morning's Arbor Day planting event.

Now it's our turn. Liz and I head off to the Scott Arboretum where she'll collect their free tree - a sturdy swamp white oak sapling. There are green LEEDS certified building has some simple events for young children. And refreshments. I nibble on a couple of plump red strawberries.

And off we go to stroll about the grounds.

At 357 acres, it's a good thing I have someone familiar with the Arboretum's collections and gardens so we visit certain specific places rather than wander at random. Although that would also be enjoyable. The arboretum and Swathmore College occupy the same boundaries, the same space. Established in 1929 in honor of Arthur Hoyt Scott (class of 1895), "for the purpose of enabling Swarthmore College to acquire, cultivate and propagate the better kinds of living trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants which are hardy in the climate of eastern Pennsylvania and which are suitable for planting by the average gardener."

There are garden rooms, planted courtyards that are part
and parcel of the adjacent buildings they embellish.

Here, a charming combination of blue and yellow, created with
Brunnera macrophylla and Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'.
Plants are labeled with their scientific and common names.

Need to find a source for this Chinese woodland plant.
Its genus name of Sauruma is an annagram of Asarum,
a pun for the common name of upright ginger. S. henryi.

A stone wall. A woven tuteur of split bamboo.
It whirls above springtime pink and white tulips.

An intricate gate opens into the Dean Bond rose garden.

. . .

embellished with metalwork of roses and lilies.

As described in the Arboretum's on-line garden tour, it "holds over 600 roses, displaying over 200 different types. It was established to memorialize Elizabeth Powell Bond, the Dean of Women at Swarthmore College from 1890 to 1906. . . .Roses in this garden are separated by type in different beds, highlighting species roses and old garden roses, as well as hybrid teas, floribundas, and grandifloras. The perimeter of the collection is planted with climbing roses. Although spring is the peak season for roses, they continue to bloom until frost." Each year, at the commencement ceremony of approximately 350 graduating seniors, the Dean Bond Rose Garden supplies the roses that are cut in full bloom and pinned to each graduation gown.

Not many roses are in flower this early in the season. There's a small yellow, perhaps Scotch or burnet rose, Rosa spinossisima. Not a purist's rose garden, there are lilacs and tulips. Quietly, pass the other, simpler gate at the garden's other end.

A weathered Adirondack chair with drifts of fallen cherry blossoms.
Peaceful. Meditative.

Another courtyard with an amusing tangle of foliage. There's
Cyclamen hederifolium and Asarum splendens. Which is which?

A pink tree peony. They seem to be in flower in many gardens . . .

Back to April 2017

Back to the main Diary Page