Monday, April 27, 2015

A Spring Evening of Brew Sampling!

Morris Arboretum has joined up with Weyerbacher Brewing Company for an awesome spring evening of beer tasting!  

We'll sample five beers that represent the breadth of styles and richness in flavor the brewery has to offer. Enjoy and learn more about their wildly popular and award-winning Belgian-style tripel, Merry Monks. Then take this unique opportunity to be among the first to try a brand new, soon to be released, tart style beer. These brews will be paired with complementary food designed to play off of the flavors of the beer, from refreshingly light to full-bodied and complex. Bring your friends and explore a world of unique and exciting beer!

Beer Tasting at Morris Arboretum
Wednesday, May 20
6:30 - 8:30pm
Register Now!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Natural Fashionista: Gowns Inspired by Spring Blooms

We recently spotted some very familiar sights in unfamiliar territory: a high-fashion shop in Center City. We're excited to see Philadelphia-headquartered Anthropologie rolling out some fabulous dress designs inspired by some of our favorite blooming trees - cherries and magnolias! Check it out...

Magnolia Grove Gown, Anthropologie

Cherry Blossom Gown, Anthropologie

Sakura Blossoms Gown, Anthropologie

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Weekend Picks: Enjoy the Height of Spring

Morris Arboretum is bursting with spring blooms. From strength training to a leisurely stroll, we've got a variety of ways to enjoy the scenes.

  • Friday, April 24 - Get Outside with Stroller Strides®!

    10:00 - 11:00am; Registration and payment required. 
    Stroller Strides® is a total fitness program that moms can do with their babies - it includes power walking, strength-training intervals, and body toning exercises using exercise tubing, the stroller, and the environment. Taught by a certified and specially trained instructor, it is a great workout for any level of exerciser.
  • Saturday, April 25 - Arbor Day Family Day  

    11:00am - 3:00pm; Free with garden admission, takes place throughout the garden.
    Branch out as a naturalist and dig into learning about trees. Design a tree house, make a “tree map” with five different types of trees, create a street landscape with trees, learn how to “read” the life of a tree, and shadow an arborist to learn what’s involved in caring for trees.
  • Sunday, April 26 - Enjoy the Magnificent Trees of Spring 

    Throughout the garden. Come see the diversity of our ornamental trees in bloom. A stunning array of cherries, magnolias, and dogwoods are now flowering.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

5 Fast Facts About Cherry Blossoms

There is nothing quite like the show of small petals covering flowering cherry trees on a clear spring day; their flowers are beautiful at all stages – from first bud break through emergence into full flower… and even as the petals shower onto the ground.  The ephemeral nature of ornamental cherries is what makes them all the more special.

Here are a few facts about cherry blossoms:
  1. Flowering cherry trees are small to medium-sized plants and they are one of the most diverse groups of ornamental trees in our area.
  2. Cherry trees are members of the rose family, and like all its members, they require full sun and good drainage.  
  3. Their small delicate petals come in colors ranging from white to light pink, and even some darker pink-reds.   
  4. As part of the Sesquicentennial celebration of 1926, the Japanese government gifted flowering cherry trees to the city of Philadelphia and some of these original trees can still be seen in Fairmount Park.  
  5. Since 1998 the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia has planted more than 1000 cherry trees throughout the city.  
See Morris Arboretum's cherry blossom collection in bloom this April. Learn more.

Monday, April 20, 2015

3 Ways To See the Garden After Hours

Ever wonder what it's like to experience the garden after regular visiting hours? Luckily, we've got a handful of upcoming opportunities to go behind the garden gates (and no fence-hopping required)!
  • Full Moon Garden Stroll - May 4, 7:00 - 9:00pm
    Stroll the Arboretum, go out on the tree canopy, and enjoy the garden in the glow of the full moon.
    Register Now
  • Kickin' Off Summer Concert - May 28, 7:00 - 8:00pm
    Enjoy the infectious beats and electrifying 70s-era showmanship of Philly band,
    You Do You. Get Tickets Now
  • Yoga in the Garden: Ten Enchanted Evenings - June 2 - August 4, 7:00 - 8:15pm
    The incredible beauty of summer nights at the Morris Arboretum provides the backdrop for this unique opportunity to study inspirational Vinyasa (flow style) yoga.
    Register Now

Or host your own after hours event! See our rentals page for more information.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

5 Cherry Trees for Gardeners

Cherry Trees have a very fine texture and even in autumn they reward gardeners with excellent fall color.  There are an immense number of varieties but the main ones for gardeners to consider are:
  • Prunus ‘Okame’: the Okame cherry is one of the most commonly planted cherries and the first to bloom in Philadelphia - usually in late March or early April.  It has dark pink flowers that fade to pale pink as they open.  It grows to 25 feet at maturity.  Okame was introduced to the United States through the Morris Arboretum in the 1940s.
  • Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’: the weeping Higan cherry is the most common of the weeping cherries and one of the most graceful garden trees.  Its small April-blooming flowers are pale pink and cover the branches, giving the plants a beautiful overall look.  These plants grow to 25-30 feet.
  • Prunus ‘Snofozam’:  SNOW FOUNTAINS weeping cherry is a slower growing and smaller weeping tree, making it useful in smaller spaces.  Its branches are held more stiffly than the weeping Higan cherry, but the overall effect is very attractive.  Its small white flowers completely cover the branches, making a fantastic display.
  • Prunus x yedoensis, the Yoshino cherry is probably the best known flowering cherry, famous for the display surrounding the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC.  This is a medium-sized tree that will grow to 40 feet.  Its flowers are pink in bud, opening to a pale pink-white at full flower.  A common variety of Yoshino cherry is Daybreak (‘Akebono’) known for its soft-pink, semi-double flowers that cover the branches. 
  • Prunus sargentii: Sargent cherry is native to northern Japan and is among the hardiest and largest of the flowering cherries. Its single rose-pink flowers emerge in mid April before the foliage and at the same time as the Yoshino cherries. The deep red-brown lustrous bark of Sargent cherry adds interest throughout the year.
Come explore Morris Arboretum's cherry blossom collection in bloom this April. Learn More

Monday, April 13, 2015

Grow Your Own Lettuce Bowl!

Need inspiration for a quick, easy spring gardening project? Grow your own lettuce bowl!
This  project is easy-peasy and fun to do with budding gardeners.

Hanging baskets with coco fiber liners are easy to come by at garden centers and big box stores. Add some soil-less potting mix, sow lettuce seeds and cover, water and wait. You won't wait long, as lettuce will quickly germinate in cool spring weather. By snipping the outer leaves and leaving the central ones, lettuce plants will continue to grow, giving you a longer harvest. If you want to prolong your growing season, look for heat tolerant varieties that take longer to bolt- flower and go to seed. If you have lettuce seeds left over from previous years, sow thickly, as germination of old seed is reduced.

Basket culture for lettuce or spinach is ideal, as you can position your basket close to your kitchen door, or easily move it to a sunny spot for best growth. Elevating your crop keeps uninvited four-footed garden guests away from your succulent greens.

So, now what to do with all that lettuce? Check out our upcoming culinary class, Savory Summer Soups and Salads on May 28! Register Here  

Article by Louise D. Clarke, Bloomfield Farm Section Leader at Morris Arboretum

Sunday, April 12, 2015

3 Green Ways to Celebrate Mom

1. Give her that hard-to-find plant she's been looking for.
Shop our Annual Plant Sale for an extensive selection. Plus: Members save 10% on their entire Plant Sale purchase and choose a free dividend plant.
Members Day: Friday, May 8 - 10:00am to 7:00pm
General Public: Saturday, May 9 - 10:00am to 3:00pm

2. Take her to brunch at our 3-Star Green Certified Cafe! (Update: Sold Out)

Reserve your spot today for this special culinary event; two seatings to choose from.
Sunday, May 10 - 9:30am or 12:00pm
Make Reservations Now 

Photo: Ryan Estes Photography

3. Spend time together outdoors.

Chances are, mom just wants to spend quality time with those she loves most on her special day. Stroll through the garden, enjoy spring blooms, and don't forget to let her know how much she means to you!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Predicting Cherry Blossoms

Photo: Judy Miller

Author: Anthony Aiello - The Gayle E. Maloney Director of Horticulture & Curator, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

Ornamental cherries (Prunus) are one of the main reasons that spring is my favorite time of year.  I know that spring has reached its peak when these trees are in full flower. After our hard winter and cold start to spring, you may be wondering if and when the cherry blossoms will arrive.  I can easily answer the ‘if’ question and say definitively that they will flower this spring.  As for the ‘when’ question, that is more complicated, but I can at least provide some background.

Recently the National Park Service has predicted that peak bloom dates for the Yoshino cherries around the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C will be delayed until sometime around April 11-14th (see D.C. dates).  Similarly, Jason Samenow of the Washington Post has predicted peak dates between April 9-13th.  Either way, this is about one week later than the historic peak of April 4th in Washington.

Now what does that mean for us in Philadelphia? Normally, I would predict that the peak flowering for the Yoshino cherries along Kelly Drive is roughly one week behind that of Washington.  A lot depends on what happens in the next two weeks, but if temperatures remain below or close to normal, we should expect our Yoshino cherries flowers to peak sometime around April 17-20th.  Although this may seem late, last year the peak along Kelly drive was right around April 16th, so we are not far off from last year, which you might remember was another cold winter.

We invite you to start your own search for the first blossoms of the season at Morris Arboretum's Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival on April 11 and 18. Enjoy traditional cultural events such as performances by the Kyo Daiko Drumming Crew, origami workshop for kids, and tours. See the full line-up here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Weekend Picks: Hit the Pavement and the Drums

This weekend take to our garden pathways for fitness, fun, and discovery.

Friday, April 10

Stroller Strides | 10:00 - 11:00am

Stroller Strides® is a total fitness program that moms can do with their babies - it includes power walking, strength-training intervals, and body toning exercises using exercise tubing, the stroller, and the environment. Taught by a certified and specially trained instructor, it is a great workout for any level of exerciser. Registration required. Try just one class or register for a package here.

Photo: Fit4Mom Chestnut Hill/Plymouth Meeting

Saturday, April 11

Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival | 10:00am - 3:00pm

Join us as we celebrate the beauty of our cherry tree collection in bloom. The day will feature traditional Japanese cultural activities. Can't make it this weekend? The celebration continues on Saturday, April 18. All events are free with garden admission. See the full line-up here. 

Taiko drumming

Sunday, April 12

Sculpture Scavenger Hunt | On-going, All Day

Come explore art in the garden at Morris Arboretum with our latest kids activity - Sculpture Scavenger Hunt. Pick up a clue sheet and map at the Visitor’s Center or download one here. Solve the riddles to find the sculptures, each with a secret code. Guests who decipher the message will receive a complimentary pack of Play Doh® to create their own work of art.

Don't forget to check out the latest addition to our sculpture collection - Patrick Dougherty's A Waltz in the Woods

'A Waltz in the Woods' by Patrick Dougherty at Morris Arboretum 2015

Looking for more weekend activities? Check out our events calendar.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Green Roof Springs to Life

Photo: Louise Clarke

With winter's snow at last melted, it is time to cut back grasses and other  foliage on the Arboretum's intensive green roof at Bloomfield Farm. Pictured is Anna Bower, the Hay Honey Farm Natural Lands intern, using a Japanese rice sickle to trim last year's little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) prior to new growth.  The rice sickle is a lightweight, ultra sharp tool with a curved stainless steel blade ideal for cutting thin, brittle grass stems. As the sickle is not suited to dense, woody material, pruning shears are used to cut back other plants such as Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), and Yarrow (Achillea millifolium).
With full sun and a southern exposure, it won't be long before the green roof sports new spring growth.

A good time to see the eco-roof is during the annual plant sale in May, click here for details.

Author: Louise Clarke, Bloomfield Farm Section Leader

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Weekend Picks: Stickworks & Sunshine

Looking for something new and interesting to do this weekend? We've got some great ideas to get you out in the springtime sunshine!

Friday, April 3

Artists in the Garden Exhibit
This exhibition features artwork by students, alumni and faculty of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), held in conjunction with the PAFA exhibition, Artists in the Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887 – 1920, February 13 – May 24, 2015.
Free with garden admission, free for Morris Arboretum and PAFA Members.

Pictured: Bill Hansen; Garden 9, Inkjet Pigment Print, 2012

Saturday, April 4

Patrick Dougherty Stickwork Grand Opening!
Come be among the first to view the newest sculpture created by internationally renowned artist Patrick Dougherty. Designed and built on-site this artwork is composed entirely of locally gathered natural materials.
All day | Free with garden admission.

Kids’ Discovery Series: Calling Crafty Artists! 
Join us as we celebrate the opening of Patrick Dougherty’s magnificent creation. Come and design your own eco-friendly structure using all things from nature including vines, twigs, branches, and leaves. Happening at the lawn across from rose garden entrance.
11:00am - 3:00pm | Free with garden admission.
Photo: Susan Crane

Sunday, April 5

Take a Guided Tour
Each tour is custom designed depending on the interests of attendees. First-time visitors may want a general tour of the Arboretum. Returning visitors may wish to learn more about our sculpture or big trees. If each attendee has a different interest, the guides will try to incorporate them all. The Arboretum is in your hands.
2:00 - 3:00pm | Free with garden admission.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spring Tasks: Prune Forsythia

As the forsythia finishes its bloom in mid-to-late April, it is a good time for major renovation pruning. If it is completely overgrown, it is OK to cut it completely to the ground.  It will quickly re-sprout, in time to set buds later in the summer for next springs flowers.

If less drastic measures are needed, cut 1/3 to 1/2 of the branches to the ground, to encourage regeneration. Also, lightly cut back remaining branches for form.

Avoid shearing forsythia and encourage an open natural form.

Photo: Judy Miller

Photo: Judy Miller
Photo: Judy Miller