The goal of the Scott Arboretum is to inspire gardeners in the Delaware Valley and introduce them to great plants for their growing conditions. This “plant” inspiration also influences our staff and is exemplified by the article in This Old House: “Planter’s Punch,” describing our curator, Andrew Bunting’s, home garden. Andrew describes his garden as “. . . a little subset of the arboretum. If I grow a plant there that I like, I may plant it in my home garden, too.”
After traipsing under the graceful form of Lindera obtusiloba (Oriental spicebush) in the Terry Shane Teaching Garden daily, Andrew was inspired to add it to his home garden. This vase-shaped shrub with unusual mitten-like leaves adds bold texture to a garden. The dramatic golden fall foliage visible from Andrew’s office window convinced him to add it to his personal garden.
With the building of Alice Paul and David Kemp Residence Halls, the Arboretum began to experiment with Daphniphyllum macropodum for its handsome broadleaved evergreen presence. With the success of this unusual collectors’ plant in the sheltered courtyard gardens at the Arboretum, Andrew added its bold texture and winter interest to his personal garden. The distinctive long red petioles and lustrous, leathery foliage make it a conversation piece anywhere. This is plant will be available at the 2013 Plant Sale on September 20-22.
Andrew describes use of tropicals as his biggest inspiration from the Scott Arboretum. The Arboretum has been using tropicals in the gardens and containers since Andrew spent time here as an intern. Under his leadership as the curator, the Scott Entrance Garden and Terry Shane Teaching Garden have experienced many colorful and dramatic forms of tropical plants with seasonal displays and he has exposed countless interns to the art of planting containers with these vivid plants.
This passion for creating usual textures and colors with tropical plants has spilled into his home garden. Despite his small one-third-acre plot and ever growing wish-list of plants, he reserves a few select areas for the annual planting of tropicals like bananas, bromeliads, and cannas. Join us at the Unusual Tropicals and Annuals Sale in the spring to see the diversity of plants available, and to pick Andrew’s brain about the multitudes of combinations you can create in your garden.