The Watnong Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS) is partnering with Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum’s staff and volunteers to restore the South Rock Garden at Laurelwood Arboretum. Dorothy Knippenberg was a lifetime member of NARGS and created rock gardens as one of her special display areas. Although they have been cared for by Rutgers Master Gardener and Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum volunteers, many of the original rocks have become covered with soil and vegetation and the original designs obscured.
Volunteers from the Watnong Chapter are working with Laurelwood’s staff gardeners and volunteers on the project. Members of both organizations will have the benefit of learning garden restoration, rebuilding a rock garden, and selecting plants.
The Watnong Chapter began the project in 2014 and have returned each year. The renovation of the Laurelwood Arboretum rock garden is a five-year project that will offer its members opportunities hands-on experience in planning, building, planting and maintaining a rock garden. When their work is completed, the chapter expects to schedule workshops and demonstrations at Laurelwood.
Local artist Andrea Geller will teach a Plein Air watercolor painting at Laurelwood Arboretum on Saturday, July 22nd (raindate July 29th) from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. There is a $75 fee for the workshop, and registration is required. Space is limited, so early registration is suggested. To register, call 973-831-5675. A supply list will be available to those who register. The arboretum is located at 725 Pines Lake Drive West in Wayne.
“Plein air painting refers to painting outdoors,” Geller explained. “Laurelwood Arboretum is serenely beautiful, so it is a natural place to hold a Plein Air watercolor painting workshop. The workshop is designed for both the curious beginner and the more advanced painter who would like to gain a better understanding of the process involved in creating paintings that are inspired by the natural world.”
At the beginning of the workshop, Geller will discuss basic color theory, color mixing strategies and brush techniques specific to the watercolor medium. She will also discuss methods of developing strong compositions that simplify and express an artist’s vision. The group will paint outdoors from direct observation, focusing on nature’s shapes and colors. There will be one-on-one guidance throughout the morning. A discussion of the paintings will be held at the end of the workshop.
Geller is an artist who balances her career between painting and teaching studio art classes on the college level. After studying fine arts at Cornell University for two years, she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at Parsons School of Design and earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree at William Paterson University. Geller has had a successful freelance career as an illustrator and graphic designer. She has illustrated for The New York Times, Washington Post, New Jersey Monthly and Psychology Today.
Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum welcomes the public to a program about All the Presidents’ Gardens given by Marta McDowell on Saturday, June 17, at 2 pm at the Knippenberg Center for Education at Laurelwood Arboretum. The arboretum is located at 725 Pines Lake Drive West in Wayne. The program is free for members of Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum and $15 for nonmembers.
McDowell teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden and consults for private clients and public gardens. Her most recent book, All the Presidents’ Gardens, is the winner of a 2017 American Horticultural Society Award. It relates the history of the White House grounds, starting with the seed-collecting, plant-obsessed George Washington and ending with Michelle Obama’s focus on edibles. It is also a story about Lincoln’s goats, Ike’s putting green, the Kennedys’ iconic roses, Amy Carter’s tree house, and much more.
Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum will offer free guided tours of Laurelwood Arboretum on Sunday, May 21st at 12:30 p.m. and on the third Sunday of every month through October. To join a tour, meet at the Knippenberg Center for Education at Laurelwood Arboretum, 725 Pines Lake Road West in Wayne. Trained tour guides will lead visitors through the arboretum, identifying many of the unique trees and plantings. Carts will be available for those who do not wish to walk.
Just in time for Mother’s Day, Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum will host its annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 13, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The arboretum is located at 725 Pines Lake Drive West (entrances at Vale Road and Pines Lake Drive) in Wayne.
This year’s plant sale will feature a selection of high-quality annuals and perennials, container gardens, and beautiful hanging plants. There will also be native plants, Mother’s Day gifts for children to purchase, plants that attract butterflies, and unusual perennials. As always, there will be some special plants from the arboretum grown in the greenhouse from cuttings. In addition to the plants for sale, there will be a butterfly information station.
A special feature this year will be exhibit of photographs and watercolors by former Wayne resident Bob Shine. These will be on display in the Knippenberg Center for Education during the hours of the plant sale.
Volunteer tour guides will be on hand to lead tours of the arboretum from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Laurelwood will be ablaze with colors, textures and aromas as native dogwoods, oakleaf and climbing hydrangeas, hostas, daylilies, lilacs, irises and other plants flower in May.
All proceeds from the plant sale will benefit Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum.
Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum invites adults and children of all ages to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 22 at the arboretum, 725 Pines Lake Drive West in Wayne. There will be a children’s story hour at 12:30 pm followed by a hands-on workshop in the Horticultural Greenhouse. Starting at 2 pm, trained guides will offer tours through the arboretum on foot or in the arboretum’s motorized vehicles.
“We are proud to join the millions of people around the world in celebrating our amazing Earth,” said Alice Moskowitz. “We hope our Earth Day celebration will help raise awareness of the natural beauty around us and of the importance of preserving our environment.”