|"Purple Sensation," ornamental onion|
One of the best improvements is the new arboretum, adjacent to the campus just opposite Park Avenue. It seems like a great place for students and community members to escape the hustle and bustle of the main campus life, or the stress of impending assignments and exams for a few moments. This is a great place as well for returning alums to bring their families. I visited on a stormy day, which unfortunately cut short our exploration of the arboretum.
The idea of having an arboretum at Penn State has been lurking around, inspiring generations of students, faculty and community members, since 1914, when PSU first set aside land adjacent to the campus.
|"Hakushin," a Japanese tree peony|
Since then, other donors have stepped up, and now there's a prominent esplanade, with gardens arranged on both sides. A tall, evergreen hedge behind the beds lends it definition from the rest of the site, while helping showcase the changing array of colors. The planting plan is changed annually, the better to inspire home gardeners, and the plants themselves are rotated spring, summer and fall to showcase plants for each season.
One of the more magical areas is the Childhood’s Gate Children’s Garden, a unique space for exploring nature, fostering wonder, and celebrating the plants, animals, and geography of central Pennsylvania. Interesting for adults, it's magical for children, with flowers and shrubs, hardscape displays, and sculpture appealing to all the senses.
The Pollinators’ Garden brings together a combination of plants, nest sites, and other resources essential for a productive pollinator community, promoting a better understanding of pollinators and their vital contribution to the health and welfare of society. Many outstanding Pennsylvania native plants are featured in the garden, including blue mistflower, New England aster, and clustered mountain-mint.
|"Shimadaljin," Japanese tree peony|
Getting there: E Park Ave & Bigler Rd, State College, PA 16803
Hours: Dawn to dusk.
This stay was provided by Comfort Suites and the Central PA Convention & Visitors Bureau.