Sunday, July 20, 2014

Schedel Arboretum and Garden- Part Two

I do believe my readers know me by now, that I cannot write on any botanical gardens or arboretums in one posting!  And now back to subject of the Dawn Redwoods.  
This grove of “living fossils”, with their shaggy auburn bark, was started in the 1950s.  They were once believed to be extinct, however in 1941 a 1,000 of them were found in remote areas of China.  Scientists from Harvard University sponsored an expedition to collect seeds from the trees and soon the first trees were planted in America.  Another interesting tree is the Bristlecone pine, which John has been looking for since he first read about them.  This species, in its native environs, can live for millennia, and there are specimens over 4,700 years old in existence.  We found one in the Schedel gardens, upon examination of the tiny cones on the tree we discovered they had bristles on their surface.
In my previous posting you may have noticed the thousands of annuals planted along the mansion’s driveway, and also a smaller amount of begonias and other plants around the Los Bailadores Flamenco marble sculpture, pictured above.  The beds of the gardens are planted with nearly 20,000 annuals each year.  To plant and maintain so many meticulously manicured beds of plants looks like a lot of work to me!  Schedel Gardens has a staff of 15-20 full and part-time staff.  They also are helped by nearly 100 volunteers, student interns and master gardeners.
As you may notice from the above last two pictures, art has become an important feature of the gardens.   The sculpture pictured above is called The Sower.  I liked it the best, it gave the impression that the little girl was holding a bouquet of lilies.  As a garden brochure has explained it so well, it is an example of “how art enhances the beauty of the gardens as well as how gardens can enhance the beauty of art”.  In closing, pictured below are the flowers of a rose of Sharon bush, I have not seen one before with blue flowers!

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