Sunday, May 26, 2013

Master Gardeners Visit the National Arboretum

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.
Capitol Columns
One of the Arboretum's visual highlights is the Capitol Columns. They were removed from their original site at the U.S. Capitol in 1958, discarded and later reclaimed for display.

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
The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum is a beautiful permanent display of Chinese, Japanese and North American bonsai plants, some in training for over 200 years.

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
In the National Herb Garden, in addition to the knot garden and rose garden, plants are arranged in themed beds - beverage, colonial, culinary, dye, fragrance, medicinal, Native American and others. Master Gardener's involved with the program's demonstration herb garden were especially interested in the dye, fragrance and culinary gardens.

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
In addition to viewing the largest boxwood collection in the world, visitors saw orange, pink, red, and white azaleas that line the trails up the slope of Mt. Hamilton. Dogwoods were also in bloom.

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
Before heading home, there was a stroll through the Asian Collection which included plants from China, Korea, and Japan.

Colleen Johnson, Linda Horst and others exit the Asian Collection
The weather was pleasant but somewhat breezy. Linda Forbes, Scotland, PA, had come along to spend the day with her friend Master Gardener Barbara Petrucci. At the end of the trip she said, "I saw lots of plants I'd like to add to my yard.

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 links
United States National Arboretum

National Bonsai Foundation



1 comment: