THE SCOTT ARBORETUM OF SWARTHMORE COLLEGE

October 2017

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October 1

Mid-Atlantic Peony Society Annual "Dig and Divide"

Sunday, October 1, 1:30 pm
Wister Center

Join Mid-Atlantic Peony Society members to learn how to site, plant, dig, and divide peonies at this time of year for best results. Tree peonies, herbaceous, and Itoh hybrids will be discussed. Stay for a reception, rare peony auction, and peony sale.

Free and open to all!

October 11

Nature's Narratives: H is for Hawk

Wednesday, October 11, 5:30 to 6:30 pm
Scott Horticultural Library

Join fellow garden enthusiasts and book lovers as they discuss books about plants, nature, and the environment. “Nature’s Narratives” is a book discussion group sponsored by the Scott Arboretum where readers come together to discuss a book once a month and share in the reading experience.

The instant New York Times bestseller and award-winning sensation, Helen Macdonald's story of adopting and raising one of nature's most vicious predators has soared into the hearts of millions of readers worldwide in her book titled H is for Hawk. Fierce and feral, her goshawk Mabel's temperament mirrors Helen's own state of grief after her father's death, and together raptor and human "discover the pain and beauty of being alive" (People). H Is for Hawk is a genre-defying debut from one of our most unique and transcendent voices.

The discussions are free and open to the public. Participants will need to read each month’s selection prior to the discussion.

Books will not be supplied, but one copy of each is available in the Scott Horticultural Library for check-out and members of the Scott Arboretum enjoy lending priviledges. Call to register 610-328-8025. Limited to 12.

October 12

Green Roof Tour

Thursday, October 12, Noon to 1 pm
Depart from the Wister Center.

Learn about the inner workings, benefits, and beauty of green roofs while exploring three of the different green roofs we have at the Arboretum. Please note the level of difficulty on these tours is higher than others we offer; a brisk walk and several steps are required to access each roof. Children under the age of 12 are not permitted on the roofs.

The tour will begin at the Scott Arboretum Offices and is free and open to the public. In case of inclement weather, the tour will be canceled. For more information, please call the Scott Arboretum Offices at 610-328-8025.

October 13

Excursion: The New Jersey Pine Barrens

Friday, October 13, departs at 7 am
Departs from the Wister Center.

Our first stop will be Whitesbog where we will meet our guide for the day, Mark Szutarski. Mark describes himself as a weekend botanist and leads enthusiastic tours for the Philadelphia Botanical Club. We will hear from him about the history of Whitesbog, see the historic garden that is under restoration, and learn about the cultivated blueberries (since 1916!) and other flora there. Many of the buildings still stand from the days when Whitesbog was a production facility for cranberries and blueberries. At its peak of production, Whitesbog (www.whitesbog.org) cultivated 90 acres of blueberries.

Our next stop will be Pakim Pond where we will have lunch in the pavilion and learn about the curly grass fern, pitcher plants, asters, and other native Pine Barrens plants. After lunch we will visit Warren Grove to get a good view of the pitch pines and pygmy forest and see locally common but globally rare flora. A highlight of our trip will be our last stop, Franklin Parker Preserve, to see rare and beautiful pineland plants like orchids and gentians! Clothing for rain or shine, long pants, and sturdy, close-toed walking shoes are all a must.

To be able to see all this trip has to offer, a considerable amount of walking is needed. At the last stop, there is a 20-minute walk from the bus to the site and then a 20-minute walk back to the bus. Bring your own lunch. Limit 25.

Members: $90                   Non-members: $130

Register online or call 610-328-8025.


A terrific incentive to become a member! Excursions with the Scott Associates are member benefits; the non-member fee reflects the member cost of the trip plus a $40 one-year Individual Membership.


Cancellation Policy:

  • The Scott Arboretum retains the right to cancel any program due to lack of enrollment or unforeseen problems. Please provide us with your email so we have a way to notify you regarding scheduling changes.
  • No refunds are available for day bus trips.

October 20

Perennial Plant Conference

Friday, October 20, 8 am to 5 pm
Lang Performing Arts Center

This popular day-long conference is hosted in the Delaware Valley of Pennsylvania, an area with a rich garden history. The conference covers a variety of topics of interest to horticulturists and avid gardeners.

This conference is co-sponsored by Chanticleer, Longwood Gardens, the Hardy Plant Society/Mid-Atlantic Group, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College.

Included in your registration packet will be a FREE weekend admission pass to Chanticleer and Longwood Gardens for the weekend following the conference. To receive a brochure, please contact Longwood Gardens at (610) 388-5454 or visit www.perennialplantconference.org. No phone registrations please.

October 22

Scott Associates Fall Celebration:
Are "Alien" Plants "Bad"? by Doug Tallamy

Sunday, October 22, 4 pm
Lang Music Building

The expense of fighting alien plant invasions and the unpopularity of restricting the sale of ornamental invasives have motivated several public figures to question the wisdom of continuing to battle invasive plants. After all, they argue, if an alien plant helps a particular butterfly, bird, or bee, why not embrace it?

Using data from several studies, Doug Tallamy, professor of Entomology at the University of Delaware, answers this and related questions, showing that we can determine the overall impact of alien plants on our ecosystems only by comparing what is gained from their use with what is lost when they replace native plant communities. Introduced plants are not the ecological equivalents of the native plants they displace because they do not support the diverse and stable food webs that run our ecosystems.

Exchanging plants that support all of our animal diversity for plants that support only a few species is ecologically indefensible. Doug is the author of Bringing Nature Home and The Living Landscape (co-authored with Rick Darke).

RSVP here.

This event is free and the public is welcome.

October 24

Autumn Highlights Tour

Tuesday, October 24, noon to 1 pm
Tours depart from the Scott Arboretum Offices and are free and open to the public.

Explore the Scott Arboretum's plant collections with staff. This tour is geared for gardeners from beginners to experts. The tour will begin at the Scott Arboretum offices and is free and open to the public. In case of inclement weather, the tour will be canceled. For more information, please call the Scott Arboretum offices at 610-328-8025.

October 26

Excursion: Private York Estate and North Star Orchard

Thursday, October 26, departs at 7 am
Departs from Wister Center.

The first stop of the day will be to a private estate in York where we will take a two-hour walking tour amidst beautiful fall color. The property comprises 50 acres and features a wide variety of environments.

It has been in the hands of the present owners for over 40 years. Highlights include (but are not limited to) an extensive planted area on a hillside featuring a secret garden with a stone bridge, overlook, pond, herb steps, and gazebo; a pinetum with a great variety of labeled conifers; a perennial path containing many varieties of plants, trees, and shrubs; the whimsically named House at Pooh Corner; and the Tower Ruin.

The property also includes a conservatory/pool house, a carriage house, and an amazing variety of antique garden tools. We will enjoy our lunch at this estate after the tour.

Our next stop will be to North Star Orchard in Cochranville for a signature apple-tasting event. North Star Orchard (www.northstarorchard.com) specializes in growing over 300 varieties of apples, from heritage to brand-new. We will enjoy an introduction and tasting of 30 apple varieties presented by their resident apple experts, learning about each variety’s notable characteristics and various flavors from floral to spicy, citrusy to berry-like.

The tasting will be in an indoor classroom adjacent to the farm store which will open after our tasting. Please note: there will be a lot of walking at the first garden which has hilly terrain. Bring your own lunch. Limit 27.

Members: $85                   Non-members: $125

Register online or call 610-328-8025.


A terrific incentive to become a member! Excursions with the Scott Associates are member benefits; the non-member fee reflects the member cost of the trip plus a $40 one-year Individual Membership.


Cancellation Policy:

  • The Scott Arboretum retains the right to cancel any program due to lack of enrollment or unforeseen problems. Please provide us with your email so we have a way to notify you regarding scheduling changes.
  • No refunds are available for day bus trips.

October 30

Autumn Highlights Tour

Monday, October 30, noon to 1 pm
Tours depart from the Scott Arboretum Offices and are free and open to the public.

Explore the Scott Arboretum's plant collections with staff. This tour is geared for gardeners from beginners to experts. The tour will begin at the Scott Arboretum offices and is free and open to the public. In case of inclement weather, the tour will be canceled. For more information, please call the Scott Arboretum offices at 610-328-8025.