Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pennsylvania Field Trip: Morris Arboretum

The Morris Arboretum in the suburbs of Philadelphia is a great place for a homeschool field trip. It is 92 acres of cultivated gardens, historic structures, wetland areas, a creek. A former estate, it is now run by the University of Pennsylvania.

There are 13,000 labeled plants: trees, shrubs, flowers. There is a rose garden, an herb garden, a fernery (a wonderful place to stop to warm up on a cold winter day), a Japanese overlook, and many other beautiful spaces.

It is a wonderful place for drawing, photographing, identifying plants, watching insects, listening to birds.

You can get ideas for plantings in your own garden.

This is a Bald Cypress tree. I'd never seen cones like that!

This is the "Summer Palace," a structure fashioned of branches. It was installed last year and will stay in place until the weather removes it. Click to enlarge for the full effect.

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There are secluded spots for sitting and resting, or reading - silently or aloud.

I didn't get a picture of the "Out on a Limb" exhibit which is a wonderful spot for kids. They can get up in the trees, sit in a birds' nest, climb like a squirrel. Or the Garden Railway, which we visit every summer. They have classes, concerts, and other special events for families. Signs and activities around the gardens add to the educational value of the visit.Visit their site or their blog for more information.

If you are going to be in the Philadelphia area, it is worth a visit. If you live here, go soon!


wayside wanderer said...

This is a beautiful place! I have never been quite that far north, but one these days I will!

Morris Arboretum said...

Glad you guys are enjoying the Morris Arboretum. Thanks for posting your pictures!