From the Garden: Gardens Within a Garden

By Erin McKenna Breglia, Landis Gardener

An arbore­tum, by def­i­n­i­tion, is a gar­den of trees. But the Lan­dis Arbore­tum is known for many things beyond its trees: native plants, hik­ing trails, plant sales, con­certs, class­es, sculp­tures, pho­to oppor­tu­ni­ties, wildlife view­ing — all avail­able to enjoy through­out the year.

And beyond all these attrac­tions, Lan­dis also offers its vis­i­tors a vari­ety of gardens.

The Van Love­land Peren­ni­al Gar­den was named after long­time gar­den­er and close friend of Arbore­tum founder Fred Lape, Lev­an Van” Love­land. The peren­ni­al beds of this gar­den run across the lawn between the Arbore­tum’s his­toric Farm­house and flow­er­ing Mag­no­lia Col­lec­tion and are home to many beau­ti­ful spring and fall bloom­ing bulbs, vari­eties of iris, Bet­ty Corn­ing’ clema­tis, daylilies, peonies, ros­es, and much more. Over the past few years, many of these gar­den plants have become a main meal for the wildlife that also call Lan­dis home. But rather than get dis­cour­aged, we have instead turned our eyes and weed­ing hands to the oth­er gar­dens at the Arboretum.

The Beal Peony Gar­den hous­es over a dozen peony plants on the hill­side between the Meet­ing House and the back of the Barn. A favorite adop­tion site for vol­un­teer gar­den groups, its main flower pow­er dis­play hap­pens from late May through June, and the blos­soms range in col­ors from red, pink, and fuch­sia to yel­low and white. The gar­den also has a stun­ning spec­i­men of bald cypress (Tax­odi­um dis­tichum). Its nee­dles change to a gor­geous orange-brown col­or each fall.

The Rock Gar­den wraps around the front of the Hark­ness Library, Prop­a­ga­tion Room, and Green­house at Lan­dis. It includes spec­i­mens of sedum, euphor­bia, cat­mint, veron­i­ca, and aqui­le­gia hybrids. In the spring a love­ly pasque flower (Pul­satil­la patens) blooms just to the left of the entrance to the Green­house, its pur­ple flow­ers a delight to see each year. Across from the pasque flower is a plant­i­ng of old-fash­ioned tan­sy flow­ers, and a bed of peach-pink dwarf iris. Along the wall grows snow-in-sum­mer and hen-and-chicks mixed in with oth­er small sedum plants.

The Shan­ti Vun Med­i­ta­tion Gar­den is Lan­dis’ newest gar­den. It hous­es a phe­nom­e­nal birch col­lec­tion, sur­round­ed by gar­den beds of low main­te­nance peren­ni­als and flow­er­ing shrubs. The gar­den also fea­tures a small pond with a flow­ing water­fall and bridge. The pond is filled with an abun­dance of water-gar­den plants includ­ing yel­low, red, and pink flow­er­ing water lilies, which bloom sum­mer through fall. 

The Meet­ing House Rock Wall and Patio: The recent­ly installed rock wall gar­den bed and patio at the Meet­ing House is a great place to sit and enjoy the views of the Schoharie Val­ley. Pic­nic tables are on site, and the area is pop­u­lar for Memo­r­i­al Tree ded­i­ca­tions. The hand laid raised rock wall has been plant­ed with a vari­ety of hos­ta, creep­ing phlox, and core­op­sis, which offer a calm­ing and relax­ing mood through­out the grow­ing season.

The Park­ing Lot Gar­den and Hill­side: The hill­side has been land­scaped with a vari­ety of flow­er­ing trees, ever­greens, and grass­es. It also fea­tures crabap­ple and cher­ry trees, Kat­sura, juniper, larch, and box­wood. This site is also home to Lan­dis’ his­toric dawn red­wood (Metase­quoia glyp­tostroboides). Below the hill­side is a large island gar­den bed, anoth­er favorite adop­tion site for vol­un­teer gar­den groups over the years. This bed is full of vari­eties of nar­cis­sus, daylilies, and spirea shrubs. We plan to cul­ti­vate more pol­li­na­tor friend­ly plants with labels and edu­ca­tion­al sig­nage in the future.

Lan­dis is full of trees – and trea­sures. Some of these trea­sures, such as our gar­dens, can ben­e­fit from the hands of vol­un­teers who enjoy help­ing them grow and thrive. For more infor­ma­tion about vol­un­teer­ing, go to www​.lan​dis​ar​bore​tum​.org.

Fall 2022

Volume 40 , Number 3

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