July 15, 2016 |
Gay Gilpin Johnson, 91, whose life's work was preserving Awbury Arboretum, a privately held park in East Germantown, died of an infection Thursday, July 7, at Chestnut Hill Hospital. Mrs. Johnson not only volunteered at the 55-acre park, she also lived there for six decades, in one of the homes on the property near the Washington Lane SEPTA station. She provided management and fund-raising, and collected examples of the arboretum's rich history. She helped establish the Awbury Neighbors Association, and in 1985 pushed to make the Awbury Arboretum Association a nonprofit so that it could own and operate the park as a private entity.
January 7, 2016 |
The Natural Lands Trust has secured a conservation easement protecting 38 acres of Awbury Arboretum in Germantown from future development, the organization said in a release Tuesday. The easement was purchased for $1.4 million using funds from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Commonwealth Financing Authority, and other public and private sources, the Natural Lands Trust said. The arboretum, which covers 55 acres of wetlands, meadows and other habitat, has been open to the public for nearly 100 years.
December 19, 2015 |
Just guessing here, but you've probably never heard of a wildflower called Canby's mountain lover or one known as Carolina elephant's foot, both very rare in this part of the world. But a growing number of plant people like Steven Wright are making it their business to study, preserve, and educate the public about these imperiled species before they vanish forever from the landscape. "Anything that's unusual or odd is cool to me," says Wright, horticulture director and curator of plant collections at the Jenkins Arboretum in Devon.
November 7, 2015 |
In 1957, John A.H. Shober returned to his parents' home in Philadelphia after a harrowing stint in the Army during the Cold War, taking part in missions that would haunt him for years to come. "I saw things and had to do things and had some experiences that were just difficult for me," says the 82-year-old Shober, who confesses he hasn't had a good night's sleep since then. One place eased the distress he could not express: Morris Arboretum. Though neglected at the time, the Chestnut Hill public garden provided a haven from the very real, but little talked about, post-traumatic stress that followed Shober's military service.
August 5, 2015 |
The long: They're 2. They're 4. They're 6 . . . or thereabouts. Large-scale versions of TV-star steamies Percy, James, Emily and Toby, cheeky Thomas and coaches Annie and Clarabel make a Saturday-Sunday appearance at Morris Arboretum's train exhibit. The short: Really useful weekend diversion. The demo: All ages. Obsession with model trains and/or horticulture a plus. Garden Railway: Quarter-mile track has 15 lines, nine bridges, seven loops and tunnels, two cable cars (all donated by Philly-founded Bachmann Industries)
May 23, 2015 |
Head over to Morris Arboretum as it begins the unofficial start of summer with its Garden Railway Grand Opening. This year's theme is "Art and Architecture," featuring familiar Philadelphia landmarks - all created from nature. Miniature trains roll on a quarter mile of track through the tiny enchanted town made from natural materials such as bark, leaves, acorns, and twigs on 15 different rail lines. There's even a trestle bridge you can walk under. Look out for some familiar landmarks such as Independence Hall.
April 4, 2015 |
For artist Patrick Dougherty, mistakes are always happy accidents. The sculptor works with natural elements to create grand, site-specific sculptures. For three weeks, Dougherty set up camp at the Morris Arboretum to create A Waltz in the Woods from willow branches. "It's a smooth waltz where these little towers use this meadow to celebrate," he said. Morris will mark the debut of Dougherty's most recent work with a grand-opening event Saturday, including a guided sculpture tour and a craft event for kids.
December 7, 2014 |
Richard Allen Colbert, 58, of Newark, Del., executive director of Tyler Arboretum in Media for 23 years, died Saturday, Nov. 29, of pancreatic cancer at his home. He had been diagnosed in 2012. A native of Delaware who specialized in horticulture and business, Mr. Colbert became the first horticulturist for Newark in 1978, and developed a program to beautify the city's traffic islands using low-maintenance plants. In 1991, he became the head of Tyler Arboretum. He helped make the arboretum a regional, family-oriented destination by expanding the educational outreach, increasing community programs, and upgrading the plant collections.
August 2, 2014 |
Do not get Allen Lacy going on the subject of Bradford pear trees or forsythia bushes unless you want to get an earful. He considers them common and overplanted, and you won't find a single one in the Linwood Arboretum in Linwood, N.J., which Lacy created five years ago and somehow manages to keep going with his septuagenarian wife, Hella, a half-dozen volunteers, a surfeit of optimism, and hardly any money. Lacy calls it "the smallest arboretum in the world," but its wish list may be the largest.
July 18, 2014 |
Yes, the kids are learning how to slice and dice, why a nicely set table is important, and the difference homegrown produce can make to health and well-being. But Teen Leadership Corps, an unusual summer program at Awbury Arboretum in Germantown, is about much more: Good work habits, interpersonal and leadership skills, possible job opportunities, and "green" enterprises, such as a farmer's market or herbal-products business. "It's about meaningful work and growing leaders," says Anna Herman, one of its founders.