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Category: Nature

Vinca Meadow

Vinca Meadow

Some plants are pretty yet called invasive, but what can one harmless plant do? Somewhere in the 1950’s or maybe 60’s, long before the environmental movement came into being or used the word ‘invasive’ to describe plants or even really understood the consequences of planting certain non-native plants, Pastor Althouse planted a small area of his property with Vinca. Now, 60 years later you can see Vinca covering a large area of the 17 acre property. While beautiful, with periwinkle…

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Spicebush

Spicebush

Lindera benzoin Common Name: Spicebush Spring is here for me when Spice Bush is displaying its delicate yellow flowers.  I have been fascinated with this native PA shrub because it is the host plant for the spicebush swallowtail caterpillar which is the coolest looking caterpillar ever! The design of the caterpillar resembles a tiny snake.  The “eyes” are actually a design.  Spicebush does best in moist soil but I have been moving my shrub around the yard for the past…

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Sensitive Fern

Sensitive Fern

Onoclea sensibilis The native Sensitive Fern is called sensitive because it shrivels up at the first sign of frost. It is well adapted to wet or moist soils, where it spreads out happily (and quickly) by rhizomes. In slightly drier areas it spreads more slowly though it does not tolerate completely dry soil and will dry up until next Spring if it is too dry.  It’s rather coarse texture is a welcome addition to a shady rain garden or along…

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Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley

Convallaria majalis Lily of the Valley is an intoxicatingly fragrant perennial bulb. Tiny white bell flowers appear in Spring and make delightful cut flowers. It can make a good ground cover for small areas. Spreads slowly but lives for a long time.  One of the few flowering plants that prefer shade. Keep it in your garden though, it can be invasive in natural areas. More information. Save Save

Orange Day Lilies

Orange Day Lilies

Hemerocallis fulva  While there are Day Lilies native to the area, Orange Day Lilies are. They were brought to the United States in the 19th century and once planted spread rapidly through their roots and can be invasive creating dense patches that natives can’t penetrate. That being sai many gardeners (including early owners of the Arboretum) value them for their hardiness and enjoy watching them open one flower at a time that lasts one day.   They last a long…

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