Perhaps one of Montgomery County’s best kept secrets is a beautiful garden spot that has been around for more than a century. Ambler Arboretum on Temple University’s Ambler Campus is a historic public garden that serves as a living laboratory, educational resource and champion for environmental wellbeing.
Even though the Arboretum is located on a University Campus, the grounds of the arboretum are open to the public at no charge. Stroll through the grounds, all 187 acres, on a self-guided walking tour and enjoy a variety of plants and special features. Many types of garden spaces are featured including herbs, naturalistic woodlands, wetlands, groundcovers, healing plants, native plants, and annual and perennial displays. Visitors may prearrange a guided tour for a suggested $5 per person donation.
Jane Bowne Haines founded the school originally as the Pennsylvania School of Horticulture for Women. She wanted to teach young women and prepare them for careers in horticulture and agriculture. The horticulture school formally joined with Temple University in 1958. Today, Temple continues to honor the achievements of these woman and the school with its well recognized degree programs in horticulture and landscape architecture.
If you are not interested in pursuing a career but just want to grow a green thumb, the Arboretum also holds classes for non-credit. As part of its continuing education offerings, you can learn about anything from landscape design to flower arranging to beekeeping. Classes are available year round and registration can be completed online.
Throughout the year, the Arboretum also holds special events. Group walks, lectures and joint programs with other environmental or conservation groups are some of the offerings. Here are some of their events for May 2018:
Spring Plant Sale
On Sat., May 5 from 9 am to 2 pm, the arboretum will host a spring plant sale. Held together with Pi Alpha Xi, the Honor Society for Horticulture, the sale features woody plants, perennials, annuals, veggies, hanging baskets and more. The event will be held in the Ambler Campus Greenhouse.
Bird/Window Collisions: Global Research and Local Solutions
A special lecture held in partnership with the Audubon Society will take place on May 16, at 7 pm in the Learning Center Auditorium. The featured speaker is Dr. Daniel Klem, Jr, PhD, D.SC, a scientist who has studied the impact of human structures and glass windows on declining bird populations. His research indicates that bird-window collisions are an increasingly important wildlife conservation issue. For more information or to register for the event, call 267-468-8018.
Director’s Walk — Spring
Join the Arboretum’s Director, Kathy Salisbury, on Thurs., May 24 from 12:45 to 1:30 pm for this seasonal walk in the arboretum. Learn about the plants, their growing habitat and how to include them in your own garden at home. Meet at Bright Hall Circle to begin the walk.