Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Tanger Arboretum is behind Wheatland, the Lancaster home of James Buchanan and the adjacent Lancaster County Historical Association. At the arboretum, there are many unusual trees, not often seen in this area. Visiting in very late fall or early spring will reward one with unusual cones or pods.
I love wandering under the trees and seeing conifers that I’ve not seen before, and the very odd deciduous trees that have grown very large over the years. Last year several of us did a weed walk through the neighborhood in late April and were amazed with the specimens and the German four square garden behind the presidential residence.Here are a few shots I took the other day….
There is the Atlas Cedar which is enormous, and then a Beech tree with branches that are curly. And then, a weeping beech. There is an entire grove of different beech trees, and I look forward to arriving during just the right time to collect and taste beechnuts from these trees. The pods are very attractive.
Now if I can accomplish that in the fall, and then get out to the Environmental Center in the spring to help with the maple syrup… gather bayberries in the winter… Trees are just as interesting as smaller herbs.
The grounds of Wheatland and the Tanger Arboretum are both under-utilized areas that are filled with enough to keep a plant lover busy for a good long time. Last year we were stunned to find Marsh Marigolds and a long hedge of a fragrant flowering shrub that we still haven't identified. If you are in the area, it's worth your while to check it out.

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