Thursday, April 7, 2011

In Search of Cherry Blossoms & Spring

Spring Bulbs in the Rose Garden
This past Saturday my husband and I had a "Date Day", and we visited Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill, PA. We went in search of spring... fresh air... warmer weather... cherry blossoms... and some special time together. We found all that we were seeking, except the cherry blossoms - it was still a bit to early and they hadn't yet burst out from their winter slumber.

Each spring, Morris Arboretum hosts an annual Japanese Cherry Blossom Celebration. The Festival offers a variety of activities for both children and adults, and celebrates the art, culture and gardens inspired by the 35 varieties of cherry trees that grace the Arboretum with their blossoms each spring.

Lydia's Seat - in 1910 garden steps, a wall & seat were built into the hillside at the north end of what would become the Rose Garden
The seat & stairs were a favorite garden approach from the Compton Mansion to what was the mixed flower & herb garden, today the seat provides a special & a bit more secret view of the Rose Garden
Stone wall the around the Rose Garden built in 1924 & made from Wissahickon schist

In the early 20th century, John and Lydia Morris (founders of the Morris Arboretum) established one of the finest collections of Japanese plants and gardens in the region at their home, Compton, which would later become the Morris Arboretum. The Morrises vision was to promote an understanding of the relationship between plants, people and place. The Morrises recognized that plants and people depend on each other for survival.

“The progress of the world is so rapid and the hurry of life so great that we are apt not to stop and consider the interest which old landmarks may have for future generations and old buildings are allowed to be destroyed until little remains in our city to show the difference between the past and the present ant to mark the changes that take place even in a single lifetime.” 
-Excerpt from the will of John Morris

Germination Sequence Sculpture

The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is a historic public garden and educational institution. Morris Arboretum is the official Arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Witchhazel near the Mercury Loggia (built in 1913)
Witchhazel near the Mercury Loggia - this shrub is around 100 years old!
Spring Flowers near the Log Cabin - Lydia Morrises private retreat
Close-up of spring flowers near the Log Cabin
Lenten Rose - Hellebore Orientalis
Bleeding Heart emerging near one of the Japanese Gardens
Spring House Garden
Close up of Lenten Rose near the Spring House Garden

If you live near Philadelphia, you can still catch the Japanese Cherry Blossom Celebration at Morris Arboretum this coming weekend – April 9th.

As we celebrate the coming of spring with the blooming of the Cherry Blossoms, lets not forget to keep our Japanese brothers and sisters in our thoughts and prayers.

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