Schedel Arboretum and Gardens – My First Visit

We stared ahead at the large metal gates across the road. We always wanted to visit Schedel Gardens, yet we sat there assessing. Quickly our eyes identified treetops Beech, Oak, Nootka Cypress as we examined the deep grey sky. Getting out of the car I wondered to myself, if last May 17 I was clothed in long underwear and three additional layers.

Quercus robur ‘Fastigiata’

Yet the moment I saw the first notable tree – a Columnar English Oak.   I forgot if I was cold, wet, hungry or thirsty. You plantaholics know what I mean. We get so absorbed in the plant material that all is forgotten.

My family headed down the stairs to the Japanese Garden.  Large concrete urns – though empty -greeted us as we entered the garden. The first thing Andre said was “Wow, this is cool!” I lagged behind to be certain I did not miss a plant or photo opportunity.  I thought.  “It must be good if it impresses my eight year old, who thought this day might be boring.” It was the cascading waterfall he referred to, it almost made you feel as though you stepped into an Ansel Adams photograph (the grayness of the day helped too).

As we followed the streams and additional waterfalls we met Hinoki Cypress, Redbuds, Sedum, Bloodgood Maples, Threadleaf Maples and the Torii. Our first walk through I was so looking down at all the plants and water, I didn’t even photograph the Torii!

We meandered through until we left the garden, the Japanese Kerria and a sending us off toward the Dawn Redwood Grove. These sixty-year old trees stand tall as “living fossils”, once thought to be extinct.

As a distracted child in Toys-R-Us, I zigzagged to the Summer Cottage, around the lakes. My favorite area was more “behind the scenes”. A screen really that acts as a backdrop for the Peony and Iris Gardens. If you walk behind the Redwoods, a hill slopes toward the P0rtage River. At the top of this hill Cutleaf, Tricolor and Purple European Beech have made there home. The side of the hill houses the Lilac collection, in full bloom on this May day.

I could have stayed under the canopy of the Beeches all day, but my family lured me out into the Peony and Iris Gardens. The where both fully budded and ready to show off…

As the rains began we walked toward the Bonsai Shelter, finding the most amazing view of the Japanese Garden along the way. Finally I photographed the Torii.Torii Close up

In the Bonsai shelter the tiny leaves intrigued me, as I shot photo after photo of one-fourth inch leaves. It reminded me of my sister, years ago she had a miniature collection and back then I was enthralled with here tiny treasures.

Just as drops finally feel from those dark clouds, we ducked into the greenhouse. Exiting with more plants then the four of us could carry back to the car (thank you staff at Schedel for ferrying our plants directly to the car).

A final stroll through the perennial garden in the rain left Andre talking to the woman in “The Cloak”.   I guessed he told her she was warmer than him, but I may never know what they talked about that day!  I can tell you the eight-year old was not bored.

Thank you Schedel. We look forward to visiting again soon.

Andre's conversation with Woman in the Cloak

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2 thoughts on “Schedel Arboretum and Gardens – My First Visit

  1. Jane

    I enjoy receiving your newsletters! You have a gift for writing and your photos are beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing your plant enthusiasim and love of gardening.

  2. Jeri Fink

    Marcella, so glad you have discovered Schedel Gardens. You must go back in late June-mid July when the perennials are in bloom. It is spectacular! If it’s a hot day, take an umbrella and wander! What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

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