|Master Gardeners and guests head south to the Arboretum|
While 7 a.m. may not be early for Franklin County farmers, many of the forty-plus people boarding the motor coach on Saturday, May 4, were carrying coffee cups. The Master Gardeners of Penn State Extension, Franklin County and guests were headed to the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.
On over 446 acres, the Arboretum, established in 1927, not only provides gardens that conserve and showcase plants, but also provides scientific research and education programs. It houses a permanent reference collection of over 650,000 plants specimens for scientific studies and maintains a library of over 11,000 books.Carol Tebo, McConnellsburg, said she "had never been to the National Arboretum and wanted to see it."
Master Gardener Elmer Greey, Shippensburg, led the tour. Also a volunteer at the Arboretum, Greey was able to point out a number of unusual plants such as the Mexican flowering dogwood (Cornus florida subsp. urbiniana).
|Mexican flowering dogwood petals are joined at the top|
|Greey at the Japanese gate - (R) a Japanese white pine trained since 1626|
May 4 was also the annual Bonsai Festival with demonstrations, vendors and more.Deanna Purdy, Hagerstown, MD, "came to see the bonsai" exhibit and festival. She bought a maple tree to create a bonsai, her third project.
And Master Gardener Colleen Johnson, Fayetteville, bought a small barberry tree and a beginner's guide to indoor bonsai. "I thought I'd give it a try," she said.
|Master Gardeners in the Herb Garden|
|Woad (Isatis tinctoria) produces blue dye|
"I'm glad I could see the woad plant I want to use in the dye garden," commented Master Gardener Carol Kagan, Fayetteville. "It's big and needs to be restrained, maybe in a half-barrel or large pot."
|(L) Azalea and (R) Dogwood photo by Jenny Haynes|
|Viewing the National Grove of Trees while waiting for lunch|
Greey led a tour through the conifer collection, one of his favorite work areas, and pointed out many of the special features of the spruces, firs and dwarf pines.
|Greey led a tour through the conifer collection|
|Colleen Johnson, Linda Horst and others exit the Asian Collection|
Leftovers from lunch were passed around as the bus headed northward and Linda Secrist, Master Gardener Coordinator had one more quiz for the ride home.
For more information check these linksUnited States National Arboretum
National Bonsai Foundation