Saturday, May 28, 2011

Penn State Arboretum

I haven’t visited University Park in 20 years. The campus has changed dramatically. Old, wind-blown Parking Lot 80 is full of buildings. The Creamery has a new building. Beaver Stadium is higher. A lot has changed but, the College Diner downtown is in the same place and still serves Fried Stickys ala mode - even for breakfast.

We visited Penn State University Arboretum on a cool, sunless day. The entire 370 acres is a huge tract of land next to the new Dickinson School of Law. The Arboretum is dedicated to teaching, research and restoration.

H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens (Phase 1) was completed in 2009 with 17,000 plants, 700 varieties on 5 acres of gardens The botanic gardens consist of a series of green rooms, not visible from one another.

The gardens include the Event Lawn. North Terrace Garden (future Conservatory Terrace),Rose and Fragrance Garden, Demonstration Gardens (including Annual and Perennial Display Garden, Butterfly Garden, and Hummingbird Garden), Soaring Waters (fountain), Oasis Garden with Lotus Pool, and Overlook Pavilion There is a surprise around every corner

From the pavilion to the horizon, a vast expanse includes 43 acres of 18th century hardwood forest. The area surrounding the current arboretum will someday hold an orchard, a children’s garden, conservatory, four-seasons garden, meadow garden, a 10 acre hybrid chestnut Orchard and much more.

It will only get better in years to come. A great addition to Happy Valley (and a short drive from The Creamery)


Scenes from the Botanic Garden:

Large Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolious) ‘Summer Wine’ ready to bloom.

Virginia sweespire (Itea virginica) brilliant yellow green. It’s fall color would make it a good replacement for the invasive burning bush.

Lotus Pool in the Oasis Garden will be filled with unusual water lily and lotus plants in summer including Chinese lotus grown from 2,000-year-old seeds. (New Law School Building in the background)

Soaring Waters fountain in the Terrace Garden (future site of the Conservatory).

Rows of tulips at the end of their bloom.

A pretty pink flowering plant is a backdrop in the Pollinator’s Garden sign.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Late Bloomer

I’m working on a post about our little trip last weekend. I’m way behind in writing and everything else.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share the Amaryllis blooming right now. Last winter I left it in the garage because I couldn’t find anyone to adopt it. It was destined for the compost bin I thought.

I noticed a little green shoot about 6 weeks ago. So I watered it and it produced this wonderful bloom.

Some plants don’t give up.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spring Break

I will be away this weekend. I hope to have something interesting from Center County to share next week.

Meanwhile the Bethlehem Garden Club Basket Bingo takes place on Sunday. The fundraiser benefits the scholarship fund. A scholarship is awarded to a local student who plans to continue education in horticulture, ecology, forestry or other related sciences. (And, I hear they are serving fried cabbage and noodles.)

Bethlehem Garden Club Basket Bingo

MAY 22, 2011 – 1 pm
East Hills Middle School
2005 Chester Rd, Bethlehem, PA 18017


To benefit BGC Scholarship Fund

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day – May 2011

I've added a few more photos. Maybe that will help. Click on the picture for a larger view.


My bloom day post consists of one plant this month.

I hope someone can help me identify this pretty little 6 to 8” plant. One of my friends called it a weed. Another called it a wildflower. It has been around my garden for a few years. It self sows but is easy to pull out. It brings a pretty spring softness to the shady garden. The leaves blush redish in late summer.

If you can identify this plant, please leave the answer in a comment. I would love to know its name.

Single plant.

Carol at May Dreams Garden
proves “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence. Go over to her delightful blog to see what’s blooming around the country and around the world. We all thank you Carol for hosting this event on the 15th of each month.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blue Fescue, Dusty Miller and Euonymus

We all want happy plants. But sometimes I think it would be good if they were a little less enthusiastic.

By early September last year (above), the Fescue (‘Elijah’s Blue’), Dusty Miller and Euonymus (‘Moonshadow’ and ‘Emerald Surprise’) packed the bed in rows of blue, grey, yellow. The dry summer seemed to agree with them. The parched lawn wore its usual dormant brown.

Now it’s time to get ready for a new season. Last year’s growth of Dusty Miller was cut this week. New grey leaves grow from the base.

I will also need to divide some of the Fescue to fill the holes of the grasses that didn’t make it through the winter.

I got a good start on trimming the Euonymus. The shrubs put on a lot of growth last year. I guess I should be happy with their enthusiasm since they have been victims of voles and scale in the past.

I’m looking forward to a bed full of happy plants again this summer.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Progress in the Garden

It’s been a perfect week in the garden – 60 or 70 degrees and lots of sunshine. Area gardeners are digging with joy.

The bamboo bean tepee is waiting for the pole beans planted last weekend, radishes are in the two leaf stage, cucumbers, flower boxes, canna are planted.

Zinnia seeds are in the ground. The roses have been fed. Lettuce is peeping out of the soil in the flower box.

The Euonymus, Pieris japonica, PJM, and lilacs need to be trimmed. Daylily and Brunnera need to be moved. The ivy covered bank needs to be cut back. There are weeds to pull and hoeing to be done.

But, 47 coleus plants (top picture), tomatoes, a bunch of impatiens, dusty miller, marigolds and other annuals (below) are ready for planting.

I plan a big planting day tomorrow. Everything else will have to wait. I'm almost giddy with anticipation.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Hello Dear Daphne

Daphne burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie'

I posted about buying the tiny Daphne
on April 2009 Bloom Day blog. Last year there were a few blooms.

This year in early April, it looked like a stick. I was a little worried.
But by mid-April it was showing new growth
By May 1, a beautiful full bloom among the sweet woodruff and brunnera.
I have read that this shrub may be short-lived, but for now, I’m enjoying it’s bloom and fragrance.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Bulb Sale

I can't resist a sale. When a sale has anything to do with gardening, then I REALLY can’t resist a sale.

A Philadelphia Flower Show a vendor had a “12 for $25” bulb sale. I bought 6 Casablanca and 6 Stargazer Lily bulbs dreaming of their sweet summer scent.

Cleverly, I put the bulbs in separate bags so I wouldn’t get them mixed up. Not so cleverly. I didn’t mark the bags. So I didn’t know which was which. Since Casablanca blooms white, I rationalized that the bulbs would be white.

I wanted to plant them with the other Casablanca lilies in my scented garden. I got out the bulb digger which I haven’t used in years. I tried it and then remembered why I haven’t used it in years. The bulb digger makes a tidy hole but gets stuffed with a rock hard pack of soil. I think the theory is that the digging next hole will push the soil out of the top.

After jumping on the digger several times, I gave up. I turned to the trusty shovel and dug holes for the bulbs.

I planted the six tan colored (Stargazer?) bulbs near our deck. We’ll see which bulbs are in all those holes when they bloom in July.