A brief, but impressive squall greeted me upon arrival at the Arboretum today, blustery, snow whipping around and chilly. A still green fern’s fronds were decorated with tiny flecks of snow and the grasses at the entrance to the carriage house were swaying in the breeze against a snowy background. Surprisingly, a Doublefile viburnum ‘Pink Beauty’ was actually in bloom! I’m not sure what conditions prompted this behavior in late November … At any rate, minutes later the squall had spent itself and the sun reappeared. Mother Nature at her most surprising!
Chilly, rainy and windy at the Arboretum today, but even so, there was beauty to be found. Many white berries adorn the branches of Callicarpa japonica cv. Leucocarpa (White fruited Beautyberry) on a shrub in the upper parking lot. The many bright red berries on Ilex verticillata ‘Red Sprite” (Winterberry Holly cultivar) are certainly a welcome sight on a cloudy, dreary day. And the purple berries of Callicarpa dichotoma “Issai” (Purple Beautyberry cultivar) are an unexpected and welcome sight.
We are still enjoying some beautiful fall weather and lovely foliage colors. A gorgeous, golden leafed Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum cv. ‘Sango Kaku’) makes quite a statement up against the clear blue November sky. Another Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum var. dissectum cv. ‘Ever Red’, presents its red, lacy foliage like a waterfall close to the small pond in front of Matilda’s cottage. The male cones of the Dawn Redwood tree (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) by the Marsh Meadow deck look stunning against the reddish brown fall color of the deciduous needles.
The Dogwood is a wonderful small tree, offering something of interest in all seasons. The familiar flowers in spring can be white or pink (the showy parts are actually bracts, with the true flower a cluster in the middle). Late summer brings fruit, red berries of different shapes and sizes depending on the variety. Fall color can be spectacular, with vibrant reds and oranges. Winter is a great time to see the various types of bark exhibited by the different types of Dogwood.
Observed at the Arboretum this week are the elongated, oval, orange/red leaves of Cornus cv. Hyperion brightening up a cloudy day. The nicely shaped Kousa Dogwood tree next to the parking lot has red, yellow and orange leaves and its exfoliating bark is a patchwork of various shades of peach, beige and grey.
The lovely sunny weather was most welcome following a couple of dreary rainy days. A gorgeous Red Oak is displaying its full fall regalia. The Green Mountain Sugar Maples’ leaves are a lovely apricot color. And the grounds behind the Haggerty Education Building are at their peak. Do visit soon!
We continue to be blessed with lovely fall weather, and the grounds at the Arboretum are a pleasure to walk around. I found a bee resting in a bright red Zinnia flower. The lavender Asters are gorgeous this year, so full of flowers and bees! Amazingly, there are still bunches of pink and blue Hydrangea flower clusters in various places in the garden. Enjoy this beautiful weather while you can!
Picture credits: Margery Ennist.
When / Where
Buildings & Grounds - Free Admission
Grounds Open Daily 8 am - Dusk
353 East Hanover Ave.
Morris Township, NJ 07962 Click Here for maps and directions.