The Arboretum Report May 14th 2015

We have been very busy since the Magnolias began to flower. This spring has seen the most visitors in the last 15 years and probably for many years before. The preschoolers from The School at Rose Valley took a nature walk and that was a special day which everyone enjoyed. The stream clean up organized by the Chester/ Ridley/Watershed Association was a success.  Thanks to all the volunteers that made this happen.

Another highlight of the spring season is the Azaleas blooming. Some started about two weeks ago and are finished. The heaviest flowers are right now. The late bloomers will be starting soon and last about two weeks. Did you know that all Azaleas are Rhododendrons but not all Rhododendrons are Azaleas? This means that Azaleas are part of the Rhododendron family. Some very nice Rhododendrons can now be seen along The Rhododendron Walk and at the far end of the Pine Azalea Trail.

The Master Gardeners vegetable and flower program is wrapping up. This year they were able to use their new polyhouse at Smedley Park which allows them to grow more plants and gave us more room in the greenhouse. The Gardeners will be having their plant giveaway this Saturday at the Intergenerational Garden in Chester. It is located at 6th and Morton streets.

The tadpoles are doing well in the vernal pond. It has been very dry this past month so we have needed to pump water from the creek two or three time a week. The tadpoles will grow into frogs and toads in the next two or three weeks and leave the pond. They do this in mass an event that I have only witnessed once. If you happen to encounter this exodus be careful where you step.

Well I got to go. There is Garlic Mustard in the woods that I need to weedwhack before it goes to seed.

Tom Kirk

Arboretum Manager