Dream Drives: Free Year-Round Exploration At Scott Arboretum

SWARTHMORE, Pa. (CBS) — Wander onto the campus of Swarthmore College and you’ll find an experience you might not know is there: Scott Arboretum.

Becky Robert says you don’t have to be a student or a member to explore. “The barriers are very low,” Becky said. “We like to say we are the most accessible garden in the area.

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“We’re free and open to the public 365 days a year.”

Shaded paths give cool places to walk. Becky said, “You’re currently standing under the shade of the Metasequoia,” also known as dawn redwood trees. “We call it the Metasequoia Allée. As you walk up and down this corridor, we have white plantings underneath.”

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The bee-conscious can venture over to the pollinator garden. “Great stuff in there. Of course, things for the birds as well,” Becky said.

Horticulturalist Josh Coceano helps design the displays every year. “Summertime, we have a lot of containers placed about to try to show people what they can do with more tropical plants,” Josh said.  “The other thing about the arboretum is that we try to label everything. So if you see a plant that catches your eye, you can take out your smart phone, snap a picture of it.”

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The Terry Shane Teaching Garden is designed to be a resource for gardeners of all levels. “The magical spot about there is, it’s three gardens in one behind a simple house,” Becky said.

One place of pride is the Scott Amphitheater, with curved raised beds of grass. “It’s like an amphitheater you’ve never imagined,” Becky said. “It’s just this magical bowl with this beautiful view into the Crum Woods.”

“The great thing about the arboretum is that it’s constantly changing as far as flowers (and) plants that are going to be looking really good,” Josh said. “It’s such an amazing vista.”

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The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College is at 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081. The grounds are open dawn to dusk.

Arboretum offices are open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. at 610-328-8025. While the offices are not always staffed, visitor information and maps can be found here.

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