Category: PhotoGallery

At the Arboretum 2/27/24

Spring is coming, you can feel it in the air and hear it in the birds’ songs!!! The tiniest and most delicate little Irises are blooming in the gravel/crevice garden, lovely yellow and white and pretty lavender and white flowers, standing no more that 6-7 inches tall. A busy little bee was climbing all over the Eranthis hyemalis (Winter Aconite) flowers looking for an early snack. And the Adonis amurensis ( Pheasant’s Eye) is in bloom next to Matilda’s Cottage. It is wonderful to walk around the grounds and discover all these little gems.

Picture credits: Margery Ennist.

At the Arboretum 2-20-24

Another snowfall over the weekend is keeping the grounds covered under a white blanket. Crisp, clear and cold today, but the sky was a magnificent shade of blue. The fuzzy buds of a Magnolia x ‘Butterflies’ (Hybrid Magnolia) were lovely against the azure sky. I was lucky enough to capture a male Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) flitting about in the shrubs along the Four Seasons Garden path. A patch of lemon yellow Eranthis hyemalis (Winter Aconite) is blooming in the snow under the Cornus alba cv. Siberica (Red Twig Dogwood) providing a nice contrast between the yellow flowers and the red twigs on the Dogwood.

The days are getting longer, Daylight Saving Time is due to arrive on Sunday, March 10th and Spring is less than a month away. To quote Leo Tolstoy in Anna Karenina “Spring is the time of plans and projects”, for me that means thinking about my garden, creating new beds and introducing new plants.

Picture credits: Margery Ennist.

At the Arboretum 2/13/24

A freshly fallen blanket of snow covered the grounds at the Arboretum late this afternoon. As the sun was setting, the Frelinghuysen Mansion looked serene and peaceful surrounded by snow with a regal Gymnocladus dioica (Kentucky Coffee Tree) standing sentinel in the foreground. The Bacchus herm at the end of the Holly walk by Matilda’s Cottage sported a snowy cap and cold shoulder and the delicate, strappy flowers of the Hamamelis vernalis ‘Red Imp’ (Red Imp Witch Hazel) seemed immune to the snow covering the shrub.

Picture credits: Margery Ennist.


Saturday, February 3 was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for the Friends to host our annual Benjamin Blackburn Scholarship Lecture, this year with Marta McDowell speaking about Murder in the Garden! Marta treated us to a fascinating, informative and funny talk about the many aspects of garden murder mysteries, from Nancy Drew to Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple.

The Haggerty Education Center’s Auditorium was festively decorated, with fuschia tablecloths, Cyclamens on each table and two lovely flower arrangements by Vasu Tadikonda. The talk was followed by an array of sweet and savory treats, Prosecco, tea and coffee.

Thank you to all who attended and helped us raise funds for a scholarship to be awarded to a student in the Horticulture/Landscape Program at County College of Morris.

A very special thanks to Mendham Capital Management for their generous support of this program.

At the Arboretum 2-6-24

From a window in the Haggerty Education Center my eye was caught by the fiery red foliage of a Mahonia bealei shrub (Leatherleaf Mahonia) behind the building. A closer inspection revealed the Holly-like spiny leaves holding on to their lovely fall color as well as the flower buds which will open in late winter to sprays of small yellow flowers.

Katharine Boyle Pictures 2/4/24

Katharine Boyle writes:

Enclosed are some images from my visit yesterday. It was so nice to see the sun highlighting the trees and plants, dried flowers included. It was also inspiring to see some peeking buds flowering again. 

Thanks Katharine for the lovely pictures.

At the Arboretum 1-31-24

One of those raw and chilly winter days at the Arboretum, so I didn’t linger in the gardens today. Nevertheless, flowers were to be found: a small clump of Galanthus (Snowdrops) and the Edgeworthia chrysantha shrub (Paper Bush) are blooming next to the kitchen door to the Hagerty Education Center. Not to be missed is an absolutely stunning, deep pink, speckled Hellebore flower (Lenten Rose) blooming in the steep bed in front of Matilda’s Cottage.

An interesting bit of mythology associated with Hellebores: The mythological physician Melampus was said to have observed the cathartic effect of Hellebore on goats who browsed the plants. Melampus used the milk of these same goats to cure the daughters of the King of Argos of a divinely inflicted madness, hence Hellebores are sometimes called melampodium.

Picture credits: Margery Ennist.

At the Arboretum 1-23-24

Misty, chilly and gloomy at the Arboretum and snow is still on the ground. A hawk flew overhead sending small birds scurrying for cover in the shrubs. An evergreen Helleborus foetidus (Stinking Hellebore) behind Matilda’s cottage is getting ready to open its chartreuse flowers. A Tsuga canadensis cv. Detmer’s Weeper (Weeping Canadian Hemlock) in front of Matilda’s cottage is hanging on to its delicate little cones; and the Picea abies cv. Inversa (Weeping Norway Spruce cultivar) in the Four Seasons Garden is showing off a couple of beautifully shingled, large cones, the largest cones of any Spruce.

Picture credits: Margery Ennist.

At the Arboretum 1/15/24

Prior to Monday’s snowfall, I found the parking lot littered with the interesting and complex seedpods fallen from the nearby Liquidambar styraciflua cv. Slender Silhouette (Columnar American Sweetgum); these round, spiky seed pods make excellent Christmas tree decorations and can be used in dried flower arrangements as well. A Pieris japonica cv. Valley Rose (Japanese Pieris or Andromeda) is covered in tiny, reddish flower buds ready to burst open early in the spring. The delicate, dried flowers of Hakonechloa macra cv. Albostriata (Variegated Japanese Forest Grass) provide subtle winter interest in the gardens. And last, but not least, the “evergreen” yellow leaves on the Ilex glabra cv. Goldmine, perhaps? (Variegated Inkberry Holly) provide a bright, golden spot in an otherwise colorless bed.

There is much to see in a winter garden, you may have to look a bit harder, but your efforts will be rewarded!

Picture credits, Margery Ennist.

At the Arboretum 1/10/24

Following the weekend’s snowfall, the gardens at the Arboretum are covered in a light blanket of snow. The brilliant red berries of the Ilex verticillata cv.Winter Red (Winterberry Holly) are stunning against the blue of the Spruce behind it. The Quince fruits in the planter at the entrance to the Haggerty Education Center look wonderful with an icing of snow.

Picture credits: Margery Ennist.