April 28th, 2013 at 8:03 pm
Spring is here, which means it’s time to pay a visit to Tyler Arboretum!
Maybe I should rephrase that a bit. Truth is, I love to visit Tyler year-round. My family and I have been trekking through Tyler’s snowy grounds in winter; hiking through their cool, shady woods in summer; and enjoying the colorful splendor of the season in fall—in addition to celebrating the arrival of spring blooms—for nearly a decade now, since we first moved to the area.
Last Sunday was a perfectly crisp spring day, so we headed to Tyler to check out the newly completed Scenic Loop Path. But before we made our way to the path, we lingered among the magnolia trees and basked in their pink-and-white beauty. I honestly don’t think there’s a better place anywhere to see such perfect specimens of this early spring flowering tree. Families were spread out beneath the blooms enjoying snacks and picnics with their little ones, a scene we saw repeated throughout the arboretum that day. Looking upward, I noticed the contrasting pink flowers against the day’s blue sky—a picture so perfect that it took my breath away.
My son wanted to visit some of Tyler’s treehouses, now open for spring, so we meandered through the grounds to see his favorites. I still remember when the treehouses were installed at Tyler several years back. My son was so excited to check them out, and his enthusiasm hasn’t waned a bit over time. He loves them all, but I think his favorite is the Cape May Birdhouse, inspired by the arboretum’s Bluebird Trail and featuring architectural details and a paint scheme reminiscent of Cape May’s Victorian beach houses.
Still on our way to the trail, we stopped at the Pond in the hopes of seeing some of Tyler’s resident frogs and toads. Originally dug to as a source of irrigation water in the late 1940s, the Pond is fed by Rocky Run Stream, which runs through the arboretum and along the Blue Trail (our favorite!) on its way to Ridley Creek. The frogs and toads must have been hiding the day we visited, but we did get a kick out of several turtles sunning themselves on a makeshift “raft” in the center of the pond.
In time we arrived at the Scenic Loop Path, which begins just past the Pond. The paved path circles around the Meadow Maze, past the Giant Sequoia, into the heart of the Pinetum, and along the border of the Rhododendron Garden to complete the loop. The path allows ADA access for all visitors and is perfect for strollers, wheelchairs, and visitors of all ages and abilities. As we wandered along the path we were surprised to see early blooming azaleas and noted the dogwoods and redbuds that were just beginning to bloom. I plan to go back in a week or two to see them in their full glory—you should, too! It promises to be a magnificent display.
Tyler Arboretum, located at 515 Painter Road in Media, is now open for spring and summer hours: Monday through Friday, 9am–5pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 9am–6pm. Admission is $9 for adults ages 16–64, $8 for seniors 65 and older, $5 for youths ages 3–15, and free for children younger than 3. Become a member and enjoy unlimited free general admission and many other benefits, including members-only events and special discounts. And be sure to check out Tyler’s education programs for adults, which run the gamut from gardening to health and wellness, and children, including their renowned summer camp and eco-birthday parties.