Marcel Proust wrote, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
With that thought in mind, I visited a botanical garden last week that I have toured before, the Morris Arboretum, and endeavored to look at the landscape with ‘new eyes’.
To my mind, Morris is both an arboretum and a botanical garden. I base this on the fact that Morris boasts many large, old, beautiful ‘specimen trees’ including these: Katsura, Bender oak, Trident maple, Blue atlas cedar, Lacebark pine, Weeping Canada hemlock, Japanese Stewartia and Threeflower maple which make it an arboretum. The Katsura is massive. The Weeping Canada hemlock feels mysterious and the Japanese Stewartia festoons itself with white flowers.
It is also a botanical garden as it boasts within its rose garden not only roses but also oak leaf hydrangeas, mountain laurel, clematis, foxglove and others. Altogether there are more than 12,000 labeled plants of approximately 2,500 types. Although the tags can be annoying to a photographer, I find them infinitely useful for learning to identify trees and plants and I appreciate them greatly whenever I see them.
Since I have completed my tree book I decided to wander the arboretum without an agenda. I have already photographed most of the major ‘specimen’ trees and I decided to just amble about in my sunhat, with my camera and tripod, and allow myself to be surprised by beauty.
How could I possibly have overlooked the Dragon Spruce? The trunk and needles of the tree are not terribly remarkable, but the roots are! They curl and stretch like ocean waves caught and held fast by soil and rock.
A tree that stopped me in my tracks and literally dropped me to my knees to permit closer inspection of its bark is the White Tigress maple. Look at the bark closely, doesn’t it look as though it is deliberately inscribed? But is the ‘inscription’ meant as decoration or to communicate something? It is said the tree got its name because someone thought it looked like a tiger had scraped the bark with its claws. To me the lines are more delicate than that. Take a look and let me know what you think.
I’m also including a picture of the Chinese Witch Hazel here, although it is a shrub and not technically a tree. But I loved the texture of its leaves. I only discovered after I got home and looked it up that it flowers from January to March and that it has a particularly lovely scent. I never suspected that while admiring its summer leaves.
Of course if one is not on deadline, why not linger awhile in the well- manicured, terraced rose garden? The roses in mid-June were in full bloom as were several other flowers, including a glorious purple poppy.
The Morris Arboretum, part of the University of Pennsylvania’s holdings, is in the greater Philadelphia area. Its address is: 100 East Northwestern Avenue, Pennsylvania.
Ruthie photographs trees because she loves them.
March 3 - April 7, 2018
Tryon Painters and Sculptors -- 78 N. Trade St. Tryon, NC 28782
Gallery show of Ruthie Rosauer's tree photography
March 16 - April 14, 2018
Burke County Arts Council -- 115 E. Meeting Street, Morganton, NC
Opening and book signing March 16 from 5 - 7pm
Photos from "These Trees" on display through April 14
March 20, 2018
6:00 - 7:30pm
"For the Love of Trees: How to Create a Garden in the shade"
Sponsored by the Hendersonville, NC tree board. Ruthie will speak about the beauty of trees and a garden architect will speak about creating shade gardens.
March 24, 2018
Noon - 3:00
Book signing of "These Trees" at A Walk in the Woods (423. N. Main St. Hendersonville, NC)
March 31, 2018
Noon - 3pm
Book signing of "These Trees" at Mountain Made Gallery in the Grove Arcade, Asheville, NC
April 4, 2018
2: 00 - 3:15pm
Poemscapes -- These Trees (slides and poetry, Ruthie will be joined by Kate Stockman and Annelinde Metzner, poets, reading their poetry)
95 Upper Red Oak Trail
April 6 - 20 2018
5:00 - 7:00 pm April 6
Gallery opening of
art appearing on Artscape Banners in downtown Hendersonville, NC.
Ruthie's photo is one of 40 selected. Show runs through
419 N. Main St.
April 16 - June 25
Solo show of tree photographs at
301 N. Washington St.
August 3 - August 29, 2018
Tryon School of Arts and Crafts -- 373 Harmon Field Rd. Tryon, NC
August 7, 2018
Noon - 1pm "First Tuesday"
speaker "For Love of Trees."
Ruthie will present an audiovisual show of photos, music, poems and anecdotes relating to trees.
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Rd.
August 22 from 2 - 3
Poemscapes: These Trees
Fusion of tree photographs with poems about trees. Photographer Ruthie Rosauer will share stories about some of her favorite trees.
301 N. Washington St.
November 16 - 18
"Tis the Season"
Holiday Fair at
David Event Center
761 New Boyleston Highway