Garden Diary - May 2018

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The Gardens at Morris Arboretum

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Arboretums are places where trees are preeminent. The Morris Arboretum certainly has trees. It also has much more.

There is a rose garden, discreetly fenced against the deer. Come,
let's walk into the garden, attracted by the pool and its fountain.


The earlier roses are just coming into bloom.

Masses of giant allium and some salvia add a wash of purple

to the landscape, anchored by a carpet of trailing fuchsia verbena.

Next, we arrive at the fernery. Doesn't it look as if it is sinking into the ground.
Steps lead us down into the excavated fern garden with fish pool and bridge.

Designed and built in 1899, the eight-sided, 53-foot long glass house is said to be the only remaining free-standing Victorian fernery in North America. After a long, slow period of dilapidation and decline it was fully restored to its original grandeur and reopened to the public in 1994. No flowers here, only ferns, selaginella, and such like are allowed, an incredibly diverse assortment

from maidenhair ferns in a grotto.
(Notice the mist emitters overhead.)

Arguably one of the rarest ferns here is Asian basket fern, Drynaria sparsisora.
Basket-like sterile nest fronds conceal the rhizomes, while also collecting organic
litter and debris such as falling leaves that decay to humus, nourishing the fern.

Back outside, our group strolls after our guide. I pause, attracted by a sweet fragrance.

It is this rose, but the nearby label cannot be correct. It is for Rosa xanthina, which is yellow. And this is certainly not. Yellow, that is. Ah well.

To crib from Shakespeare,
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

I hurry, and catch up with my friends at the wisteria arbor. It has
finished blooming, but I really like how the arbor frames the view.

I keep doing that, starting off with the group, stopping to photograph, hastening to catch up.

This is the garden railway site, not open until Saturday, May 26. And
as you see the work is underway to buff, preen, polish, and get ready.

It is another design by Paul Busse and his crew at Applied Imagination, G scale trains and trolley cars running on tracks that go over bridges and pass by houses, all created from plant parts such as bark and pods and seeds and twigs and more. Certain to fascinate children, bored by big trees they are not allowed to climb. Attract the attention of (ahem . . . ) big children too.

Just look at the intricate detailing on this house. Fascinating.

Children of all ages are sure to enjoy Out on a Limb, part of the Tree Adventure exhibit.

It safely offers visitors the opportunity to get
up on a canopy walk high above the ground.

Look at the tree trunk coming up through the walkway. Now you know
what a squirrel sees, and what's meant by "bird's eye view."

Trees. Gardens. Plants. Much to see and do and enjoy at the Morris Arboretum.

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