THE SCOTT ARBORETUM OF SWARTHMORE COLLEGE

May 2016

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May 6

Blooming Bash: Celebratin of National Public Gardens Day

Friday, May 6, 4 to 7 pm
4:30 pm Family Tour
6 pm Curator's Tour
Wister Center

Celebrate National Public Gardens Day with a Blooming Bash! Bring a friend and celebrate spring at the Scott Arboretum with a complimentary garden reception on Friday, May 6 from 4 to 7 pm.

Enjoy beverages and light fare in a lovely outdoor setting. Enjoy free a free family tour at 4:30 pm and a curator's tour at 6 pm.

Discover our inspiring gardens, part of “the most beautiful campus in America,” free to the public 365 days a year! Also, learn about the robust programming and fun opportunities the Scott Arboretum offers.

Join us for a relaxing evening in the Terry Shane Teaching Garden. In the event of rain, our reception will be moved inside our Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building, the Wister Center.

The eighth annual National Public Gardens Day, scheduled for May 6, 2016, is a national day of celebration that invites communities to explore the beauty of their local green spaces while raising awareness of the important role public gardens play in promoting conservation, education, and environmental preservation. Annually scheduled on the Friday preceding Mother’s Day weekend, schools, families, garden enthusiasts, and visitors are invited to visit public gardens in their local community for special events and activities.

May 9

Tree Peony Collection Tour with Mid-Atlantic Peony Society

Monday, May 9, 5 to 6:30 pm
Tours depart from the Scott Arboretum Offices and are free and open to the public.

Tour our stunning and ever-expanding Tree Peony Collection at the peak of bloom. Explore the collection with experts from the Mid-Atlantic Peony Society and stay for a reception with like-minded gardening enthusiasts.

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.

May 14

Members Plant Exchange and Sale

Saturday, May 14, 10 am
Tours depart from the Scott Arboretum Offices and are free and open to the public.

The 21st annual Members Plant Exchange & Sale is where members of the Scott Arboretum come together to donate and exchange plants from their own gardens. For every three plants a member donates, a plant of their choosing is received in exchange.

During the sale portion of the event, members can buy most plants for only a dollar. Over 3,000 plants exchange hands at this annual event, which allows gardeners to increase their plant collections for a fraction of the potential cost and divide their own overgrown plantings. Learn more here.

May 15

Wellness Walk

Sunday, May 15, 2 to 3 pm
Tours depart from the Scott Arboretum Offices and are free and open to the public.

Co-sponsored by New Avenue Foundation


Wellness Walks at the Scott Arboretum are Sunday activity programs for young women and men with disabilities and their families. Get outside in the beautiful gardens of the Scott Arboretum. Explore the world of nature and learn about the plants all around us. Our goal is to provide an interesting outdoor and horticultural program that includes a social atmosphere.


Wellness Walks will have a specific agenda for each outing. Strolling through the gardens and learning about the environment will be a key component each Sunday, with social and educational activities tailored to the participants.
Wellness Walks is a true grassroots program where families come together to take advantage of the tremendous resource that the Scott Arboretum offers. Our families will work with Scott to create programs that work for people with disabilities.


Pre-registration with New Avenue Foundation is required. Please contact Jim Wurster at jim@newfdn.org or 610-328-3824 to learn more. An intake form will be emailed for you to complete and return to us. This is required prior to attending.

May 2021

Scott Arboretum Selections: The Spring Sale

Friday, May 20, 5:30 to 7:30 pm - Preview Party, tickets required
Saturday, May 21, 10 am to Noon - Members Shopping
Saturday, May 21, Noon to 3 pm - Public Shopping
Wister Center

Scott Arboretum Selections: The Spring Sale features a variety of plants to help the local gardener create a backyard oasis. Explore our curated selection of unusual tropicals, annuals, shrubs, and spring ephemerals on Saturday, May 21. All these selections are hard-to-find in the trade but tried-and-true performers at the Scott Arboretum.


You will find tropicals, annuals, and tender plants not found at the big box stores. They add a sense of the lush tropics to your garden. For many years the Scott Arboretum has showcased interesting tropicals and annuals in containers and various gardens around the campus from May to November. Tropical plants such as Alocasia, Colocasia, and Xanthosoma (elephant ears), Canna, Ensete, Musa, Musella (bananas), and bromeliads create a stunning, lush effect that reminds you of the tropics. 


New to the sale this year will be selected cultivars of roses that thrive in our organic rose garden, thus no chemical spraying needed for a stunning show. Also find our recommended deciduous azaleas for spring blooms.
Don’t forget our selection of spring ephemerals. Add those spring gems like Jack-in-the-pulpit and bloodroot to your landscape.


Plant experts will be on hand to answer your plant questions. These plants are great ways to transform your containers and garden.


Scott Arboretum Selections Sales are hard-to-find but plant performers that thrive in Delaware Valley gardens. We have selected unusual plants that are ideal for use and planting at the time of sale (Spring Sale, Holiday Sale, Fall Sale).

May 24

Excursion: Peonies and Ladew's Topiaries

Tuesday, May 24, departs at 7 am
Departs from the Wister Center

Our two stops for the day were created by self-taught, motivated individuals. The first extraordinary garden belongs to Gail Gee. In 2001, inspired by the work of landscape designer and author Gordon Hayward, Gail began to completely transform her 3-acre, mostly clay, suburban yard into colorful borders with perennials and bulbs, rare shrubs and trees, decorative arbors and gazebos, patios, stone paths, bright trellises bowered with clematis, and a stunning collection of several hundred peonies including intersectionals (we hope to visit near peak bloom!).

The entire garden is maintained organically. Our second stop will be to Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton, Maryland for a guided garden tour. Harvey S. Ladew (1887-1976) created 15 thematic “garden rooms” on 22 acres of his 250-acre Maryland property. It is a wonder that Harvey, with no formal training and very little outside help, created such a magnificent, living masterpiece. He also transformed the old white farmhouse into the stately Manor House we will also tour. Travel by coach with Jeff Jabco and Julie Jenney. Bring your own lunch to have on the bus. Limit 30.


Members: $99                   Non-members: $139

Register online or call 610-328-8025.

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

Cancellation Policy:

  • The Scott Arboretum retains the right to cancel any program due to lack of enrollment or unforeseen problems.
  • No refunds are available for day bus trips.

May 25

Evening Highlight Tour

Wednesday, May 25, 5 to 6:30 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