Summer Blues

Photo by Kathleen Salisbury, Director, Ambler Arboretum

Asiatic Dayflower (Commelina communis)

I will be the first to admit that I am not the greatest fan of summer. Give me snow and mountains and a chill in the air any day over 95 degrees and 95% humidity. But… the flowers and fruits of summer are hard to beat and I have never been a fan of air conditioning. I am so lucky to live in an area where I get to experience all the wonders of each season.

As I begin here as Director of the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University this summer I get to learn more about the University, the College, the faculty, the staff, the students, the facilities and the gardens.  There is a lot of learning I must do. But that is just fitting isn’t it? I now have the privilege of leading this garden of learning.   So I head out into the heat and explore, and meet with people and listen and examine. I brainstorm and I listen some more. And I discover each nook and cranny. I try to spend time working with the volunteers, so generous with their time each Tuesday morning.  I observe how this space is used. Who is visiting? When? Why? How long? I am learning who is passionate about this space – about its amazingly rich history and the excitement over its potential. I am learning who is involved and who would like to be involved. At times it can be overwhelming. Other times it is inspiring. And sometimes it is possible to find the calm beautiful spot in the garden to reflect on all I have learned.

It is quiet here on campus and around the arboretum in summer. Soon enough the students will be back,  events will be happening and a chill will be sneaking into the night air, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s enjoy the summer blues. Let’s enjoy the true-blue flowers of Asiatic Dayflower (Commelina communis) pictured above. This summer annual is sometimes considered a weed, but it is hard not to admire these cheerful blue blooms for the short time they are there. Another summer blue you can stop and enjoy on your visit is one of my favorite flowers Blue Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) seen here blooming near the trial gardens.

Photo by Kathleen V Salisbury, Director, Ambler Arboretum

Blue Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides)

There are as many flowers blooming in the gardens right now as I have questions to answer.  With each answer comes another set of questions. This is just one of the parts of this position I treasure. After all, if we knew all the answers what fun would life be? So, I encourage you to visit the arboretum. Come and learn something new, volunteer in our gardens, visit to find peace in our quiet gardens. Share your stories, connect back with the Arboretum, introduce yourself.  Please, come back to explore each season. That blue plumbago has a terrific fall color!

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