February 24, 2012 |
On 55 acres of historic landscape in the heart of urban Germantown, the yellow aconite is blooming, the snowdrops and purple crocuses are up, and you can sense the fragile promise of spring. That's a way of thinking about Awbury Arboretum, too, as it looks to reinvent itself - yet again. This grand old estate has new leadership and big plans: To stabilize finances, to work with the neighborhood and local schools, to tackle long-standing maintenance and organizational problems, and to reassert ownership of what Christopher R. van de Velde calls "our primary mission - the care and feeding of the landscape.
February 10, 2012 |
Curious about what some of the public gardens and arboretums in the Philadelphia region are planning for 2012? Here's a preview: Awbury Arboretum in Germantown has a new community apiary - three hives outside and a demonstration hive inside the Francis Cope House. A 10-session beekeeping course is under way and a 4-H beekeeping club is planned, as are honey sales. Beekeeper Anaiis Salles suggested the apiary because "Awbury has underutilized green space, plenty of room for hives, it's easy to get to, and has a really nontoxic environment.
January 20, 2012 |
Eavesdrop in a garden, and what do you hear? Not a lot of narrative. Mostly exclamations over the beauty of something and curiosity about what it is, in and around the absorbing silence. So it is that Paul W. Meyer has "written" a new book about the Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill with no text, just photographs, most taken over the last eight years. Its title is a straightforward Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania Through the Lens of Paul W. Meyer. "It's meant to be a walk through the garden," explains Meyer, 59, a self-taught shutterbug who has worked at Morris for almost 36 years, the last 21 as director.
December 16, 2011 |
Maggie Knapp is about as lean and fit as a 50-year-old woman can be. And no wonder: She's spent literally half her life working outdoors at Jenkins Arboretum in Devon, where she's the head gardener. "Working outdoors" sounds as if she's leisurely raking leaves. Knapp does that, yes, but she also splits wood, chases trespassing deer, mans the snow plow and wields a steady chain saw. She prunes, plants, propagates, and weeds - and hauls a yeoman's load of mulch. You can't miss her. Spend even an hour at this 46-acre public garden, and she'll whiz by you in a golf cart, troubleshooting and problem-solving along 1.2 miles of paved walkways.
June 6, 2011 |
The Barnes Foundation will spend more than $300,000 in the coming months to revitalize its property in Merion, including its arboretum, in preparation for the continued use of the land and gallery space. After the galleries are temporarily closed July 3, the art will move to the new Barnes home on the Parkway in Center City, expected to open next June. At a Barnes Community Day that attracted 450 neighbors throughout Sunday, executive director and president Derek Gillman - himself a Merion resident - told visitors "the Barnes is not leaving Merion.
June 5, 2011 |
The Barnes Foundation will spend more than $300,000 to revitalize its grounds and structures in Merion in the coming months, in preparation for the continued use of the arboretum and the galleries. After the galleries are temporarily closed July 3, the art is moving to the new Barnes home on the Parkway in Center City, expected to open next June. At a Barnes Community Day that attracted 450 neighbors throughout the day Sunday, executive director and president Derek Gillman- himself a Merion resident - told the visitors that "the Barnes is not leaving Merion.
May 27, 2011 |
Morris Arboretum will offer the grand opening of the Garden Railway Display on Saturday, highlighting a Victorian theme. This year's theme will be "Painted Ladies," allowing visitors to see versions of Victorian homes from cities across the nation - including the colorful examples that have become famous in San Francisco. Arboretum volunteers dressed in Victorian garb will dispense interesting facts about the time period. Festivities, beginning at 1 p.m., will include craft activities and ice cream for kids, while it lasts.
October 15, 2010 |
Perhaps as a measure of the economy's stranglehold on new construction, this year's winner of Philadelphia's top architecture award went not to a building, but to an open-air children's attraction at the Morris Arboretum, the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects announced Wednesday at its annual meeting. Metcalfe Architecture & Design received the gold medal for Out on a Limb, a delightful elevated walkway that twists its way through the canopy of the arboretum's oldest trees.
October 8, 2010 |
When people talk about Karen Anderson, the new executive director at Awbury Arboretum, they use words like turnaround and crossroads that portend a need and desire for change. Anderson, 50, has been on the job since January, after six months as associate director. And it's true: She has her work cut out for her at Awbury, a gentle, underused garden with Quaker roots, a 55-acre, historic landscape, and an East Germantown address. "We're in a period of real reflection and renewal," she acknowledges.
October 1, 2010 |
In 2001, Paul W. Meyer, director of the Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill, summoned his board of directors to the garage at Bloomfield Farm, across East Northwestern Avenue from the arboretum's public gardens. "I wanted the board to see what our horticulture staff was living with," Meyer recalls of the tiny, cluttered space where, for years, his employees held their morning meetings and ate lunch. His strategy worked. After years of authorizing projects to make the 92-acre garden visitor-friendly, the board agreed it was time to tend to the needs of staff.